Much like last year, 2009 wasn’t bursting with a lot of quality entertainment, and I seemed to have less time to go to the movies and to read than I would have liked. Real life gets in the way of a nerdy girl’s fun far too often! However, for the few that read my ramblings, and in hope that I might introduce someone to something new that they may end up liking – I’m posting my Best of Television Entertainment list for this past year. These shows are in no particular order:
Best of TV – 2009: What I Really Enjoyed Watching
1) Flash Forward (ABC): Some may call it a “Lost” clone, and it’s not near a perfect show, but I have been very drawn into it, and the show does seem to surprise me every week – at least so far. The new season picks up in March, so if you want to watch, you can probably catch reruns (or online shows) before the new season begins.
The premise of the show is that a mysterious event happens one day that causes everyone on the planet to simultaneously lose consciousness for 137 seconds, during which people see what appear to be visions of their lives approximately 6 months in the future – a global “flash forward.” The show centers around a group of characters in L.A., mostly FBI agents investigating the incident, along with their friends and families.
What I love about the show is that the possibilities of where they can go with the story are pretty much endless. Is the cause of the blackout supernatural, terrorist-related, a scientific anomaly? We don’t know yet, but much like “Lost,” all questions lead to even more questions. The cast is made up of some of television’s best – the only exception in my mind being Joseph Fiennes. He’s been great in films, but his portrayal of Mark Benford really rubs me the wrong way. I personally believe he takes over-acting to new heights in this role.
I think the show has a lot of potential and will pick up more viewers as it progresses due to reviews and word of mouth.
View a clip here: Hulu – FlashForward: Starter Kit
2) Modern Family (ABC): Traditionally, I hate sitcoms. I haven’t really liked one since Norman Lear stopped producing shows. I hate the canned laughter, the stale jokes, the 0ver-the-top characters, etc. I didn’t want to like Modern Family, but I can’t help myself. First of all, it’s filmed in a documentary-style, and there is no canned laughter. A great step in the right direction. Again, this show also has a stellar cast, and a lot of the humor is very fresh. Some may find a bit of the humor to be vulgar, but I think it’s a tiny bit edgy while still having some heart. So many of the characters are relatable, and no one is immune to being made fun of. I love the subtle things that Claire does to show her love for her husband Phil, even when he’s being a complete jerk. I love that Jay reminds me of my own father, and that deep down, he loves his stepson Manny, even though he won’t readily admit it. And I love that there are likable, gay characters and that the humor surrounding them isn’t focused entirely on their being gay, but rather the everyday circumstances they find themselves in.
3) Accidentally on Purpose (CBS): This one really goes against my feelings about sitcoms. (I’m a hypocrite!) It has stereotypical characters, a laugh track, and cheesy packaged endings within the 30 minutes. However, I can’t help but to like this show. The characters are ones you grow to care about, and it definitely has heart. Maybe I can relate to this because I’m a 40 year old woman who can understand Billie’s feelings of no longer being a spring chicken, or maybe it’s just that Jenna Elfman does a great job on the show. I’m not sure, but I find myself DVR-ing the show every week, and watching it right away.
The premise is based around a true story: Billie is a 40-ish woman who gets a wild hair and has a one-night stand with a guy in his 20s, whom she meets in a bar. Lo and behold, she turns up pregnant and has to tell his poor, young guy that he’s going to be a father. They move in together as friends only, in an attempt to maintain a positive family environment for the baby. While he continues to date a number of young women and goes on with his life, Billie is adjusting to her changing body & hormones, and the fact that she can’t really date now because it’s hard to find a nice guy who wants to date a pregnant lady. All the while, Billie & Zach are trying to ignore the feelings they have for each other. Most of the supporting cast is great, as well.
4) The Real Housewives of Atlanta (Bravo): There’s something to be said for trash-TV every so often – in small doses. This is the only Real Housewives show I can stomach, and boy do I love to watch this one. I try hard to avoid too much drama in my own life, so I guess I enjoy seeing the non-stop drama in someone else’s? This show has so many polarizing people, and you either love or hate each of them. I happen to love NeNe and Kandi. I hate Sheree. I can take or leave Lisa and Kim. They all come together to bring viewers some low-down, dirty fun.
5) True Blood (HBO): This was on my list for Best of 2008, as well, and it remains my favorite show on television, along with “Lost.” It’s clever, witty, heart-wrenching, hilarious, dark, creepy, wicked, sarcastic, and just plain delicious. For the record, I can take or leave Bill and Eric – I’m a Sam supporter all the way.
View a clip here: Watch True Blood DVD Online – VideoSurf Video Search
6) Eastwick (ABC): This show has already been cancelled, which is no surprise as every year one of my new favorites get the ax. I won’t lie and say that the acting on this show is stellar, and some of the storylines are quite over-the-top, but that’s all part of what makes it fun. Based on John Updike’s book The Witches of Eastwick, the show centers around three women in the town of Eastwick who become friends after each makes a wish in the same fountain. Soon devilish Darryl Van Horne comes to town and unleashes witchy superpowers in the women that they did not know they had. I think Rebecca Romjin does a great job on the show, and all of the characters are likeable. That the main characters are women who are not exactly virtuous and that they wield their superpowers to often mold the men in their lives possibly has something to do with why the show was not more successful. However, I love the concept of strong women who go against the grain of their small town, and I really love the campy factor of the show.
7) 30 Rock (NBC): This show is on target much more than it’s off, though it does have some dud weeks. However, I think it’s clever, timely, and very often laugh-out-loud funny. Tina Fey has no shame when it comes to making fun of herself, and Alec Baldwin, Tracy Morgan, and Jack McBrayer are all top-notch. This is another show where you love to hate some of the people, but even the bad guys (or girls) have some heart. Some of my favorite highlights this year are Liz Lemon’s dates with Dr. Drew Baird (Jon Hamm) and the hi-def TV camera on the “Dealbreaker” set.
View a clip here: First Look Video: Jon Hamm on 30 ROCK | the TV addict