>TV Round-Up: Best of 2008

>1. The Shield
This is how you do a final season. It started a bit slow, but that was putting the foundation in place for the final run of episodes that were breathtaking and can’t-tear-your-eyes-away from the screen riveting. Watching the final chapters as the Strike Team shattered and Vic Mackey lost everything….I loved every last second of it. Pitch perfect final two episodes. If you’ve not seen The Shield, get the DVDs and start watching.

2. Battlestar Galactica
What else can I say that hasn’t already been said about this show? I loved the first half of season four with the tension between the new Cylons in the fleet, the Cylon civil war and the finding of Earth in the mid-season cliffhanger. We’ve got a ton of questions left, including the big one–who is the final Cylon. Who’d’ve figured that the reboot of a show I enjoyed so much in my childhood would be one of the best dramas ever made? Had it not been for The Shield’s final season, this would have been my number one show of the year.

3. Dr. Horrible’s Sing Along Blog
It didn’t air on TV but this is my blog and I can make up the rules as we go. A three-part episode about good vs evil that is funny, thought-provoking and has one heck of a catchy soundtrack. Is there anything Joss Whedon can’t do?!? (On a related note–bring on Dollhouse!)

4. Mad Men
I came late to the Mad Men party, watching the first season over the course of a week when I DVRed the marathon before season two began. The second season was, in its own way, better than the first. The first was about answering the question of Who is Don Draper? The second was about what it means to be Don Draper and saw Don tearing down and having to put back togehter the “perfect” life he’s built for himself. It’s slow moving at times, driven by a fascinating set of characters.

5. The Big Bang Theory
Consistently the funniest show on TV–and the one that makes me laugh out loud at least twice per episode. I love every last geek reference. What threw it over the top was the Christmas episode where Sheldon gets a napkin signed by Leonard Nimoy.

6. The Office
Just behind Big Bang is the Office. I have to say this is more for the early episodes than the later ones, though those have been good as well. Amy Ryan, please come back. The dynamic of Michael Scott and Holly was so well lovingly realized and the two played off each other so well. I will admit part of me is a bit tired of the “aren’t Jim and Pam” cute together stories that keep playing out. But they make up for it with the hilarity surrounding the Dwight/Angela/Andy triangle.

7. Lost
Call me a fan, but I never lost faith in the show. But the whole flashforward concept really took the show to a new level. I think giving the show an end point has helped it immensely and this is another one I can’t wait to come back.

8. Chuck
Man, Mondays at 7 p.m. are crowded. You’ve got two of the funniest shows on TV competiting with each other. Thank heavens for DVRs and VCRs to keep up. I liked Chuck in its first season, but I love it this year. The show is consistenly the most amusing and fun show on TV, though I still think they’re struggling with how to best utilize Buster Bluth on the show. But the whole dynamic of Chuck yearning for a normal life but being thrust into the role of a reluctant spy is working a lot better this year because it’s allowing Chuck to become more confident and embrace the role a bit more. Plus, you can just go to a reaction shot from Adam Baldwin for comedy gold.

9. Friday Night Lights
I liked the final few episodes of season two and season three has returned to what made season one so doggone special. A renewed focus on the football team and how it impacts every aspect of life in Dillon, Texas has vastly improved the show. It’s also allowed us to say some farewells to old friends and set the stage for future seasons (though I fear this may be the last season for the show). And any time you get Kyle Chander and Connie Britton together, it’s pure gold. The episode where Smash finally gets his shot to go to walk-on was a thing of beauty.

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