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> TV of The Year 2011, You list them
Sostie
post Dec 12 2011, 11:07 AM
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You know what to do. Tell us about your favourites (and least favourites)
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logger
post Dec 12 2011, 11:17 AM
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Archer
Boardwalk Empire
and even though I thought I was going to hate it I really liked Game of Thrones.
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maian
post Dec 12 2011, 12:53 PM
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I'll need a little time to think of everything, but these are the ones that spring to mind:

Breaking Bad - The third season was one of the best seasons of television I've ever seen, and the fourth somehow wound up being even better. Best show on TV bar none.
Parks and Recreation - It started the year with a great, if slightly truncated third season and ended it with a very, very good first half of its fourth. I'm so excited about seeing how Leslie's election campaign plays out next year.
Community - The second season was, for me, better than the first, and whilst the third season has been less consistent overall so far, it's still streets ahead.
Friday Night Lights - Ended on its strongest season with a series finale that stands as one of the all time greats. Just thinking about it gets me a bit misty-eyed.
Fringe - The third season got even more ambitious and crazy, and whilst I'm not loving the fourth as much so far, it's still a terrific science fiction series.
The Story of Film - Yes, Mark Cousins has a fucking grating voice and some of the things he says are pretensious nonsense, but this epic attempt to cover the history of film from the silent era to the modern day was ambitious, insightful and full of a real love of the power of cinema.
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dandan
post Dec 12 2011, 01:33 PM
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hmmm...

'archer', 'bored to death' and, of course, 'it's always sunny in philadelphia' have been the kings of the year once again.

still, the best thing i have watched was 'the ascent of man' which, quite frankly, might just be one of the best television series ever made. ever. if you haven't seen it, then order the dvds from the usual places, it will be amongst the best use of £15 you have ever made. ever.

notable mentions for 'ugly americans', 'extreme fishing with robson green', the final season of 'entourage' and 'true blood', which were all diverting and amusing in their own ways.

i've also watched 'caprica', which was good when it was good and bad when it was bad. it got much better, but was never great...

i have also started watching 'fringe', again: i stopped after a first attempt, then started watching it again with a friend of mine as everyone seems to think it's brilliant. it isn't. if we hadn't committed ourselves to watching all of the first season, no matter how bad it got, then we would've stopped. it isn't sci-fi, it's fantasy. it's really fucking silly and full of ludicrousness, it's insanely formulaic and almost always massively predictable, but made watchable as it doesn't seem to take itself very seriously...

i've also watched 'breaking bad'. i thought the first season was very, very good, the second was a little poor and there were some really good moments in the third and fourth, but i just wish they'd end it and i don't hold out any hope for the next season. basing narrative arcs around moments of uncharacteristic behaviour has gotten boring...
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sweetbutinsane
post Dec 12 2011, 01:42 PM
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I think I've only really watched Torchwood: Miracle Day and The Vampire Diaries (season three) this year and I really enjoyed/am enjoying both. The ending of the former was disappointing as it created plot holes the size of Texas but I still thought the series as a whole was very good. The latter is ridiculously convoluted at times but oddly compelling so I love it anyway.

Edit: Oh, and I watched Derren Brown's The Experiments, which was also very good. I just wish it had been slightly longer.

This post has been edited by sweetbutinsane: Dec 12 2011, 01:43 PM
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logger
post Dec 12 2011, 04:32 PM
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I did rewatch all of the Sopranos this year, which is something I think everyone should do, it's easily the greatest tv show ever, it's quite possibly the greatest work of art of the electric media, it's only weakness being that of television, although this does offer it a few advantages over film. By the end, I actually felt appreciation for how good it was and the fact that it even exists in the first place, which is something that tv very rarely inspires.
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Raven
post Dec 13 2011, 01:24 PM
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I've been thinking about this on and off since yesterday morning, and I'll be damned if I can think of a stand-out televsion moment (or program) of the year.

There must be something, surely?
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NiteFall
post Dec 13 2011, 01:32 PM
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I think Castle is probably the most consistently enjoyable show I've been watching this year, although for single-episode goodness, Doctor Who did very well with The Doctor's Wife and The Girl who Waited being standouts in a very good, but slightly uneven series. As for shows that have been around for ages, but I've only just got round to watching, the award has to go to Arrested Development. There would be a trophy, but like the guy in the $3000 suit is going to go and pick up a crummy trophy? Come on!

This post has been edited by NiteFall: Dec 13 2011, 01:32 PM
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gulfcoast_highwa...
post Dec 13 2011, 03:31 PM
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Community
Shameless (US)
Game Of Thrones
Boardwalk Empire
Sons Of Anarchy
Glee (shut up)
Hung
The Walking Dead
Lost Girl
Nikita
Emmerdale
True Blood
Coronation Street when it heavily features Jane Danson or Alison King
and probably other stuff I'l remember later.

This post has been edited by gulfcoast_highwayman: Dec 13 2011, 03:31 PM
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Outatime
post Dec 13 2011, 07:30 PM
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Dexter season 4 was my stand out tv series this year I think, season 5 was good too but not as good as season 4.

One off dramas I think probably the Fred West drama Appropriate Adult.
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sweetbutinsane
post Dec 13 2011, 08:02 PM
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Oh, just remembered my least favourite programme of the year - The Fades. In the end I was watching it just to take the piss out of it.

This post has been edited by sweetbutinsane: Dec 13 2011, 08:02 PM
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Raven
post Dec 13 2011, 09:47 PM
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I think, for me, it's been a pretty lack-lustre year.

As I said above, I can't really remember any stand out series or any exceptional televisual moments (unlike 2010 with the debut of Sherlock and Matt Smith taking over as the Doctor).

Anyway, here is my review are my ramblings on some of the more nerdy programs I’ve been watching this year:

As I've mentioned Mr. Smith, I guess I'll start with Doctor Who. For me this year has been relatively poor when compared to last. I thought Smith had a cracking start to his time in the TARDIS, and although his first series wasn't without its flaws, The Eleventh Hour and the two part Pandorica finale were all cracking stories, and a good tonic after Tennant’s grim, moribund specials. Roll around to April this year, though, and someone put a brick under the wheels, and – to fan horror everywhere – it turned out to be HE WHO SHALL BE WORSHIPPED, Mr. Steven Moffat. Smith was still as good as ever, but the convoluted plot built up around his Doctor just pulled the series down. It wasn't too confusing, as a lot have claimed, it was just far too involved for a piece of Saturday night light entertainment. There were some good episodes, though, with my favourite being The Girl Who Waited for telling a decent science fiction story with real feeling. Top marks to Gillan and Darvill for that one. Hopefully next year the show will go back to feeling less of a slog.

The other big "British" science fiction effort of the year was Torchwood: Miracle Day, which spectacularly failed to capitalise on the excellence of Children of Earth by telling the same story again without delivering a fraction of the same claustrophobic atmosphere. The implications of no one dying anymore, and the world that would create, could have been used much more effectively but it just felt as though an issue was raised, touched on in passing and then they were on to the next "What if?" idea. Perhaps the canvas was too broad in the first place, or perhaps the show just had too many episodes to play out over, but it lacked focus, and then suffered from the ignominy of a classic RTD ending: “No, it wasn’t the government, it was this thing you’ve never heard of before, looked after by these people you’ve never heard of either...” Unlike many, I didn't have a problem with the series shifting to America, but I did have a huge problem with the terrible acting from Mekhi Phifer - he was awful! And then there was the woefully misconceived Oswald Danes. What the hell were they thinking when they created him? Neither he nor his situation made an ounce of sense! There is the argument that this is effectively a new show, and that this is in effect it's first series, but if it does get renewed - which looks doubtful at this point - it's got a lot of work to do to get back to the heady heights it touched in series three.

The best British program I've seen this year, in the science fiction/fantasy vein, has to be Merlin, which just keeps going from strength to strength as a series. Out are the previous series tongue-in-cheek episodes, and in their place is a much darker and interesting form of story telling. The leads all put in sterling performances, but it is the building chemistry between Merlin and Arthur that carries the show, along with Merlin's friendship with Gaius. It's a perfect blend of sword and sorcery, with baddies you can hiss at and good guys you can cheer for, but it's never twee and is always entertaining.

Which is more than can be said for the show that kryptonite itself couldn't kill, but the lead actor pushing forty finally did; Smallville. I include this here only because the beast is now, finally (at least on the small screen, anyway), dead. For the last ten years we've watched the many trials and tribulations of our hero in waiting as he got to grips with his heritage, his abilities and the odd small-town girl. It's been a bumpy ride, and one that like Stargate SG-1 before it seemed destined to go on forever largely by dint of it not being particularly offensive to anyone. It had the odd cracking episode (though in later years they were fewer and farther between) and it had some real clunkers as well (though, again, they weren't as prevalent this year as they have been either). Hey, once you’ve found your gear, why change it, eh? And so, what about the big reveal; Clark stepping up to the plate and taking his place as The Man of Steel? Well, perhaps Warner Brothers are leaving that story for the movie next year, because when the moment finally came all we really got to see was a shot borrowed straight from Superman Returns and a Christopher Reeves inspired shirt rip – a poor pay off for ten years viewing. So long Clark et al, we'd probably care more that you are gone, but you put us all to sleep somewhere in season six...

I think the program I’ve looked forward to watching the most this year, and the one that has made me laugh most often, is The Big Bang Theory, which now seems to be in a curious no-win scenario of its own creating. When it first started it was slated because it painted nerds in a bad light, then people started to get the joke and now it is being derided for being too popular, I guess some you can’t win. But for me, this 25 minute slice of popular culture mixed with quantum physics is a pure joy to watch each week. Yes, it’s American, so it does go a bit overboard in the “whoop!” stakes occasionally, but by and large the relationships are well judged and the performances of the ever expanding cast are excellent. Top marks have to go to the Emmy award winning Jim Parsons though, for making Sheldon one of the great comedy performances currently on television.
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Ade
post Dec 14 2011, 09:10 PM
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I have watched virtually no television all year. I think the only thing I watched consistently was Series 2 of Downton Abbey, which was excellent.
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mcraigclark
post Dec 14 2011, 11:05 PM
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True Blood, The Walking Dead, and Archer are standouts for me, but I haven't watched much this year.
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maian
post Dec 14 2011, 11:29 PM
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I forgot to mention that Justified and Louie were two of my highlights this year. Both followed up great first seasons with even better second ones, with the former deepening its world nicely by introducing Jeremy Davies and the magnificent Margot Martindale as the season's villains. It also maintained the mix of action, snappy dialogue and light but moody tone that made the first season such a joy.

Louie was just marvelous, with each new episode pushing the boundaries of what television can do. Louis C.K. is the closest thing that American television has to a true auteur, and I loved seeing the little absurdist shorts he produced every week, offering illuminating, often painful insights into his life as a single father whilst also remaining funny and inventive. The episode with Doug Stanhope was particularly great.

QUOTE (logger @ Dec 12 2011, 04:32 PM) *
I did rewatch all of the Sopranos this year, which is something I think everyone should do, it's easily the greatest tv show ever, it's quite possibly the greatest work of art of the electric media, it's only weakness being that of television, although this does offer it a few advantages over film. By the end, I actually felt appreciation for how good it was and the fact that it even exists in the first place, which is something that tv very rarely inspires.


I did that as well and it is, indeed, pretty astonishing. I also liked the last two seasons more this time around, probably because I knew where they were heading, which helps when they are more digressive.

Working lots of nights meant that I could use the days to catch up on a lot of series that I either hadn't seen in a while or ever. I watched all of The Shield, which is one of the few television series I can think of that actually got better as it went along, with the last season remaining one of the most visceral and tense thirteen hours of television I've ever seen. The last two episodes, in particular, are pretty strong contenders for the best finale to any show ever. I'm slowly working my way through The Twilight Zone and The Larry Sanders Show, both of which deserve their status as classics of the medium. I also somehow managed to fit a rewatch of The West Wing in (which makes my...fifth or sixth viewing of it in its entirety, I think) which remains one of my favourite television shows, and it was joined in that distinction by Sorkin's other late '90s show, Sports Night, which had more teething troubles than The West Wing but reaches many of the same heights.
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