Best and Worst of 2006: Bob's list
If you had told me a year ago that the top three shows on my "Best of" list would be on NBC, I would have said you were crazy. Then I would have asked you how you knew this. Are you psychic? Can you see into the future? You're the devil I say, the devil!
But that's what happened. Below is my list for the 5 best shows of the year and the 5 worst, along with various odd and ends. Yeah, let me have it in the comments about what I got wrong.
Update: After a few days of thinking about it, I've changed one of my "worst" picks. I'm sure you'll see why.
1. Heroes (NBC): I liked the pilot when I saw it earlier this year, but I thought the show would collapse quickly and be either ridiculous or boring. Wow, was I wrong. This isn't just the most exciting show of the year, it's also one of the smartest. They're doing a comic book show the way it should be done. And they're doing it in a way where you say "this is how TV should be done!"
2. The Office (NBC): Everyone says the British version of this show is better than this American remake. They're wrong. Maybe it's because I'm American (or, more likely, people just like to seem smarter and more international than they are so they say that the British version must be better), but this show does every single thing right. This is the best comedy on TV right now, on the networks or cable.
3. Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip (NBC): Sorry folks, if you really think this is a bad show, you don't deserve to own a television.
4. Ugly Betty (ABC): Flat out one of the most entertaining hours of the season. America Ferrara is one of the breakouts of the year, and the rest of the cast is great too. I don't know if I thought I'd get into a soap about the fashion industry, but it's very funny and smart.
5. Jericho (CBS): I thought this show would be gone in 5 weeks. A serial sci-fi about a town cut off from the world after a nuclear war (if that is indeed what's happening)? I didn't think it would last. But it had me hooked after the second episode, and it's a lot better than anyone thought it would be.
Honorable mention: The Nine, Day Break, The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, Alec Baldwin on 30 Rock, Bob Schieffer, Deadwood, The New Adventures of Old Christine, Little People, Big World, Keith Olbermann, Stephen Colbert at the White House Correspondent's Dinner.
1. The Insider/Entertainment Tonight/Access Hollywood (syndicated): I made a resolution a few months ago never to watch these shows again, and I'm happy to report I'm sticking to it. Every single thing about these shows is vile, dumb, and exploitive. Including the hosts.
2. Jerry Springer (syndicated): This will be on the list every year until Springer either quits or goes to hell.
3. Nancy Grace (CNN Headline News): One of the most vile human beings on television. If I can even use the term "human being."
4. Deal Or No Deal/1 vs. 100/Identity (NBC): Three of the stupidest game shows in history, and all have basically the same premise/lighting/direction/editing/host. Oh, and painfully annoying contestants.
5. The Rosie/Donald Trump feud: Two morons sniping each other. It was boring, embarrassing, and made it almost impossible to root for either of them.
Dishonorable mention: Rachael Ray, The O'Reilly Factor, Hannity and Colmes, Paula Zahn, Emeril Live, Twenty Good Years, American Inventor, all the CSI shows and around 98% of all reality shows. And the series finale of Will & Grace.
Most Disappointing: Lost
Worst Casting Decision: 30 Rock, for kicking Rachel Dratch to the side and getting Jane Krakowski to take her place.
Show That Went Downhill The Fastest: Smith