Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The Best of 2011: The TV Shows I--and My Friend Dave--Enjoyed Most Over the Past Year

I don't watch nearly enough television.

I mean, it seems like I do--especially if you count movies watched on TV--but despite having a handful of series I watch regularly and other shows I catch sporadically, I somehow seem to avoid everything that friends, critics and the general public seem to love.

I don't watch any reality TV or talent shows, despite my fondness for musicals I haven't liked what I've seen of Glee and I've yet to get into most cable dramas, such as Breaking Bad, Dexter, Boardwalk Empire and Mad Men.

And even though I enjoy sitcoms, between whatever else I do, I just don't seem to ever see
Modern Family, 30 Rock or How I Met Your Mother, to name some that I have enjoyed but not often or of late. And though Parks & Recreation and Community are getting a lot of love on "Best of" lists, such as this one by Paste Magazine, I think I've only seen one or the other once, years ago.

So now that I've told you why you really shouldn't much care what I think--for another more expert opinion, see this list by Maureen Ryan, the former Chicago Tribune critic who now writes online--here are my picks for:

The Best TV of 2011

1. The Good Wife - CBS

2. Friday Night Lights - NBC

3. Person of Interest - CBS

4. World Series Game 6 - Fox - One of the best baseball games I've ever seen. The last day of the regular season was also high drama, but I didn't see that much of it. For me, sports remains the best reality television. 

5. Homeland - Showtime

6. Ringer - The CW

7. Beavis & Butthead - MTV

8. Burn Notice - USA

9. Castle - ABC

10. Royal Pains - USA

I also wanted to give a shout out to the HD cable channel, Palladia. It shows all kinds of concerts and pop music movies and is my favorite "time waster" channel. If you have digital cable, you probably have it, so look for it.

In the months ahead, I'm planning to watch all the back episodes of Breaking Bad and Mad Men, the latter of which is returning with new episodes in March. But given my relative lack of breadth in viewership, I've enlisted the choices of my friend Dave.

Dave's Picks (not ranked)

Breaking Bad - AMC

Justified - FX

The Killing - AMC

Curb Your Enthusiasm - HBO

American Horror Story - FX

Modern Family - ABC

Downton Abbey - PBS

Dexter - Showtime

It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia - FX

Baseball - 9/28/11 - The last day of the regular season

These are in addition to some of the shows I cited, like Homeland, The Good Wife, Friday Night Lights, Ringer and Beavis & Butthead.

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