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On the Last Day of the Year: The Best Show of 2010 and Nine Other Good Ones

Unbelievably, we’re about to enter our third calendar year in existence.  It seems like just yesterday we were scrambling to put together our best of the decade lists (which makes sense, because we didn’t actually post one of those until this week).  In 2011 we hope to be even more timely, on-point and just plain better.  Until then, let’s try to end 2010 on a high note with our not-at-all anticipated Best Shows of the Year:

1. Community: This was an absolute no-brainer.  Far and away Community was the most original, ambitious, rewarding, warm, funny, creative, fearless show of 2010.  It was just a little over a year ago when the show delivered its holiday episode, “Comparative Religion” (featuring mustachio’d Anthony Michael Hall), and we began to feel then that the show was truly building towards something special.  When Community returned in January of this year it began what should be considered one of the greatest runs of any comedy series in television history, playing “can you top that?” with itself from week to week.  Solid episodes like “Investigative Journalism” with Jack Black,  “Physical Education” with a nearly naked Joel McHale, and the truly superb Goodfellas tribute “Contemporary American Poultry” culminated in the single best episode of 2010 across the board, the paintball-splattered, action movie homage masterpiece “Modern Warfare” (we know that we’ve already proclaimed the greatness of this episode, but it’s worth doing over and over again).

Keep reading: More on why Community is the best show of 2010. And 9 other good ones…

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In Memoriam: ‘Lone Star’

Well, Fox, you’ve done it again.   Axed a show before it even had a chance to reach its bris.   Lone Star is officially dead.

But this feels somehow different.  This was not The Pitts, or Brothers, or even Kitchen Confidential.  This was a show that arrived with critical praise, almost unanimously hailed as the season’s “best new network show.”  It had a beautiful backdrop to match its beautiful young faces.  It had Jon Voight.  And, most importantly, it had an original, complex story.  While a lot of shows come and go, and a lot of them deserve to be banished (looking at you, Outsourced), this is certainly not the first series unfairly cut down before it’s time.  It joins a group of shows like Love Monkey and Action that share the unfortunate distinction of a premature demise, depriving the viewing public of quality television.  Lone Star is not the first and it won’t be the last.  But why then is this particular cancellation so troubling?

Read on: The end of network TV as we know it?

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Not Very Late Night With Jimmy Fallon: Random, Belated, Emmy Thoughts

The Emmy’s were handed out three nights ago, and in the internet world that’s about the equivalent of a fortnight, and everyone who can say it better than me has already said it better than me.  But, just to put it on the permanent record, and to get us ready for the impending fall TV season, we thought we’d follow-up with a few humble thoughts of our own, in concise bullet-point form:

  • Loved the opening bit, even if it was somewhat of a rehash of 6-Bee‘s glee club rendition of “We’re Not Going to Take It,” a performance that we still giddily cue up on our screen on a regular basis (as well as an audio version on our iPod).  But with Tina Fey, Jon Hamm, Joel McHale, Jorge Garcia AND Tim Gunn it was like the Ocean’s 11 all-star version of the original Late Night piece, and it truly demanded some freak out control.  Our worlds colliding, but in an amazing way.
  • Speaking of Jon Hamm, now that his comedic genius has finally been exposed to a wide audience (30 Rock is still critically adored but commercially ignored, his appearances in viral videos only legitimately reach a small segment of the online viewing public, and even two turns hosting SNL don’t necessarily make you a household name these days), can we start having him be funny full-time?  He’s so gifted, and so natural, it honestly feels like a waste forcing him to be so stoic and dour and cold on Mad Men (and we know we sound like a broken record on this, but we’re going to keep bring it up until it happens.  Or until Mad Men becomes a farcical satire.  Maybe in season 5).  Sure, he’s magnetic, sexy and mysterious on the AMC drama, but it’s when he’s allowed to do comedy that he truly lights up.  But after being seen dancing like an idiot on HDTVs all across the country maybe someone will give him a chance to headline a comedy.  Perhaps something in the Apatowian genre.  I think that’s a hit.

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