Best Television of 2011

Exam time at school, so not a lot of time for dilly-dally (or random thoughts in an effort at an introduction).  Let’s get to the list!

Oh how I missed Mad Men this year.  Something to look forward to next year, I suppose.  I tried to put the shows in order as best I could:

1. Breaking Bad: Not just the best television this year but the best example of sustained quality in a team of creative writers, directors, and actors since The Wire.  One of the best television shows of all time.

2. Doctor Who: Stephen Moffat is a genius, and this is truly an extraordinary show.  I have a special weakness for it because I watch it with my kids and we have weird space-time continuum discussions afterwards that enrage and confuse my wife.  Awesome.

3. Fringe: Kind of a cheat pick, because I saw all of them on DVD, but my favorite show of this ilk since Lost, and who knows?  I may like it better.  Anna Torv, especially, has such an odd and engaging cadence and demeanor; she’s almost a female Christopher Walken: high praise, in my book.

4. Game of Thrones: An obsession with my wife and I earlier this year, and it’s really too soon to tell if it will be any good for an extended period.  But, I’ll watch anything with Peter Dinklage.  He’s extraordinary, and this gives him the showcase he deserves.  Also, every time they need to provide exposition, it’s during a scene involving nudity or copulation.  Brilliant.

5. Justified: Season two is not as good as Season one, but still plenty good.  Crackling dialogue, and the performances by Margo Martindale and Jeremy Davies made me forget that Walton Goggins had almost nothing to do.

6. Modern Family: Still very funny, and I think the writers have done an excellent job of deepening the relationships and characters.  It’s not a joke machine, and the humor happens less from the gags than from the quirks of the actors and whom they portray.

7. New Girl: This one could get old really fast, but right now it’s cooking with gas.  Very funny, with terrific, already established characters and relationships.

8. Downton Abbey: Filled the “Mad Men gap” a little bit.  It’s odd, because I really looked forward to this show, and my wife always looks forward to…

9. Sons of Anarchy:  Yes—probably my wife’s favorite show.  She’s got very good taste.  Pulp-Hamlet, Shakespeare on a Harley, whatever you want to call it, it’s really fun.

10. The Killing: I was not disappointed by the finale, actually; I kind of liked it, and I love the lead performance by Mireille Enos.  The middle was a slog, though.

Honorable Mention:


Project Runway

Nurse Jackie

American Horror Story

Work of Art

How I Met Your Mother


True Blood


1 Comment

Filed under Best of Lists, Fringe, Television, Work of Art

One response to “Best Television of 2011

  1. Great list, How I Met Your Mother would be my number 1 comedy though, even over Modern Family!

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