Best of 2011: TV! [FaN Cheers]

Amy says: Can a remake of a BBC show be considered new? If so, then PRIME SUSPECT is my pick for the best new TV of the year. Maria Bello is awesome in everything I’ve ever seen her in. Detective procedurals aren’t normally my thing, but I love the complexity of the characters here. Some of the situations are written a little over the top, but am I not entertained? (Yes, I am) Unfortunately, NBC cancelled PRIME SUSPECT, probably to make room for a reality show about a singing contest for real housewives who live in a mansion and compete for the love of a rich bachelor. Looks like I’ll just have to wait for TNT to pick up what NBC dumped (like they did with SOUTHLAND) or hunt down the Helen Mirren version on DVD to get my PS fix.

Amy wasn’t the only one who will dearly miss this show. For the first time ever an already cancelled show is making an appearance on our Best of list. Also of note: a return of the scripted show. This is our most fictional Best of list yet. GAME OF THRONES, ONCE UPON A TIME, and AMERICAN HORROR STORY also received its share of love, but OUAT and AHS are just two of the shows that’ll also show up on tomorrow’s worst of list. What other dramas did we both love and hate? Come back tomorrow to find out. 

MORE DRAMA FOR YOUR MAMA

PRIME SUSPECT.  I suspect that this show, which has already been cancelled, may be brought back to prime time.  That Maria Bello is something else.

Josh Pullin from Stay-at-Home Dad
 
AMERICAN HORROR STORY. The best new show on television this season. It has all my favorite things: A wicked sense of humor, freaks, creepy plot twists, sex, bitchy gay ghosts, things that make you cringe and the most horrific neighbor you can imagine played brilliantly by Jessica Lange. (If she doesn’t win an Emmy I will eat my blogumn.) I haven’t enjoyed a show this much since Twin Peaks!
Zack Bunker from Tall Glass of Shame and Runway Rundown

 

The First Half of AMERICAN HORROR STORY. This show started out with a bang. A great mystery, macabre characters, creepiness at every turn. Jessica Lange chain smoking and chewing scenery. Tami Taylor sans drawl. What could go wrong?

Joshua Mauldin from FIERCE ANTICIPATION

 

I am going to say REVENGE even though I only saw one episode. I am busy trying to catch up with life on DVD.  Shame on me.  I work in television.

Patrick Connolly from Piping Hot Nerd: Adventures of a Bagpiper Mastering Manhattan

 

RINGER because an actress like Sarah Michelle Gellar should be on TV dammit.  Buffy will never die!

Roya Hamadani from Fierce Foodie

 

I can’t remember the last time a show took over my day-to-day imagination like the all-too-brief ten episodes of HBO’s GAME OF THRONES.

Ryan Dixon, FIERCE ANTICIPATION editor and writer of The Ryan Dixon Line
 
GAME OF THRONES. It was like a medieval fantasy version of THE WIRE with its multiple characters and story arcs (and willingness to kill off any character). There was a fair amount of sex and violence, but none of it gratuitous, since it all worked to move the story forward instead of being merely exploitive like the awful TRUE BLOOD. Plus, it’s gotten a lot of people (myself included) to read the books, to which so far the series has been remarkably faithful.

Joe Rusin from On the Contrary

 

ONCE UPON A TIME.  I don’t know why.  I really don’t.  But I kind of love it.

Michael Kass from Single White Nerd
 

ONCE UPON A TIME on ABC. Why didn’t I think of this show? Why didn’t I write it? Why am I not starring in it? I demand to know. It’s like someone took the way I think and made an hour-long drama out of it.

Sarah Fazeli from Bewitched, Bothered & Bewildered
 

I don’t watcha  lot of TV except for Sunday AMC shows and stupid pawning shows that make me fall asleep at 12:30. So Im gonna have to default to the latest AMC show, HELL ON WHEELS. Otherwise known as “that train show with Common.”

Matt Udvari from Gamer by Design


DOWNTON ABBEY – I love the scenery, costumes, and the story. I love how it really transports me to another time.

Missy Kulik from Dork Lifesyle
 
I know it’s not groundbreaking, or mind-bending, or even that exciting, but something about PAN AM has me hooked. Those little blue dresses, jet setting around the world, opportunities to meet good-looking men in suits in a hotel lobby… some of my deepest fantasies are embedded in that show. I’m sure that’s what ABC was counting on with us 25-35 year olds.

Frankie V from Frankie Says…
 

*DEAD* 

HAPPY ENDINGS makes me laugh so hard. It’s a modern version of FRIENDS.

CH from CH’s Picture of the Day

 

I don’t know if it’s because if my friends Sallie Patrick and Delia Hauser had a baby, she would look exactly like Zooey Daschanal or because she’s just so darn awkwardly adorable in this show. But NEW GIRL is the only new show right now that I just have to watch every week and as close to its time slot as possible. I love her roommates and I just adore all the high jinks they get into. Couldn’t love this show more . Though, I also want to give shout-outs to the hilarious (and way better than FRIENDS) HAPPY ENDINGS (Damon Wayons Jr — who knew?), REVENGE, and ONCE UPON A TIME, which I’m enjoying despite that annoying-as-heck kid.

Ernessa from Fierce and Nerdy

 

NEW GIRL.  I jumped on the bandwagon late on this one, but I’m glad I did.  It’s nice to see a new sitcom back on television and Zooey Deschanel is hilarious. The show is funny, imaginative, and has great writing.  The laughs work and shouldn’t be missed!

Jersey Joe from Kicking Back with Jersey Joe
 
Comedy – UP ALL NIGHT (Fox). It’s the cast. I can’t get enough of Christina Applegate and the relationship she and Will Arnett (who is refreshingly un-schticky) is just fabulous. Maya Rudolph’s gravy. Drama – AWAKE on NBC. Just wait, you’ll see.

R. B. Ripley from Hyperbolic Tendencies

 

LOUIE. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know I’m supposed to pick some piece of shit show that premiered in 2011 but, to quote the theme song, it’s “Louie, Louie, Louie, Louie.” When I watch Louie, I’m 24 again, laughing uncontrollably in the back of the Comedy Cellar watching a genius at work on a Tuesday night and begging the MC for a five minute spot in front of the six drunks left in the club at 11:30 PM (two of them are making out and one only speaks Hebrew) so I can try out my new Scrooge McDuck: Baby Raper bit. It’s a shitty, wonderful life being a comic and he nails it perfectly.

Eric Sims from California Seething

 

NON-FICTION GEMS 

CURIOSITY (on The Discovery Channel). I think the format of the show, coupled with the breadth of topics it covers keeps this show engaging to not just science nerds, but also anybody, as the title suggests, curious about a given topic. The Adam Savage episode particularly blew my mind, talking about technology extending human life well into the future.

Sam the Sham from FIERCE ANTICIPATION

 

MASTERCHEF FRANCE– LOVED IT! MASTERCHEF was great for my language studies. Here’s why: people bring their accents from all over the country, they talk normally so you hear lots of swearing and slang, you learn about French food, not just what’s done in the restaurant but what home chefs are capable of (for example, they don’t panic when faced with a dessert challenge, or octopus for that matter), you learn about French chefs, big shot visits every week for the final elimination challenge, and they go to cool places in France to do their challenges. They even went to New York City for one episode, which was disappointing because the challenge in cooking “American food” was to make a hamburger and cheesecake. Even the chefs are clueless about what we eat.

Gudrun Cram-Drach from Secret Life of an Expat