Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Top Ten TV Shows of 2006

I love TV.
I know it's cool to say things like, "God I don't know the last time I watched TV was" but I can't lie, the last time I watched TV was yesterday. Or maybe even today.

HBO continues to be as great as they can be with all their marquee shows about to go off the air and Showtime is doing their best to steal that crown.

You nerds have told me I need to watch Battlestar Galactica and Heroes. I will. B

Here's the list for 2005 and here's the best of what I saw, which was a lot.

Honorable Mention goes to a few shows that have either improved a lot or are much better than I thought they'd ever be, but still not good enough to make it into the Top 10.

Honorable Mention:

Prison Break - Much more interesting outside of prison, go figure.

The Unit - It's fun bit of fantasy to see the military be efficient and get things done within an hour, all before I finish my dinner.

30 Rock - Tracy Morgan is fucking hilarious. Plain and simple. You gotta live every week like it's Shark Week.

Brother and Sisters - A watered down network TV friendly version of Six Feet Under that allows me to see what life would be like for Brenda after Nate's death. At least that's how I like to look at this show. She's the only reason I watch it.

Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip - Maybe this show is a little too industry specific and Hollywood cute to get the ratings NBC thought it would, but the combination of great writing and Matthew Perry working overtime to redeem himself from the "Chandler" cliche he fell into post-Friends made for one of the better debuts of the year.

Top 10

10. Weeds (Season 2) - Showtime / It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia (Season 2) - FX

I couldn't pick just one of these shows for the 10 slot so I copped out and chose both. Both hilarious, both flawed. Maybe Weeds more so because it tried to get serious at the end but regardless as 30 minute sitcoms, it'd be hard to find a better way to pass the time.

And of course Weeds dropped this little nugget of wisdom.

This is why suburban white people are fucked the fuck up.

9. Friday Night Lights (Season 1) -NBC

I have never seen the bullshit psychodrama of high school given so much relevancy.
This show carries the name of the famous book and movie before it but with much less football. But the kids lives are so interesting they could be playing badminton and the show would still be on point. The shit these kids go through in their shitty little Texas town can sneak up and hit you in the heart if you're not careful.
And you never know what's going to happen in the football games.
They even brought in a Katrina evacuee and made it OK to hate him.
Didn't think that would be happening so soon.

8. Deadwood (Season 3) - HBO

This season was the biggest cocktease HBO has ever put on the air. They set up the largest alpha male showdown in the history of the show and then resolved it with a handshake. Sadly that was the motif of this season. Unresolved tension, dangled plots and character threads.
Regardless, the dialogue and acting keeps this show in the Top 10.

And they did give us the Greatest. TV. Fight. Ever.

It's that serious. Sit down and digest your food before you watch this shit.

Motherfuckers don't fight like that anymore...

7. Dexter (Season 1) - Showtime

I will watch anything a member of the Six Feet Under cast stars in. I'd watch Nate read from a phone book. That's how real that show was to me.
It didn't hurt that one of the lead actors from that show (Michael Hall) got his own series about a serial killer who worked for the Forensics Department of the Miami Police Department.
This show screamed "I was based on a book" with its heavy-handed exposition and not every plot thread was fascinating but Michael Hall is an incredible actor and the show hit me with a twist that I should have seen coming. I have to give them props for that.

They also have the greatest opening theme I've seen.

6. The Sopranos (Season 6) - HBO

What can you say about this show at this point?
Is it treading water?
It is still better than most shows?
Of course.

David Chase weighs down the show with his social commentary and his inability to do what you know what he wants to do with the characters, but this season had some of the best Sopranos episodes ever. That means good TV.

Note to David Chase, next time Tony gets shot, kill him. No more fucking metaphysical/existential dreamworlds. For real.

5. The Office (End of Season 2 - Start of Season 3) -NBC

This show has gotten better every season. I went from not even wanting a U.S. version of this show to wondering in earnest if this show is better than the U.K. version.
Blasphemy, I know.
But the writers made this show their own and Steve Carell is fucking hilarious.
Watch this show and comprehend why Chinese children will own your ass in 2043.

4. Extras (Season 2) - BBC

"Are you having a laugh?"
Ricky Gervais (creator of the original Office) is a masochist. He puts his character, David Brent through hell as he ascends the Bizarro World Hollywood food chain. Every drop of success is followed by a swift gut punch to keep him in check. Kinda like real life.

Too bad though, I think this was the last season.

3. Sleeper Cell (Season 2) - Showtime

I said this about Season 1 and I'll say it again about Season 2. Every American needs to watch this show.
That ranges from the hippie liberal retards who think Bush detonated the Twin Towers while high-fiving Dick Cheney to the Ann Coulter bobblehead Republicans who think that anyone who knows what "Allahu Akbar" means should have attack dogs sicced on their crotch.

We've been lucky enough in American to not have to see terrorism daily but that shit is real. This show is a reminder.
Watch the government fuck up. Watch the government succeed.
Watch the terrorists fuck up. Watch the terrorists succeed.

Dare I say this show is like the Wire of terrorism?
Maybe I won't go that far but it's not a bad comparison for the simple fact that this show gives you a real look at the ugliness of both sides.
If there was a terrorist as frightening as Oded Fehr's depiction of Farik, America would re-elect George Bush another 5 times on pure fear alone.

And the final scene will send chills down your spine. Season 3? Don't know how they'd pull it off, but I'm there.

2. The Shield (Season 5) - FX

Shane's actions at the end of the Season 5 put this show on course for some biblical level repercussions.
I don't think I can handle the moment when Vic confronts Shane.

Forest Whitaker deserved an Emmy and so did Walter Goggins (Lem) for their work here but they were jacked as all good shows are.
I have nothing else to say expect Shane will die.

1. The Wire (Season 4) - HBO

I love The Wire.
A lot.
You should too.

Chris, Snoop, Donut, Omar, Kima, Prop Joe, Bubs, Randy, Prez, Carcetti, Namond, McNulty, Marlowe, and that's just this season.

I don't know what else to say about this show, expect that I read that David Simon wants to do a 6th season about the effect of Hispanics on Baltimore but he doesn't think he can do it because he doesn't know Spanish or have any Hispanic writers.

If you know Hispanic writers or Spanish, please get at David Simon and keep this shit on the air.

Chris and Snoop


  1. I tried for a while to not watch the excuses were, "I work in human services so I see it all the time" or "I came up here so I know some of the events this is based on." Kill that, it's a good ass show and I love it. They pulled me in this season and have me from now on.

  2. EFF YOU START! No 'Heroes'?!? No Battlestar Galactica?!? No Squidbillies?!?!? Your just another one of those people enthralled with the urban safari portrayed in shows like the Wire. Curb Your Enthusiasm>Sopranos - any day of the week biatch!

  3. God dammit.

    I specifically shouted out the fact that I need to watch Heroes and Battlestar at the beginning of the post because I knew you were gonna come at me for that.

    Sopranos is slipping but not as much as Curb.
    Larry David got lazy with last season.

    And the internets will flip you for popping shit about the Wire. Be EZ with that DP.

    Amadeo lives in BMore and he rides with The Wire. You can't get realer than that.

  4. I think Heroes is something like #11 on my list. It's good but there is this persistent undercurrent of bushleague that it can't escape. I don't know if it's because the idea already exists, known as X-Men, or if the show is a little too self-conscious. But there is something that holds it back.

    Curb has fallen off. Co-sign.

    A gully as it gets on The Wire, I think that the show's real genius takes place off the streets. It's not like people laud it for the violence. So DP, I gotta call foul on that charge.

  5. Hey,
    I am a Baltimore-bred Spanish interpreter. Where did you read that Simon wants to do a Sixth season? Links?

  6. Joey - The Wire also tried to show how fucked the fuck up poor white people are as well as the rich white people in charge.

    Agree on everything else.

    Anonymous 34803904 - A great Slate interview found here,

    shows he wants to do it but doesn't know Hispanics as well as the inner-city.