Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Best of Television 2007

A list put together while wondering if a former Blair High School teacher knocked up Jamie-Lynn Spears...
  1. The Sopranos: Nothing even comes close. The most memorable moments of the year come from the series final nine episodes: Tony & Bobby fighting in the cabin; Johnny Sack dying of cancer in the can; Junior totally losing it; Paulie laughing a little too hard at "Three's Company"; Christopher beating up and then killing his poor TV writer friend; Tony having to plug Chrissy's nose and then fuck his old girlfriend and trip out on peyote with her for good measure; AJ trying (and failing) to drown himself in the family pool; and that ending that everyone has some sort of opinion on. It'll be a long time before we see something like this again.
  2. Mad Men: AMC stepped up to the table in a big way, and with reason. The great first episode was written by former Sopranos scribe Matthew Weiner, who, it turns out, wrote that very episode on spec, somehow got it in the hands of Sopranos creator David Chase, and got hired on The Sopranos on that script alone. In the first scene of the series, we meet main character Don Draper, who's trying to convince a waiter in a restaurant to switch from Old Gold cigarettes, to his ad agency's brand, Lucky Strikes. Like Tony Soprano, Don finds comfort in other women than his wife, good booze and work buddies. Everybody smokes in the office, and orders double martinis over lunch without a second thought. Sure it's set in the early 1960's. The final episode of this series first season gives promise to be as rich and satisfying as the series that Weiner used to write for.
  3. Curb Your Enthusiasm: "Maybe we should convert to Judaism," Mackenzie says, "Because Larry David, Jeff Garlin and Marty Funkhouser seem to have all the fun." They sure do. This past season, David let his personal life spill over to the series, as Cheryl finally gets fed up with Larry's antics and leaves his Jewish ass, only to find Larry take comfort in arms of that little hottie Vivaca A. Fox and her homeless family in the series finale. On the way, we got to see Jeff admit to jerking off in the guest bedroom, a book on freaks that Larry gets John McEnroe to fall in love with, and the best retard-imitation we've seen this side of Mackenzie's dad's infamous one.
  4. Tell Me You Love Me: Some people found it hard to watch because of the gratuitous sex scenes and fights. It was hard NOT to watch this shit. Sonya Walger, who's on Lost and was on the old HBO Show "Mind of The Married Man", is the break-out cast member of an ensemble that shows four couples going through different stages of their relationships. Yes, you get shots you'd ordinarily see in pornos. All the more reason to watch.
  5. The Sarah Silverman Show: We got two "seasons" of this show this year. Yes, heavy doses of Sarah can start to annoy, which is why she wisely surrounds herself with a funny cast of folks who get equal screen time. For some reason, this show constantly reminds me of Chris Elliot's "Get A Life" show. Maybe it's how she summarizes every episode to her dog. Just watch a few shows and tell me you don't laugh out loud.
  6. Iconoclasts: A great idea on the Sundance Channel only gets better as they get two people who have seemingly have no business together (like, I don't know, Mike Myers and Deepak Chopra) and makes it look like they were separated at birth. Also proof that Ashley Judd is still alive -- she just likes to hang out with Madeleine Albright.
  7. Late Show With David Letterman: Still the only late night show that matters. Dave still gets the only guests that matter -- including the musical ones. Sure, the writer's strike is on, everyone's mind, and Dave's even got a website devoted to them. Even if Late Night TV isn't the water cooler stuff it used to be, Dave's is still the first place to go to for anything relevant. Plus, he's almost been doing this as long as Carson now.
  8. Countdwon With Keith Olbermann: Keith really started to get nuts last year, with his Murrow-esque monologues about the state of the union. His "Worst Person In The World" segment is still must-see stuff, as is story number 1, which is usually the last story a news show would want to run but the first one you want to see.
  9. Flight of the Conchords: I'm not as into this one as the folks in the growing cult following are. ESPN's Scott Van Pelt started referencing this show during Sportscenter. A small click at offices everywhere started quoting funny lines. For my money, the best parts are the insane music video moments these two whacky bastards jump into during each episode. Very dry stuff, this show has potential to just explode in a big way in the next two years.
  10. The Coach Callahan Show: This weekly segment went through a change in hosts during the season, and was cancelled before the final show was to air. It was never compelling television, it was just controlled spin from all ends. The best part was during the now infamous Husker Football losing streak, how one Billy C would make everything seem so glorious, while the rest of the state acted like the town of Rockridge after seeing Cleavon Little ride into town as their new sheriff. The difference is that Cleavon would have had the wherewithal to fire Kevin Cosgrove before it was too late.


TravisRoastBeef said...

No Entourage/Nip-Tuck or Californication? Not even a mention of that short lived KXVO Channel 15 hip young news Where the Anchors wear t shirts, hats and use words like "tight" and "Solid"?

Dirtylaundry said...

I remember that Channel 15 show, that I wish was still on actually. There was just nothing else like it anywhere.

Entourage took a serious turn down this year. I was ready to give up, but I'm sure I'll watch next year.

I hear great things about Californication, but I haven't seen it yet. So sue me.