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My Top Ten TV Shows of 2009

This list is a bit harder to put together, mainly because 2009 consists of both the end of the 2008-09 season and the beginning of the 2009-10 season. I tried to limit it only to shows that were still playing in 2009, which leaves out gems like Pushing Daisies, and I left out shows that I haven’t watched regularly, which leaves out stinkers like The Big Bang Theory.

Here’s the list of shows that I’ve watched at least two or three episodes of in 2009:

  1. 24
  2. 30 Rock
  3. Better Off Ted
  4. Castle
  5. Chuck
  6. The Cleveland Show
  7. Community
  8. Cougar Town
  9. Destination Truth
  10. Dollhouse
  11. Family Guy
  12. Fringe
  13. Ghost Hunters
  14. Ghost Hunters Academy
  15. Ghost Hunters International
  16. Glee
  17. It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia
  18. Kath & Kim
  19. Law & Order
  20. Mad Men
  21. Modern Family
  22. Monk
  23. The Office
  24. Parks and Recreation
  25. Private Practice
  26. Psych
  27. Saturday Night Live
  28. Scrubs
  29. Simpsons
  30. Smallville
  31. Soup
  32. Supernatural
  33. Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles
  34. Top Chef

So with that in mind, here’s my top ten television shows of 2009:

10. Better Off Ted: Created by Victor Fresco, the comedic genius behind the unfortunately canceled “Andy Richter Controls the Universe”, “Better Off Ted” is a funny, sarcastic comedy about business life in a large R&D company. While occasionally missing the mark, it gets it right more times than not and some of the lines make me outright guffaw.

9. Cougar Town: I daresay Courteney Cox has never been as funny as she is in this role, a newly divorced woman in her 40s in Southern Florida. From her hilarious relationship with her son to her dysfunctional relationships with every other man out there, she is a great foil for her supporting characters. The cast includes the delightful Christa Miller, who is finally in a role worthy of her comedic ability, much like her Kate character from The Drew Carey Show. It’s crass and sometimes simple, but it’s always funny.

8. The Office: Over the last year, it seems like The Office has been getting more and more painfully awkward and less and less outright hilarious, but it’s still a strong, excellent show. I don’t mind the awkwardness, even if it does make it difficult to watch, but I do wish they could get back to the more even humor/awkward quotient from the second and third seasons. Steve Carell’s Michael Scott remains one of my favorite characters on television today.

7. The Soup: Joel McHale and his staff of interns and writers manage to come up with weekly sight gags and snarky one-liners that are outright hysterical, especially in their amateur earnestness. I got to see Joel McHale do stand up comedy in Orlando a few months ago and it made me enjoy his show even more. I love that I don’t have to watch trash like “So You Think You Can Dance” or “Keeping Up With The Kardashians” or “The Hills” or “The Bachelor”, because they’ll pull out the best and the worst and save me the pain of having to actually watch them!

6. Mad Men: One of the few dramas I watch, Mad Men was one of those shows that I got caught up on all at once, watching the seasons on iTunes one after the other (just like I’m doing with LOST right now), and it was a slow build. A slow, compelling build, and now I’m hooked and cannot wait until season 4 to start!

5. Supernatural: A show that started out as a relatively by-the-numbers monster of the week episodic has turned into a layered mulit-faceted story with well developed characters. It’s funny, it’s dark, and in this season, they go up against fucking Lucifer!

4. Modern Family: My top four shows were really hard to rank, but I gave it my best. I’d love to just declare a four-way tie, actually. Modern Family is a comedy that surprised me. I didn’t expect it to be any good at all, and it was unusual that I even gave it a chance. But I’m glad I did. What a funny (and in a sweet, not mean way), smart, clever take on, well, the “modern family”.

3. Glee: I am a total Gleek. I love the music and I love the dark humor and I love the twisted nature of this show. As long as the show keeps putting out quality music and amazing scenes like the one where Will and his wife confront each other, I’ll keep watching. And singing. In a very gay way.

2. 30 Rock: I wish I could put 30 Rock as #1, but the last season has been a little more uneven than the one before. With lines like “I want to go to there” and Liz and Jack’s friendship (he moves the candle because he knows she’ll catch her sleeve on fire reaching for his dessert), it’s quotable, memorable, and infinitely rewatchable.

1. Community: Community is THE first show that I watch when it’s time to unload the DVR. On my last trip to Vegas, I downloaded the whole series to iTunes and laughed just like it was the first time I’d seen them. The cast is individually and collectively awesome. Joel McHale shines as the star, and he’s supported considerably by comedy veteran Chevy Chase, who is finally given a role that he deserved. This is must see TV at its best, and if you haven’t gotten around to watching this show, you are missing out.

Honorable Mentions: Fringe, 24, Destination Truth, Saturday Night Live

I can’t really rate the worst five shows that are out there because I usually don’t give a show more than 15-20 minutes if it sucks – plus, if I’m not watching it, it’s probably shit.

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57 Replies to “My Top Ten TV Shows of 2009”

  1. Bobbi Janay

    I was so mad that they canceled Sara Conner, the way it ended made me mad. It had so much room to grow. I couldn’t stand Fringe but it is a decent show. I love Chuck here is hoping to a better season next season. I can’t wait to see where they take Castle it is a new spin on an old concept. Modern Family is the best sitcom I have seen in years. Dollhouse can’t wait to see how they expand the alpha storyline.

  2. SwanShadow

    Kind of surprised that you don’t watch Sons of Anarchy. I’d think it would be the sort of thing you’d like.

    Glee and The Soup are the only two shows in your top 10 that I watch with any regularity (Glee on a weekly basis, The Soup once in a while when nothing else is on). I don’t enjoy sitcoms, so that lets me out of half the list.

  3. Janelle

    I just started watching 30 Rock. For some reason I just didn’t like it when it first came out and then when nothing else was on, I decided to watch it. So glad I did!

    Glee and Modern Family are the standouts for me. I love both and have high hopes that they will only get better and better.

    The Office was one of my favorite shows for the longest. However, ever since Jim became co-manager and Pam became a sales rep, they both have lost their edge. Now they are like the boring old married couple that can’t be funny anymore. I have hopes that the new “Pam” and Andy can bring back what Pam and Jim took away from the show.

    And there is my two cents πŸ™‚

  4. Dave2

    The 10 I’m most hooked on would be Mad Men, Modern Family, Cougar Town, Psych, Blue Collar, Gary Unmarried, South Park, Chelsea Lately, The Soup, and Castle. I do like and watch Community, but it falls further down my list.

  5. Mary Jo

    So glad I’m not the only one who is watching Better Off Ted, because I really enjoy the show. I caught it last year when it started, and was honestly surprised when it was renewed because I never hear anyone talk about it. Love it. I love The Soup (and also the lesser The Dish on Style), it definitely makes me laugh like no other show. My latest favorite is Medium, and I have been watching repeats on other networks almost daily… obsessed much?

  6. Grant

    No Sons of Anarchy or Dexter in the lineup? I finally succumbed to all of the hype and gave Sons a look, and so far it rocks. Dexter is still cool too. I only watch shows when they make their way to Netflix anyway, so I’m not up on current TV.

  7. Clown

    There sure is a lot of love for Sons of Anarchy in here. Really tried to like it because of Ron Perlman and Katey Sagal.

    Even though I have the first 2 seasons on DVD, I still have yet to watch Mad Men, which is a shame because I’m pretty sure it’s the best show that I’m not watching.

    I’m also pretty sure that the best show you’re not watching is Breaking Bad.
    Once you’re through Lost and the season’s are over, I highly recommend you give it a go.

  8. Finn

    I really like The Big Bang Theory — it’s one of the few shows that makes me laugh out loud. As does Modern Family.

    What’s good about Cougar Town? I couldn’t get past the second episode. I love Courtney Cox, but I got tired of the “old” jokes after about three of them. Does she ever stop talking about it?

  9. B.E. Earl

    I couldn’t agree with you more about Community. It was the biggest surprise of the year for me. What a great show and what a great cast!

    And what you said about Supernatural can be said for the past 7 or 8 episodes of Dollhouse. It was a “trick of week” show for most of Season 1 and into Season 2, but (ever since it was announced that it was canceled) it has become incredible leading into the series final 3 episodes. On the strength of these past few episodes alone it has become my favorite TV series of the year.

  10. Sheila (Charm School Reject)

    When people say a show is “awkward”, what do they mean by that? Awkward viewing, to me, is watching The 40 year old Virgin with my mother. The Office used to be one of my favorite shows, then I stopped watching it, now I watch it when I remember.

    The only two tv shows I absolutely have to watch are Glee and One Tree Hill. The rest are just, if they’re on, I watch. I used to watch Criminal Minds and NCIS but then I never had time. I still don’t have time but when I do, I still really like to watch them.

    I don’t understand people’s obsession with CSI.

  11. Jen_Ann_W

    Out of your top 10 I’ve watched one episode of Glee just to see what the fuss was about, and then I remembered why musicals annoy the bejeezus out of me. Sorry dude. I’ve been meaning to get into The Office, but for some reason I just can’t. My top would include Leverage on TNT and Bones on Fox tied for first, but other than those I’m kind of fickle about what I watch regularly.

  12. leel

    great post! we could totally hang out in a snowstorm with a tv, you and i.
    this year modern family, cougartown, & community all tie for new comedy that makes me howl loudest. great writing and casting to all 3.
    i have a lot of favourites, can you tell?
    madmen, hung, dexter, nurse jackie & united states of tara are my overeall drama faves.
    i was surprised you didnt mention Nurse Jackie or United States of Tara!! Mainly because they stand out as 2 of my new faves i cant wait to see when season 2 starts.
    Did you just run out of actual time to watch either or watch, dislike and then opt out? just curious on your thougths on these 2 πŸ™‚

  13. Robin

    I think I watch almost all of those shows and I definitely agree with Modern Family, it’s one of my favorite shows right now. However, I don’t get Community. I tried it 2-3 times and I just don’t get it.

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