Here are my votes for the best shows on tv right now...or not on anymore (WEEP)
1. Lost. Well DUH. What did you expect me to say? If you read this and still this was a surprise to you, you need to just go away. I'm not even gonna go on a spiel about why I love it.
2. Cougar Town- It is SO easy to roll a derisive eye at this. I know, because before it came out I was definitely one of those people who scoffed. A tv show starring the worst 'Friend' about a middleaged woman who lusts after young'uns. Throw in the lady from 'The Drew Carey Show' and her terrifying new face and mix it up with a fairly terrible first episode, and you got yourself a winner! Strangely I stuck with it and thank the baby jesus for that, because no other show makes my laugh hysterically on a consistent basis. Firstly, you have to throw away your expectations because it is NOT about Courtney Cox being a cougar and lusting after the young'uns. That plot is thrown away within the first few episodes. It's become a show that celebrates friendships and family in all it's forms, as well as drinking lots of wine and beer along the way. Umm, YES! Maybe it's because I see a lot of myself and my friends in the characters, but every week I'm like "I want that life!!" And I don't know why she never showed it before, but Courtney Cox is fucking hilarious. It makes me like Monica Geller a little more. Best thing about the show: Busy Phillips, who plays brassy and klassy (yes, with a 'k') Laurie. Part of the joy of watching the show is the hilarious things they say. The other part is watching Laurie's as she reacts to things. Honestly, it makes me re-watch episodes over and over, just to fall over in laughter at her face. Let me say it again: GET OVER YOUR PRECONCEIVED NOTIONS AND WATCH A FEW EPISODES. Best comedy on tv right now, no question. Even better than 30 Rock *sacrilege!* PENNY CAAAAAAAAANNNNNNNNN!
3. Vampire Diaries- STOP ROLLING YOUR EYES! This season was blessed/cursed with shows that it is very easy to form an opinion without ever watching a show (see also: Cougar Town). VD was another one of those, and I admit to mocking it mercilessly before it even came out. Sample thought: "oh gee, ANOTHER teenage drama about wimpy vampires and angst and the sullen girl caught in the midst. PUKE PUKE PUKE". What became very obvious soon after the show began was that it is a decidedly grown up and unstereotypical show. Every character is exceedingly well created and people you would expect to be one way (ie. Caroline, the pretty, blonde, Queen Bee personality) surprise you by surmounting their 'type' to become genuinely interesting. Some take a little longer than others (ie. Jeremy, the sad, broody brother), but give it time. There isn't a weak link among the bunch. In terms of storytelling, VD is probably the most successful at propelling it's main story from week to week, introducing and solving mysteries, building suspense, taking big twists, creating conflicts, etc. I can't think of another show (nope, not even Lost *SACRILEGE!*) that so efficiently tells it's story and holds my interest from week to week. My investment into the ultimate story of Lost was fostered over the course of several seasons, whereas with VD it has come about within it's very first. Impressive stuff! BOTTOM LINE: get over your initial smug, 'oh yay, another teen vampire drama' inclination and you'll be happily surprised.
4. Modern Family- Another comedy! Another show in it's first season! I must be easily impressed by new things. (yeah, pretty much) I have to say, it IS easier to get into this show than Cougar Town or Vampire Diaries, if only because it doesn't create the initial kneejerk reaction of "LAAAAAAAAME". MF is another one of those shows that makes me pretty near wet myself with laughter every time, but in a different way than Cougar Town. It's difficult to say why that is... I'm tempted to call it 'intelligent humour', but that isn't to say that CT isn't intelligent. I guess it's like comparing 'Frasier' to 'Friends', where MF is the Frasier and CT is the Friends. Both funny, well written, with a solid cast of characters, but people always look at "Frasier" as being the more 'highbrow' or the two. MF really is, at it's heart, about family. Three different versions, all related, all with their different idiosyncracies and stories. The gay dads raising their adopted baby, the old man and his younger wife, and the classically 'nuclear family'. All of them are BONKERS :p It's a rare show that can both tickle your funny bone and warm your darkened little heart, and MF does that pretty much every week.
5. I need time to think about this one. I have two shows are are fighting for the title, and I need to carefully consider and pick just one. One is a comedy, one is a drama. WHICH WILL WIN!? tbc