You wouldn't know it by reading my blog, but I'm a huge television junkie. Lately I've been catching up on a lot of older stuff with online instant streaming, but I also follow a few current shows. Here are my picks for the top 5 shows of 2010:
My first thought after hearing about Glee for the first time: A show about a high school glee club from the creator of Nip/Tuck? Are you kidding? But, no, not a joke. I missed the first half of season one, tuning in for "Sectionals" as my first episode, and I haven't missed an episode since. The cast is fantastic (especially Jane Lynch and Chris Colfer) and the music numbers are well done. Granted, season 1 was better than season 2 thus far, but this is one I can watch with my 14-year-old son and we both enjoy it and talk about it afterward. That's a winner in my book.
This British show (from Doctor Who show-runner Steven Moffat) spanned only three episodes, which aired here in the states on PBS this past fall. Sherlock and Watson are set in modern-day London with all the modern technology (Watson has a blog, Sherlock texts the police chief during news conferences). The first episode "A Study in Pink" and the last "The Great Game" are absolutely stellar, and it all ends on a cliffhanger. It'd be shame if it ended there for good.
No show on television has more fun winking at the speculative genre than Chuck. Now in its fourth season, the show-runners have pulled off some amazing casting coups. Scott Bakula as Chuck and Ellie's father, and Linda Hamilton as their mother. Timothy Dalton is the current Big Bad. There have also been appearances from several professional wrestlers, Summer Glau and the Old Spice Guy. This season's storyline has much in common with another certain spy show, which bothered me until a character acknowledged the similarities onscreen: "This is just like that one episode of 'Alias.' I love that show!" So did I, and I love this one, too.
A lot of people watched the last season of Lost with a checklist in hand of what mysteries they wanted to see resolved. I figure that anyone who did that missed out on what made the final 13 episodes such a triumph: the characters. For me, Lost has always been about the characters - flawed and complex - and how they interact with one another. Sure, I wanted to know what the Island was, and yes I was disappointed with the answer (there's a giant cork in a glowy pool?). However, I liked the plotline of the sideways world: It might not have answered every question on the checklist, but it gave the characters a final, satisfying resolution.
And Number 1 ...
I had never watched an episode of this long-running British show until this year. With a new show-runner and new cast, it seemed like a good time to jump in. About five minutes into the season opener, Matt Smith's Doctor uses a grappling hook to climb out of his damaged TARDIS, grins at little Amelia Pond and says "Do you have an apple?" and I was hooked. After the season ended, I watched the previous four reboot seasons online. David Tennant is my new television boyfriend. After I finished with Doctor Who, I moved onto Torchwood (because Captain Jack is almost as cool as the Doctor). I'm counting down the days until the Christmas special, which amazingly is airing stateside on Christmas Day.
Honorable mentions: Dollhouse, House, Burn Notice.
And there you have it. Jennifer's Top Shows of 2010.