Sunday, December 21, 2008

Making My Lists, Checking Them Twice

Tis’ the season to make lists. As the holidays swing closer and the New Year approaches the time to take inventory on television of the past year has arrived. And as I am sitting in an airport waiting for a delayed flight I figured no better time than the present to get started. So what will my top tens consist of?

Well, seeing as there eleven days until the New Year, I’ve decided to a list a day plus something special (to be thought of at a later date) on the eleventh day. Now, I’m going on the assumption that I will update everyday for the next eleven days in a row, which I think is conceivable. You know how ABC has the 25 Days of Christmas? Well, Addicted to the Idiot Box now has the Eleven Days of New Years…maybe I’ll come up with a new name later.

So to start spreading the holiday cheer I present to you my Top Six Shows of 2008. Follow the link for to see what made the cut.

Now why six? Well, I chose from the shows that I really consider worthy of a spot. Meaning, I’m most definitely not going to include Gossip Girl. I’m not going to add a show that I feel I haven’t followed enough to know its true status in the realm of good television. Now keep in mind there are plenty of shows that I was unable to watch that I should have (and plan on watching in the near future). However, this is just a short list of the shows I have watched that were particularly noteworthy through 2008.
(To borrow a catch phrase I’m going to do this In No Particular Order just to make things nice.)

The Nice List
  1. Chuck: As you may have noticed, I’m kinda obsessed…just a little bit. If I was impressed by Chuck in it’s first season, the second season has completely blown me away. Each and every episode this year has brought a smile to my face and that is not something I can say about many shows. The already strong cast members continue to grow and improve with each passing episode. Josh Schwartz and Chris Fedak, along with an impressive writing team, have proved themselves as geniuses through inspired plots and parallel story lines between the Buy More and Chuck’s spy life. Not to mention stuffing as many pop culture references as possible into a single episode. As Devon would say, this show is “Awesome.” Enough said.
  2. Lost: If you weren’t blown away by season four of Lost, you must have missed something. While season three may have been slow to start, by the time the game changing season finale came around I knew good things were on the way. The show went from aimless and slow, to plot driven and fast. 2008 gave us some of the best episodes of the show to date, possibly some of the best-written hours of television in general. While I’ve grown kind of sick of the Jack/Kate/Sawyer, Desmond and Penny completely make up for that. The mysteries of the island are only just beginning. Even though we found ourselves off the island at the end of season four, in the words of Jack, “We have to go back!”
  3. The Office: The folks at Dunder Mifflin continue to impress me. But, the one employee that made the show this year was Amy Ryan’s Holly. Oh how we miss you. Holly provided the perfect match for Michael, and I’m going to be honest, I did not think it was possible. Amy Ryan was absolutely brilliant and clicked with the cast instantly. The only bad thing I have to say about her stay is that it was far too short. As for the rest of our Dunder Mifflinites, Jim has had some of his best prankings this year from Bill Butlicker to a desk made of cardboard boxes, Phyllis has proved herself as the best head of the party planning committee ever, and Dwight never fails to prove himself as the most amusing character on TV. Working at a paper company may be boring and tedious, but with that group it’s gotta be a little fun, if not crazy once in a while, don’t ya think?
  4. Fringe: Rookie of the year award. Not that there was any other shows in the running. Fringe went from seems interesting, to where is this going, to I have to wait a whole week for another episode?! While the long term plot lines of the story are still some what fuzzy, one thing is for sure, something creepy is going on. Put together the oddly omniscient Massive Dynamic company, a creepy bald guy that is everywhere (click here to see what I mean by everywhere), and one of the best father-son relationships on TV and you’ve got a show that will certainly keep me watching. The chemistry between Joshua Jackson and John Noble makes one of the most amusing and interesting relationships on TV between father and son. I’m even starting to warm up to Ana Torv a little more who has improved drastically in the past few episodes. J.J. Abrams seems to have done it again with a show that can attract new viewers while keeping the followers enticed enough to wonder what on earth the Pattern really means.
  5. Pushing Daisies: My heart breaks as I write this knowing that only three episodes of this fairy tale of a show remain. Every episode this season has been magical and exciting. I still can’t get enough of the intense colors, amazingly creative sets, and perfect costume choices (see episode Comfort Food). And even better, the stories this season have really gotten into the depths of the characters. Bryan Fuller and the creative geniuses working behind the scenes introduced the family trees of the characters in ways that were interesting and out of the ordinary. And who can’t get enough of the star crossed love of Ned and Chuck, the undead and the living, the couple whose romance is adorable yet they frustratingly can’t touch. I’m really going to miss Wednesdays at the Pie Hole, especially since it was just starting to get some new flavor.
  6. How I Met Your Mother: Oh beloved HIMYM, how you entertain my Monday packed nights. This show has continued to impress me even in it’s fourth season. I’ve got to say that I’m glad Stella is gone, not that I didn’t like Sarah Chalke, I just really didn’t see her Teds story tale happily ever after. And I’m totally ok with that. In fact, I think I’m much happier when Ted isn’t trying too hard in a relationship (unless it’s season 2 and he’s with Robin, who we know isn’t the mother). I love the episodes that allow the gang to show their true colors in terms of friendship and character dynamic. In particular, Barney and Robin. Now that is a relationship that interests me. What I’m basically saying is that it doesn’t really matter to me how Ted met the random kids on the sofa’s mother, I care more about the stories between his friends who led him there. That is where HIMYM shows it’s true colors—when a normal night at McLeran’s turns into something legendary.
So...agree? Disagree? Keep in mind I’m not purposely leaving out shows like Mad Men, The Shield, The Wire, and other critically acclaimed shows. I’m only saying I don’t have the credibility to give them a spot on my list…or not this one at least. The Naughty list to come soon. Meanwhile, what were your favorites of 2008?

1 comment:

LAR said...

I really loved the show "In Treatment" and would put it on my nice list. I liked your selections too. Chuck is my favorite on your list. I suggest you make a list of favorite episodes from your favorite shows...that could be entertaining.