Jacob's 10 Favorites in TV in 2010
by, 2nd January 2011 at 11:12 PM (317 Views)
For the first time I've compiled a list of my favorite shows of the year. This list wasn't slaved over as much as my list of favorite films, but what the hell... I probably watch as much TV as film a year...
First, like on my Top-10 Favorite Films list, an alphabetized list of shows that didn't make my Top 10, but are worth your time:
- American Pickers
- Aqua Teen Hunger Force
- Eastbound and Down
- Hell's Kitchen
- Hot in Cleveland
- How I Met Your Mother
- Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
- Man v. Food
- Man vs. Wild
- Penn & Teller: Bullshit!
- Real Time with Bill Maher
- The Good Guys
10.) The Simpsons
At this point I'm the biggest defender of The Simpsons I know. Sure, the show isn't the snappy satire it was in the mid-90s, but the show has constantly shifted it's style of humor, and while a bit more goofball than before, the show is still damned funny. And for those who bitch about it being nothing but a series of Homer getting hurt pratfalls; the show has always and will always have that. They were actually more violent in the past. There is no pleasing you guys...
9.) 30 Rock
Everything Tracy Morgan says makes me laugh. As witty and genuinely hilarious the writing is on this show, Tracy Morgan steals the show every single week. The dude could shout-read my old high school Biology book (for some reason I still have that) and I'd pay $50 at the door to hear him. Sometimes I forget all of the other reasons to love the show; the satire, the Tina Fay, the eccentricity, the Alec Baldwin, because I'm too busy laughing from whatever just came out of Tracy Morgan's mouth. Also; that live episode was fucking brilliant.
8.) Pawn Stars
You know, I'd always wondered what Antiques Roadshow would be like if it was awesome. Rick, Old Man, Big Hoss, Chumlee, Peaches... these are people I'd hang out with. It is easily the most engaging and brilliantly constructed reality show I've ever seen. I almost feel it should be labeled as a documentary series, because in the end it really isn't about the stuff they buy and pawn, it is about these people. And they aren't thrown into a situation that is foreign to them. This show is real people doing their job and having a helluva lot of fun doing it. And that makes the show a helluva lot of fun.
7.) It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia
The most ballsy, tactless sitcom I've ever seen continues to shine. Every single season the Sunny team keeps producing 30 minutes of gold after 30 minutes of gold. For a show that debuted with an episode on racism and homophobia and centered its second episode around abortion, it still has an edge 5 years later. Be it "Mac Fights Gay Marriage", or "Who Got Dee Pregnant", Sunny still has that controlled rebellion that makes it so unique.
6.) Regular Show
Yeah, it's a kids' show. So what? It is also brilliant. 2 in the AM PM has been a favorite of mine for years now, and to see JG Quintel take those stoner/slacker sensibilities and blend them into a Cartoon Network cartoon (for kids!) is very reassuring. The quality of kids' programming has gone down since the late 90s, and Regular Show is a much needed throwback. It feels like something that should have existed in the mid 90s on either Nickelodeon or Cartoon Network; it's a bit absurd, but it is also quite smart and very pop-savvy. Some of the obscure music cues alone are worth the 10 mintes of your time.
5.) Boardwalk Empire
Wow. Just, wow. Boardwalk Empire is my personal favorite HBO drama. A period drama set in Atlantic City during the Prohibition Era, Boardwalk is a fantastic examination of government corruption. There is also blood and tits and fucking. Can't beat that, right? Steve Buscemi, Michael Pitt and Kelly Macdonald are the three who are probably talked about most, but Michael K. Williams is the guy to watch. Chalky White is easily in my Top-10 TV Badasses of All Time. Michael Shannon is also brilliant. He is Nelson Van Alden. So much so that I shutter a bit when I see him in anything else. Props also go out to Michael Stuhlbarg, who proved he wasn't a one-hit wonder (he deserved an Oscar for his performance in A Serious Man), and Jack Houston, who is great as the subdued half-faced marksman.
4.) Bored to Death
I love deadpan comedies. Bored to Death can aptly be described as "Wes Anderson lite", and as a Wes Anderson fan, I am one to adore this show. And I do. Jason Schwartzman is perfect as Jonathan Ames (named after the creator, the cocky fuck); a loser who desperately wants to pass off as a private detective while pursuing his passions; writing and teaching. Zach Galifianakis is in a different role here, not the idiot but the easily wounded, successful comic book artist friend of Jonathan. My favorite character, and therefore my favorite performance, though, is George Christopher, the editor of Edition, played by Ted Danson. I've always dug Ted Danson, but this is his best role in my book. Sure, Bored to Death is really just three pot-heads hanging out at its core... but what's wrong with that?
3.) Men of a Certain Age
One of the most underrated shows out there. This is best thing Ray Romano has ever done. Period. A compelling drama/comedy that is a no-holds-barred, dark, realistic depiction of reaching middle age. Ray Romano, Andre Braugher, and Scott Bakula are each fantastic and each deserve as many awards and accolades as they can fit on the back of a DVD cover. This is one of the toughest shows for me to write about, as it is so dense... the best thing I can say is; "Pick up Season One on DVD and watch that shit, man.".
I was a bit skeptical when they announced Futurama was returning to weekly television. I shouldn't have questioned shit. The show is still as genius as ever. Deftly blending silly and smart and satire and science, Futurama is one of, if not the best comedy program currently on television. What you need for a solid comedic television program; Colorful characters, snappy dialogue, solid performances, pop-culture knowledge. Futurama has that all in spades and has the added element of sci-fi sensibilities.
1.) House M.D.
I'm really in the minority when I say; "I still love the hell out of this show." No, butthurt shippers, the writers didn't put House and Cuddy together to fulfill the desires of "Huddy" shippers or whatever they call themselves. You people are the exact opposite of the proper audience for this show. House M.D. isn't about who's fucking who, it's a character study. And the next logical step for House's character was for him to hook up with Cuddy. Why? Now that he is clean, he needs someone to lean on. Also; it sets up a promising dark future for the character and show. Gotta love that.
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