Tuesday, December 17, 2013

It's that time of year

It's my 'Best and Worst TV of the Year' round up.  Most all of these shows did not come out this year but I did watch them this year, so there you go.

Best Show of the Year (and possibly of all time) -Nighty Night.  Julia Davis's demented tale of one woman's obsessive quest to shag the neighborhood doctor is a masterpiece of black comedy.  Everyone in it is brilliant.  It's so good it hurts, yet I can only watch one episode a night because it's so hard to watch.  Both six episode seasons are on HuluPLUS now.

Best Mainstream Comedies-

  • Moody Christmas. This Australian import focuses on one family's Christmas for six consecutive years.  It's funny, absurd, maddening, and very winning.  And it's got Jane Harber in it.
  • Free Agents. A pair of damaged 30 something people who work at a talent agency fumble around before they find love with one another.  Sharon Horgan shines yet again.
  • The League. Quasi improv comedy about the goings on in and around a fantasy football league.  If you've ever trashed talked or played fantasy football you'll see the humor in this fine show.
  • Louie.  Season three was not as great as seasons past but still head and shoulders above most everything else on TV.
  • The Wrong Mans. A very funny comedy about two schmucks who get in over their heads when one of them answers the wrong cell phone.  James Corden deserves the Nobel prize for comedy.
  • Moone Boy.  In late 1980's Ireland a young boy's imaginary friend helps guide him through his crazy family life and life at school.  Chris O'Dowd is excellent as usual.
  • The Goldbergs.  My favorite new comedy on American TV.  
Best Bad on Purpose Comedies-
  • Garth Marenghi's Darkplace.  Hilarious spoof of supernatural and medical genre TV shows.
  • Danger Force 5. A very funny spoof on the heroic genre of TV shows.  Imported from Australia. 
Best Dramedy-Offspring.  This Aussie import is about the ups and downs in the life of an anxiety prone female obstetrician in an Australian hospital.   Toss in her unconventional family and a few oddball coworkers and you've got yourself a winning combo.  The show uses all kinds of clever tricks to keep things humming along but what keeps me coming back are the fine performances by Asher Keddie and the other females in the cast.  It's the women who carry this show.

Best Dramas-
  • Mad Men.  I know, I know, I swore I'd never watch this show but after a few episodes I got sucked in and before you know it I was screaming for more.  It's hard to watch sometimes, the sexism, the self destructive behaviors, but fuck it, I can't help it, I love it.
  • West Wing.  As soon as this show hit Netflix we watched it obsessively.  Sometimes three episodes a night.  It's preachy and predictable at times but it's always entertaining.  
  • Game of Thrones. My favorite hardcore drama on TV.  I can't wait for season four.
  • Orange is the New Black.  Sparky was reluctant to watch this show about women in prison but after one episode she and I both were hooked.  The performances and the writing are excellent. 
  • House of Cards.  Once I got past Kevin Spacey's southern accent I very much liked this show.
  • Treme.  Life in post Katrina New Orleans.  It's a big sprawling messy gumbo of a show and I loved most all of it.
Worst Shows of the Year-
  • Whale Wars: Viking Shores.  The Sea Shepards go to the Faroe Islands to try to make the residents stop eating a non endangered whale.  Holy shit, it's awful, it's disingenuous, and it's a waste of time.  
  • Weeds.  Ugh.  The last season was awful.  But what did I expect, after all, the two seasons preceding it were pretty thin.  And oh boy, the fact that it drives Mary Louise Parker bat shit crazy when people like me on the internet criticize her performance in this show, well that's just icing on the cake because she's awful in this last season.  Maybe if she'd done every episode topless, that might have made it tolerable, but I doubt it.
  • Psychoville.  No.  Just no.  I hated everything about this show.  I even hated Dawn French in it and that's saying something because I usually love Dawn French in most everything she does.  But not this.  No.  Just.  NO.
Best Animation-
  • Adventure Time.  Trippy and surreal cartoon about a kid and his shape changing dog.  Nothing is explained, everything just is and if you don't like it, then that's your problem.  Accept it and roll with it.  It's allegedly aimed at kids but there's a lot of adult jokes in it.  
  • Bob's Burgers.  Kristen Schaal, one of my comedy crushes, makes this show worth watching.  Her wisecracking kid character is consistently the funniest thing on this show.


Professor Chaos said...

I never could get past Spacey's horrible accent. His whole voice-over part just ruined any chance I had of enjoying that show.

P.S. Have you checked out Derek? It's so much better than I thought it would be.

gmb said...

Forwarding this to some folks. Love your recommends.

Dr. Monkey Hussein Monkerstein said...

I did not care for 'Derek.'