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American Film Institute Names its Top TV Shows of 2010

by Catherine Lawson, posted Dec 13th 2010 8:10AM
'The Walking Dead''The Walking Dead,' 'Boardwalk Empire' and 'Glee' are among the TV series honored by the American Film Insitute (AFI) yesterday.

According to the AFI, honorees are selected "based on works which best advance the art of the moving image; enhance the rich cultural heritage of America's art form; inspire audiences and artists alike; and/or make a mark on American society."

Judges for the TV category included producer/writer Steven Bochco, actress Jennifer Love Hewitt and our very own Maureen Ryan.

Unlike other awards-givers, the AFI does not rank its selections, or pick one show as "the best." Cable dramas made a big impression this year, including AMC's 'Mad Men,' which made the list for the fourth year running, but network comedies were also strongly represented.

Here's the list of AFI TV Programs of the Year in full:

'The Big C' (Showtime)
'Boardwalk Empire' (HBO)
'Breaking Bad' (AMC)
'Glee' (Fox)
'Mad Men' (AMC)
'Modern Family' (ABC)
'The Pacific' (HBO)
'Temple Grandin' (HBO)
'30 Rock' (NBC)
'The Walking Dead' (AMC)

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Stevie

no Community, no Terriers, no Men of a Certain Age, and no Justified, which is probably better than all three plus the 3 actually great shows that made the list (30 Rock, Modern Family, & Temple Grandin). But they have Glee & Boardwalk Empire, which are steaming piles of crap. Feh.

December 13 2010 at 7:10 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
skunkyDan

all those shows and the only one I watch is
the Walking Dead LOL

December 13 2010 at 3:30 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
meeno01

community is way better than 30 rock, SGU should be on there, and I cant respect any "best of" list that doesnt include Its Always Sunny in Philadelphia

December 13 2010 at 2:44 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jackie Estrada

Glee? GLEE? But not Treme? Based on music alone, without the fabulous acting, scripts, and location shooting, Treme is light years better.

December 13 2010 at 2:38 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
JR

The Big C should not be on the list. Laura Linney is great as always and makes the show tolerable, but the writing was poor and predictable. The whole will she or won't she tell her family about her cancer also dragged on for way too long.

As for The Walking Dead, I think it's an entertaining show, but I agree it's not one of the best of the year. Perhaps it just wasn't a great year of television.

Also, not surprised Dexter isn't on the list, this season was a huge disappointment, and the show in general is nowhere near as strong as Mad Men or Breaking Bad.

December 13 2010 at 1:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Phil

It's really too bad that few people liked "In Treatment." The acting, especially Gabriel Byrne, is absolutely top notch. (If he doesn't get an Emmy it's because hardly anyone watches the show). "Boardwalk Empire" "Breaking Bad," "Mad Men" in no particular order. All those shows were number ones. "Treme" also. Lower down but still aces in my book were "Rubicon" and "Fringe." I preferred "Parks and Recreation" to "30 Rock." "Modern Family" has its charm. But I think I'd rather watch a Seinfeld rerun for the 100th time.

December 13 2010 at 12:16 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to Phil's comment
Leroy

I loved the first season of In Treatment, but by the end the number of episodes per week made watching it more of a chore than a pleasure despite how great the acting and writing were. I just didn't have the energy to keep up with it after the first week of season 2 and haven't looked at season 3 at all.

December 13 2010 at 1:23 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Phil

Leroy, if you have HBO On Demand I'd recommend season 3 of "In Treatment." I thought it was the best of the three seasons and more realistic.

December 13 2010 at 5:23 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Dawn

Community is way better than 30 Rock

December 13 2010 at 11:54 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Josh

Hmm, no Terriers? I didn't realize the list couldn't include prematurely canceled shows.

December 13 2010 at 10:50 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
4 replies to Josh's comment
MosquitoControl

I still don't get the critical acclaim for The Walking Dead.

The acting tended to be poor.
The characters were horribly boring.
The dialogue tended to be garbage.
The plots varied between insanely dull and insanely ham-fisted.
And any opportunity to actually be interesting were completely skipped over.

Rather than be a tormented man losing grip with reality Shane is a sex-offending villain.
Rather than dealing with Shane slowly becoming untrustworthy we're given dialogue from a wife-beater.
Rather than do anything with zombies we're given lame dialogue at the camp.


And no story arc. No point A to point B. Bland people having bland conversation in a camp then driving to a compound with no story arc. No character arcs. No growth. No decay. No change. Nothing. Just terrible dialogue, terrible characters, and Lori giving a wooden stare.

Bah, it pisses me off so much because it would have been so easy to make a compelling zombie show. Focus on the interesting characters, give them enough time to actually be interesting, and for the love of god have the occasional zombie (something often missing.) Trimming away the terrible characters no one cared about and sticking tightly on Lori, Shane and Rick, with a side of Glen, Redneck and Gilliganhat, would have worked well. Start the plot of Shane going nuts and have it advance every week. End with something happening there. Arc!

Even the choice to show Shane's reason for leaving Rick behind was poorly timed. By then we'd already seen Shane aim his gun at Rick and were inches from seeing him try to rape Lori. I get that they were trying to do a juxtaposition there but Shane was never really set up as anything but a villain. We have not seen him as anything else post-apocalypse. If they wanted us to have sympathy for him they could have shown that earlier. Instead they reveal it when it's already easy to hate Shane and see where that plot is going.
Such a waste.

December 13 2010 at 9:43 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to MosquitoControl's comment
Jaina

Couldn't agree more. It had a good pilot, but went downhill fast. The dialogue is atrocious and yes there were only 6 episodes, but they were completely wasted.

December 13 2010 at 9:59 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Leroy

Sorry, but I don't agree with any of that. It's unfortunate for you that the writers have chosen to tell a different story than the the one you'd write, but I'm quite happy with the one they are telling.

The most likely reason it is doing so well is that is directed and performed like an old-fashioned horror movie by which I mean that it presents itself as a serious drama instead of being weighed down with tons of nudge-nudge wink-wink silliness and camp.

Endless zombies are not necessary. Their offscreen presence is felt in every moment these people live through if you're paying attention. If all you want to see is non-stop violence, then watch some other show and leave this one to those of us mature enough to appreciate it.

December 13 2010 at 10:38 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Morgan Jones

How can they not put dexter on the list???

December 13 2010 at 9:15 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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