A Slice of Fried Gold

Favorite TV Shows of 2011

Tuesday, January 3, 2012
Treat yo self to my list
Today's 2011 in Review list is going to be...my favorite TV shows of 2011!

Now, to be honest, being gone half of the year made it pretty easy to fall behind on a lot of TV shows. That said, I did my best to catch up on the ones I used to love and there were some I honestly couldn't miss no matter what I did. Regardless, because of missing so many, this will only be a top five list.

But what a top five! I love all five of them, with one of them having a new season coming on my birthday and the top pick having a theme song that currently is my ringtone. Yeah! Find out my picks after the jump.

5. Justified

Justified makes the list because its second season was one of the best acted shows on television. True story. I mean, at your base you have the amazing Timothy Olyphant as Raylan Givens, giving TV its best Western hero with an awesome blend of vigilante tendencies and a fierce moral compass. But then you have a list of character actors who managed to overshadow him, like the incredible Walton Goggins as Boyd Crowder, Nick Searcy as Raylan's boss art, Jeremy Davies as the cruel, conniving Dickie Bennett, and the Emmy winning Margo Martindale as the truly evil Mags Bennett. Every episode was packed with fantastic performances, and I can't wait to see what the new season brings...and it's coming on my birthday!

4. Community

I have no idea how every person on the planet does not know this show (and I know some who do not). With an incredible ensemble cast that brings something a little bit different to the show (they're like a well crafted basketball team, and everyone of them knows Bill Simmons' secret of what makes a team work), one of the best romances on television (Troy and Abed...pure magic), and a bevy of bizarre and amazing recurring characters (POP POP!), this show's cup runneth over with awesome and imagination. I mean, this show had a two episode arc about a paintball fight, the world's most explainable zombie outbreak, and an episode that basically mirrored My Dinner with Andre. It's outrageous, but it's also infectious, funny and entirely charming.

3. Boardwalk Empire

Some think this show is too cold to ever be great, but I think they must have missed the second season. With two phenomenal co-leads in Steve Buscemi and Michael Pitt as gangsters done in the best way (you can't be half a gangster, as season two proved), you know this show is going to be steady and well acted. But the production value of it makes it hard for me to not keep typing "movie" when I mean to say show. HBO and the team of Boardwalk Empire have made something that blurs the edges between TV drama and film drama, with stellar scores, cinematography, casting and scripting throughout the whole production. It may not be my favorite show, but it's hard to argue that it couldn't be considered the best.

2. Homeland

The Walking Dead had very unfortunate circumstances for its second season. I always would watch The Walking Dead first and then Homeland, and because they were both high end cable dramas on Sunday, I would unfailingly compare the two. While that might not be fair to the former, that's only because Homeland was so spectacular. With a tense, driving first season that was highlighted by lead performances from Claire Danes and Damian Lewis that, in my opinion, should win the Emmy's for their respective categories, this show was the best freshman show and a testament to how Showtime sometimes is every bit as good as HBO. The first season ended in spectacular fashion, with what the second season will look like completely up in the air. I'll be watching, and please god, don't tell me I will have to wait a long time for it.

1. Parks and Recreation

This is far and away my favorite show on television. The funniest show out there, the one with the most heart, the one with the best characters, everything. I adore every aspect of this show as well as every character that is featured in it. I never know what direction an episode will go, but I know that at any given moment it could make me laugh harder than anything else or be more emotionally resonant than anything else as well. It's the best kind of comedy, because it also excels at the drama and reality of life. A lot of people compare it to The Office, but it approaches its characters as real people, not caricatures. Sure, some are ridiculous at times (namely, Andy and Chris), but always in truly endearing, real ways. It's so far past The Office in quality it is like the two shows aren't even in the same realm any more.

Bonus points to Parks and Rec though for having the best character on television as well: Ron Swanson is the man. He's one of my all-time favorite characters in anything, and nearly everything he does makes me laugh to a degree that I previously thought TV was incapable of doing. Bravura work by Nick Offerman, and good god people, get this guy an Emmy already!

3 comments:

Bobbie said...

So? Am I the only one reading? Another good list, although I only watch one of your five. Your birthday and Justified - could it get any better?

Patty said...

I do like a couple of this. Maybe I should try the others out!

Amanda Jorgenson said...

You are well on your way to being a Ron Swanson. Keep it up.

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