Monday, 30 November 2009

Best of the 2000s: TV Edition

This has been a great decade for TV. And I love TV. Interestingly enough, I haven't really watched broadcast TV since about 2005, something that wouldn't have been possible until recently. Paradoxically, this 5 years of TV-less TV has been easily the best TV watching of my life. No Adverts, no waiting for the same Bat-Time, same Bat-Channel, it's all been there in front of me on DVD or YouTube. So, without further ado, let's countdown (and, no, Countdown doesn't make the cut):

5) The Wire. Superlative cop show for people, like me, who don't really like cop shows. manages to turn all the worst bits about policing (wiretaps, politics) into something that isn't just gripping drama, but is also a multilayered and generally critical look at where the US is today. Thematically incredibly strong, and the theme is this: we all get screwed by the machines we work within.

The boys use some technical police language while examining a crime scene.

4) Arrested Development. The traditional sitcom is something which has very little appeal for me. Arrested Development is the exception. Though it's packed with more jokes per minute than anything else out there, the show's real strength is its characters. Unlikeable and devious to a man, they are still incredibly, well, likeable. Did that make any sense? No? Well watch it and you'll see what I mean.

3) Curb Your Enthusiasm. The Office, as the Office would be if instead of being about Slough, it was about Hollywood. And instead of being about office wage-slaves, it was about incredibly foul mouthed media execs. In a word: Gold.

2) The Venture Bros. This one is not so familiar to a British audience, but it's by far the best cartoon on television, and, I think, among the best the medium has to offer even without caveats. Populated with the most amoral cast of losers (the theme of the show is definitely failure) ever to grace screens, the show nevertheless imbues them with a sense of pathos that is hard to find even in the most serious and well-written drama series. Not forgetting that it is hilarious. Unmissable.

1) And finally, The Sopranos. This show was enthralling from start to ambiguous finish. Top points for letting the viewer decide on their own ending, continuing the theme of documenting, but not judging, the main characters' often illegal actions. Sadly, it seems it's a bold move just to let people think for themselves.


Post a Comment