It's that time of year where I need to update my top 10 T.V series list. New seasons come on and hit the right note and jump into the top ten but after the honeymoon period is over sometimes the passion is over and you need to think, 'are we strong enough as friends?' There are two new additions to the list. One is a new find and the other is me being honest and open. It's a bit like wearing a pink shirt. They're cool but it still takes a man in touch with his masculinity to wear it.
Well here they are:
Top Ten #10 (previously unlisted)
Michael Kyle: Well, actually I said so long, see ya sucker, bon voyage, arrivederci, later loser, goodbye, good riddance, peace out, let the doorknob hit ya where the good Lord split ya, don't come back around here no more, hasta la vista baby, kick rocks, and get the hell out, like that.
This is probably the weakest of the lot and could be interchanged with several other funny but not great sitcoms. This show is an anomaly from the others in that the main character Michael Kyle is the draw card. He lifts each of the characters and makes me laugh in the every episode. The show also has heart and at the crux of it it's a show about a dad who is trying to the best job and having fun at the same time.
Top Ten #9 (unlisted)
Big Love -
Bill: You're my wife, Margene. You can't be seeing the girl I'm dating.
This is a newly found show in my house and we have watched the 1st 3 season in the last 6 weeks of so. It's set in Utah and revolves around Bill Paxton and his 3 wives and 7 kids. Yep he is a Mormon who lives by the principle in a polygamous marriage. The 3 wives are all very different and bring something different to the marriage and show. Bill and his second wife Nikki come from a cult compound run by the brilliant Harry Dean Stanton as Roman the self-proclaimed prophet. There are several stand out characters including Roman and his odd son Alby but the most enjoyable episodes are the ones revolving around the Bill and his family problems. These included the need for Viagra, wife squabbling and keep their true identity secret form the neighbours. This is new and has shot into #9 so it will be interesting to see where it sits next year after the dust has settled.
Top Ten #8 (unlisted)
Carrie: So what's your book called?
Berger: Half-off. That's all it's called now, half-off.
Yeah yeah. I know! I probably wouldn't have watched this if it wasn't for my wife and I didn't see a single episode until the last episode had aired. I've laughed, cried and yelled at the characters and got emotionally involved. I still think Carrie Bradshaw was better of with Aiden, but maybe Aiden is better off without Carrie? The show is about 4 different girls linked by the 'dry' Sarah Jessica Parker character who share every detail of their lives and relationships. Boys come and go throughout the series but the 4 girls remain the constant. Followed by 2 movies. 1st one good 2nd not so good.
Top Ten #7 (#7)
Arrested Development -
Narrator: Although George Michael had only got to second base, he'd gone in head first, like Pete Rose.
In some ways it's a shame there were only 3 seasons of this but on the other hand quirky off-beat sitcoms like this can become drag quickly and lose their lustre. Again the main character is a dry normal guy played by Jason Bateman but he is the safe port of call while being surrounded by off/dead-beats like sister Lindsay and brother-in-law Tobias to name a few. Clever writing like this often 'misses' the masses but due to it's cult following and cheap dvd's it's available to plebs like me!
Top Ten #6 (#6)
Turk: Surgery is long, tedious and boring.
Cole: Oh I get it, like episodes of Entourage that revolve around Turtle.
Scrubs lurched through to a ninth season through it's cult following. Sure the last couple of seasons weren't up to it's usual fare but it was still above the standard of the regular rubbish on our screens. Scrubs got to nine seasons because the core of main characters are funny/likable/relateable. Zach Braff's J.D character is like Seinfeld's. Never really get the best stuff but he is the golden orb that the celestial beings revolve around.
Top Ten #5 (#3)
The Office (US version) -
Dwight: Don't you want to earn Schrute bucks?
Stanley: No. In fact, I'll give you a billion Stanley nickels if you never talk to me again.
Dwight: What's the ratio of Stanley nickels to Schrute bucks?
Stanley: The same as the ratio of unicorns to leprechauns.
This show has shown longevity thus far in it's seventh season and has another cracker of a character in Dwight Schrute. Just saying/typing his name makes me smile. Sure Steve Carell as Michael Scott is a great character but the show stealer, Jack Nicholson style in Batman has to be Dwight!!
Top Ten #4 (#4)
Turtle: All right. What do you say we start with little miss fluffy-white-poodle over there?
Drama: That's not a poodle, turtle. That's a Lhasa Apso.
Turtle: Whatever. Check out the ass on the broad walking it.
Drama: Lhasa Apsos are very finicky dogs. And finicky dogs have finicky owners. And finicky owners wait two weeks before they even give you a tug
I've seen every episode at least 4 times and they never wear thin. George Costanza may be my favourite TV character of all time but Ari Gold and Johnny 'Drama' Chase are my #2 and #3. There's also a lot of heart beneath the cussing and boobies. A very watchable show even on the 5th and 6th times.
Top Ten #3 (#2)
Friday Night Lights -
In some situations, you need to ask yourself 'WWRD?', What Would Riggins Do?
The small town of Dillon, Texas is football mad and the heroes are the current crop of high school footballers. Well as long as they're successful. There are a vast array of interesting characters who bring something different to FNL's but the general similarity is that I care about them. Sure I love American Football but the show revolves around the drama of the town and my wife who does not like gridiron is a big fan of the show.
Top Ten #2 (#2)
Pete: Come on.
Don: You wanna be on vacation Pete? Cause I can make that happen.
This is another case of brilliant writing and fabulous casting. Don Draper is one cool cat and his backdrop is a very hip early 60's New York. The subplots are tight and every season holds up their share of the bargain.
Top Ten #1 (#1)
"They don't have a decent piece of fruit at the supermarket. The apples are mealy, the oranges are dry... I don't know what's going on with the papayas!"
- Kramer in The Mango
I love this show so hard it's not funny. I love it during high school and I appreciate it even more today. I thought Kramer was the funniest hipster doofus ever but now I tend to connect more with Costanza's angst and frustration. I don't know what that says about me? Extremely clever script coupled with fantastic cast equals an A+ TV series.
There's too many honourable shows to mention. hehe But feel free to drop a line of judgement!
Until then hail to the beet farm!