Friday, December 22, 2006

Best of 2006, Part III: The Top 10

If you've read the postings the last two days, you know that I didn't include some pretty darn good shows on my personal Top 10 list. I hope you remember that and it shows you how highly I regard the shows below.

An anonymous poster said on yesterday's post that I didn't show enough love to HBO's shows, but I tend to disagree, since I've put most of them one or another of my lists. As I have said all along, TV viewing is extremely subjective; there aren't two people in the entire U.S. who would come up with the same Top 10. I could, in theory, be chastised by someone who thinks I was wrong leaving off "According to Jim" as I was leaving off "The Wire." Doesn't mean I am right or wrong, just that I have different tastes. I happen to think all of the shows on all my lists are worthwhile viewing.

These are my 10 'can't-miss' hours of TV.

In alphabetical order:

1. Battlestar Galactica (Sci-Fi): OK, the list is supposed to be alphabetical, but in this case, this would also probably be No. 1 in terms of quality. You simply can't have a better-written, better-acted drama. The effects are top-notch, and it's one of those rare shows that provides a great comment on our world today. If I listed all the adjectives I knew in praise of BSG, I'd run out of Internet.

2. Doctor Who (Sci-Fi/BBC): I was absolutely amazed at not only how good the show was under new Doctor Who David Tennant, but how consistent it was. "The Girl in the Fireplace" was one of the most beautiful hours of TV this year.

3. Heroes (NBC): I'll admit, this list is pretty tilted toward the Sci-Fi genre, but "Heroes" is on most people's list. In addition to the wonderfully compelling puzzle woven into the plot and Tim Sale's great art work, the cliffhanger twists have knocked my socks off all season long. It also has TV's best new character, Hiro (Masi Oka).

4. House (Fox): This has always been one of TV's best shows since it debuted, and it hasn't fallen off one bit. Hugh Laurie is simply amazing.

5. Life on Mars (BBC America): Far and away TV's coolest show, with that great 1970s soundtrack. John Simm and Philip Glenister are my kind of odd couple partners. From the same people who brought you "Hustle" and "MI-5."

6. Lost (ABC): Some people say the show has fallen off. Some people are idiots. So are the people at ABC, who seem intent on killing the show in the ratings. I re-arrange my life around "Lost" episodes. I even stop playing poker on those nights.

7. The Office (NBC): TV's best comedy has at least equalled, if not surpassed, the British original. There, I said it. I love, love, love watching this show.

8. Rescue Me (FX): Mo Ryan of The Chicago Tribune said this show hasn't lived up its previous seasons. I don't agree with that, but even if I did, 50 percent of "Rescue Me" is better than 100 percent of 90 percent of the shows out there. Creators Denis Leary and Peter Tolan are totally unafraid to push the envelope.

9. The Shield (FX): I didn't think anything could surpass Season 4, which featured guest stars Glenn Close and Anthony Anderson. But, holy moly, Forest Whitaker comes in and Shazam! March can't come soon enough for me, when "The Shield" returns. TV's best cop show, and nothing else is even close.

10. The Sopranos (HBO): I debated this one a long time, because I don't think this season lived up to previous years. But at the end of the day, it always leaves you wanting more.

So, what are your Top 10 shows? Which ones did I get right, and which ones do you disagree with? Log in and post a comment!


AROUND THE DIAL: CBS announced it would end its run of "The Class" early this year, to make room for a new comedy, "Rules of Engagement." The Eye is doing some creative juggling of its Monday schedule.

"The Class" will run from Jan. 8 to March 5, when it will be replaced by "The New Adventures of Old Christine," which is on hiatus until then. "Rules of Engagement" debuts Feb. 5. "King of Queens," which is officially in its last season, starts its final run on April 9.

HBO, at least one viewer's network of all networks, announced that Season 2 of "Rome" will kick off Jan. 14 at 9 p.m., followed by the season premiere of the Ricky Gervais comedy "Extras" at 10 p.m. "Extras," by the way, probably could have made my also-rans list on Wednesday; the Hollywood guest stars like Kate Winslet and Ben Stiller were brilliant in playing send-ups of themselves.

FRIDAY'S BEST BETS: On Festivus Eve, a ton of early presents.

Sci-Fi presents a marathon of "Doctor Who" begining at 9 a.m. and wrapping up with the two-part season finale beginning at 8 p.m. Here's a hint: Daleks and Cybermen.

"Monk" fans rejoice, the defective detective returns tonight (USA, 9 p.m.) with a twist. The same episode is running back-to-back, but it's in black-and-white at 9 p.m., followed by a color version at 10 p.m.

And just a reminder for Zodin2008, who seems to keep missing "Justice," there is a new one tonight (Fox, 8 p.m.)

Good luck with your Festivus feats of strength!


Anonymous said...

The Sopranos definately did not merit so high a plae. For those of us who do not enjoy Sci-Fi your list leaves a lot to be desired.

Anonymous said...

Well, that HBO Kool-Aid is mighty tasty. But apparently it's not as sweet as what you're drinking down there at the Sci-Fi network.
In any case, they could show "The Wire," "Entourage" and "Curb" on QVC, Telemundo or DiscoveryKids, and I'd still watch them religously. As you should too. Only when you do that can The TV Guy mature into The TV Man.

Phillip Ramati said...

Well, anon, as I posted several times, it's my list, which reflects my tastes. Your list will reflect yours.

I have two shows total listed from Sci-Fi combined from all three lists I posted. I have three from HBO, and really I could have posted even more. If I add "The Wire" to the list having never watched, what would I say?

"I've never seen it, but everyone said it's great, so I better put it on here." That'd go over well.

I do hope to catch The Wire and other shows at some point, which I also posted previously.

If there's any network that I have showed the love to on these lists, it's NBC, which led the hit parade with eight shows.

CBS and Fox tried with 4, followed by Fox, CW, FX, and HBO (mmm, love that Kool-Aid) with 3. Sci-Fi and ABC come in with 2, and one apiece for USA, BBC America, AMC and A&E. So I'm spreading the love around pretty well, I think.

Anonymous said...

Too each his/her own...Have a Merry Christmas!

Zodin2008 said...

Though Phillip maybe dead wrong in his crazy love for "House" and his constant attacks on "24", which he's watched consecutively for 5 years, I think the Anonymous that has a problem with this reviewer not showing enough love to "The Wire" needs to get off their high horse. Again, it's a matter of taste. Phillip nor any reviewer isn't required to put "The Wire" on his or any top ten list.

As far as I am concerned, despite our strong disagreement on some Fox shows, I tend to agree with his HBO picks, "Rescue Me", "The Shield", "Battlestar" and his love for NBC. Overall, this matches up with my personal top list of 2006. Here it is:

1. Battlestar Galactica
2. The Office
3. Rescue Me
4. 24
5. Lost
6. The Shield
7. Heroes
8. Invasion*
9. Friday Night Lights
10. Big Love

Though the TV Guy has mentioned he doesn't have Showtime, I would like to make a much more interesting recommendation then the dour "The Wire"---"Sleeper Cell". I just finished watching season 2 on Showtime and it just missed my top 10 list but it was excellent.

And count me in, anonmyous, to those who drink the Sci Fi Kool Aide..."Battlestar Galactica" is the best show on Television, bar none.

As for "The Sopranos", I love this show a lot and can't wait for the last season, but this past season left a lot to be desired and in 2006, it wouldn't even make my top 30. "Big Love" completely stole the thunder on Sundays.

In fact, speaking of HBO, in past years, I had 'big love' for "Curb Your Enthusiasm" but in 2006, "Entourage" was the far, far better HBO Comedy series.

Phillip Ramati said...

Thanks for posting your Top 10, Zod.

Anyone else who wants to post their list, the more the merrier!