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Thursday, November 29, 2007

TV: The Year's Best TV Part One

This is an admittedly scattershot roundup of what I found to be the most memorable TV of the year. The writer's strike insures that I won't miss anything in December! Here's 6-10, 1 -5 will follow though they aren't ranked by preference.


6) Lost (ABC)
There was a lot of grumbling about this past season of Lost. Too many mysteries and improbabilities, non-answer answers, deviations from storylines that one or another set of viewers was committed to. Still I’m hooked. Part of it is the wonderful cast – Michael Emerson who seems to even breathe in a suggestively sinister way ought to get a lifetime Emmy. The topper was a mind blowing season finale that seems to offer an entirely new way forward for the show. Here’s a clip:



7) How I Met Your Mother (CBS)
This show is inconsistent, with great episodes interspersed with mediocre ones. But the great ones are terrific. The young cast really seem to like each other and the writing can be edgy and incisive – locking onto some of the fun things that Seinfeld used to tease out. When it’s bad its gimmicky, and hopefully some of that will be excised as they go along. Here’s the very helpful crazy/hot scale:



8) The Sopranos (HBO)
Not the best season for this show to be sure, but that’s been true since season two. What we got were some indelible scenes and moments – Tony killing Christopher, Uncle Junior in the nursing home, AJ in the pool. Still one of the best shows out there, up to that brilliant cut to black that closed out the series. You know you’ve made a mark when you become pop-culture shorthand a’la the clip below in which Hillary Clinton’s campaign parodies the series finale:



9) Weeds (SHO)
This season started out shaky but as the show went on we got to see Nancy Botwin evolve into a fledgling gangster MILF (played by the compulsively watchable Mary-Louise Parker, habitually sucking on a latte straw all season long.) This season also benefited from some great stunt casting, bagging an Olsen twin as a pot smoking Jesus freak and Matthew Modine as a slimy developer. Here’s a clip:



10) Scott Baio is 45 and Single (VH-1)
I generally can’t stand reality TV which means that I have no immunity to the most rapaciously lethal form of the bug. This show is perversely fascinating. Baio and his posse are past-their-prime versions of HBO’s Entourage. What keeps me watching is Baio’s struggle against his own awareness of himself as a cheesy womanizing has-been. The look on his face when a twenty year old calls him “Charles”—as in his 80s sitcom Charles in Charge – is haunting. No clips were available so here’s Joanie and Chachi’s wedding:

1 comment:

jabelson said...

I think you missed Friday Night Lights - check it out!