Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Media Review 2011: Top Television.

I'm oh-so-gradually starting to recognize that television may have more to offer me than I've allowed in the past. This year I started watching two new sitcoms, both of which have some critical acclaim and both of which made my top five. A definite step up, since I didn't even bother with this part of the media review last year.

5) Phineas & Ferb [I marvel at how this Disney cartoon manages to be so consistently fresh and funny. I wish I was one-tenth this inventive.]
4) 30 Rock [Part of me hopes this is the last season, because this show is treading water and losing steam. Still, when the rapport is on between Jack and Liz, it is on. Alec Baldwin may be a failure as a human being, but darn it all if he's super-great on this show.]
3) Modern Family [I'm new to this show, so I don't know yet if it will hold up (it seems like the dynamics haven't changed or developed much since I started watching), and it still hews pretty closely to a lot of sitcom conventions, but on the whole it tends to deliver at least a couple of good laughs every episode. And the character of Phil Dunphy is pretty genius.]
2) The Daily Show/The Colbert Report [I'm really looking forward to the 2012 election with these guys.]
1) Community [GOOD GRAVY BOATS IN HEAVEN THIS SHOW IS AMAZING! Completely blew my mind the first time I watched this. Finally, at long last, I found a show to fill that big Arrested Development-shaped hole in my heart, and then NBC goes and "benches" it. If you weren't watching it already, do yourself a favor and find it whenever NBC puts it back on the air.]

Phineas & Ferb: Across the Second Dimension [A made-for-TV movie that my kids forced me to watch when they earned it as a reward--and I wound up loving it. It actually made me look forward to the inevitable theatrical Phineas & Ferb movie (coming in 2013).]

The Cosby Show [I actually watched this as a kid, but now that I'm a parent of five, it is funny on a completely new level. I always identified with Theo back in the day (and harbored a secret crush on the much-older Denise), but now I'm all about Cliff and how he relates to his kids while treating Claire with true love and respect. You've set a high bar, Mr. Cosby. A high bar indeed.]

Whitney [I wish I could use Are You There, Chelsea?, but since that debuted in January of this year, it's off the table until next time. I could only stomach about the first 10 minutes of Whitney's completely humor-free pilot before I turned it off, disgusted that it's staying on the schedule while Community languishes on "the bench."]

Tomorrow: the media review concludes with my favorite category--top motion pictures!

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