favorite television of 2010

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Get to know me meme → 1/10 Favorite TV Shows: Lost (2004-2010)

Kate, if we’re going to be safe, if we’re going to protect the people that we left behind, tomorrow morning I’m going to have to convince everyone to lie. If it’s just me they’re never going to go for it. So I’m going to turn to you first. Are you with me?
                                                                                         I have always been with you.   

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get to know me meme: (1/10) favorite tv shows: The Walking Dead (2010 - )

When I was a kid, I asked my grandpa once if he ever killed any Germans in the war. He wouldn’t answer. He said that was grown-up stuff. So I asked if the Germans ever tried to kill him. But he got real quiet. He said he was dead the minute he stepped in to enemy territory. Every day he woke up and told himself, rest in peace. Now get up and go to war. And then after a few years of pretending he was dead… he made it out alive. That’s the trick of it, I think. We do what we need to do and then, we get to live. But no matter what we find in DC, I know we’ll be okay. Because this is how we survive. We tell ourselves that we are the walking dead.

Favorite Television of 2010 - #3

Community

I remember watching the pilot of Community last year and thinking, this is probably going to be pretty good. And I was right, the first three quarters of the first season were pretty good. It was funny, and liked the characters, but it wasn’t wowing me like some other comedies were. And then came Contemporary American Poultry. The minute Abed’s Goodfellas voiceover began, I paused for a minute and thought, Oh. I like where this is going. Then two episodes later we got Modern Warfare- an episode I literally had to watch two times in a row just to comprehend how it even existed. And from there on out this show leaped from pretty good to pretty freaking amazing. As a pop culture nerd this show is a goldmine, and when Dan Harmon said at the beginning of this season that they were just going to go for it, he wasn’t kidding. There have been one or two episodes this season that have fell a little flat for me - the Abed-as-a-filmmaking-Jesus episode was almost a little too weird - but overall they have been killing it this season. The KFC ‘rocketship’, the Halloween episode, the bottle episode, that Christmas episode - they have been pulling out all the stops and it has been glorious. It’s been getting a lot of recognition this season, and it totally deserves it all. Go Human Beings!

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Favorite Television of 2010 - #8

Friday Night Lights

I know I use the word ‘underappreciated’ a lot, but Friday Night Lights is definitely the most underappreciated show on television, no contest. I don’t know how it’s made it to Season 5, but I’m incredibly thankful it has (thank you, DirecTV!). And I totally get it. It’s essentially a teen drama based in a small Texas town that revolves around football. None of those things even remotely interest me. And considering I grew up in a small town that revolved around football, I always thought it would be like reliving high school all over again, which is the last thing I ever want to do. But holy shit guys, this show is so good. It is by far the most honest and realistic portrayal of teens (and the adults around them - because this isn’t an exclusively teen show) I’ve ever seen on television. It can be heartwarming and gut-wrenching and beautiful and sad all at the same time. And don’t get me started on Coach & Mrs. Coach. Their relationship is perfection and it’s hard to find a pair of characters I love more. So don’t let what you think this show is about get in your way. It’s ending after this season, but we got 5 wonderful years of TV out of it. Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose!

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Favorite Television of 2010 - #10

Justified

I feel like this might be a little biased because of my love for Timothy Olyphant (I think we can all agree Deadwood was A-freaking-MAZING), but oh well. I wasn’t sold when I first heard about it, but it quickly won me over. The writing’s sharp, the characters are great, and the drama never feels forced. With the exception of the first episode or two (and TV shows always need an episode or three to get the momentum going) every week it was wickedly entertaining. And when there’s always the possibility of a shirtless Olyphant showing up, well… count me in.

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Favorite Television of 2010 - Special Place of Honor: Late Night Edition

The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson

In terms of late night television, the year seems to belong to Conan. And yes, his last week of shows at NBC are some of the best shows in late night I’ve ever seen, let alone 2010. The whole feud seemed to invigorate everyone with a show after 11pm, and Jimmy Fallon really came into his own. Late night has a tendency to get a little tedious and uneventful, but it really seemed like everyone was on their A game this year.

But then there’s Craig. Feud or no feud, he brings the funny more consistently than anyone else out there. I’ve talked about why I think he’s the best there is before and in addition to being the only genuinely funny monologue around, the way he treats his guests is just refreshing. He rips up the pre-interview question cards before every guest, and just wings it, asking whatever happens to come to his mind. Which is why no matter who the guest is, whether I like them or dislike them, or have never even heard of them, I always give it a shot. And he rarely ever misses.

He barely ever does sketches, has no band, and any sort of pre-taped bits are few and far between. He likes to joke about how his show has no money, but I think that’s part of why it’s awesome. It’s literally just him, standing in front of the camera, entertaining you for 45 minutes a night. I have no idea how he does it, but he manages to pull it off every time. It’s such a boring concept, the late night talk show, but I don’t think I’ve ever been bored watching him.

And this year especially has been great - having him gleefully watch NBC crash and burn, Geoff Peterson, his sit down with Stephen Fry, the Doctor Who special, Secretariat and his freaking Peabody award - I always get frustrated when I come across people who don’t really give him a chance (I used to be one of them; for the longest time he was just that Scottish dude who used to be on the Drew Carey Show) because he’s not as hip as Jimmy Fallon or as absurdly weird as Conan, or even because he’s on CBS, the old people station. Comedy is the most subjective thing in the universe, so I understand his particular brand of humor isn’t for everyone, but I really do believe if more people gave him a shot (although I do know he regularly beats Jimmy in the ratings), they’d fall in love just like I did.

(and in case I got your interest, there is a kind soul who uploads every show he does on YouTube every day. So you have no excuse to miss him! Heaven knows I barely ever watch his show when it actually airs!)

Tomorrow: the Top Ten start!

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Favorite Television of 2010 - Special Place of Honor

LOST

I liked the ending. I know a lot of people hated it, and I can understand that, but what it comes down to is that it’s hard for me to hate on something that has kept me invested for the last six years. Even when it sucked, LOST was pretty great, and while it didn’t make the Top Ten, I thought it still deserved a special spot for being awesomely entertaining for six pretty badass years.

Tomorrow: Special Place of Honor: Late Night Edition (and then we’ll finally get to the top ten, promise)

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Favorite Television of 2010 - #5

Party Down

The sad thing about Party Down is that if it was on HBO or Showtime it probably would have done really well and everyone would know about it and love it. But instead it was on Starz. I’m not knocking Starz, because you gotta hand it to them for trying (and for giving it a chance) and I think in a few years time, they will have their own successful roster of original programming. Unfortunately, this absolute gem of a show came a little too early, and therefore has suffered the axe of cancellation too soon. But we did get two insanely good seasons of the most consistently hilarious show on television. I honestly don’t remember not liking a single episode. The characters, the writing, the amazing guest stars - this show will definitely join the ranks of cult shows gone too soon, next to Freaks and Geeks and Arrested Development. RIP Party Down, you were brilliant.

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Favorite Television of 2010 - #6

Doctor Who

There is just something about Doctor Who, in all its geeky and cheesy glory, that knows how to hit the right spots. I don’t know if it’s the secret sci-fi nerd that’s been buried inside me since I was a kid, or if it’s that sense of danger, excitement, and adventure you get from each episode, but I always find this show massively enjoyable from start to finish. It can make me laugh like an idiot and sob like a baby all within the span of a few minutes, and then somehow leave me feeling optimistic and hopeful about the world (despite it sometimes being quite a dark show). I’m relatively new to the Doctor Who universe (despite me loving television so much, I’m usually late to the party on most shows) but I still found it hard to believe that anybody could replace David Tennant. But I have to say, it took approximately 10 minutes for me to fall in love with Matt Smith, and I really thought this year’s series was wonderful. Steven Moffat is very good at his job (spoiler alert - this won’t be his last appearance on this list). There were just some really great episodes this year, from that wicked Weeping Angels two-parter to the Doctor Who Comedy Hour with The Lodger. And the Van Gogh episode. It was borderline emotionally manipulative, but god, did it hit you right in the heart and stay there for a bit. Not bad for a man and his little blue box.

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Favorite Television of 2010 - Honorable Mentions

The Walking Dead, 30 Rock, Dexter, Modern Family, Boardwalk Empire

These are all top quality shows, and I couldn’t talk about the best of TV without mentioning them. There’s really no reason why they didn’t make the top ten other than the fact that I loved the ones that did just a teeeeeny bit more. What can I say… life’s unfair.

Tomorrow: A Special Place of Honor for a show that didn’t quite make the Top 10 either, but deserved it’s own special post for lifetime achievement.

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