The Best TV Shows of 2010: Where no Ficus Fears to Tread…except me

Posted: December 27, 2010 in Best of...
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Greetings friends. I started off this daunting quest with the intent of creating a top 10 list. After weighing up my options, I realised that this would devalue the whole exercise. 10 is too many. It would mean including a few shows that aren’t mandatory viewing. These are, as I see it, the elite shows of 2010. I am interested in seeing everybody’s opinions. Well at least a person’s opinion. Feel free to post your own top 5.

Now to the order. I see Mad Men and Breaking Bad as interchangeable. But the again, Breaking Bad has Skylar as the ex-wife, Mad Men has Betty. I rest my case (order). Community is the best comedy on television. I give Lost the nod in favour of Fringe as the series finale blew my pants off (even though I was naked at time of viewing).

1. Mad Men

This is perhaps television’s most consistent performer. 2010 saw Don Draper transition from married man to bachelor back to married man. It was a quick 360, but it was one hell of a ride none-the-less.

Other highlights included Don and Peggy forming a close friendship. Given Don’s proclivity towards secrecy, it created a very interesting, although at times awkward, dynamic. Betty continued to discover ‘happiness’ cannot be attained via marriage. At least

not to a Republican…I think America learned this lesson already (High-Five!).

The mid 1960s. Beautiful women. Life after Kennedy. The dawn of the nuclear family. Don    Draper. Enough said really. The shows that exudes class continues to be predictably classy.

2. Breaking Bad

Breaking Bad seems so long ago…that I barely remember what occurred in the 3rd season.

Yet, I do remember that the show continues to be riveting viewing.  Walt’s transformation from mild-mannered science teacher to drug-manufacturing genius is complete. He is now Heisenberg.

So much so that he cannot envision a life without cooking…alot like Jamie Oliver. Jesse continues to be tortured by his girlfriend’s tragic death. This season featured some very gripping scenes, not least of which was where  we saw Heisenberg on the edge of discovery by Hank (his DEA brother in law). The attack by the two twins on Hank was similarly amazing. It is never dull and features superb performances, especially by Cranston. It is the best told story on television. Breaking Bad continues to be mandatory viewing.

3. Community

In a TV season where the Office and Weeds continued on their quest for mediocrity Community stood out as a beacon of intelligence, humour and heart. And liver. And Annie’s Boobs.  While episodes like ‘Modern Warfare’ and ‘Abed’s Uncontrollable Christmas’ will become instantly recognisable classics, the week-to-week antics of our favourite undergrads are always lively. Unlike the stale and directionless ‘Weeds’ or ‘The office’, Community seems to push the boundaries each week. Ambition is the key. The characters continue to develop, sometimes in unexpected directions. Oh and did I mention Abed was awesome? And Alison Brie…

4. Lost

I have mixed feelings about including Lost on this list. For much of the final season I was disgruntled, disinterested and generally feeling dissed. Maybe it was the dysentery. The writers seemed to concoct a lot of weak explanations for much of the phenomena which we, as fans, enjoyed pondering and discussing for hours throughout the show’s 6 season run. The creation of smokey stands out as one example. Yet, the resolution for the characters was nothing short of breathtaking. The finale was stunning, beautiful and truly befitted a show that for all its faults was still an epic.

5. Fringe

In the latter parts of season 2 and the start of season 3 Fringe went from inconsistent monster-of-the-week sci-fi to must watch television. The formulaic episodes which plagued most of its inaugural season gave way to a greater emphasis upon the fringe mythology. Our universe and ‘their’s’ continued to edge towards a showdown of epic proportions. It’s a grand story which, if Fox allows it, may rival Lost. Not in hype, but in actual storytelling acumen.

Tomorrow I will post my ‘Most Disappointing Shows of 2010’ List

Until then, Keep Watching Your Screens


  1. HackSawMcGraw says:

    I was initially disinclined to view your post due to the Spoilers warning, but I managed to get through without experiencing spoiler-based aneurysm. I mostly agree with your list. Except for Mad Men as I haven’t watched it.
    1. Breaking Bad. Was that this year? Excellent storytelling, driving the ongoing story arc whilst managing to break it up with episodes like “Fly” that just blew me away.
    2-6 Lost, Fringe, United States of Tara, Community, and (can I say it?) Big Bang Theory.
    I’ve run out of words now.

  2. Thanks for the feedback Mr McGraw.
    I considered United States of Tara. I thought this past season was by far the strongest. The writers seemed to finally go beyond the idea that it’s fun to poke fun at Tara’s disorder…which it is.
    You can say it. My misanthropic tendencies lead me to dismiss Big bang Theory. There is no doubt it is the best traditional sit-com on air. Hell, the only worthwhile one. It has been a little inconsistent though. The Shamy doesn’t really do it for me either.

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