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Year in TV: The 10 Best (and 5 Worst) TV Shows of 2010

It's that time of year when we bid farewell to the last twelve months and start looking toward the future, but it's also a chance to reflect, to catalogue, and to reminisce as well.

My selections for the Ten Best (and, cough, five worst) TV shows of 2010 have now gone live over at The Daily Beast.

The series selected represent the very best that television had to offer the past twelve months and include such shows as Mad Men, Community, Terriers, Parks and Recreation, The Good Wife, Fringe, Justified, Boardwalk Empire, Friday Night Lights, and Modern Family.

It wasn't easy to whittle down the competition to just ten shows as, despite the overall drain in creativity this calendar year, there were quite a lot of fantastic series. (In fact, one of the very best of the year didn't even air on American television at all: Season Three of BBC One's Ashes to Ashes--including its breathtaking and gut-wrenching series finale--would have made this list if it had been open to overseas programming that hadn't aired within the US during 2010. Additionally, Downton Abbey would have made the list but it's set to air in January on PBS, so will be held until the 2011 list.)

As for other runners-up, that category would include (but wouldn't be limited to) such series as Damages, Party Down, Nurse Jackie, Sherlock, Bored to Death, Better Off Ted, Doctor Who, True Blood, Treme, Big Love, Archer, The Choir, Curb Your Enthusiasm, The IT Crowd, The Life and Times of Tim, Luther, and 30 Rock (for the current season, at least).

But now that the list is (finally) live, I'm curious to hear what you had to say:

What's your take on the best of 2010? Do you agree with my picks for the best of the year and the worst? Head to the comments section to discuss, debate, and analyze, as well as share your own best-of list for 2010.


Anonymous said…
Is Mad Men your #1 and Justified #10? Or it isn't ranked?
Jace Lacob said…
That's the general idea. They're loosely ranked towards the back end but Mad Men, Community are #1, #2, etc.
Anonymous said…
I read this article several times and can't find the 5 worst TV shows...
Jace Lacob said…
Not sure what you mean. They're clearly marked with "Worst" before their titles. It's a multi-page article but confess that I find it hard to understand why you missed them.
Anonymous said…
Jace it might help you from making an ass of yourself if you viewed what is online. It is not multipage.
Jace Lacob said…
Dear "Anonymous,"

Not sure what your problem is. I actually redid the link for full to lessen any confusion. Have you, you know, actually followed the link? No one else seems to be having this issue and the items are clearly labeled.
Anonymous said…
No Dexter?

Otherwise, a really good list. Well written just like everything else on the blog.
chris d said…
I'm so glad to see Justified in the top 10. I thought it was great, but never saw a critique written about it. Thanks!
aby said…
Six of your top ten would also be on my list. Three of the others I just havent' seen as I don't currently watch any sitcoms, but have been hearing so many positive things I might have to find time for them. The last, Boardwalk Empire I confess I haven't finished watching yet. I still have five episodes left and I hear that the last four are chock full of good stuff. So far I've been less then impressed. I find the pace so slow I have trouble staying awake and I am not one of those instant gratification types. I like a slow build, but there is slow and then there is BE. I also find there is only one character (Margaret) that I even remotely care about. I have to be invested in the characters to care about the plot. For me characters always come first, which is why Terriers would be number one on my list.
I would also leave The Walking Dead off of my list, great pilot and some really good stuff after, but some not so good mixed in there as well. Just didn't earn a spot.
I agree completely on Glee. Most weeks I wonder why I am still watching. So wildly inconsistent. I had hope this would be amazing and instead it is a hot mess.
I would probably put The Vampire Diaries and Supernatural on my list, because yes I am that kind of fangirl.
Unknown said…
I'm so glad someone out there is giving Community it's proper kudos! (and questioning the hype around Glee... I certainly don't get the appeal). I also loved Justified and Terriers and wondered why they weren't getting more buzz. I'm really sad to see Terriers go. I agreed too with reserving space for Fringe on this list. These four were shows I got excited about every time they were on this year--I really enjoyed their wit and artistry. And I look forward to checking out Boardwalk Empire when I get a chance, though I don't agree with your inclusion of Modern Family. The others wouldn't make it to my list, but that's what makes life interesting. Thanks for drawing attention to these worthies--Long live Community!

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