Thursday, December 21, 2006

Best of 2006, Part II: Honorable Mentions

These are the shows that nearly cracked my Top 10 list, but for one reason or another, didn't. It's more of a tribute to the 10 shows I rank ahead of them than a slap at any on this list.

In fact, look at this list here and you know how highly I regard the Top 10 I did pick.

In alphabetical order:

1. Curb Your Enthusiasm (HBO): The other heir apparent to "Seinfeld" (along with "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia"), this show is just too brilliant and funny for words.

2. Friday Night Lights (NBC): One of many shows with great quality but marginal ratings. I'm glad NBC is giving it a chance. As a sports writer who covered small-town high school football, a lot of this really rings true. But it's also the intersecting lives of the students at the school that makes this so worthwhile.

3. How I Met Your Mother (CBS): That I consider this the second-best comedy on TV (tied with "Scrubs") shows just how much I love "The Office." I can't decide which is funnier, Robin Sparkle or the slap fight between Marshall and Barney. This is the true heir apparent to "Friends."

4. Hustle (AMC): One of TV's most stylish shows, the only reason why it didn't crack the Top 10 is because they only do six episodes a season. It's a show about five con artists and their weekly capers, and it hits every note perfectly.

5. MI-5 (A&E): Produced by the same people who make "Hustle," this is far and away TV's best spy show. It has everything "24" lacks - realism, for a start. Those wankers at A&E have treated this show shamefully, putting it in a lousy timeslot, then pulling it.

6. Monk (USA): The plots sometimes leave a lot to be desired, but there's no denying Tony Shalhoub's genius and a top-notch supporting cast.

7. Scrubs (NBC): Glad to see this back on the air and as good as ever. It's a different kind of comedy, with its serious moments, but those only add to the show's quality.

8. Studio 60 On The Sunset Strip (NBC): For some reason, people in general are disappointed by this show, and I really don't know why. Perhaps because it's set in the world of a fictional comedy, people expect it to be a comedy. Though at points this season the writing was a little uneven, the cast has been terrific and it has already provided a lot of great moments. A worthy successor to "The West Wing," both for NBC and Aaron Sorkin.

9. Ugly Betty (ABC): Another near-miss for the Top 10. I really had no desire to watch this initially, a soap opera set in the world of fashion. But the raves over the summer were so good, and with my new role as TV critic, I was obligated to check it out at least once. I'm lucky I did. America Ferrera is a near-lock for an Emmy, and this may be the best supporting cast on TV.

10. Veronica Mars (CW): I really didn't like this show's second season, as the main mystery for this girl detective went off the beaten path. But it has bounced back strongly in Year 3. My major knock against the show is that, with the exception of Keith Mars (Enrico Colatani), the supporting characters aren't developed enough.

Coming Friday: The Top 10 of 2006.

THURSDAY'S BEST BETS: Again, more reruns.

However, you can catch the brilliant Christmas episode of "The Office" (NBC, 9 p.m.) in case you missed it last week. Pam's gift for Jim was truly a gift to all of us.

CBS also airs the Christmas classic "Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer" at 8 p.m.


Anonymous said...

Considering you knocked out my favorite shows "Curb your enthusiasm" (Best comedy ever), MI5 , Hustle and Ugly Betty can"t wait for your top ten !!!

Phillip Ramati said...

Like I said, not a knock on those shows, any and all of which could have made the final Top 10.

Anonymous said...

OK. So you didn't go for HBO's "The Wire." Your choice, even though you're wrong. Suggestion: two week free trial of Blockbuster and another two week free trial of Netflix. Catch yourself up on what unarguably is the best dramatic series ever on television. Do it now.
But sadly, as the unrelated anonymous above us points out, you've gone and totally f--ked "Curb Your Enthusiasm." How should your final top 10 list read? Like this:
1.Curb Your Enthusiasm
3.Curb Your Enthusiasm
5.Curb Your Enthusiasm
7.Curb Your Enthusiasm
9.Curb You Enthusiasm

Phillip Ramati said...

I'm not sure how I screwed with Curb, considering I said it was one of the Top 20 shows on TV.

Glad you are enjoying the HBO Kool-Aid, though.

Zodin2008 said...

"The Wire" maybe a fine show but it's too dark and dour to make my top 10 list nor Phillip's. It wouldn't make my top 20 though many HBO series...Big Love, Entourage and Curb Your Enthusiasm would.

Phillip maybe WRONG about "24" but he's not wrong about "The Wire".