XIPHOS TOP 10 TV SHOWS AND MINISERIES OF THE DECADE
It’s December, the end of the year is near, the decade is drawing to a close and what an interesting decade it’s been. Lots of travel and lots of hospitals. I got to thinking about TV today and decided to do a “best of decade” list. It is, after all, the reflective time of year. Like the Counting Crows Adam Duritz warbles, it’s A Long December and there’s a reason to believe this year will be better then the last. Personally I’m throwing the decade in there also.
This list is entirely subjective like all lists are and the shows I picked were the ones that stuck with me for a wide variety of reasons. All the shows, except for one, were/are made in the United States for an American audience. Is this list a case of cultural imperialism? Probably but I don’t care. I don’t watch other countries TV except for Telemundo and that is actually American but more important the women on it are muy caliente! I wouldn’t know Torchwood from Ron Wood or Eastenders from any direction on a compass or Neighbors from Friends. I’ve seen exactly one episode of Dr.Who. I tender no apologies for this.
One other thing, I really didn’t start watching TV a lot until about 2004 or so. That’s when I realized that TV shows on DVD give you a whole lot of hours of entertainment and if you need to fill up a lot of hours in cold places. TV shows on DVD gets the job done.
One final note, I’m doing this list in an inverse order 10 to 1. Why? Why not I say! Let’s kick the tires and light the fires boys and girls.
10. Mad Men (2007): I find this show soothing and I get lost in it week in and week out. It helps that the acting and writing are superb and the adherence to period detail is impeccable. Mad Men is a truly rare show on TV, a thinking man’s drama.
9. Deadwood (2004): I didn’t like this show at first. I watched a couple of episodes and said screw this. Then a couple of years later I watched the first two seasons on DVD and that’s when Deadwood parted my hair and I was hooked. How many other shows out there have a tour de force performance by the anti-hero’s anti-antihero? How many shows have the lead character deliver Shakespearean like soliloquies to a dead Indians skull while getting a knob job? None, that’s the answer.
8. Penn & Teller’s Bullshit! (2003): Thank the Buddha for this show. With all the asshole paranormal shit that oozes across TV screens, this show is an island of sanity in crazy waters. Plus, its funny as hell, has nudity and the occasional midget.
7. Mythbusters (2003): Everything I said above goes for this show except remove the nudity and midgets and replace those with explosions and teaching people valuable critical thinking skills woefully lacking in the world today.Actually, now that I think about it, Mythbusters has featured midgets in a couple of episodes.
6. Supernatural (2005): SN is one of the best structured shows I’ve ever had the pleasure of watching. It smartly and consistently builds on its own mythology and the leads are engaging and surprisingly strong actors. SN is a great show to watch and fuck anybody who says it’s just for teenage girls because of the actors. Those kind of shitbags are liars who have never watched a single episode, right Goatfucker? (On the off chance the Iberian disgrace finds his way over here I hope he chokes on it)
5. ROME (2005): or as I think of it On the Road of the Roman Empire with Lucious Vorenus and Titus Pullo. Rome freaking rock it and rocked it very hard. Everybody in this show did awesome work in my opinion. I can endlessly rewatch ROME. “THIRTEEEEN!”
4. FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS (2006): I unabashedly and unapologetically love this show. It’s probably the single best TV show I’ve ever seen showcasing a marriage and two people in love. All the acting, across the board, is top notch. As an added bonus the music and cinematography are great and the writing is phenomenal. For the sport adverse in the world, FNL isn’t really about football. It’s about people and their lives. Football is the way the window opens on those lives. “CLEAR EYES, FULL HEARTS, CAN’T LOSE!”
3. The Shield (2003): Vic Mackey was probably the most complicated character you ever sort of rooted for. Even at his worst, and his worst was staggeringly bad, you kind of wanted Vic and the rest of the strike team to make it. For basic cable this show was hard and brutal. The Shield was the series that kick started the renaissance of basic cable programming.
2. Veronica Mars (2004): Sure on the surface this show sounds dumb, teenage girl solves crimes, but nothing about this show is surface. Its one deep as hell, dark noir trip through high school brightly filmed. This show covered it all. Murder, rape, class/race relations, drug use, alcoholism, the whole gambit of the human experience as seen through the eyes of a prematurely jaded young lady. Pretty fidget Kristen Bell was fantastic as Veronica Mars. She was a revelation in the part. Too bad nothing else she’s done to date has reached the heights of her work on the show. The first two seasons of VM were probably the best structured show on TV and it put to shame any other show that had season long arcs. VM was one of the only shows that could pull off a season long arc and pull it off well.
1. Band of Brothers (2001): BoB is a harrowing trip through the European Theater of Operations in World War Two. This show places a human face on this great nations Fighting Men that is all to often absent in most “war” movie. Band of Brothers is an amazing piece of art and I’m a person that doesn’t think movies and TV are art. BoB didn’t play fast and loose with reality and they honored the warriors and real men of Easy Company, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment of the 101st Airborne Division with this mini-series.
This movie took some of the stink off of The Chins and The Beard for that cracked anal fissure of a movie Saving Private Ryan. Now listen up Hairy and Fatty, if you fuck the dog on The Pacific mini-series all hell is a coming and I’m leading the charge. Are we clear on that?
These aren’t in any order but they are shows I thought were good and just missed out on the Top 10 for different reasons:
Firefly, 24, House, Carnivale, Rescue Me (minus the last two season), The Wire, the Horatio Hornblower series, Numb3rs (minus the last two years), OZ, Lost, BSG. The last two need a bit of explanation because they share similar problems. The last season of BSG and especially the series finale blew goats like Asshole Life on a Saturday night binge in Oporto. The same goes for the 2009 season of Lost. Outside of the first hour of season 5’s finale and a few episodes with Sawyer and his time traveling band of misfits, this past season stunk like a corpse under a tropic sun.
That’s it that’s my list now go ahead and tell me how wrong I am and why didn’t I include __________ as one of the top 10 shows of the decade.