A Slice of Fried Gold

Top TV Shows of 2008

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Traditionally, I'd write a top five or a top 10 list for whatever. Actually, really it would just have to be an interval of five, that's all that really matters. However, this year in television six shows stood out above the rest in my book, so I'm going to stick with six. No more, no less. Below are my six favorite TV shows of 2008.

1. How I Met Your Mother

This combined with the number two show makes me say a euphoric "thank god it's monday!" every week, as it is the perfect way to start the week. It's part Seinfeld, part Arrested Development, but take out the cold, emotionless centers and replace them with heart and realistic relationships. This really feels like a sitcom designed specifically for me.

Kudos to my boy NPH for this as well. He may get all the publicity, but he deserves it. No one on television is funnier than Barney Stinson. No one.

2. Chuck

I love the rest of the shows on the list, but the character of Chuck (brilliantly played by Zachary Levi) is the guy that every nerd wants to be, meaning I relate to him and envy him while watching his antics on television. That's a unique and alluring combination. I find myself grinning uncontrollably while watching this show, as Chuck, Casey (Adam Baldwin), and Sarah (Yvonne Strahovski) go off on another wild mission, from saving the world from a satellite by beating the old arcade game Missile Command while listening to Rush's "Tom Sawyer," to defeating rogue CIA entities embodied by ex-girlfriend and Michael Rooker, to surviving the average day in the Buy More.

In terms of hour long shows, this has the most consistency and one of the most balanced and diverse casts on television. It's the best thing that Josh Schwartz has ever done, yet no one realizes it.

3. Battlestar Galactica

Oh, how the mighty have fallen.

Well, not really. Battlestar is still the best show on TV, it's just this year was the year of the comedy and Bstar Glac only provided me with 10 new episodes this year due to the writers strike and other ridiculousness. It did provide the single best episode of the season (the action packed and gut wrenching finale) and some of the best performances (when did Saul Tigh become the most dynamic character on television?), but it just didn't provide the product necessary to take number one.

However, there's a fairly decent chance I'll fall apart as a human being when the series finale airs some time in 2009. January 16th, 2009, you're too far away!

4. Dexter

Dexter and friends threw down another incredible season full of pitch black humor, tense drama, and buckets of blood, and they didn't lose a step from the first two remarkably great seasons. While the structure changed somewhat, losing the season long killer mystery for the most part, the show did not lack in awesomeness.


The cat and mouse awesomeness between Jimmy Smits' character Miguel Prado and Michael C. Hall's Dexter Morgan. You never really knew who was the cat and who was the mouse, but for the first time in the series, you never really knew for a fact that Dexter was going to make it through unscathed. He met his match, and he met it in his first real friend. Perhaps the two best performances on TV this year were featured here with Smits and Hall absolutely bringing down the house every episode. Incredible work.

5. Lost

Lost was freaking awesome this year. A huge return to prominence, featuring a change in structure from time to time, answers, and significant forward movement. Everything has been said about this show already, so I don't need to say much here. However, I do want to say the number five ranking here isn't to say it wasn't a great season (it was), it just means the other shows were truly exceptional.

Although, I did not like the season finale (I know, I'm the one).

6. Entourage

In the year of televisions most unlikely comeback, after two abysmal seasons (sad but true), Entourage got back to basics and provided us with its single best season. It was back to the hijinks with the crew, the wheeling and dealing by Ari (and his put upon assistant Lloyd), and the mix between the good life and the bad that comes with it that this show should be all about.

More shows need to realize that when they go astray, just get back to basics. Entourage did, and it's better than ever.


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