Archive for the ‘TV’ Category

The best TV shows of the ’00s

Thursday, November 12th, 2009

"The Wire"

I just confirmed that I’ll be writing a “best CDs of the ’00s” article for the Cape Cod Times. That will run in late December, and as I’m prepping it, I’m sure I’ll have some extra commentary that will end up here.

In the meantime, I’m refining a Top 10 movies list that I’ll also post here.

But I’m kicking things with off my picks for the 10 best TV shows of the decade. “The West Wing,” “The Simpsons” “Once and Again” and “Chappelle’s Show” are among the near-misses, while “Arrested Development” didn’t come close (much to the wrath of some of my friends, no doubt).

10. “Rescue Me” (FX) — Raunchy and riveting, Denis Leary’s show about a New York City fireman sometimes was too soap opera-ish, but always left you wondering just where — and how far — it would go next.

9. “Six Feet Under” (HBO) — This look at life — and death — at a family-owned funeral home shifted from morbidly funny  to deadly serious.

8. “Mad Men” (AMC) — Three seasons in, this show about an advertising agency in the early ’60s is great and getting better.

7. “The Shield” (FX) — With his twisted sense of morality, LA detective Vic Mackey was one of the decade’s most compelling characters.

6. “The Colbert Report” and “The Daily Show” (Comedy Central) — A two-fer in this spot on the list. Both shows used comedy to speak truth to power.

5. “The Office” (NBC) — Yes, I’m going with the U.S. version. The funniest show of the decade.

4. “Lost” (ABC) — A mind-bender of a show that was always the talk of the office the morning after. Let’s just hope that the producers manage to give us a satisfying finale.

3. “Survivor” (CBS) — I can see why some hate it, but I love it. Heroes, villains and unpredictable outcomes … what more can you ask for?

2. “The Sopranos” (HBO) — Like Vic Mackey, mob boss Tony Soprano was a bad guy that you found yourself rooting for — some of the time. The series concluded with one of TV’s most controversial finales. What next?

1. “The Wire” (HBO) — I thought I’d never see a show better than “Homicide: Life on the Street,” but David Simon, the man behind “Homicide,” outdid himself by creating a sprawling series that unflinchingly looked at life in a big city. His view of Baltimore was bleak, but allowed the chance for a few characters to achieve some form of reinvention and, maybe, even happiness.