Essential TV 2009

December 8, 2009

The next 4 Essentials posts, the last 4 of the year, will be “best- of” lists on books, music, movies and TV. Those that make the lists won’t be exclusively from 2009, but made up of my favorites I saw/heard/read for the first time in this year.

First up: TV

1.    Flight of the Conchords: Seasons 1 & 2. This is one of my favorite shows of all time. It’s about two clueless members of a band trying to make it in NYC, except their songs are awful, so awful/awesome they become parody songs.

2.    Summer Heights High– Only 8 episodes were ever made of this crazy show. I really don’t know how to explain it. The star, creator and writer plays 3 parts: drama teacher, troubled boy, and popular girl at Summer Heights High.

3.    Damages: Season 1 – Glenn Close is so scary in this murder thriller, and how about Ted Dansen? I never knew he could actually act before this.

4.    In Treatment: Season 1 – What a excellent idea. Gabriel Byrne plays a therapist treating 4 clients and eters therapy himself. Each episode is one session, each client always showed on a certain weekday (this show aired 5 times a week) The writing and acting are something to marvel at. It’s just the two of them, Byre and his patient, for the episode. It takes great talent to hold tension for so long

5.   Arrested Development: Seasons 1, 2, & 3- I’m going to be original here and just say: it’s funny.

6.   Friday Night Lights– I heard critics rave about this show for years and years, and the they were right. This drama about a high school football team is unbelievable. If you watch the pilot (reminiscent of Remember the Titans), I think you’ll be hooked just like I was.

7.    Community– I love Joel McHale, but I always love Troy (Donald Glover) and Abed’s (Danny Pudi) bits at the end.

8.    V– Best new drama this season.

9.    The Office, (USA)- Until this year, I refused to watch this show because I LOVE the British version so much, but I gave in once Netflix put it on instant view. The first few episodes of USA are complete copies of the UK edition, but after that, Michael Scott found his footing in a new way. ANd even though the name and general idea are the same, the 2 editions are completely different because they were both tailored to their respective audiences.

10.  Gossip Girl: Season 1- I tried this show and loved it. I heard it got really bad in the 2nd and 3rd seasons, but in season 1 its more like Dawson’s Creek, just more high fashion and with more money. But at the end of the season, I knew I’d never watch another episode.