I think I like my programs a little more than Wes and Todd, so it is fitting that I should write this up. It was a pretty good year in television overall, but there were some disappointments. True Blood followed 10 different storylines at the same time and couldn’t keep it all together. Dexter fell apart in the second half. Walking Dead trashed an opportunity with a lackluster second season. And Californication started to jump off the rails in a really bad way. But all in all, I can’t complain. Here ya go.
Parks & Recreation
I’m not sure that Parks & Rec really even hit a steady stride until Season 2, but it has been on fire since then. In Season 4, the relationship between Leslie and Ben manages to be one of the few hilarious TV relationships. Rob Lowe’s character, after maybe getting a little too much screen time in Season 3, has been relegated to a great but minor supporting role. In addition, the rest of the supporting cast is as awesome as ever.
Key Episode: “Pawnee Rangers”
3 words to describe this episode…TREAT YO’ SELF
The first season of Justified was good, if a little uneven. Throughout the first season, the show had a bit of trouble trying to balance the episodic and serialized formats. Season 2 was a completely balanced western masterpiece complete with conflicted criminals (Walton Goggins as Boyd Crowder and Margo Martinadale as Mags Bennett), damsels in distress (Joelle Carter as Ava Crowder and Natalie Zea as Winona Hawkins), and one badass strong, silent type hero to save the day (Timothy Olyphant as Raylan Givens). With the cast this show has assembled, this show could easily hit the top of the list any given year.
Key Episode: “Brother’s Keeper”
Coover Bennett is killed by Raylan, and Mags blames her other son Dickie for the death. Heartbreaking, poignant, and white-knuckle drama.
What some might consider a bit of a down season for Breaking Bad is still better than most every other show. The tension between Walt and Gus slowly builds throughout the season until the drama explodes in the last 2 episodes, and Walt turning the corner from corrupted husband and father to full-on devil. Particularly interesting are the flashbacks showing Gus’ history and entry into the drug trade.
Key Episode: “Salud”
3 words to describe this episode…Mexican Cartel Massacre!
Curb Your Enthusiasm
It is unheard of for any show really to have its best season during its 8th season. Curb Your Enthusiasm performed this feat in my opinion. I think Cheryl exiting the show has been positive to breathe more life into it, and allow Larry to be more ridiculous. Also, keeping Leon around after the Black’s left was a stroke of genius. There are too many highlights to mention, so just check this season out when you get a chance.
Key Episode: “The Safe House”
Larry’s interactions with victims of domestic abuse could not be more priceless.
Game of Thrones
I had expectations for this show, but they were based solely on the facts that it was on HBO and Peter Dinklage is the best little person actor in Hollywood. What ensued was a show that was forced to start slowly due to the ridiculous amount of characters. But with every new character and sliver of backstory that was given I fell more in love with the show. Game of Thrones also made the boldest move of any show I have ever seen by killing off the main character 2/3 of the way through the first season. It may also be in the book, but come on, that is awesome.
Key Episode: “Fire & Blood”
3 words to describe this episode…Mother F***** Dragons
Todd – South Park Season 15
South Park continues an impressive run of solid seasons, and Season 15 is no different. As long as Trey and Matt keep pumping out episodes, I’ll keep watching.
Key Episode: “Royal Pudding”
3 words to describe this episode…As is Tradition
Wes – First half of Dexter Season 6
What started off as a promising return to form with the great guest appearance by Mos Def as Brother Sam and solid additions of Colin Hanks and Edward James Olmos turned sour in the second half. Mos Def was gone, Olmos disappeared, and Dexter’s sister wanted to bang him. Terrible. Just Terrible.
Key Episode: “A Horse of a Different Color”
Dexter examining faith with the help of Brother Sam is great drama, and thought-provoking.
Austin – Shameless Season 1
The Gallagher kids are the stars of this series, not Frank (William H. Macy). Every kid has their moment in the spotlight during the first season, with the eldest Fiona (Emmy Rossum) being the main focus. The acting is phenomenal; one of the funniest shows on television. And Emmy Rossum is smoking hot.
Key Episode: “Killer Carl”
Up until this point, all you knew was Carl was a little bit off. In this episode Carl really proves he is crazy. Awesome.