Thursday, December 17, 2009

Top Ten Television Shows of the Decade

I am rolling out a top ten list today for three reasons (that’s right, you’re getting a list inside the list – a little list-on-list action if you will):

1. Sports are boring and depressing right now.

As if not having any baseball to watch isn’t bad enough, we also have the story about Tiger, which is the odd combination of sad and fascinating; but not exactly the feel good story of the year. Then comes the tragic passing of Chris Henry, which is obviously just 100% sad. I’d say we’re going through a little rough patch in sports right now…

2. I like lists.

Honestly, I think everyone likes lists. If for no other reason than to call the list maker out: “Is this guy/gal an idiot?” Or “How much fucking coke was this guy/gal doing when making this list?” Good times for all.

3. I want to.

It’s my blog, and I want to make a list. So there. Plus we’re nearing the end of the decade when everyone is releasing their “decade in review” lists, and I enjoy pop culture almost as much as sports, so I’m jumping on that bandwagon.

10. Scrubs

Sometimes Scrubs is genius. There are certain episodes that are able to blend drama and quirky humor in a way no other show can. Plus, Dr. Cox is one of my favorite television characters of all time. I’m putting it at ten on this list because I think J.D. gets annoying, and I don’t really like Zach Braff in general. Ever since he was on Punk’d, and acted like the biggest ass hole in the history of ass holes, he has held a special place in “douche bag land” for me. I think you can tell a lot about a person by how they react to being punk’d.

9. Curb Your Enthusiasm

If you don’t like Larry David, I don’t like you. ‘Nuff said.

8. The Office

I feel like The Office has gotten progressively worse ever since Jim and Pam got together. The show was certainly better the first few seasons when they had the whole “will they, won’t they” thing going on. I think the writers have done a decent job of keeping storylines fresh ever since the Jim-Pam arc played out, but they haven’t done a great job. The show is still usually good for a few laughs though.

7. It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia

I am not a big fan of cults. I find them creepy and weird. (Prime example: fraternities and sororities. I don’t get it. All these groups are is glorified cults. You are basically paying to join a group of people that meets on certain days to take part in various activities. How is that not a cult? Creepy and weird.) Anyway, having said that, the one cult I am more than proud to be a part of is “Always Sunny in Philadelphia fans.” The FX show started more-or-less as a grass roots program has steadily grown in popularity, and has reached full blown cult status for college aged males. I am proud to say I was on the bandwagon even before Danny DeVito took the show to the next level.

6. Rescue Me

I find Denis Leary annoying. Mostly because Denis Leary is annoying. Denis Leary playing Denis Leary as a firefighter, however, is entertaining. I know, it doesn’t make sense. Leary plays Tommy Gavin, who is basically just Denis Leary, and even though I find Denis Leary annoying, I like Tommy Gavin. Again, it doesn’t make sense. Maybe I actually like Denis Leary and just don’t want to admit it. I know, I’m confused too. Regardless, Rescue Me is a fantastic show, and somehow manages to be both dramatically heart-wrenching and outrageously funny. How’s that for a stereotypical one line review?

5. 30 Rock

30 Rock is better than The Office, and it really isn’t close. 30 Rock is, without a doubt, the most consistently funny sitcom of this decade. By far. If I were making a list of just the best comedies of the aughts, 30 Rock would take up the 1-5 spots because no other show even belongs in the conversation. So there.

This is coming from a guy, by the way, who hated Tracy Morgan on Saturday Night Live, was completely ambivalent towards Alec Baldwin, and was 100% certain that funny females didn’t actually exist. I still have yet to meet a funny woman, but at least Tina Fey managed to break that stereotype for me.

(Call me sexist if you must, but it’s true. I don’t know any funny females. Alright, whatever, I’m sexist. Let’s move on.)

4. Friday Night Lights

Most. Underrated. Show. In. The. History. Of. Television. Everyone who watches Friday Night Lights loves it, yet there aren’t nearly enough people watching. This begs the question, what the hell is wrong with you people? I’d say more, but at this point you should be far too busy Netflixing the DVDs to still be reading this.

3. The Wire

One could make the argument I am cheating here, because so far I have only watched one full season of The Wire, however, season one may have been the best season of television I have ever seen, so I have no problem placing this baby at number three. In fact, if I were to venture a guess, assuming the other seasons stack up, The Wire will end up number two on this list, and very possibly number one. How do you like them apples?

2. 24

There have certainly been some clunky seasons of 24 along the way, but when 24 is going good, I defy anyone to walk away from the show. You can’t do it. Watch a couple of episodes (even of the bad seasons) and you will be hooked. There is a zero percent chance that you can start a season of 24 and not finish. And regardless of how you feel about the occasionally suspect acting, the show-in-real-time concept is brilliant and keeps you on the edge of your seat.

Personally, I feel connected to the show because I started watching it from the very beginning. I saw commercials during football games and whatnot on Fox, and thought it looked interesting so I gave it a try. I have been hooked ever since. This is the only show on this list that I have watched every season as it was on TV. Every other show I have watched on DVD/online/on demand. 24 is my show, but it still can’t top number 1…

1. Jersey Shore

Ha. Just kidding.

1. The Sopranos

Tony Soprano is the most compelling character in television history. You can’t argue otherwise. You can try, but you are wrong. This isn’t an opinion, it is a fact. Plus, it is fun to watch him get exponentially fatter as the seasons progress. I’d say more about the show, but if you’ve watched The Sopranos it speaks for itself, and if you haven’t I don’t want to ruin for you. To summarize: watch The Sopranos.

Honorable Mention: House, The Daily Show, How I Met Your Mother, The Aquaman storyline on Entourage

Obviously, the point of these lists is to get people to either nod in agreement, or shake their heads in frustration. If one of your favorite shows isn’t on the list, it either means I’ve never seen it, or I think it is a big pile of crap. Either way, I would love to see people’s arguments about my list (either for or against) in the comments section.


  1. I feel that you could have thrown in Arrested Development, although that was only on TV for 3 seasons. I feel that from a fan's standpoint, it was an underrated show.

  2. I'm ashamed to admit I have never really watched Arrested Development.