The Top Ten TV Triumphs of Twenty Ten

Posted on January 1, 2011

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Meanwhile, the alliteration award goes to Anna Hayes who is procrastinating so hard she might just kick herself up the arse yesterday.

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2010 TV – everyone has their favourites. Everyone had stuff they did and didn’t watch. Or had stuff they watched bits of then never got around to watching the rest of but let’s not get into the schematics of things here.

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This blog is purely subjective – it’s the ten best TV things I can think of from 2010. Some will agree with all, some might disagree with all and some might just say I’m a bloody idiot who couldn’t tell the difference between a TV and an old box with a hole cut in it and a child’s head bopping up and down in it every so often.

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So, to say good riddance to the year that was 2010, and herald in 2011, here are my top ten TV triumphs of twenty ten.

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–         Matt Smith as Doctor Who

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After the first episode this one wrote itself. Working with what was a pretty standard opening episode, Smith had it all to do to command a presence and boy did he deliver. Stepping into the shoes after David Tennant who had recently been voted the most popular Doctor of all time (more nippers voting than elders I would imagine) Smith could have been forgiven for falling a bit flat. He could have been forgiven if he’d been met with ‘Oh he’s just not Tennant, is he?’ But he went one better and gave us no reason to have to forgive at all. He was simply splendid.

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–         Ashes to Ashes Final Series

While I am still of the firm belief that Series 2 was the watermark of Ashes to Ashes, it was hard to dislike anything about Series 3 because you felt that if you did, it was a disservice to what has been a rollercoaster ride. The sequel to Life on Mars, the BBC’s best and brightest thing since the sun exploded, the final series was a labour of love and as I said in a finale review, it felt like quitting the best job in the world. Who is Gene Hunt? Gene Hunt is my god. Say no more than that

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–         Lost Finale

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While aesthetically, it looked great, plot wise it was all over the place. Why then, you say, is it in a top ten? Well, my friends, because as I’ve said before, Lost did something remarkable in its six year run. Lost did something that I would argue hasn’t been done since X-Files fans threatened to murder their mothers if they didn’t let them watch the season finale. Lost changed the culture that surrounded TV viewing. I know I spent first, second, third and fourth year of college staying in on Monday nights because I couldn’t bear to think I’d be behind in conversation the next day. And while it tripped over its mythology toward the end, you can’t fault how it strung an audience along and kept them interested. Even if the ending was pure and utter shlock.

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–         Flash-Forward

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I know I’ll get people questioning this one and all I can say is, I watched all 13 episodes of this ill-fated series and it was a slow burner. Around episode four or five, it really started to get good and the premise of the show itself was brilliant, really brilliant. Sure Joseph Fiennes could be mistaken for a hunk of plywood in a carpenter’s workshop but what finesse he lacked, Jack Davenport made up for with his bumbling British scientist act. The characters were interesting enough to keep you watching but unfortunately the damage had already been done. If nothing else, the finale episode, though ridiculously off the wall, closed with a shot that would have kept me watching a second series. Oh well….

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–         Rev

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It’s the turn of comedy next and this really was a cracking little sitcom about a vicar in inner city London trying to keep his flock on the straight and narrow, while simultaneously keeping the wife happy amongst the other pressures of priesthood. Tom Hollander charmed the pants off viewers with his constantly brilliantly sardonic performances in the lead role while the secondary characters slotted nicely into the narrative. Not quite Father Ted, or The Vicar of Dibley but someplace comfortably in the middle with a nice dose of British humour. Simply lovely comedy.

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–         The Good Wife

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A series that could have turned out so cheesy and superfluous, Julia Marguiles plays the wronged wife who must dive back into practicing law in order to rebuild her reputation and provide for the kiddies. Sharp and clever, it’s been commissioned for a second season so keep the eyes peeled.

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–         Mad Men

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A series that has received so much kudos it’s one of those ones that’s been mentioned in the same breath as The Sopranos, The Wire and The West Wing. The former was referred to as “this generations ‘Iliad’” by a critic not too long ago. But Mad Men is fast joining the ranks of these three greats. The story of advertising execs in the 1960s USA, it’s smart, it’s sassy and god damn but Jon Hamm and Christina Hendricks just put me in the happiest of places.

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–         Sherlock

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I think my final line in a review of this series earlier in the year was “to put it in colloquial, modernised terms, it’s bloody brilliant.” And it was, and the good news is, there are three more episodes of Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman as our favourite super sleuths coming up early in 2011. Hurrah! Being serious though, Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat’s modernising version of the classic detective was simply wonderful, full of the trademark wit that both writers continuously display but tightly packed so that you can’t see the ending from a mile off. It’s taken America by storm in the last few months. All together now, “Elementary, my dear Watson…”

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–         Lip Service

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Lesbians! Yay! Lesbians in Glasgow. Oh. Don’t let the Glasgow part put you off. Sure, there’s some part of you that was hoping for The L Word in London but really, Glasgow’s not so bad. Lip Service is a peculiar little series in that it’s not really sure what it wants to be. It’s more serious than the likes of Queer As Folk in some areas but nowhere near as glamorous as its sexy LA cousin The L Word, it leaves you wondering where to rank it. Frankie is the definite ‘Shane’ character of Lip Service complete with family problems and seeming lack of moral fibre. It’s a little bit ‘I’ve seen this before’ but it’s well worth watching and at times it’s very funny.

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–         Misfits / Being Human

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It’s a tie for the tenth place, mainly because I only got around to watching Misfits in the last few days and thought it was bloody brilliant. Granted I’ve only watched an episode and a half and they are technically from 2009 and so don’t count. But if the second series (in 2010!) is half as good as what I’ve seen then Channel 4 have a real keeper.

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Being Human is something I’ve sung the praises of before, not just because Aidan Turner, Lenora Crichelow and Russell Tovey are incredibly pleasant on the eye but because it’s a fantastic series. After the death of Herrick, everything’s calm until Daisy and Ivan roll into town looking to cause trouble. But they’re not the only ones, Kemp and Lucy want to destroy our three heroes, making for an interesting showdown and a really lovely ending scene that ties quite nicely into the upcoming Season 3.

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Posted in: Reviews