When I was getting ready to start writing about the year in TV, at first I was thinking it wasn't that great, but in actuality, it was really great. It's just that nothing has come along that fills the LOST void and I realize I'm still searching even though the truth is that I may never again love a show or the experience of watching a show like I loved LOST. IT'S SAD, Y'ALL.
Having said that there was so much to love on TV in 2011 for me. Starting with....
The Dan and Blair show.
Gossip Girl itself, while being an interesting show conceptually, consistently fails to live up to its promise. I was reading old blog posts a few weeks ago and laughing at myself for how many times I said I was hanging onto Gossip Girl by the thinnest of strands. And that was true last year as well but then Dan and Blair happened, and it was like a completely different show. I don't exactly know what happy accident created them, but they are the only reason I'm still watching this mess. And I've come to accept that Gossip Girl is a show I may not understand until it's over. Even so Dan and Blair are one of the most fun and cute TV pairings I've ever had the misfortune to fall in love with.
The Vampire Diaries
I have to admit I haven't exactly felt the show in the same way I did in the first season and beginning of the second, but even so this year has been a lot of fun. I really loved the progression of Tyler and Caroline's relationship until it turned into a plot driven mess recently, I enjoyed getting to know Elijah better and the introduction of Rebekah, and the Chicago 1920's episode is one of my favorite ever of the series. Ripper Stefan has been loads of fun! And I know I'm in the minority but I don't mind Klaus too much and sometimes think Joseph Morgan does quite a good job as him. In short, The Vampire Diaries is still a really engrossing hour of TV and I love that so many people watch it so it can be a lot of fun to talk about!
Switched at Birth
This show took me completely by surprise. I expected it to be a somewhat ridiculous Lifetime movie-esque show, but it's actually a lot of fun. And it has so much heart. I like that the primary characters are the girls and their mothers and that the show takes the time to explore the complexities in their evolving relationships, their sense of identity, and their roles within their families. And it doesn't hurt that there's so much representation. It's actually been pretty educational for me to read the reactions of people to the depiction of the deaf community. It's a show I consistently look forward to watching, and I'm so glad it's coming back January 3rd!!
The Walking Dead
Yay zombies! No seriously, it was fair to wonder if The Walking Dead could live up to its first season promise. I mean seriously what happens after you blow up the CDC? But I feel like the show did a great job in the first half of the second season by creating a dilemma between Rick and Shane and posing the question of who could better protect the group. And the ultimate manifestation of that was in looking for Sophia and the culmination of it took place when they found her. The addition of the characters on the farm and their quest to save the zombies was interesting as well and the episode where Shane and Otis went to the school and Shane killed Otis for his own survival was a chilling hour of television. I like the added drama, the increased human tension and conflict, and I'm very much looking forward to where the show goes next.
So I have to admit, I was impatient with the first half of season four in a way I haven't been impatient with the show in a long time. But then...halfway through things started to pick up the pace. And I have to say...watching the finale of Breaking Bad this year ranks up there as one of the best hours of television I have ever seen. I was so surprised and just blown away. I was completely surprised by everything that happened and I felt like every reveal was perfectly timed. Watching Walt and Jesse's relationship continues to be absolutely fascinating and I'm very curious to see how they start wrapping things up.
I arrived late to this gem and I have only seen the first season so far. I was so reluctant to actually watch it because I generally have an aversion to period pieces and it was also on Masterpiece which sounds like TV you should watch rather than TV you watch because you love it. I can't help it y'all, I still love The CW you know? I quickly watched the entire first season in two days, and loved it! I loved of course the soaptastic drama and most of the characters, but I also just really really love the look of it. I love the costumes and I got the book The World of Downton Abbey for Christmas and flipping through (it covers both seasons so I'm a bit hesitant to dig in quite yet) the photos are just stunning. It's so visually pleasing!
Parks and Recreation
Another show I was pretty whatever about watching as I generally don't enjoy comedies, but I'm glad I decided to watch because I love it. I haven't seen any of this season yet, but I quickly devoured the first three seasons. And I laughed! And I enjoyed the characters and I just love the friendship between Leslie and Anne. It really is a kind of humor I enjoy and now I'm trying to get everyone else I know to watch if they don't already.
The World Series
All of these shows were great and everything but nothing was as fun as watching the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Texas Rangers in the World Series. The season didn't necessarily start out great for the Cardinals but sometime midway through after making some staffing changes they started to gel and come together....all the way to the playoffs. And then all the way to the World Series. And it wasn't just any World Series, it was a closely matched one, filled with great drama all the way up until the sixth game which was...well it's the stuff a baseball fan's dreams are made of when the Cardinals came back not once, but twice in extra innings to eventually win the game. It was completely thrilling. I still get excited thinking about it. I was never happier to be a Cardinals fan!
In writing my year end lists I almost feel like TV was the best! I mean I haven't even talked about The Closer or Nikita which I also thought were top notch. But enough about what I like...what were your favorite TV shows and TV moments this year?