December 28th, 2010 by thetvchick
As the year comes to a close, I thought it would be a nice time to highlight what I have loved on TV this year. Because this year encapsulates more than a season of TV (and because I watch a ton of TV) there’s a lot that I loved this year. There are a couple of new shows, some old favorites, and some that may not be around anymore (or may not be on for much of 2011). Feel free to weigh in with your choices, and let me know if you think I left any off my list! This list is in no particular order.
Pretty Little Liars: This ABC Family drama based on the Young Adult book series of the same name debuted in January of 2010 to critical and ratings success. For ABC Family, an audience that can compete with lower level network TV is huge. I was a fan of the books long before the show surfaced, and I went in with lofty expectations. I have to say that the show met and exceeded my expectations. It stayed true to the book series while also branching out on its own quite a bit. The mid-season premiere is January 3rd, and it is really great. I can’t wait to see what secrets continue to haunt the town of Rosewood.
Party Down: Clearly, my taste in television is quite eclectic. Party Down had its second and last season this summer and even with the loss of comedy stalwart Jane Lynch (she appeared in one episode), this show remained hilarious and quirky and wonderful. It reminds me a bit of “Arrested Development,” in that it was critically acclaimed but was cancelled before its time. I understand that Adam Scott and Lizzy Caplan (the two on again off again romantic pulses of the show) were maybe not going to return for season three if there was one, but I still stand by my love of Party Down. If you haven’t yet watched it, go rent the DVDs. You won’t regret it.
Cougartown: Cougartown often gets overshadowed by it’s ABC Wednesday night companion, Modern Family. Don’t get me wrong, Modern Family will be on this list as well, but Cougartown should not be looked down upon for its ridiculous name. It may have started last fall as a show following Courteney Cox’s Jules around in her failed relationships with the wrong men, but it turned into an ensemble comedy. The ensemble of Busy Phillips, Christa Miller, Brian Van Holt, Dan Byrd, Ian Gomez and Josh Hopkins takes us through life as a new college student, as a divorcee, as a happy but ridiculous married couple, as a young sort of slutty single woman, all while drinking wine and playing penny can. It’s a hilarious show. So get past the title, and delve in.
The Vampire Diaries: I adore this show. It’s not just because of its strikingly beautiful cast or my love of all things vampire, but it truly is a great show. It’s not simply CW teen angst drama (although there is plenty of that), rather it is full of heart-pounding, edge of your seat, not-afraid-to-go-there dramatic moments. Many shows can suffer from a sophomore slump, but The Vampire Diaries’ second season has been more kick-ass than the first. There is so much mythology we haven’t even begun to understand yet, and I cannot wait for its return on January 27th. (Ed. Note: I visited the set recently and will have a ton of great interviews closer to its return).
Parks and Recreation: The first season of this mockumentary style show was only six episodes and got off to a rocky start. Thankfully, it was renewed and the second season really took off. Amy Poehler’s Leslie Knope begun to find her voice as one of the quirky ambitious heads of the Pawnee Parks & Recreation department, as opposed to being like her other NBC counterpart boss Michael Scott. The second season was so brilliant that many critics and fans alike were shocked when they pushed their third season to debut in January. I have it on good authority (because well, I’ve seen the first six episodes) that season three will be a big hit. The cast has grown to include Rob Lowe and Adam Scott, who are brilliant additions, and the supporting cast is featured more in this upcoming season as well. Be sure to tune in, you won’t regret it.
Glee: I realize that the second season to this huge FOX hit has had many ups and downs, but we can’t forget the solid second half of the first season. Remember the season finale where Quinn had her baby? What about when Will professes his love for Emma and kisses her? Or how about the ending that made me cry lots of tears as the Glee club sang to Schue “To Sir, With Love.” There has also been some great moments in the second season as well. The addition to the cast of Darren Criss (his rendition of “Teenage Dream” was unreal amazing) and Dot Marie Jones (Coach Beiste is awesome) are extremely welcome and refreshing, and I have faith that even with some non-sensical episodes, Glee will continue to earn my love in the upcoming remainder of the season. I love every episode…even if they all can’t be like “Journey.”
Life Unexpected: The show debuted in January of 2010 to much critical praise and very decent ratings for the CW. It was moved to a different timeslot in the fall season (its renewal was hard fought) and the ratings went down by a lot. However, the quality of the show most certainly did not. I stand by the fact that this is a show that wasn’t promoted enough by the CW (there was no 1st season DVD release before the 2nd season) and a lot of times, the good ones don’t get to stick around for too long. Life Unexpected has no gimmicks — it’s just about an unconventional family trying to make it. It’s heartwarming, tear-inducing, and charming all at once. The 2 part series finale of the show airs on January 18th on the CW, around a year after it first debuted. I will be very sad to see it go.
Modern Family: Modern Family continues to make me laugh out loud almost every single episode, and it has stayed strong since it’s incredibly stellar debut. The show has found its voice and the storylines that work and continue to use them week after week. I love the kids on this show too which often times is not the case. If you aren’t watching this show, you are missing one of the best comedies on TV right now. It’s that good and it continues to get better with every episode.
The Good Wife: I cannot say enough good things about this show. It centers around the life of Alicia Florrick (played by the brilliant Julianna Margulies) as she navigates the world post-husband-sex-scandal at a new law firm. This may sound like a familiar story for New York residents (Eliot Spitzer anyone?) and while some of the cases do have a ripped-from-the-headlines feel, this show is about much more than that. There’s a love triangle, kids learning their way in the world, a kick ass investigator (seriously Kalinda, played by Archie Panjabi is absolutely brilliant) and sexy, sexy Josh Charles. If law shows in general turn you off, this is one you shouldn’t miss. It’s very atypical and it’s not just another Law and Order franchise knock off.
Parenthood: Lauren Graham is back on my TV in what has become a really great role. Sarah Braverman may not be Lorelai Gilmore, but she has really grown and developed and turned into something fantastic. I think Jason Katims has brought a “Friday Night Lights” feel to his new show and I love watching the Braverman clan week after week. The show will be on at a new time in 2011 (it starts in its old time slot then moves to Monday night at 10 pm) which is typically not a good sign for a relatively new show, but I have high hopes that it will remain consistent (read: decent) in the ratings. The ensemble cast is huge, yet the show finds a way to showcase each one of them in a unique way. I’m excited to see what the second half of the season brings.
The Walking Dead: The Walking Dead, based on the graphic novels by Robert Kirkman, premiered on AMC on Halloween night and was instantly a hit. On the network known for producing “Mad Men” and “Breaking Bad,” this show fit right in with their killer lineup. The show centers around Rick Grimes, who wakes up after being shot, in a hospital in the middle of a zombie apocalypse. Sounds kind of ridiculous right? Zombies are generally not my thing but I must say this show won me over in six episodes. It may be genre based but it has a great story, very well developed characters and a lot of fantastic drama. I especially loved seeing Andrew Lincoln, the guy from Love Actually play this character that is completely different from anything he’s ever played. The show has already been renewed for season 2 and this time of year with most shows in reruns is the perfect time to catch up.
Lost: This cult favorite ended it’s six year run in May of this year. The ending was crazy, thought provoking and in this Lost fan’s book, very satisfying. I think the show will go on a lot of “best of” lists and not just for the year 2010.
The Office: The Office has long been one of my favorite comedies but it suffered in quality when a lot of its top ranked producers went over to make Parks and Recreation. However, this season it has made a major comeback. The show has gotten back to what made me fall in love with it in the first place: Jim and Pam. There’s also been more Dwight moments and of course, Michael’s crazy antics. The show has done a good job incorporating new-ish to Dunder Mifflin Scranton Andy to the gang, although last season was a little too focused on him. I also adore the addition of Darryl to the office (as opposed to the warehouse). I hope that NBC chooses to end the series this season, because without Steve Carell (who said he was leaving) it won’t be the same show at all. I doubt this will happen, but one can dream, right?!
Nikita: Interestingly enough, Nikita is only one of two new shows that made it to my list. This CW show is based on the movie of the same name and the TV series “La Femme Nikita.” It started off as a pilot that intrigued me but didn’t necessarily win me over. As the season progressed, it got better and better. Maggie Q makes an awesome Nikita and I adore Lyndsy Fonseca. I enjoy watching it every week, and it’s gone from a show that I will catch up with when I have time to one I want to watch on a weekly basis. I hope it continues to build on its working formula, and I am excited to see the rest of the first season.
What are your favorite shows of 2010? Did I leave anything off my list? Weigh in!!Tweet