Top Ten Favorite TV Shows this Year

by - Friday, December 23, 2011

The caveat here is that we watch very little television with much depth. We pretty much only watch things that require very little of our attention, as that is all we can really offer. Also, if I can't mostly ignore it, it better cheer me up, because our day to day life is depressing. So no Breaking Bad or Homeland here. Maybe someday.

10. Watch What Happens Live- Ok, part of what makes this show awesome is that it is barely like a show, so I think by this time next year I might hate it. Andy Cohen is both adorable and super likable and down to earth for a big executive in New York City who hobs and knobs with all the famous people and so forth. Despite that, I think he genuinely adores his guests, especially the real housewives, which is so endearing. I also love Ben Weiner, because this is definitely the only late night show that regularly takes phone calls from a deeply devoted 13 year old. The whole thing is just cute.
8. Conan- Ok, sometimes Conan annoys the crap out of me; I think he is a little loose with both pseudo-ironic homophobic and sexist jokes that super intelligent men do, because they think as long as they throw some scare quotes on things they aren't accountable for what they say. In real life cases, it's infuriating, in Conan's case, it is also really boring and infuriating that he isn't trying something more creative and interesting (seriously, does he have the writers from SNL writing this stuff? Because I have stopped watching that). On the other hand, when the show is good, it is really good. He also has some great musical acts on there. It's getting better, and I hope they keep at it, because I guilt watch that show all the time.
7. The New Girl- I know some people hate this show, but I think it is cute thus far. Cute, but not "adorkable," which is definitely not cute at all.
6. Modern Family- I used to love this show, and in some ways I still do, but I am not as crazy about it as I was. It is still a hoot, but I think some of the best moments come from the young members of the cast, who have generally not garnered the same level of attention. I do get sick of the lame celebrity cameos, which are pushing the show into the really awful periods of 30 Rock kind of category. Also, they all live in some sort of world I don't totally understand, but I do love seeing the relationships between the varying characters and watching when they do develop.
5. So You think you Can Dance- No reality competition comes close. Best host and by far the most interesting performances, partially because they depend so much on close collaboration. I still miss earlier seasons (I wasn't as into Melanie as everyone else seemed to be), but this is still the only talent competition that becomes as heart-wrenching, or sends me straight to youtube the next day.
4. Gold Rush Alaska- One fateful weekend, Nick's parents came to visit us in California, and this is really all they wanted to see. This show is actually super compelling, in a wanting to reach through the screen and slap them kind of way. An interesting look into an occupation that certainly doesn't get much attention now (but i guess that is a lot of what that channel does).
3. How I Met Your Mother- This show has come a long way from its premise (seriously, those kids are the best listeners in the world... not to mention the math on when they were conceived and born is getting more and more sketchy... not to mention why ted mosby turns into danny tanner), but in fact the more the focus turns away from Ted the more interesting, fun, and touching it can be. I am forever committed to Lily and Marshall, and after last season you can't help but root for them. A great show that has received so little attention, but I think must have a pretty strong cult following, because it keeps chugging along.
2.Top Chef Texas- Top Show is probably my favorite reality show of all time, and it is made all the better this year because there is a general lack of Gail, who is the worst. Tom Collichio is probably the best reality tv judge on tv, and he actually does come off as cool, while still caring about what is going on and having some actual integrity. No one feels like they are trying too hard, and it never becomes less compelling or easy to invest in. The best thing bravo has to offer, and it annoys me that they just show the housewives of atlanta on a loop instead of marathoning this show instead (I like every housewives better than the two that are on right now... they are all just mean and the things going on in their lives are truly awful).
1. Parks and Recreation- Ok, this is like the least surprising big winner ever, because I am constantly talking about how much I love this show. But the second half of season three may be the best chunk of the show ever. Also, they have had a strong start so far this season, with a super sweet episode just last week. Also, I think Andy Dwyer is the physical manifestation of what my soul looks like (other than a jellyfish, of course).Anything with something as amazing as Ron Swanson has to be good. Fantastic writing, ridiculously great cast, some of the best-written relationships on tv, especially between women, and really captures some of the great things about living in a small town with a penchant for festivals.The show's first season may seem to derivative of the Office, but it has totally rid itself of any cringe-worthy moments to just be genuinely funny.

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