Thursday, January 15, 2009

Best Shows of 2008

I'm now up to date with enough series that I feel comfortable making a list like this. I don't watch a lot of the most popular series because they don't interest me, but I do see quite a bit. Shows qualify by having a season that ended during the year of 2008. Also, before I forget, I've added a bunch of new archive posts with lists of my favorite things from various years and decades, which unlike these posts, will be kept up to date. Not featured on this list were two products by David Simon and Ed Burns, The Wire's final season and Generation Kill, and the hilarious second run of The Whitest Kids U' Know.

Best of 2008

7. Mad Men (AMC)

I'm not a huge fan of the OMFG MAD MEN bandwagon, but it's still a very good drama with a great cast and production values. I can't tell if they're really going anywhere with the story, but just as far as being a well put together program, it succeeds admirably.

6. The Office (NBC)

One of many shows (pretty much all of them, sadly) that wasn't at its best in 2008, The Office still managed to provide a bunch of laughs and some of the best moments in the whole series. I'm not sure I ever wanted to punch someone in the throat as much as I did Andy when he proposed to Angela, but I only felt worse and worse for him as that subplot progressed. Still a darn good show.

5. It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia (FX)

Again, not quite the peak of demented genius we saw before, but still pretty damn funny every week. It might just be that they're running out of sensitive topics to make light of, and I wonder what's still left in the tank. Despite that though, I don't think another show this year made me laugh out loud more.

4. The Venture Bros. (Adult Swim)

Few things compare to season two of the best thing Adult Swim's ever done, but season three was close enough. It might not have the same consistent humor as the series did previously, but I find the depth they're adding to the history of pretty much every character to be about as entertaining, and season four's thankfully coming faster than this one did.

3. 30 Rock (NBC)

Still in its creative prime, as Fey and Baldwin both won their second Golden Globes and the show overall won its first. Recalling the best aspects of Arrested Development and The Office, it's a great series that more people really should be watching.

2. Lost (ABC)

While most things seem to be regressing, Lost had its best season since the first, as things finally seem to be on a track heading towards a conclusion, even if we still have no idea what the hell that might be. Flash forwards really reinvigorated it creatively, and it was relatively short, which made every episode sure to count and move things forward.

1. Breaking Bad (AMC)

Held aloft by Bryan Cranston's great performance, Breaking Bad's brief (haha, that wasn't on purpose) first season was one of the most emotionally affecting things I've seen on the small screen in a long time, and it had plenty of wit and cool moments as well. The main character's condition make how long it can last a very good question, but it will be back soon for hopefully more greatness.

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