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Favorite TV Of 2009

6 January 2010

I watch a lot of TV.  When you can’t physically do a lot of other things and need an escape from your school work, it’s inevitable.  So yeah, I’ll admit it: I like TV.  Most importantly, I love good TV.  Television, when it’s good, is like a great movie that lasts a long time.  I’m a sucker for character studies in film, and I think that’s why I love TV so much: it allows time for character study.

Last year was a terrific one for TV–network and cable.  I watch more than what’s listed here, but these are the highlights.  Here is my list of my favorite top 15ish (why “-ish”?… you’ll see):

Jessica’s Favorite TV Shows of 2009

15.            Medium/ Ghost Whisperer: These two air back to back on Friday nights making it uber difficult, sometimes, to separate.  GW had taken a turn for the worst with the first few episodes, but thankfully, they’ve picked up the pace and gotten back on track.  It’s not going to win any awards, but I love JLH.  I just do.  Ever since Party of Five, she’s been one of my favorite actresses to watch because she’s just so sweet.  Happy.  Someone you WANT to see on screen.  Medium is steady, reliable, and each episode is compelling.  I find myself never tiring of the DuBois clan.  Their move to CBS hasn’t had any effects that have harshed my feelings toward this wonderful show.

14.            ‘V’: With only four episodes aired this season, I nearly forgot to list this one.  Not all that much of the story has been revealed, but what we’ve seen has been compelling.

13.            Bones: What can be said?  The end of last season was somewhat lackluster, but given that the Bones/Boothe ship seems to be hitting a whole new level (of awesome!), I’ve been drawn back in with a vengeance.  I can’t wait to see if/how those two crazy kids finally make things work!

12.            Weeds/ Californication: These two shows keep me coming back to Showtime and trusting that great writing still exists and there are still many compelling stories to tell.  And oh, HANK, buddy, you really need to GET YOUR ACT TOGETHER, MAN!

11.            Big Love:  Amanda Seyfried stole the show last season with her moving portrayal of the eldest Henrickson daughter.  Throw in a dash of complications within the family and the inevitable drama from evil Roman and crew and you’ve got a recipe for a great season.  New season begins Sunday and I can hardly wait!

10.            The Tudors: I cried when Queen Jane died.  I knew it was coming (this is historical fiction, after all) and yet, I bawled my eyes out.  Seeing Henry’s pain was unbearable (despite all the evil deeds he’s committed, felt horribly for him).  So conflicted was he at having finally produced a male heir on the same day his beloved wife dies.  Jonathan Rhys Meyers was in top form for season 3.  The final season is coming in the spring and, though I know, ultimately, how it ends, I’m still compelled to tune in and be amazed by the performances.

9.            Lost: I go back and forth on this one.  In fact, I considered leaving it off the list completely.  Lost is a great show, please don’t misunderstand.  The problem is that I don’t THINK about Lost when it’s not on.  It doesn’t consume any measure of my thoughts (like so many other shows) until I’m actually sitting down to watch it.  This season was, however, one of the most interesting and maybe my favorite so far.  I just wish it were higher on my priority list.  The fact that it’s not, however, gives me pause about its inclusion.  Still, I can’t deny that I’m excited about seeing how things unravel this final season.  Should be fascinating.

8.            Battlestar Galactica: Some were disappointed by the finale, but I found myself riveted.  I’m so thankful that we’ve been left with a sense of closure and yet still have questions.  I will re-watch this entire series again and again, I’m certain of it.

7.            The Big Bang Theory/ The Office/ Modern Family:  Please don’t make me choose!  These three fantastic comedies keep me entertained all year ‘round.   The Office just makes me happy (Jim and Pam could not BE any cuter… not posssible).  BBT gives me the LOLz every week.  The newest addition, Modern Family, is quickly moving up the ranks of my favorites list.  I love the quirky comedy and a little drama mixed in with the sweet family moments that don’t at all feel contrived or hokey.  ABC’s got a winner here.

6.            Chuck:  Only a recent convert to the Chuck universe, I was delightfully surprised with just how great a show the writers and cast have put together here.  Zach Levi is adorable and I can’t tell you HOW much I want he and Sarah to get together.  Add to that the brilliant performance of one of my favorite Whedonites, Adam Baldwin, and this whole show is made of win!

5.            Dexter: Few words are necessary for this season.  Brilliant.  Dexter’s BACK.  I don’t want to give anything away, but WHAT. AN. ENDING.  I can’t wait for next season!

4.            Nurse Jackie/ Party Down: The cable networks have really outdone themselves this year.  The creation of each of these shows, on Showtime and Starz, respectively, have shown that cable has some of the most intriguing, funny, and creative ideas for where television is going.  I’ve never seen anything like Edie Falco’s Jackie or the hilarious catering crew at Party Down and I’m sure to tune in for season two of each of these shows!

3.            The Good Wife: What can I say about Julianna Margulies?  She’s embodied the character of Alicia Florrick so completely that I’ve found myself unable to miss even a minute of this show.  It has to be one of the most well written, compelling hours of television out there.  Tune in, folks, you will not be disappointed.

2.            Mad Men: Weiner, Hamm, and co. just get better and better.  My only quibble with this season was the lack of Joan Holloway’s presence on the screen (as one of my favorite characters, she adds a touch of humor, complexity, and distinctive moral ambiguity that I missed this season), but the finale promised much more Joan—and a whole new playing field–for next season.  Color me excited!

1.            Dollhouse: If you’ve read my blogs/spoken to me AT ALL this year, this should come as no surprise.  What started off shakily last February, has rapidly become my favorite show this year.  I was bound to love it (hello, it’s JOSS!), and though I enjoyed the first 5 episodes, it didn’t prove groundbreaking until the game-changing episode “Man on the Street.”  Since then, Joss, Eliza and crew have had me hooked on this fantastic show taking place in a world that doesn’t yet exist, but making me wonder about the possibilities for our future given human curiosity and need for technological advancement and control.  How far will we go in our quest to understand the human mind?  My favorite moments in this series revolved about the all important question, “Can you wipe away a soul?”  And, of course, my love and infatuation with Enver Gjokaj began with Dollhouse and I hope that its cancellation doesn’t mean less Enver.  Surely someone else has seen the light and will hire this tremendously talented (and easy on the eyes) young actor!

Honorable Mentions: Parks and Recreation—And then there’s Amy Phoeler in Parks and Recreation.  This should be on the list—but it isn’t.  Why?  Because I couldn’t, for the life of me, figure out WHERE to put it.  Probably should be right there at number 8 with the rest of the network comedies.  But I don’t feel QUITE the urgency to watch it as I do those three.  So it gets an honorable mention.

Some will ask, “Where’s Glee?” Well, Glee has proven itself unreliable, at best.  There are moments of sheer hilarity and true visionary work–but it’s so mixed with contrived silliness that I can’t actually include it.

One Comment leave one →
  1. jordan permalink
    7 January 2010 12:26 am

    wow, only 3 shows i have seen. why is it that we are so vast in difference? u = rep me = demo. and of course our entertainment views. its a good list. thank you for posting one…dont forget the movie one

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