Top 10 TV Series of the Decade

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The end of the first decade of the 21st century means two things (1) apparently it means even when I pay 1800 dollars to get my car fixed, my car remains not fixed and (2) there will be end of the decade lists.

Already, I've posted my Athlete of the Decade and Wrestling Matches of the Decade.  This is the TV list.

No shows which debuted before the 2000s are eligible, which cuts off Sopranos/Daily Show among others.  Sure, I could have said just the seasons of those shows which aired in the 90s were not eligible, but that's a lot of work for a guy whose car is currently on fire in his school's parking lot. 

But my lady type friend beat jury duty today, so it's not a total loss. 

1. The Shield
-Like an 88 hour long Sophie's Choice.  It's the heir to the Hill St/NYPD line and better than both. 

2. The Wire
-The Wire's more important - if you've never seen an episode my suggestion isn't to start with season one - instead, it's to start with the David Simon appearance on the Bill Moyers Journal from 2009 (I assume it's available at Moyers's site) the Wire's a significant 21st century American document; the Shield is more emotionally satisfying.  They're 1 and 1A in my eyes and seeing them inverted wouldn't shock my conscience. 

3. Arrested Development
-The only thing that kept it from being this decade's Seinfeld is we're dumber than we were in the 90s. 

4. Curb Your Enthusiasm
2000 -
-There are misses; some plotlines/episodes/entire story arcs sometimes have fallen flat. But sometimes Larry David inadvertantly sprays urine tears on a picture of Jesus and the earth caves in with the funny.  The add on to the Seinfeld-verse from this past season elevates it to this spot.

5. Mad Men

2007 -
Hardest show to rank, given how few episodes we have and the radical shift at the end of last season, with some trepidation, I put it here.

6. The Office (UK)
-I don't reflexively think something's funnier because it has a British accent; my view of even Python isn't as elevated as other sketch devotees.  This show was this good. 

7. 30 Rock 
2006 -
-Doesn't seem likely, given Alec's oft stated desire to quit the business and become a sherpa and the enormous weight on Tina that the show will maintain its quality for too many more seasons, but for this decade, it's number 7.

8. Chappelle's Show
-It's better to burn out than to fade away.

9. The Office (US)
2005 -
It feels like The Office has reached its decline phase; I don't think, at this point, it's just lack of buzz, I think we've started to see a creative shortfall after the Parks exodus.

10.. Gilmore Girls
-The poster child, on this list, for decline phase - the last two seasons of GG raise the complication of how to rate episodic television; if I say - give me a list of movies or books - then you're talking about definable works, with a largely singular creative vision - but I'm not sure what a deconstruction of the Simpsons would mean.  You'd have to think of it as having phases - we may be in its blue period right now, for instance.  I want to put Friday Night Lights here instead; I've been going back and forth.

Countdown with Keith Olbermann, Pardon the Interruption, The Colbert Report, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, How I Met Your Mother would be 12-16 and I think in that order.  The Rachel Maddow Show and Big Love would probably be at the back of the top 20.  I'd have to seriously start thinking reality shows at 17-18.


Travisina said...

What, no Redemption Song?

Jim said...

That was good stuff.

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