Top 10 TV Shows of the Decade

Once again, this is a very personal list.  There are several shows that most would consider the best of the decade, that I just didn’t have time for.  The Sopranos, Arrested Development, Deadwood, Dexter, and Curb Your Enthusiasm spring quickly to mind – I just didn’t watch them.  I consider this list to fall somewhere between my movie and music lists, as far as subjectivity goes.  These are quite obviously, to me, fantastic TV shows and great entertainment.  Most of them have some kind of artistic quality.  And one changed the face of Television forever.  Enjoy.

1.Lost – The pilot alone can stand by itself as being as well-made as many movies.  I think that Lost should receive major consideration as the best one-hour TV show ever put on the air.  True, there was some meandering in the 2nd and 3rd seasons, but episode for episode, it is absolutely amazing.  There is great acting, it keeps you on the edge of your seat, the writing is brilliant (literary references, non-linear storytelling, etc.) and the thickness of the show is off the charts.

2.24 – I’ve never been so engrossed in a TV show as I was in the first two seasons of 24.  The art of the cliffhanger was truly perfected.  And I’ve never heard so many people talk about devouring the DVD’s as quickly as people have with this show.  It is IMPOSSIBLE to stop!  Has 24 become just the tiniest bit stale after 7 seasons?  Well, yeah, and it is pretty unrealistic too.  Oh well.  The original idea remains fantastic, and it is one of the best shows I’ve ever seen.

3a.The Office – I have yet to get through the one season of the British office, but this show almost single-handedly resuscitated the sitcom in America.  The first three seasons were nearly perfect, and while it is languishing a bit right now, I don’t think I’ve ever laughed more during a show since Seinfeld.

3b.30 Rock – I tied these two shows, because lately 30 Rock has far surpassed The Office as the funniest show on TV.  Witty and sharp, this is a brilliant critique of show-biz and is hilarious week in and week out.  The amount of jokes they are able to cram into 22 minutes is staggering.

5.Scrubs – Perhaps my favorite 30 minute show of the past several years, the way they kept it fresh every week was a testament to the skill of the writers and the actors together.  They have probably the most well-drawn characters on TV, and were able to strike a balance between funny and touching BEAUTIFULLY.  Also, they were able to weave in a great use of pop music, which makes it that much better.

6.Entourage – I take it back, outside of Chuck, this has been my favorite show on TV for some time now.  It is hilarious and intriguing because it gives an insider’s look at Hollywood.  The characters are amazingly well-written, and it  is well-acted to boot – each of the actors fits their characters to a tee.  I love seeing Hollywood in this light, and the writing is sharp as hell.

7.The O.C. – This was definitely the hottest show on TV in the past decade.  It only lasted four seasons, but Josh Schwartz knows what the heck he is doing, as witnessed by his next two shows, Gossip Girl and Chuck.  This was a total flame-out, disappearing as fast as its meteoric rise, but while it was in its prime, it was Awesome.  Great storytelling, great acting, great music, great comedy, great everything.  I have very vivid memories of the show from the infancy of Lacey and I’s relationship, which possibly has something to do with it, but it’s my list, so get over it.

8.Mad Men – So far it’s only had three seasons, but what amazing seasons they have been.  Sexiness, style, class, and smoking have been redefined.  I can hardly comprehend the skill that goes into crafting this show week after week.  And it has the Emmys to prove it.

9.Survivor – No show on this list changed the face of Television like Survivor.  That’s why it’s on here.  True, it is not scripted, being a reality show.  But can you think of another reality show besides the Real World that EXISTED before Survivor? Can you even remember what TV was like before Survivor? I’ve watched nearly every season, and it continues to impress. 

10.Chuck – I know, I know, it only had two seasons last decade.  But it has been my favorite show on TV, bar none, both of those years, so I had to put it on here.  Perhaps the best show ever made that no one watches, Chuck excels in every aspect.  The writing, characters, soundtrack, comedy, romance, action, etc. are amazingly well done.  I can’t stress enough how much I love this show.  Hopefully it will continue well into the next decade.

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