I usually like to do best-of lists after an official season ends in May, but with the crazy writer’s strike on, I might as well just pick the best of 2007 since who knows when the official season will come back (not counting mid-season replacements starting soon to fill the gap). Here is my top 10 list of shows along with some honorable mentions.
After a fabulous first season, you always wonder if the second season will suffer the sophomore slump. This one didn’t. It changed gears to not just murdering someone each week, but dealing with the Miami PD (that he works for) finding all his bodies and tracking the killer. Then there was Lyla who he met at his 12-step program. I loved her. She was dark and twisted, but also a way for him to open up more and figure out what he wanted to do with his life that was in a disarray with the police investigation going on. The more the season went on, the more tension filled it became, since I had no idea how he was going to get out of the next mess he found himself in as the police and Doakes came closer to discovering the truth. The finale was completely awesome and satisfying. The only downside for the season was Dexter’s sister’s relationship with the FBI guy. She was great in the beginning of the season dealing with dating last season’s serial killer and not trusting anyone. Then it turned icky for the last part of the season. I’m glad that relationship is over now though.
2. 30 Rock
The show was slow going last season with hits and misses in the laugh out loud funny area, but as the season wore on, it became funnier. This season is even funnier. There are so many quoteable bits that come out of Tracy Morgan and Alec Baldwin each week. It has passed Scrubs as my favorite television comedy.
3. The Amazing Race
We are safely away from the Family Edition, even though we did have to deal with Rob and Amber again during the All-Star edition. The most current edition is back to how the show should be with people who are not “reality stars” and tons of crazy tension involved. The new twists of U-Turn and Speed Bump are interesting, and I really have no idea who will win or who will lose until the very end. Teams that you are sure will be out in the first few legs stick around until the end, and ones that look like power teams are out due to dumb-headed moves or just bad luck. It’s always anyone’s game and that’s why I love it.
4. Mad Men
From the fabulous opening credits (who watches opening credits anymore? you would if they looked like this), to the three-martini lunches, non-stop smoking, drinking at work, and the sexist behaviors toward women, this show is full entrenched in the early ’60s. I love to see how much the workplace has changed from not that long ago. On top of that, the stories are excellent and the acting is great too. It is a slower moving drama compared to the more contemporary dramas, but I was sucked in. You can also play the drinking game of drinking every time someone lights up a cigarette. You’ll be toasted just like they are after a hard day at work. Just don’t drink and drive like they do!
It dragged a bit at the beginning of last season, but that was 2006 so we don’t even have to talk about it here. It picked up when it came back up for the last half of the season. Even with the mistakes of the new people (Paulo & Nikki), I think my favorite episode of last season was the one that featured them. I loved the twist ending where they were trying to screw each other out of the diamonds and ended up getting themselves buried alive. It was a very Hitchcockian episode and I loved it! Then, there was the crazy season finale with the flash forwards and the more weird people showing up on the island. What is going on? I never know but I still want to watch to find out.
It was complicated, but never too confusing to follow. I never knew who to believe and who to trust. Who was telling the truth and who was just trying to play a game? People died all over the place and the season ended with a satisfying ending, but just enough of an opening to come back for another season. I can’t wait.
It was short (only six episodes), but they were all winners. I thought it might be a goofy little series, but was drawn in by how the lead actor who change his stature and expression enough that I knew if he was Dr. Jekyll or Mr. Hyde without any special effects or make up changes. There was some special effects when he would attack people, but not all the time. It was quite impressive, scary and also left an opening for more in the future.
8. Pushing Daisies
Super sweet series, which should be something that I am not attracted to, but I love it. I think what keeps it balanced is when Ned and Chuck get too cutesy with one another, Emerson is there to make the comment that any cynic is thinking. I love him. I also love the eye popping scenery and bright colors. Finally, I love that the sweet little pie shop is called The Pie Hole.
This show continues to improve each season. I owe some of that to the people behind X-Files running this show and a lot of it to the two leads that truly act like brothers. I love their chemistry with one another. The show can also actually be scary at times, even with they are dealing with super goofy demonology and mythology stuff. It is the same stuff they dealt with on Charmed, but in a campy style. It is done with just the right tone here that it is creepy and scary, especially when there are freaky little kids involved.
My second favorite comedy that is outrageous and laugh out loud funny. When Nancy gets dragged into the big time pot business and has to learn to be a gangsta is hilarious. When at a guy’s funeral, she states, “He took me on my first drive by” with a straight face. The supporting characters are also amusing, like her brother-in-law and all his crazy schemes, including the missing toes and porn shoot. Kevin Nealon is finally funny again as Doug, the stoned city councilman, especially when he finds that his free golf club membership is revoked and he decides to block the sewage in town in protest. Oh boy. The only downside this season was the inclusion of Mary-Kate Olsen as a bible thumping pothead teen. It was proof that she cannot act, and was very distracting when she was on screen. I’m glad she wasn’t around long.
- Samantha Who? – I am continuing to laugh at every episode, but I’m still worried that it will run out of steam with the concept. I hope they can keep it going.
- Desperate Housewives – It has improved greatly this season, but this year also included the end of las season, which just dragged on and on. Last season had the whole Gabby getting together with Victor and Carlos getting together with Edie. Why? Then Bree missing for her real life pregnancy just made the show have something missing. I think they got it back this season, so it finally reminds me of the first season again.
- CSI – It really hasn’t changed much since the first season, but it is still one of my favorite shows. I don’t mind that Sarah is gone. I’ve never been a fan of the actress.
- Burn Notice – Fluffy private detective show about a burned federal agent that tries to figure out who destroyed his life while also doing some PI stuff to make money. It is fun, campy, and features Bruce Campbell. It also teaches you how to beat up other people, set up surveillance with cell phones, and how to arm your home from invaders. You learn while you are entertained. What a bargain.
- Psych – Another fluffy show, and I half pay attention to whatever crime they are solving each week. I just like watching Shawn and Gus interact with each other. They are hilarious.
- Doctor Who – Still missing the former Doctor of the reincarnated series, but I finally thought he had some chemistry with Martha, especially compared to Rose. His character kept pining for Rose, but I never bought his chemistry with her (I did with the other Doctor) so that was always distracting when it happened. When the Doctor had the one episode where he lost his memory and became temporarily human, I was amazed at how different he acted. He is quite an actor, and had great chemistry with Martha. It is too bad she won’t be around next season.
- Torchwood – I loved Captain Jack from Doctor Who, but I do miss some of his fun that was in that series. He is so serious in this one. I wish he would goof off a bit, but it is still a good show about fighting off alien freaks that try to invade Earth through Cardiff, England.
- Scrubs – It used to be my favorite comedy on television, but it just hasn’t been that funny this season. It is supposed to be the last season, except that it might not even end properly with the writer’s strike going on. I would like to see it end on a high note. It is still amusing, but just not as hilarious as it has been in the past.
- Veronica Mars – While I miss the show, it did stumble a bit when she was in college. I think it was mostly due to how they kept tearing her and Logan apart. His character was all over the place and just not the same one that she fell in love with. The show did make me want to watch Kristen Bell in anything else she is in, so I’m glad she moved onto Heroes.
- Chuck – Cute nerdy spy show. Sometimes it is a bit too simple, which is why it isn’t in my top 10, but I think it is improving.
- House – I love it when House is being mean to everyone. I love it that Wilson is finally playing practical jokes on him and not just being a push over. It does get predictable at times, but I don’t mind it too much. I did like the crazy doctor game at the beginning of this season, probably because Chase bores me. I don’t mind if they lose him forever. Keep Foreman around though. He’s actually interesting.
- Reaper – Very cute and the lead actor is adorable. I love the devil. The entire thing with him liking the girl but being stupid about it is getting kind of old, so they need to get over that soon. The reason for not telling her didn’t seem like a good enough reason since his two friends know about it already. I like the weird monster of the week thing and Sock is funny.
- Californication – Even as an anti-hero, David Duchovny is adorable. He isn’t supposed to be likeable, but his love for his ex-wife and daughter is believable and what makes you like him. There are a lot of laugh-out-loud, outrageous moments in the show, and a ton of great lines. Sometimes it is shocking, just to be shocking, and that takes away from it a bit.
So what were your favorite tv shows from the past year?