Saturday, December 18, 2010

Best bits of 2010, part 2 - TV

I always say that I don't watch a lot of telly, but thinking about this haas made me realise that maybe I watch more than I think I do.

So what were the highlights of 2010? Well in no particular order, they would have to be:

Camo Daleks with Union flags beneath the eyepieces in Doctor Who - the best Daleks ever. Although then they were blown up at the end of the episode by "proper" Daleks in primary colours that looked crap. Still, a Dalek asking if the Doctor would like a cup of tea was awesome.

In fact the series of Dr Who with Matt Smith replacing David Tennant was really quite good, although I wasn't too fussed about the over-arching storyline.

Season 3 of Chuck had some good moments too. The first half of the season was fairly awkward, but the last few episodes were gripping. I watched the series on DVD (thanks, Connor, for lending it to me) as it was shown on Monday nights when I was on youth. There is a danger with series like Chuck that it will get overwhelmingly silly after a while, yet so far it has managed to avoid that.

Season 3 of Outnumbered was very good, as to be expected. This is the one comedy show that has me biting my knuckles with embarrassment on a regular basis. The stand-out episode for me was one where Sue's incredibly annoying, flighty sister brought her American self-help guru husband over to meet the family. Karen, the little girl in the show, mercilessly questioned him until he cracked. It was awesome and painful to watch at the same time.

There was also a brilliant joke that was trailed extensively before the season - when Karen is told that a woman can be any shape or size she wants to be. Karen turns her head on one side and says 'What about a hexagon?'

Two new shows from America that are airing on Sky 1 seem to be producing the goods. I haven't seen too many episodes of The Middle, but what I have seen has made me laugh. And then there is Raising Hope, made by the same team who produced My Name is Earl, and very funny. Like MNIE, the central cast of misfits and losers are cringe-inducing, yet loveable. They have good hearts and that's what makes them work as character.

Raising Hope is also one of the best stories of unrequited love I've seen in a while. Jimmy's attempts to woo Sabrina capture that sense of desperation about not trying to look too desperate; of wanting someone but trying so hard not to scare them off. It is poetry.

A love story of a different kind has shown up in the latest series of The Big Bang Theory. Sheldon has a girlfriend, possessing equal brainiac weirdness as him. I quite like 'Big Bang' (especially as the Barenaked Ladies composed the theme song!), and it seems to be maturing quite nicely as a sitcom, with no signs of flagging yet.

But there is one stand-out TV moment of the year for me - from the second series of Castle, itself a great show despite being a detective series. I normally avoid detective shows, but this has enough quirky charm to keep me interested.

It stars Nathan Fillion, one-time star of the great Firefly. One episode of Castle begins with Fillion, as Rick Castle, dressed in his old Firefly garb for Hallowe'en. His daughter Alexis asks him what he is meant to be.

"Space Cowboy," he says.

"Didn't you wear that outfit, like, five years ago," she asks condescendingly.

"Yeah," he admits, before saying in a small voice, "but I really liked it."

That is probably the best TV crossover inside joke I have ever seen. It was brilliant. Definitely my highlight of the year.


  1. Can't believe you missed out Better Of Ted!?!

  2. Oh, yeah. That's a cool show. Well, you can have that for your telly round up of the year