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Top Ten Best TV Shows of 2010

Fox's House M.D. is billed at the world's most watched TV show Fox's House M.D. is billed at the world's most watched TV show

It’s always difficult to pick ten shows out of a hat and declare them the best of any given year. There’s always new ones popping up and old ones coming back. Characters are killed off and new ones added, and plot lines swerve about wildly.

The best TV shows have one thing in common, however - a cast that works well together and scriptwriters that rock the storyline. This year’s top 10 best TV shows all have those two things in spades.


Best Cop TV Series: Southland

Dropped by NBC after a stellar first season, Southland was promptly snapped up by TNT, a network famed for cop shows The Closer and Saving Grace as well as being home away from home for countless Law and Order reruns. Southland features an incredible cast including Ben McKenzie (The OC, 88 Minutes) and Tom Everett Scott (Law and Order).

Tough as nails Regina King (who played Cuba Gooding Jr’s character’s wife in Jerry McGuire) and a sexy blonde Ariji Bareikis (HBO’s Oz) round out the cast for what promises to be a knock ‘em dead third season of this gritty cop drama set in downtown Los Angeles.

Best Sci-Fi Series: FRINGE

The best thing since The X-Files, FRINGE was a show no-one was watching at first. As the first season progressed, however, it slowly picked up viewer-ship and now each season is anticipated more eagerly than the last. A ‘smart’ sci-fi show is hard to find, but FRINGE delivers.

Joshua Jackson (Dawson’s Creek) plays Peter Bishop; the former heartthrob has turned into quite the edgy actor. The role of Walter, his father, is brilliantly carried off by the ever versatile John Noble (All Saints, LOTR). A deadpan Anna Torv plays the straight-laced special agent Olivia Dunham, part of the FBI’s super secret Fringe Division. An alternate universe setting allows for infinite subplots as their alternate selves battle for control.

Best Medical Series: House, M.D.

Forget the touchy feely drama of Grey’s Anatomy and Private Practice - finally there’s a medical series that a guy can appreciate. Hugh Laurie’s deadpan brand of wicked humor slinks out of its British haunts and develops an American accent. As Gregory House, Laurie (Blackadder, Flight of the Phoenix) plays an irascible medical diagnostic genius with rapier wit that he doesn’t mind stabbing people with - repeatedly.

This season House finally managed to get his boss Lisa Cuddy into his bed (which is awesome, because it means lots of shots of her in her underwear - and she’s smokin’.) If FOX can manage not to cancel House (the network has a bad habit of ditching really good shows once viewers become invested) we can hope for many more seasons of Laurie’s sharp tongue saying all the things we wish we could think of at just the right time - but never do.

Best Comedy Series: The Office / Chuck

These two shows have taken interesting turns over the past year. While Pam and Jim’s wedding was thankfully not a complete sap-fest (applause for yet another wacky rendition of the famous JK Wedding Entrance), the baby sub-plot threatened to take The Office in a decidedly boring direction. Never fear - Rainn Wilson is here. Dwight can make any situation funny and a little bit alarming - and his idea of child care is avant garde.

To tie up the nomination for best comedy, Chuck has seen the star of the show (Zachary Levi, Less than Perfect) go from bumbling office geek to suave international spy and back again. Chuck’s girlfriend, Sarah Walker, is played by the incredibly fit and flexible Yvonne Strahovski (Polish by way of Australia). Adam Baldwin appears as Colonel John Casey. Lots of guns, shooting, and interesting lingerie designed to hold weaponry.

Best New Series: The Walking Dead

This miniseries on AMC was supposed to be a one-off. The show debuted on Halloween, and describes the Zombie Apocalypse from the viewpoint of survivors from the Atlanta, Georgia area. Due to incredible viewer response the show is promised to return in 2011 - again on October 31st. This gives folks plenty of time to catch up on the series if they missed it and peruse the original comic series for alternate plot lines.

BBC actor Andrew Lincoln (Love Actually, Heartbreaker) drops his English accent and evolves into a southern-fried sheriff’s deputy from King’s County, Georgia, who wakes up in the hospital after a shooting to find himself alone in a city of - you guessed it - the walking dead. No spoilers; just be warned that these zombies aren’t quite like anything you’ve ever seen before.

Rounding out the top ten best TV shows of 2010 are the following:

Best Cable Series: Breaking Bad

AMC again - and it just keeps getting better. What will Walt and sidekick Jesse do next? Or rather - who will they kill… and what about the battered brother-in-law? This year’s season of Breaking Bad was the best ever - let’s hope the trend continues.

Best Western Series: Justified

After dragging out Nip/Tuck for at least two seasons longer than they should have, FX promptly regained our confidence with a terrific down-home country-boy series. Timothy Olyphant (Deadwood) wears his hat and his gun with confidence and the female cast is brimming with pencil skirt primness (his ex-wife) and daisy-duke wearing home grown audacity (his girlfriend). Walt Goggins as the lunatic bible quoting bad guy is nothing short of brilliant. Justified is the show to watch.

Best Series for Gunplay and High Speed Car Pursuits: Chase

Annie, get your gun. The pint-sized boot wearing US Marshal is tough as nails and her team measures up. Chase promises to be the new ‘In Plain Sight’ - with a little less angst and a lot more action.

Best Reality Show: Penn and Teller

Forget American Idol and Dancing With the Stars. Forget Fear Factor and Survivor. A real reality show has… cheerleaders! Penn and Teller never disappoint; no roses, no tiki torches, no renditions of “I Will Always Love Yoooooo.” Just reality. For reals.

Best ‘Just for Fun’ TV Show: Castle

Finally, if you’re looking for something that crosses genres, you can’t go wrong with Castle. Nathan Fillion stars as a Rick Castle, a crime novelist who leverages his friendship with the mayor of New York into an excuse to tag along after a homicide detective for inspiration after killing off his hero. As Detective Kate Beckett, Stana Katic is definitely inspirational - looking good both in a flak jacket and a cleavage baring evening gown. Castle’s got something for everyone: a little steampunk, a little Gothic chic - and a lot of murder and mayhem.

That’s it for 2010 - but all of these shows are slated to return in 2011, so if you haven’t seen them, check out Netflix, On Demand, and Hulu.

© Copyright RosebudMag.com, 2010

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Hugh Laurie and the cast show their human side! :-)
Last modified on Thursday, 18 October 2012 18:15

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