Monday, January 2, 2012

End-Of-Year: Favorite 2011 TV Shows, Part 1

Certainly took me long enough, but I'm finally posting my Favorite 2011 TV Shows. I did a rough count today and figured out that I have seen more than 870 television episodes last year. I knew I watched a lot of TV, but I was still shocked to see that kind of number. With that big of a sample size, it was tough for me to narrow it down to my Top 30 TV shows, but I tried below. I'm saving my Top 10 for tomorrow, but here are the other shows on my list...

30. Ringer - There were many new shows fighting for this last spot, but I eventually went with a show headlined by my childhood hero Sarah Michelle Gellar aka Buffy Summers. The show itself has lots of potential especially if they take themselves a lot less seriously. In retrospect, I probably should've included Suburgatory instead of this or another show on my list.

29. Once Upon A Time - Upon further reflection, it's odd this show made it in my list, but not Grimm whose initial episodes and tone appealed to me more. Some of it has been my laziness to catch up on the latter show, but I am also starting to get caught into this show's spell. Some of the acting is still pretty cartoonish, but I think the show has its heart in the right place.

28. Greek - I was sad to see this group of college buddies say goodbye, but I definitely enjoyed the journey they took me on. The final episode was a great highlight featuring every character and various relationships of the show. RIP KT House.

27. United States of Tara - The highlights this season were Toni Collette really going off the deep end and Eddie Izzard's brief supporting role. Other characters had solid emotional beats to play and for the most part they were all left in a good place during the series finale, though a bit bruised and battered.

26. So You Think You Can Dance - A pretty entertaining season capped with an all-girl final between two amazing dancers not to mention the final two boys being Asian! Love that Melanie ended up winning, but I would've been happy with any of the top 4.

25. The Walking Dead
- Did we really need to spend most of the season looking for Sofia or being stuck in that farm? Probably not, but it certainly made that last scene all the more spine-chilling. Plus I'm okay with the slower paced episodes, but I wished more (believable) character development happened other than Darryl.

24. Amazing Race - Not the best two installments of the show, but they were still better than most anything on TV. Race-wise I enjoyed the earlier All-Stars season with Kisha/Jen winning versus the later season with Ernie/Cindy winning.

23. True Blood - I was pleasantly surprised this season perhaps because I actually liked most of the storylines plus or minus Jason's werepanther adventures or Sookie and Eric's sexy times. A lot of the actors stepped up this season and the witch vs. vampire big arc was really interesting.

22. The Hour - Many people call this the British Mad Men and I'm pretty sure it's meant to be complimentary. I really ended up liking this even though some of the stories were a bit too twisty for me to unknot. I was most impressed by Whishaw and Garai and their relationship.

21. Wilfred - Caught up on this show over the long Labor Day weekend and highly enjoyed it mostly due to the fun chemistry between its two lead characters. Props to Gann for really getting the essence of being a man in a dog suit acting like a dog. Kudos to Wood for acting along side him!

20. Modern Family - This has plummeted in my list, less because of its quality which is still top-notch along with its amazing ensemble, and more because there are just more sitcoms I've found I love more than this one.

19. Misfits - Did I miss Nathan? Maybe a little bit, but Kelly kicking ass and her relationship with cutie Seth more than made up for his absence. Their new powers were pretty unexciting, true, but solid episodes throughout. The finale was especially engrossing especially that tragic end for a couple of characters.

18. Big Bang Theory - The girls are why I tune in now, which is not to say that Parsons and the rest of the guys aren't good. It's just that I consistently enjoy the girls more and most of that is the chemistry between Penny and Amy.

17. Castle - I never know why I always end up ranking this show relatively low compared to my feelings regarding its awesome cast and fantastic episodes. Perhaps it's the procedural aspect of the show which screams "BEEN THERE DONE THAT!" That said, I have much love for this show and hope they can keep it up.

16. Friday Night Lights - This is probably as high as it is, because I actually saw every episode of this series this year though of course only a handful of episodes actually aired this year. Even so, it was a pretty good ending for a series that could've ended far sooner. Clear eyes, full hearts, can't lose.

15. Cougar Town
- It has felt like more than a year since we got a new episode of this great show, but alas its low ratings and awkward title has done its damage. But no matter since this cul de sac crew has wormed its way into my heart and forever they will remain.

14. How I Met Your Mother - This is such a complicated show to rank since it's one of the shows I look forward to each week and while they more often than not do great episodes, there have been more than a few clunkers. In the end, it's all about how excited I am every week for it and in spite of itself sometimes, I'm always excited!

13. Shameless - I was pretty much ready to write this show off as another useless American remake of a British show, but then I caught it and immediately fell in love with the Gallagher clan. I was most impressed with Emmy Rossum caustic portrayal as the head of the chaotic household. Can't wait to see them back on TV.

12. Revenge - This show was probably the biggest surprise for me this fall season. I expected this to crash and burn, but not only did it deliver one of the strongest pilots of the new season, but it somehow kept its juicy mixture of trashy guilty pleasures with strong characterizations and acting.

11. Happy Endings - I once described this show as a piñata filled with candy and crack and it's so very apt. It's continuously weird and endlessly funny. The characters are a big part of it as there's no weak link (yes, even Alex and Dave).

Any shows here that surprised you? Anything shocks you at being missing? Perhaps they'll show up tomorrow when I post my top 10 list. Or perhaps they just missed the cut.

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