The big news this year is that there’s a new #1 show on television. Even though 2011 was without perennial favorite Mad Men there was no doubt that my pick for the best show of the year was going to take its spot. It’s that good. In addition to all the good selection of new shows that are new to this list, there are some repeats. All are worth checking out if you haven’t already. So set the DVR’s, or log onto Netflix/Hulu. Enjoy.
1) The Walking Dead (AMC)
There’s a new #1!!! I have to tell you, even if Mad Men (which held the #1 spot the past 3 years) did come out this year, it would have to have been really tough to take away the #1 spot from The Walking Dead. If you thought last year’s 6 episode first season was good then you are going to be wowed by this year’s. Thought provoking, cerebral and emotional this was unlike anything else on tv in 2011. This just in…AMC will be airing every episode from seasons 1 & 2 this New Year’s Eve. Watch it!
2) Parks and Recreation (NBC)
The best comedy on tv keeps getting better. The full-time addition of Rob Lowe and Adam Scott makes what was the best cast on tv that much better. Things are damn funny in Pawnee, Indiana.
3) Game of Thrones (HBO)
Without giving away too much in the plot all I do want to say is, Holy Shit! For a series to continue to surprise and throw spit balls at you in this way is truly remarkable. Incredibly intense. If you haven’t watched yet then you must start now. But at the beginning.
4) Revenge (ABC)
So far, the best new show on tv. What may have come across as campy and soap opera-esque is a truly great revenge drama (duh). Featuring some of the best acting of Madeline Stowe’s career this is one of the most enjoyable hours on tv.
5) Louie (FX)
Some of you may be new to Louis C.K. He’s a comedian or should I say a comedian’s comedian. The half hour shows are often about his life with his 2 daughters and life as a single dad and comedian in NYC. While minimal in plot the show takes place in a world that is recognizable to us all.
6) How the States Got Their Shapes (History Channel)
Flat out fascinating facts about the 50 states of ours. Candid and funny. And will make you a little smarter with your friends.
7) The League (FX)
FX is one of the best stations on tv. Period. The 2nd FX show on this list (and another that didn’t make it because I haven’t finished the season, Justified) this comedy is about a gang of friends who are obsessed with fantasy football. That’s really it. It is hilarious and gross and obnoxious.
8) Curb Your Enthusiasm (HBO)
We love you Larry David. This season brought him to the Big Apple where the same craziness ensued for Larry and Leon. For lovers of past Curb seasons, it’s spot on. For lovers of Bill Buckner, well, there’s one episode for you. Classic Larry David.
9) Boardwalk Empire (HBO)
I’m not going to lie. I liked the first season. Didn’t love it. This season started out slow with the plot slowly driving episode to episode. When all was said and done however this was outstanding year that not only stunned us but furthered its spot into the great dramas of all time. And finally the great Steve Buscemi receives the accolades he richly deserves.
10) Community (NBC)
NBC’s other first-rate, brilliant comedy. This is one school I wish I attended and with the same bunch of friends. Note to NBC: you recently put this on hiatus. What the hell?
11) Pretty Little Liars (ABC Family)
It’s hard for family based tv shows to challenge the viewer each week without coming across as contrived or worse, soporific. This one does. About a group of close high schoolers who are trying to figure out the mysteries behind their friend’s death.
12) Ringer (CW)
Buffy is back! What started out a little slow has now moved into a gripping first-rate suspense drama. And kudos to Sarah Michelle Gellar for playing both persons perfectly.
13) Google Chrome Commercials
14) How I Met Your Mother (CBS)
I added this show to the list not only for a strong current season (except for that Robin is a mom tease episode, ugh!) but for the latter part of last season (which ran from Jan to May of this year). It added heartfelt family issues to its comedic tone that is only for the better. After 7 seasons it has finally matured into a really good tv show. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t know how much longer everyone go on without knowing who the mother is but it is improving.
15) Person of Interest (CBS)
I don’t know if I should categorize this as my “guilty pleasure” show of the year because I really think it’s good. And for fans of Lost, the return of Michael Emerson (aka Ben Linus).
Worst TV show of the year:
(Tie) 2 Broke Girls (CBS)/Whitney (NBC)
2 Broke Girls is an ignorant, obnoxious and unfunny tv show. It masks stereotypes while trying to bask in its own coolness by taking place in Brooklyn. Pathetic. The awesome Kat Dennings deserves better. Whitney I found less offensive and sadly less funny. And completely unoriginal. How both shows that were created by the un-funny Whitney Cummings manage to get on the air astonishes me. Whatever.