Best TV of the Decade – Part One


Now that I’ve spent parts of the past two months listing the best albums of the past decade, it’s time to move on to television. I finished off that end of decade list theorizing that “given that it was the decade where I was in my twenties, it’ll probably end up being my favourite decade for music as my tastes begin to calcify”, but in the case of television, I truly believe that this was the decade that television grew up and rose to levels of quality previously unmatched.

You probably wouldn’t know it if you only watched network TV, or focused on all the negatives that rose along with these newfound levels of quality, like the constant stream of reality TV and copycat procedurals. But it’s useless to judge TV by its worst output, or even its average output, because as a viewer you only have so much time to watch it. Say you watch 10 hours of TV (which is a lot less than me, but more than others). You can now fill those 10 hours with greater levels of quality than ever before, and if you choose to fill them with the dregs, that’s on you, not the medium. Me? I could care less about how the other hundreds of hours are filled by all the channels out there, because I can barely find time to watch all of the high quality TV that I want to watch.
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TV Talk: The Barren Summer TV Landscape

I won't be watching most of these networks for a few months.

The end of the TV season is almost here. There’s a two-hour finale of Grey’s Anatomy tonight (that I hardly care about, but I watch because my wife does… even though she hardly cares now too), and the two-hour finale of Lost next week (which I am very excited about, as this has been the best season of the show since the first. Perhaps better even). Then that’s it, it’ll be time for broadcast television to go into hibernation mode.

Even though I’m an admittedly voracious consumer of television, I like the slow summer TV schedule (particularly since I’m also a voracious consumer of movies… and apparently not that much of a consumer of sunlight). It’s a great palette cleanser that allows me to get excited about shows again come fall. More than that, in recent years I’ve been able to use the three months of summer to catch up on shows on DVD that I would have otherwise missed. Last summer, we watched all five season of Six Feet Under, the first seasons of Dexter and Friday Night Lights, the first three seasons of The Wire, and re-watched the first season of Big Love, meaning that we probably ended up seeing better quality television from June-August than we did from September-May.

With that in mind, I figured I’d lay out my summer viewing plans here, and ask for any input any of you might have regarding how I might best use the months ahead (you know, besides silly stuff like getting outside to enjoy nature or whatever).
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