Thursday, June 3, 2010

a list of the 10 best TV shows currently on air

Kenneth Parcell, that darling dimwitted NBC Page, said it best : "There are two things I love in this world: everybody and television." My love for television should embarrass me but I've made peace with it, and now try to use the obsession to help others, so here are my picks for the ten best shows currently on air.

  • Glee : My favorite new show this season, most definitely. It's absolutely not perfect, not even the best of this bunch, but there's just something so sweet and earnest about this show that really tugs at my theatre geek heart strings. I will say, though, that if Glee had premiered when I was twelve or thirteen I would have been an absolutely insufferable Glee. At this point, though, I'm a fan who can love it with a touch of irony. I do embrace all things campy, so this was a match made in sequin-clad heaven.
  • Community : Hysterical. This is the spunky, new kid on the comedy block that isn't afraid to be weird and a little offensive and which really hit it's stride towards the end of the season. Joel McHale is a sitcom revelation. And Gillian Jacobs!!! Gosh do I like Gillian Jacobs.
  • 30 Rock : Favorite, favorite, favorite, favorite. There is no need to explain why this is one of the best shows on TV, because if someone doesn't get that, I don't get them.
  • Parenthood : A lovely surprise! I committed to loving this show before I even saw it because I will support pretty much anything that Lauren Graham's name is attached to, but even I never thought it would be as wonderful as it is. ABC pitched this show to audiences as more of a family comedy, or at least that's what I got out of the ads, and so I was a little startled to find something much darker and deeper when I sat down to watch the first episode, but it was a pleasant sort of startled. I think that a cutesy, hour-long, less funny version of Modern Family would have flopped before the third episode, but this is nothing like that. This is a moving, earnest portrayal of an wonderfully eclectic and endearing family that can be at turns sidesplittingly funny, 100% relatable, and paralyzingly sad. The four adult Braverman children have the best chemistry of any TV kids I can remember ( I know they're not kids, but whatever) and any scene with all or some of them together is an absolute delight. Plus, okay, having Lorelai Gilmore and Nate Fisher back on my television AT THE SAME TIME? Definitely more than cool with that. Also, I've been a Mae Whitman fan for my, and her, entire life, (anyone remember State of Grace?) and she is brilliant as Amber. And also the best cryer, oh, ever. See evidence from Parenthood here, and from Hope Floats here. Omg.
  • Mad Men : The most aesthetically pleasing hour of the TV week. Even if the writing and acting weren't as absolutely top notch as they are I might tune in just to watch beautiful people in fabulous clothes smoke and drink and brood. Looking forward to the quickly approaching start of season four.
  • Parks and Recreation : So freaking weird and so freaking hilarious. Zany and absurd and adorable and wonderful. I can't properly explain why Parks and Recreation is so great, you just need to watch it. Amy Poehler is so cute in the weirdest possible way, and weird in the cutest possible way, and the entire ensemble cast is stellar.
  • True Blood : I just finished catching up on the first two seasons of this beautiful, disgusting Southern confection and I am positively addicted. It's quite gross, completely over the top, and basically amounts to glorified porn, but it's a delicious guilty pleasure and I'm chomping (ha...vampires...chomping, get it? ruined what might have been a cute pun by explaining parenthetically? Yup, that's my style) at the bit waiting to suck down (See, there's the pun again) season 3 the moment it premieres.
  • Modern Family : The funniest incarnation of the traditional family sitcom that I've ever watched. Yeah, ever.
  • The Good Wife : I love Julianna Margulies like woah, so it's no surprise that I am so into her new show, but the fact that it is truly phenomenal certainly has as much to do with my love as my residual loyalties to Nurse Carol Hathaway do. Plus, I mean, a show about a female lawyer? HELLO, ALLY MACBEAL! The two shows actually couldn't be less similar and a girl lawyer protagonist is literally where the congruities  end, but still, I love me some Ally, so that piqued my interest. Also my beloved Matt Czuchry is doing some Emmy worthy work as one of Alicia's fellow junior associates and it makes me really happy. Basically this is just good, solid drama.
  • Friday Night Lights : Best show one television. Best writing, best acting, just best. Seriously, this show doesn't get even a tenth of the recognition and love that it deserves. It's ridiculous. If I can recommend just one television show to anyone in the world, this is it. Watch it. Please.

    I debated long and hard over including House on this list but in the end I just couldn't do it. I hated most of season 6 and I'm not loving the way things are going, especially since Huddy makes my skin crawl (which makes me a pariah among the House-ites, I realize.) It IS still a great show...I just miss Cameron/the original team/the old days. I bumped The Office off of this list as welll and I actually feel sort of bad about it, but any loyal fan of the show knows that this season was not anywhere near on par with the gold they've given us in past years. A few other honorable mentions that I still consider worth checking out are Nurse Jackie and United States of Tara (both of which are really excellent but had disappointing sophomore seasons after amazing debuts)

    listfully yours,
    xoxo tess

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