While they may not have been the year’s most critically acclaimed (WEEDS), or the country’s most popular (TERMINATOR THE SARAH CONNOR CHRONICLES), the following shows made this TV Addict’s Top 10 of 2008 for the simple reason that week in and week out they left us wanting more. More laughter (30 ROCK, HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER), more emotion (MAD MEN, BATTLESTAR GALACTICA) and of course, more questions (LOST).
With a fourth season comprised of jaw-dropping twists, top-notch acting and addictive storytelling that, let’s face it, are now par for the
course island, LOST has not only cemented itself among the pantheon of great television dramas, but raised the bar for serialized drama forever — essentially making the Lindeloff and Cuse masterpiece the television equivalent of Christopher Nolan’s DARK KNIGHT. (Either way, HEROES is kind of screwed!)
2. 30 ROCK
It’s a rare thing indeed when a television show lives up to the hype. Yet following what seemed like months of build up, nearly daily press releases about the latest A-lister to sign on for a cameo and the gift that kept on giving — Sarah Palin — Tina Fey and company returned to the airwaves and did just that, providing for the best mix of hijinx and hilarity since WILL & GRACE went off the air.
3. HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER
Thanks to one of television’s most likable casts, two of television’s sharpest showrunners (Carter Bays and Craig Thomas) and an endless supply of Barneyisms (“There are only two reasons to date a girl you’ve already dated: breast implants”), 2008 will be fondly remembered as the year audiences finally fell in love with our favorite MOTHER.
4. TERMINATOR: THE SARAH CONNOR CHRONICLES
It so easily could have been a disaster of Judgment Day proportions. Instead, showrunner Josh Friedman deftly avoided the dreaded Terminator-of-the-week problem that plagued SMALLVILLE’s krypto-heavy first season by infusing Sarah’s chronicles with the perfect balance of adventure, mythology and Summer Glau. We can only hope that enough people tune in next year to ensure that you, know… she’ll be back.
To the critics who’ve been quick to proclaim WEEDS’ best seasons behind them, we’ve got one thing to say: What are you smoking? Jenji Kohan’s decision to move the Botwin clan to the fictional bordertown of Ren Mar was a masterstroke. Aside from THE SIMPSONS, no show on television deals with such serious issues as race, immigration, drugs and relationships in so consistently hilarious and poignant a manner. That, and you would not believe how many people stumble across theTVaddict.com by typing in the words… “Mary Louise Parker Nude.”
6. THE NEW ADVENTURES OF OLD CHRISTINE
For providing us with consistent laughs on a weekly basis, the highest praise we could give stars Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Wanda Sykes is that they’re this generations Lucy and Ethel. Okay even though this TV Addict is a little to young to have actually seen Lucy and Ethel in action, our good friend CouchTater tells us they were kind of a big deal back in the day.
7. MAD MEN
Contrary to popular belief, we do not watch this show just so we can feel morally superior to everyone else. (That’s what PBS is for.) We do watch MAD MEN because it’s different. Frankly, the glacial speed at which the story moves is a welcome break from the frenetic pace and all-too-neatly wrapped up stories found on more mundane shows. Okay, so maybe we do feel a little superior.
8. BROTHERS & SISTERS
Like most families, the Walkers have their issues. With the good (Rachel Griffiths), comes the bad (Balthazar Getty). For every enjoyable clan crisis (Left-leaning Kevin winds up working for his brother-in-law, the right-wing senator!), there are those we could do with out (How many more times are we going to witness Nora break down over her husband?). But just like in real life, all is forgiven when the dysfunctional dynasty gathers around the dinner table to raise a glass. Or in the case of the Walkers, a few glasses.
9. SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE
The good news is that 2008 was the year SNL reminded viewers why it’s been a late -ight institution for over a quarter of a century. The bad news is that the election is over. Which means that the five brilliant minutes by Tina Fey, Amy Poehler and/or Darrel Hammond that more than made up for the other 85 minutes of mediocrity won’t be back for another 3.5 years. But hey, it was good while it lasted, right?
10. BATTLESTAR GALACTICA
The truth is, after four and a half seasons of excellence there really isn’t anything we can say about BATTLESTAR GALACTICA that hasn’t already been said. So rather than wax poetically about BSG’s final season set to unspool this January, we thought we’d celebrate everything the show has given us this year. So here’s to you Ronald D. Moore, David Eick, Edward James Olmos, Mary McDonnell and the entire cast and crew, both cylon and human alike. Thanks for one helluvva fraktastic ride and we’ll no doubt see you back here one year from now as we put the finishing touches on the Best of 2009.