Wednesday, December 20, 2006

The Wire

First off, thought I'd kick this off with the FARK headline of the day yesterday for our dearly departed animation icon Joseph Barbera:

"Joseph Barbera dies. Funeral procession to pass same three buildings every two seconds."

On to my Top TV shows of the year. This was hard as hell because I barely had a top ten since I stopped subscribing to cable. Some of my picks are quality, some are stuff that qualify as really good popcorn entertainment material. That said...

My Top Picks of '06:

9. Moral Orel (Cartoon Network)

8. Heroes (NBC): I'll buy into the hype, but sometimes the dialogue strays into comic book corn. Still, if I was 15 or 16, this show would be one of those "shows that defined my youth" shows.

7. Hell's Kitchen (FOX)- Because the show actually had at least two or three talented people. Because it was great watching it after cooking a meal and kicking back with a few friends and doing vodka shots every time Gordon Ramsay yelled "Move your arse!" But seriously, those who decry reality TV over the scripted shows should take a good look at shows like "The War at Home" and "According to Jim" before generalizing this genre.

6. Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip (NBC) - The hoopla surrounding this show was over the top. Then the backlash came - and it unfairly panned this show for being too 'preachy.' It's one of the few ambitious shows on mainstream TV and the backlash it produced seems to have ruled this show out of several critics "Top 10" list. Each week, I try to limit myself to two TV shows to follow and that's it. This is one of the two.

5. The Daily Show With Jon Stewart (Comedy Central) - It's been heralded yearly for doing a better job than most news stations. Its been praised for its writing. It's won Peabody Awards. But for some reason, I rarely see this on critics' 'best of' list. It could be because the standards are set so high for this show, many critics take the show for granted. They shouldn't.

4. House (FOX)- A bit of a slip-up in quality this year. Yes, it has the predictability of a Quincy episode on Quaaludes. But I can't think of a better casting ensemble on the major networks. Hugh Laurie deserves all the praise he gets, but his supporting cast should be recognized come the next Emmy nominations.

3. 24 (FOX) - Talk about a rebound from Season 4. Jean Smart and Gregory Itzin did a great job balancing against each other's neurosis and paranoia in a season that managed to stay on the rails and not jump the shark.

2. The Colbert Report (Comedy Central) - What was once a nice follow-up to the main event with Jon Stewart has come into its own this year. "The Word" is now the new "Top 10" for this decade.

1. The Wire (HBO) - Though I've only seen one episode this season, I seriously could not put this any lower. In terms of quality, acting, writing - The Wire has eclipsed The Sopranos in terms of sustained excellance. I just hope it finds half of The Sopraons audience.

My best pic for '06.



Blogger Howard Davis said...

I know you don't have cable (though you must know someone who does) but you should look into a Showtime show called Dexter. Hands down, the best show on TV in years.

8:37 AM  

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