in Review

2009-10 TV Wrap Up: Everything But Lost Edition

Most of the shows I care about have finished their seasons by now, and since the Lost series finale probably warrants its own post, I thought I’d take a look back at all the other shows that I was watching over the past season. Spoilers will probably be dropped.

Curb Your Enthusiasm Season 7

Curb already was just about as good as TV comedy gets these days. Expectations for the new season couldn’t have been higher, after an amazing sixth season that introduced some terrific new characters to the show. And then we found out that it was going to be the Seinfeld reunion season. But Larry David and his people pulled it off. The amusing portrayals of the Jerry Seinfeld, Jason Alexander, Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Michael Richards were a lot of fun to watch, especially with all the other great characters the show has at its disposal. My only criticism: more Leon, please. I can’t wait for 2011’s season eight.

It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia Season 5

It is easy to forget this show, since FX likes to power through its seasons in just a few months. Sunny‘s season ended way back in December, right around when they came out with their direct-to-DVD movie. This latest season was a little uneven, with a fair number of episodes that fell a little flat. However, there were some really great episodes too, such as “The World Series Defense.” The show keeps pushing just how horrible its main characters are, and how disgusting Frank is, usually with comic results. Sunny kept me coming back for more, and I can’t wait for the next season, so if that’s not a success, what is?

Archer Season 1

Keeping with the FX theme, Archer maintained the Frisky Dingo tradition of short seasons, going only ten 30-minute episodes before forcing us to wait a year for more. But that’s OK, because it also maintained the Frisky Dingo tradition of being really funny. It took me a little while to get used to H. Jon Benjamin’s voice coming out of character that looks so different from the kind he usually plays, but really this show hit its stride quick and maintained it for the duration. I hope it has a long, healthy run.

Community Season 1

After a somewhat slow start, Community eventually developed into my favorite show on Thursday nights. The blend of off-the-wall comedy and satire is really good, and the whole cast has a great dynamic. This is a show that has made my roommates stop in my doorway and watch until the commercial break. As far as I know, my whole family loves it. Now that the season’s over, this is probably the show I will miss the most until the fall. That is assuming NBC survives that long.

Parks and Recreation Season 2

This year Parks and Rec developed into something worth watching. When it’s at its best, you could compare it to The Office at its prime. And even when it’s not, it is still better than The Office is today. I really like the writing on this show, I love that they were able to parody both the Henry Louis Gates arrest controversy and the Mark Sanford scandal. Hell, I love how all the characters say “Mark Brendanawicz” the same way whenever they need to talk to him. A number of great guest stars this season too, including Louis CK and Rob Lowe. The show got demoted to a mid-season replacement next year, it deserves better.

The Office Season 6

Remember how Seinfeld bowed out when it was on top? And Friends didn’t? And how Friends turned into a weird mostly romantic show with only occasionally good comedic episodes? Well, The Office decided to take the Friends path. This season was all about Ross and Rachel – I mean Jim and Pam – getting married and having a baby. Along the way we are given a new romance between Andy and Erin, and of course Michael has his troubles with women too. Don’t get me wrong, they had to do the Jim and Pam stuff, they were committed to that well before this season. But they needed to make more room for the rest of this funny cast. There were a few gems over the past year, but not enough to make you come back to the show if you had given up on it and certainly nothing to bring new fans in.

30 Rock Season 4

My gold standard for network comedy going into this season did not disappoint. They recognized that Jack is a really great character and gave a lot of the season to him, which was a very wise move. Liz got caught up in romantic troubles, which were funny mostly because of how terribly they all turned out. Tracy, Jenna, Kenneth and the rest of the cast got a little less to do, but still managed to keep me laughing. I mean, how can you not laugh at Jenna starting a relationship with a man who impersonates her? Or Tracy’s attempts to reconnect with the common man? Great stuff. The show also brought in a ton of great guest stars, including Michael Sheen and Julianne Moore. I would have liked to see more down with the Danny character, but the cast was already too big for a half an hour show anyway. Great stuff.

What else is there? South Park is in its mid-season break. Breaking Bad still has a while to go, but waiting to post this until June 13 seemed silly. Of course Lost ends on Sunday, in an event that seems to blanket all of ABC that day. I’m looking forward to see how that turns out. I’ve given up on Fox shows at this point. I mean, sure 24 ends on Monday, but does anyone really care? Even when this latest season picked up, it was no where near what the show was in its prime. Is there anything else I’m missing out on?


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