Thursday, December 10, 2009

My Favorite TV Shows Of The Decade - December 10, 2009

With the decade coming to a close, I thought I would go back over the next few weeks and talk about some of my favorites of the decade. So, today I'll start with TV shows. Now, I'll lay out my criteria on how I went about picking choices. If the show was airing new episodes this decade, it is fair game. Now, I'm obviously going to have to be picky on shows that maybe aired new episodes in just part of 2000. It has to have at least had a couple of years run. So, here we go. My favorite TV shows of the decade and these are in no particular order.

Lost. What can be said about this show. As a lot of you know, I usually pick a TV show to watch over the summer while mostly everything is in reruns. A show that I can run through over the summer. A couple of summers ago had Lost being that show. It didn't take long to get hooked on this show. I flew through this show over the summer and loved the advantage of going from one season to the next. My question for the long term fans was how in the world did you deal with those season ending cliffhangers for months??!! I just clicked and went to the next episode. There was actually one day where I was just going to watch one episode. They kept leaving me on cliffhangers and I'd say, ok, I'll watch just one more. Then, I'd be at eight episodes watched by the end of the day. This is one of the most addicting and incredibly written shows that I've ever seen. It always has you guessing and usually guessing wrong. I think I've called maybe one or two things right in the whole run of the series. LOL. The show returns in 2010 for its final season and what does it say that the producers won't even give us a glimpse of anything yet cause it will give away what the season is going to be like!! You cannot go wrong with this show. If you haven't seen it, give it a watch.

Friends. One of my favorite shows of all time. I will still watch reruns of this if I see it on. I still laugh at the same jokes that I've seen multiple times. The show wrapped up in 2004 coming off of a strong last season. NBC really hasn't been the same since the show ended. I can usually hold my own pretty well in Friends trivia and had a great time playing it with friends one night.

Dawson's Creek. This show premiered in 1998 and continued on till 2003. This was one of those shows that people grew up with. I know that I did. I was hooked from the first episode. I still say that the first season was the show's strongest. It gave us characters that we either liked or didn't like. Relationships that you cheered for or booed against. Dawson and Joey. Pacey and Joey. The fans still battle over that which is funny. I just liked Joey as I fell in love with her after one episode. LOL. Kevin Williamson returned to write the final episode and the show went out big. What a sad finale though but a clever way to wrap up the show by fast forwarding ahead five years. This show helped launch a network and is going to be talked about for years to come.

Survivor. 19 seasons of Survivor and the show keeps rolling and is still interesting. There were a few seasons toward the middle of the run where the show started to get a little stale. So, they changed the rules up a bit and kept evolving the show. The results have been fantastic and some of the best seasons have been more recent seasons. My favorite has always been season two in Australia but there are so many that are right there in greatness.

Buffy The Vampire Slayer/Angel. Yeah, I might as well tie these together. Buffy went off into the sunset in 2003 while Angel would go out in 2004. However, if you want to keep the story going, both have returned in comic form in the last couple of years picking up right where the shows left off. Yes, the comics are with Joss Whedon involved. I often go back and forth on which show that I liked better. What I like is that even though the shows are the same and tie to each other, each show had a different feel than the other. Buffy gave the viewers this strong female lead action role. Sarah Michelle Gellar brought that character to life big time and Joss gave her so many great stories to work with. My favorite episode is always going to be Once More With Feeling. That musical episode was just flat out great. The way that the music was tied to the episode and the way that the cast stepped up to the plate was amazing. I still watch the episode from time to time and yes, I do own the soundtrack. :) All of this talk is making me want to go put the episode in the DVD player right now. Angel was more of a darker show and there wasn't much happy on it. The story of Angel's son and the loss of him and then seeing him again grown up was great TV. Joss would pull on your heart strings with this show. David Boreanaz is an incredible actor and he has since remained my favorite actor. He can do action, drama, and comedy. I think he's very funny and some of the lighter episodes of Angel were his best. You just knew that Smile Time was going to be a hit just based off of the previews. I'm talking about the episode where Angel gets turned into a puppet. That led to one of the best fight scenes in the whole series with a puppet Angel fighting a laughing Spike. I actually got to attend a Buffy/Angel convention back in 2003 getting to meet several of the stars from the show. It still remains one of the most fun things that I've ever gotten to attend.

Veronica Mars. This is where the greatness of Kristen Bell was introduced to my TV screen. I kept wanting to check out Veronica Mars and when I finally did I was hooked. I flew through the first season and loved it. This is another show that kept you guessing. The writing on this show was so good and that Kristen Bell delivery of witty lines was perfection. Fan campaigns helped keep the show around longer than it might have been. Just a shame that we're likely not going to get that movie.

American Dreams. One of the best produced shows ever. I miss this show a lot and it was such a great family show. The show took place in the early 60’s and followed the story of the Pryor family. Bandstand was a big feature on this show. The story followed all aspects of the stories of that era in history ranging from the JFK assassination all the way to Vietnam. The way that this show blended the story into the classic songs was amazing. My parents started watching this show before I did and knew that it would be a show that I’d like just with how it was produced. They were right. I was hooked. The first scene of the first episode set the tone for how the series was going to look style wise. The show got three seasons on NBC but deserved so much more. I still want to see that footage that was shot for a series finale that we’ve never seen. We saw the season finale footage but that was it. Yeah, I jinxed this show when I declared it my favorite show with rumors of cancellation upcoming just a few days after my declaration. The show used so much music in it which must be killer music rights fees. The first season was released on DVD and was sold for a higher price due to making sure to keep all the music intact. If you took the music away from this show and changed it up, this would do major damage to it. The music was just as important to this show as the cast and stories.

American Idol. How can you talk shows of this decade and not mention American Idol? This ratings juggernaut has been a huge TV hit. I've watched since the first season and a lot of my favorite singers are Idol alums. Carrie Underwood and Kelly Clarkson are among those. Some seasons have obviously been better than others but when they have a good group, it is great TV. Some Idol winners have went on to have big careers while others have just sort of faded out. Some that didn't win have went on to have bigger careers than the winners. The show has left us with results shows that have left us with our jaws dropped to the floor. It is a lot of fun to pick your favorite and cheer them on.

Gilmore Girls. This is one of the best written shows that I've ever seen in my life. The dialogue in this show is famous and rightfully so. Amy Sherman-Palladino had a major hit on her hands with this with the show about a mother and daughter who are best friends. The town of Stars Hollow was brought to life with so many great characters who each had their own kind of quirks that made them interesting. I still say that the character of Paris Gellar is one of the best characters on TV period. You could tell that Amy loved to write stories for that character. Unfortunately, the Palladinos went off into the sunset before the last season started after not being able to reach a new deal. The show was continued with another creative force. The show felt VERY different with the writing in the first few episodes but I thought they started to hit stride about a couple of months into the season. However, the show wasn't the same and I do wonder what the final season would have been like if Amy had had control. The show was very strong right out of the gate with fun episodes and stories. Amazing cast and show.

The Big Bang Theory. When I heard the story of this show during the CBS upfronts a few years ago, my thought was how funny of a show this could be. I tuned into the pilot and it is such a clever and unique comedy. What I loved is seeing how audiences are embracing it and the show keeps drawing its highest ratings to date. CBS had so much confidence in it that they renewed it for two seasons instead of just one. That just doesn't happen in this world of TV. Seeing two social worlds collide with Penny and the guys is hilarious TV. I want to give so much credit to the cast cause they are all amazing. Kaley Cuoco is one of the best facial expression actresses on TV. The looks that she'll give just make you laugh so hard and she doesn't even say a word. Jim Parsons as Sheldon is great. He brings that character to life and when you have Sheldon and Penny in a scene together, it is gold. Leonard and Penny's romance has been fun to cheer for since the beginning.

How I Met Your Mother. When so many sitcoms were coming along and seeming so much like the same kind of show, here came How I Met Your Mother. This show was so unique with its style and writing. It stood out over the others. I've liked this show since its premiere episode. The story of a father telling his kids many years into the future about the story of how he met their mother. The actual story part of it takes place in current day. Each character brings so much to the show and they've gotten a lot of mileage out of several story ideas. I think that Barney is one of the best TV characters in many years. Amazing cast and stories. Hey, it also brought us the song that we can't get out of our head, "Let's Go To The Mall" and the greatness that has been the slap bet episodes.

Big Brother. How can putting people in a house and having them live together competing for money be entertaining? It has been entertaining for most of that time except for that season nine that I keep trying to forget. LOL. This is my summer addiction. I've been a live feed watcher off and on depending on how great that the season was. The show has given us so many moments over the years, Dr. Will, banner planes, the Eric and Jessica romance, the twin revelation, pots and pans, Chilltown, and so much more. I still have Will Kirby as my favorite Big Brother houseguest ever. That guy had the people in the house wrapped around his finger and he was such a charmer that his lying was even rewarded with the season two win. LOL. There aren't any other shows like it where you can literally sit and watch the happenings of the house on the live feeds. The editing of the show as a live feed viewer has always been funny to watch. I've watched people go nuts on the message boards as we watch something play out on TV that we all watched happen live. We're all thinking, that isn't how that went down at all!! LOL.

8 Simple Rules. This was such a great sitcom that had tons of potential that we unfortunately never got to see. The first season was amazing and so funny. John Ritter passed away at the beginning of the second season and the show was changed to keep it going adding new cast members. The show was still good from beyond the first season but nothing could get near that first season. The stories were funny and the constant battles that the parents had with their teenage kids made for great TV. I laughed so hard at this show.

Firefly. Such a short lived Joss Whedon series. A sci-fi western type show. Great characters, cast, and writing. This show was ended way before its time but then again it aired on Fox. Fox is notorious for killing shows early. That is why I rarely watch anything new on Fox. I've been burned too many times. Remember that show Reunion. I loved it. Yeah, thanks for nothing Fox. LOL. Firefly was cancelled by Fox early in its run including them not even airing all of the episodes. The show was released on DVD where it did VERY well. So well that it brought about the movie into theaters named Serenity. Serenity did a great job of tying up the story but was also a good stand alone movie for anyone that might not be familiar with the show. Come on, the show also gave us the greatness that was Jaynestown. The Ballad of Jayne was hilarious.

Smallville. Smallville has been my introduction to the Superman world. I had never seen any of the movies prior to watching Smallville. No comics or anything like that either. So, I don't pick up on everything that ties to the original story like others do. Smallville follows Clark Kent in his young adult life from high school and beyond. The first season was mostly setting up the show and establishing characters. From the season one finale and on, the show really hit stride fast. The show has a great mix of it all. Action, comedy, romance, drama, and sci-fi. So many great seasons. I actually watched season five in one weekend. 12 episodes on the first day which led me to think, hey, what is 10 more to watch tomorrow and I could just finish it? LOL. The show has had creative and actor changes in the last couple of years and the show just keeps trucking along. What is great about the Superman series is that they have such an unlimited amount of characters that they can bring in. I think this current season has been really good so far.

Roswell. I was trying to decide whether to include this show in here or not cause it was so short lived at the beginning of the decade. I loved this show. Season one is still the best season of this show in my opinion. The show was saved by two amazing fan campaigns. One that brought it back for season two and the other that got it brought to UPN for season three. Season three was a bummer overall cause the show became the Isabel show instead of focusing on what the show had been about since the premiere, Max and Liz.

So, there you go. I'm sure there are some shows that I am going to kick myself for forgetting but that is my list. I miss so many of those shows.

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