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Script Doctor Eric

Another great post from TV Consultant Joey.  Thanks Joey!  -Eric

**For the top shows of 2011, please see Joey’s new post: Top Shows of the 2011 Fall TV Season**

Top 10 TV Shows of the 2010-2011 Season

Since I do my annual movie list, it only seemed fair to weigh in on the current TV shows — as television is my area of expertise.  :)

1. Friday Night Lights

The truth is I don’t have Direct TV, so I have only seen the first episode of Season 5, but this show is amazing and I feel confident that when NBC finally gets around to airing it, I will laugh, cry and love every last minute.   One of my all-time favorite TV shows (and yes, I choose to ignore the murder plot misstep in season 2.)  Kyle Chandler and Connie Britton are amazing and the writing is brilliant — and every episode is heartbreaking, yet beautiful!  But it sure ain’t easy being a teenager in Dillon, Texas!

2. Justified

Season 2 lacks some of the spark of its first season, but still is one of the best shows on TV.  Timothy Olyphant as Raylan GIvens is reason enough to watch.  I love, love, love his snappy dialogue!  They’ve done Elmore Leonard proud.  And Boyd and Mags are some of TV’s most compelling villains.  (Who expected that hammer to the hand scene??)

3. Walking Dead

How could a zombie show not work?  Just like in any good zombie movie, I find myself yelling at the screen about the character’s stupid choices: “Don’t ride a HORSE into a zombie apocalypse!”  “And if you can choose any abandoned car on the road, why would you choose a DOORLESS, ROOFLESS jeep!?!”  But all in all — great fun!  I wish they could have made a few more episodes but I suppose it just builds the anticipation for season 2!

4. Modern Family

I laugh more during this show than any sitcom in recent years.  The characters are all fabulous: ridiculous yet believable.  Sure, there are occasional plots that fall flat (James Marsden as the homeless man who uses Cam and Mitchell’s jacuzzi?  The neighbor who drives too fast?), but somewhere between the three families — at least one plot is sure to be hysterical.  And it’s great to see a family show where the kids are as funny as the grown-ups!

5.  Being Human

Is anyone else watching this?  It’s quickly won me over.  Well-acted, well-written and somehow completely different from all the other vampire/werewolf/ghost projects.

6.  Boardwalk Empire

I don’t have HBO but I was able to catch the entire season on HBO on Demand in two separate sittings when visiting friends who indulge in premium channels.  It’s an addicting show and it’s great to see Michael Pitt and Steve Buscemi in such great and complex roles.  The characters are so deplorable and yet still sympathetic.  Amazing writing!

7. Community

Sure, the show can be a little uneven at times.  But I love how bold their choices are!  It’s a show about a STUDY GROUP, yet they have managed a zombie episode and a gangster episode.  They will leave no genre untouched.  (This show won me over back when the gang was trying to “can’t buy me love” Abed in Season 1 and told him to approach the cute girl but to be himself, and he said but he (as himself) wouldn’t approach her — so they told him to imagine any version of himself that would and so he approached her…with some creepy vampirish (?) walk….I’m not doing a good job explaining the scene, but those who watch I’m sure remember it.  I rewound that scene several times!)

8. Vampire Diaries

I realize that I am almost (gulp) 20 years older than their target audience, but it’s a great show!  They somehow keep managing to pull off unexpected twists and turns each week.  And it doesn’t hurt that the cast is awfully pretty!

9. Fringe

I do at times find the entire mythology of Fringe a little overwhelming, but luckily most of the episodes are strong enough as stand alone stories that it doesn’t matter too much.  I found Olivia very dull in the first season, but the whole Peter falling for the Other Olivia has made her much more sympathetic.  And the dialogue, dynamic and relationship between Walter and Peter always makes for great entertainment.

10. Parenthood

I love all four of the siblings.  And when they have scenes with just the four of them (at the diner especially), I feel like this show is at its strongest.  The kids and grandparents are at times compelling, but not consistently so — and I find any “work-related” story-lines painfully tedious.  But it does bring me to tears fairly often!    And really makes me want to have a big family someday.

Okay.  So what did I miss?  For what it’s worth:  30 Rock, Castle and The Good Wife came close and definitely reside in spots 11, 12 & 13.  And there was certainly a time when Glee, Brothers & Sisters, The Office and Grey’s Anatomy were in my top 5 — but their current seasons are underwhelming at best (although I certainly still DVR and watch them!)


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