Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Best TV of 2008

Like Liz and her music, I am a connoisseur of television. Sometimes, I wonder how I ever lived without a DVR (and how anyone lives without HBO). I'm pretty sure I watched more TV this year than ever in my life, and here are my pics for the best of the best (I've included a memorable quote from each show because, you know, I effing love me some quotes):

10. Real Time with Bill Maher HBO - Sure, The Daily Show and The Colbert Report are more popular, but Real Time is, for my money, the best political program on TV. In an exciting election season, Bill talked about things others ignored and contributed greatly to the most encouraging election in my lifetime. Memorable Quote: "You know who's bitter in America? I am, because shit-kickers voted twice for a retarded guy they wanted to have a beer with and everybody else had to suffer the consequences." - Bill Maher

9. Summer Heights High HBO - Like Flight of the Conchords last year, nothing made me laugh harder. Australian Chris Lilley is a bloody genius. MQ: "No offense but I seriously hate all fat people." -Ja'mie

8. Battlestar Gallactica Sci-Fi - The re-imaged nerdfest just keeps getting better. I won't say much about this season, as Liz is still catching up, but I eagerly await the final installment of this incredible series early next year. Thanks to Dave for getting me into this show. MQ: "Old gods die hard." - Six

7. The Office NBC - While I think this show is failing to live up to the terrific first seasons, I still love the Dunder-Mifflin gang...especially Michael. His love, and loss, with Holly this season was perfection. I never thought I'd say this, but more Michael and the randoms, less Jim and Pam drama, please. MQ: "As it turns out, you can't just check someone into rehab against their will. They have to do it voluntarily. They have to hit rock bottom. So I think I know what I need to do at this point. I need to find ways to push Meredith to the bottom. Um. I think I can do it. I did it with Jan." - Michael Scott

6. Pushing Daisies ABC - We're big fans around these parts of this already canceled gem. Creator Bryan Fuller is apparently cursed to be too creative for his own good. 'Tis a shame. MQ: "The pie-maker considered how not telling Chuck the truth about her father was a lot like being locked in a prison. Then he considered how being locked in a prison was actually much worse than some silly metaphor about truth." - Narrator

5. Ashes to Ashes BBC - It wouldn't be a TV list by Red if there wasn't some British show you've never heard of. This show, a sequel to the BBC version of Life on Mars, follows a modern cop, who is shot and wakes up in the 80's. It's totally awesome, mainly because of the performance by Philip Glenister as DCI Gene Hunt, who can sexually harass me anytime. MQ: "Right! How many birds does it take to screw in a light bulb? Two! One to run around screaming 'What do I do?' and one to shag the electrician!" - Gene Hunt

4. 30 Rock NBC - Oh, Liz Lemon. Can I move to NYC, move in with you and make you my best friend? Pretty please? MQ: "[The Postmaster General and I] had a falling out over the Jerry Garcia stamp. If I wanted to lick a hippie, I'd return Joan Baez's phone calls." - Jack Donaghy

3. The Wire HBO - I almost forgot the final season aired this year. One of the best TV shows ever came to a close and, while not the best season of the series, it left me satisfied. I love seeing actors from The Wire pop up everywhere from 300 to Lost to the 90210 remake. Every time, it's like seeing an old friend. MQ: "The bigger the lie, the more they believe." - Bunk

2. Mad Men AMC - What a year for our friends at Sterling Cooper. Year of the ladies...and it was incredible. This show makes me long for the days of dresses and suits and drinking in the office. And then there's Joan. Sweet, sweet Joan. *sigh* MQ: "One day you're there and then all of the sudden there's less of you. And you wonder where that part went — if it's living somewhere outside of you — and you keep thinking maybe you'll get it back and then you realize it's just gone." - Peggy Olsen

1. Generation Kill HBO - What do you get when you take a fascinating and funny book about recon Marines entering Iraq, hand it to the brilliant David Simon and Ed Burns, mix in a ton of hot dudes and put it on HBO? Simply, the greatest TV production of 2008. Catch it today on DVD. MQ: "Saddam is just part of the problem, if Saddam invested more in the pussy infrastructure of Iraq than he did in his fucking gay ass army, then this country would be no more fucked up than say, Mexico." - Cpl. Josh Ray Person

Honorable Mentions:
Life - Please watch this show before they cancel it. Gingers everywhere will thank you.
Skins - BBC America calls it their version of Gossip Girl. It is, if GG were, like, a zillion times better.
True Blood - I never expected to enjoy a vampire show so much.
Lost - I'm all caught up now and I'm hooked. My mind has been sufficiently blown.

Let the debate begin...


Liz said...

I'm so there with you on The Office. I've been lying to myself about it for a while, but - aside from a few choice scenes - Jim and Pam aren't really funny any more. Michael Scott is amazingly ridiculous though

Garney said...

Great list... I know you don't have The Shield on here because you never watched it, but Vic Mackey is seriously the greatest antihero to ever hit television.

I completely agree with your #1 pick... here's one of my favorite quotes from Gen Kill:

People been fighting over this bitch since ancient times, Dog. How many graves we standing on? Think about all the wisdom and science and money and civilization it took to build these machines, and the courage of all the men who came here, and the love of their wives and children that was in their hearts. And all that hate, Dog. All the hate it took to blow these motherfuckers away. It's destiny, Dog. White man's gotta rule the world.
- Sgt Espera

pistols at dawn said...

Now that the Wire's over, I'm looking forward to seeing the entire series in the next 3-5 years, just long enough that no one will reference it anymore. TV on DVD really ruins me for watching anything in a timely fashion.

To me, TV's sort of like that booty call you always know will be around - there's no reason to make time for her, but you'll check her out a few times when nothing better's going on.

McGone said...

I thought "Mad Men" was a lock for #1. You continue to surprise me.

Pam and Jim aren't working but I did like his final "Screw you" to her a few weeks ago when he told her he needed 4 copies instead of 3.

Dave H said...

*spoiler alert*

Liz is the final Cylon.

Catherinette Singleton said...

Damn it!! Why didn't I know about Ashes to Ashes?? I freaking LOVED the original version of Life on Mars. I've been robbed!!

BeckEye said...

"The Office" has been great this season. I'm sort of afraid though that I AM Liz Lemon, especially after she realized that Steve Martin would've been her perfect man if they would just sit around watching bad TV all day.

I kind of like Jim and Pam because they haven't been given the typical "keep pulling them apart" bullshit that most on-screen couples have to endure to keep things "lively." They're like a real couple. I like it. Of course, I like Michael more.

I thoroughly enjoyed Season 1 of "Mad Men" on DVD, so I'm looking forward to getting caught up. I did tell you that my roommate had a Mad Men-themed birthday party, right? That was a shitload of fun, except for around 8 am when my massive alcohol consumption finally caught up with me, woke me up, and forced me into the bathroom.

words words words said...

I haven't actually seen most of the shows on your list. But my favorites this season are 30 Rock, Pushing Daisies, House, ER (yes, still) and Chuck, which apparently no one but me watches despite how kickass it is. I guess everyone's watching Dancing With The "Stars".

K and/or K said...

Pam and JIm are boring me to peices. I look at the clock waiting for some Tracy Morgan to crack my butt up.

I know it's not in this leaugue at all, but completely guilty pleasure of mine? Gossip Girl. I know, right? But Chuck Bass has me hooked.

Liz said...

I'm glad The Office isn't doing the usual "pull them apart/push them together/pull them apart" bs most shows do, I just wish they'd give the characters a few funny lines still. That episode when they were on opposite sides of the chairs/coppier debate was good because they got to be in love but still be funny

BeckEye said...

Oh, at the beginning there, I meant to say "30 Rock." Duh.

Mathdude said...

Terrible, terrible, terrible, as usual. Just kidding. I don't have HBO so I guess I'm "missing out".

Pushing Daisies? Really. Pushing Daisies. Aptly named if you asked me. I do like Life. You see the season finale last night? Crews was shot and killed. Or was he?

Dropout! said...

This is kind of an old post, but I just wanted to let you know you may have forced me to watch Ashes to Ashes with that quote. Awesome.