With the growth of the internet and of video games, television faced a dire challenge. Insipid sit-coms just wouldn't cut it any more. I know I wasn't watching any television. These days, it appears that television has responded. With the rise of Tivo, the development of show with deep, continuous story arcs (that aren't 'soaps'), and the maturation of reality programming, these are good days to bask in the warm glow of television.
Here are ten of the best shows:
10. Project Runway: We get a fascinating look into the bizarro world of fashion.
9. Mythbusters: This show appeals to the inner prankster and intuitive geek in all of us. We're talking about thirty minutes of subtle humor, cool explosions, and great takes on urban legends. It's like live action Snopes.com.
8. Heroes: I'm not entirely sold on this series, but so far, it has the feel of a decent dark sci-fi movie.
7. America's Funniest Videos (post Bob Saget era): You Tube is all the rage now, but this show started it all. Man, I love watching kids get chased by homicidal geese, and there's just something beautiful about the cataclysmic, frothing failure of chintzy above-ground swimming pools.
6. Good Eats (Alton Brown): The jokes and skits that Alton does are really, really terrible…but the tips and science textbook explication of cooking is great.
5. Battlestar Galactica: Sometimes the real world parallels are a bit ham-fisted, but overall this is one of the best series in years. You gain instant membership as a nerd if you are into this show.
4. Six Feet Under (in syndication on Bravo): We get a dramatic look at life, death, and deeply characterized, flawed characters behind the doors of a family funeral home. Bravo shows this former HBO series, but the best way to watch is by renting the seasons on DVD.
3. Lost: Yes, the show is riddled with goofy, unresolved plot lines. I keep watching just to figure out just what the heck is going on.
2. My Name is Earl: Red-neck and slapstick humor taken to its pinnacle.
1. The Office: The US version will never equal the brilliant BBC series of the same name (ran for two tragically short…but absolutely perfect seasons). But, as an office drone myself, it's great humor.
Agree? Disagree? What are you watching? What's the deal with the polar bears on Lost?