Friday, December 7, 2007

Top Ten TV Shows Of 2007

Sorry for the brief hiatus...things in my world have been a bit busy lately, as I have now started blogging for the Limewire Blog, while still working at CMJ. It's been fun to write in the new home over there, so keep checking back for more old-school Underrated style posts. But don't worry, I'm here to stay. I'm going to be rolling out my top 10 lists over the next few weeks (although I am not as ambitious as my very talented boyfriend), so I figured I'd start with something more familiar. While this blog is and always will be a music blog, since I spend so much of my time writing about music I've used this space to delve deeper into my other entertainment loves. Recently, it's been a lot of TV, so here are my top ten. Since it looks like this strike may last for a while, go ahead and rent some of these shows on DVD. You will not be disappointed!

10. How I Met Your Mother (CBS)
In the age where new sitcoms are less than inviting, CBS's HIMYM somehow manages to turn formulaic plot lines into hearty laughs. It comes down to the fluidity of this fantastic cast, as each plays off each other in a way that isn't contrite. Everything, from a New Year's Eve limo ride to a slap count, doesn't try too hard to be funny and instead feels an experience you could have had, however without as witty of a banter. Neil Patrick Harris has done a superb job playing Barney, carefully hovering over the thin line between awesome and exaggerated. In the end, you don't care if Ted stays with Robin or who the actual overarching mother is. It's an episode by episode enjoyment, with never a low point. Even if one night you think it will be dragging, there will be one line that will leave you chuckling until well past Monday night.

09. Weeds (Showtime)
Sure, it wasn't the best season of the critically acclaimed Showtime season, but even when Weeds is at its worst, it still beats out 90% of what is on TV. Mary Louise Parker is, hands down, one of the greatest female actresses of our time, and with each mistake Nancy brings on upon herself, you want to root for her to keep being sassy and sarcastic and incredibly strong—all at the same time. Who would have thought that a show about a pot dealing suburban mom would be so socially aware without being preachy? This season's finale left a lot to be wondered about where the family will go, but as long as Mary-Kate stays out of too many scenes and the wonderful Kevin Nealon is in more, I'll be just fine.

08. Top Chef (Bravo)
Okay so I'm not the best cook, but that doesn't mean I can't enjoy a good cooking show once in a while. So when I'm not feeling gathering inspiration from the food network, I'm watching aspiring chefs duke it out on Bravo's most delicious reality show, Top Chef. This network knows how to do reality TV, focusing more on the competition than the drama and letting true talents, rather than true crazies, shine. This season didn't have the Ilan I fell in love with, but it did have a fantastic grouping of odd flavors and spices. Yes, I wasn't thrilled that Hung took the top prize (was rooting for the underdog Dale), you can't argue with that boy's knife skills. Wowee.

07. House (FOX)
Hugh Laurie can do no wrong. How is it that I completely adore an arrogant pompous Vicodin popping loner? Because he's a genius, that is. Both Laurie and the character he plays make a somewhat redundant show increasingly entertaining with one quip-witted line. Someone will always have a seizure and they will always (well most of the time) solve the mysterious case, but no matter how ridiculous the story lines seem to get, Laurie and his team's banter keep me tuning in each week. This season's Survivor-esque showdown created some humorous moments, and although it was quite obvious who he was going to pick at the end, the rose/tribal ceremonies made it all worthwhile.

06. The Sopranos (HBO)
It had to come to an end, and in the final moments of a black screen all I could think of is how truly remarkable this show is. Get over the initial shock and it all becomes so clear. David Chase's mob drama was easily one of the best television shows of our time, with its complex story arches and metaphors growing deeper with each season of the show. Violence became art, as Tony and his crew reminded us what old-school justice is all about. Growing up in Jersey it was easy to see how genuine the show attempted to be—no, I'm not in the mob—while still revolutionizing hour-long dramas on the small screen. Journey's "Don't Stop Believing" will always be remembered as my final farewell to the Soprano clan, and whatever your interpretation is of how this fantastic show came to a close, just think about how refreshing that lack of clarity really is.

05. The Office (NBC)
What can I say about this gem of a show that hasn't already been said? There's nothing better than an awkward laugh at the folks at Dunder Mifflin sure know how to make an experience awkward. I cant help but laugh out loud as Michael tries to do his best and fails, while Dwight stands noble and Jim gives funny looks to Pam. It's as formulaic of a show as you are going to be, which makes its location even the more appropriate. Offices are a humorous thing when you really think about it, but this remarkable cast has gone above and beyond to deliver crafty lines on a regular basis. Sure, I wasn't thrilled with the Pam and Jim story line this season, but even so—I never, ever, stopped laughing.

04. Californication (Showtime)
Hands down the best new show of the year, Califonication successfully brings back the screwed up world of shows like Six Feet Under where dark comedy rules, and characters are flawed. Hank Moody, played so well by the enjoyable David Duchovney can't get his life together, and he shouldn't. Because while he's screwing up everything around him he's helping us look at a world that isn't perfect and isn't supposed to be. From the first minute that I watched the show all I wanted to do was get back into writing creativily because the mind of a writer is something so relatable. We're all trying to figure out the meaning of life, and if I had a choice, I'd let Moody be my guide.

03. Heroes (NBC)
Stop your complaining. Stop expecting everything to happen all at once. Think about reality television. Think about the idea of a comic book series on TV. Think about the number and diversity of the cast and think about the success of a silly tagline like "Save The Cheerleader, Save The World." It really bothers me sometimes when viewers will not have patience with television shows. If you loved the first season, trust the writers and creators the next time around. Sure, there were some mistakes (ahem, Wonder Twins) and interesting dialogue but it is always worthwhile in the end. Remember that Heroes is divided into "Chapters" and not every page of every chapter in a book will be some crazy fight scene. We're beginning to unravel the scale of what we've grown accustomed to in this show, so take a deep breath, ogle at Peter's pecs, and just enjoy this show.

02. Lost (ABC)
Oh Lost how I love you so. My relationship with this show is much like any close relationship in life, it has its ups and it has its down. But I always admire intelligence and passion, and this show has proved that you can have both on primetime TV. The second half of the third season proved to be its most ambitious yet, with the reveal of Jacob, the flash-forwards, and Dharma's intentions. Locke and Ben are easily the most intriguing characters out there, with a very weary confusion between good and evil. With its grand themes and carefully places references to pop culture's past, Lost continues to wow me with each twist and turn, and you can bet I'll be sticking with it to the very end.

01. Dexter (Showtime)
I didn't watch the first season of Dexter when it aired on Showtime, but sometime during the summer I decided to give this strange show a try. What I discovered is now a deep obsession with the most complex character I've grown to love, played so brilliantly by Michael C. Hall. I can't even begin to explain the trials me as a viewer goes through on a weekly basis trying to understand the workings of a serial killer. But he's a justified serial killer, we think, but as Season Two has unwound we are not so sure. I sit on the edge of my couch with every piece of evidence shown, as its growing closer and closer to our dear Dex getting caught. A cast of characters that are both in tune and out to the world around them is terribly interesting, and its deathly disturbing not knowing how it will all play out.


blogger templates | Make Money Online