the REVIEW: My best TV shows of 2011

NEW GIRL

Its baaaaack it’s baaaaack. I have to say I was waiting for the worst seeing as one of my favourite shows has been cancelled (How to Make it in America) and two others, Private Practice and Community, are supposedly on the cancellation conveyor belt ‘gaining traction’.

New Girl is without contest one of the best shows of 2011;  it came just at the right time towards the end of the year. It’s so fluffy and silly and funny I want to die. Well written, acted and full of endearing characters and qualities its 20 minute bites are just the right amount to bring a little happiness in to the week. Granted the christmas ep was a little odd, like it was rushed and completely improvised, however I am loving all the added web virals on YouTube that they have going on behind the scenes or part of character developments – look below at  ‘Schmidt’s (the brilliant Max Greenfield) dating profile showreel in the vein of the Hills intro – EVEN if you are unfamiliar with the Hills intro it’s still funny. Because he is ridonkulous…like that word. Lamorne Morris is a brilliant addition to the clan (remember it was Damon Wayan(jr?) who initially held the role as ‘Coach’ but after the pilot (and his subsequent move to Happy Endings…or was it Friends with Benefits …I forget?) the drafted in another black guy and Lamorne was cast as the egotistical, cool hand luke of the group Winston. Ah. I love them all. As I have said repeatedly it is a rehash of the whole 3 men and a baby story. 3 young bachelors have to ‘deal’ with this female imposition and she is eager to love them and shower them with affection something they are most definitely not cool with or understand. The rest is a perfect mess of how the new ‘BFFs’ get along and help each other through various light troubles and strifes. Truly heartwarming and fun stuff.

Also is Justin Long as Jess’s love interest coming back? she never  SPOILER told him that she loved him back and he went away. Obviously we know her and SPOILER Nick are destined to bump uglies. Because he is sardonic and she is summer and opposites attract. It works. YAY. January 12th.

Private Practice

Now for real Private Practice, for me, has become perhaps the better of the three (Off the Map though cancelled, premiered this year) Shonda Rhimes productions. Greys is great when it’s great no doubt, however recently  more often than not it’s fallen from grace and Private Practice with its consistent carousel of drama, funny, fantastic character developments and obvs the presence of Sheldon has made it stand out, so why on earth would they cancel it? I want to know if AddiSam can survive her SPOILER pregnancy attempts or if the hotness of Benjamin Bratt will scupper their tryst. Is Nai coming back ? I don’t like Violet or Peter so I am relieved they have split…but what about Cooper and Charlotte, why are they so happy. Is something bad going to happen?Something bad is going to happen. Don’t even get me started on the Amelia story. Wow. That was some heavy stuff, a bender so metaphorically a shock to the system in the way it played out and then demise of one of the central characters, amazing. She has now truly become one of them by suffering this plight. Have you noticed how the characters that get to stay and be liked have to have something awful happen to them before our eyes for us to accept them truly. Check it: Obvs Addison and everything; Sam, Nai their marriage, kid getting preggo and the whole practice revolution. Violet and Pete had their fair share of crap in the seasons before the last with Pete having a heart attack and Violets baby being cut out of her stomach. Charlotte has become one of my faves from such an unfavorable ranking and it may have had something to do with her rape story. So well done and who would have thunk Xander from Buffy was the rapist! Obvs Cooper is tied to the Charlotte lot seeing as they got married, but now their’s a mini Cooper…and it’s not Charlotte’s. I think Sheldon is the only exception but he is Sheldon he deals with all their problems. This can not go anywhere you here me US NETWORK.

Community.

Where do I start. I don’t think I can honestly put my adoration of this show in to words so I will post a video which hopefully can serve to highlight why this show is still so funny, still so fantastically scripted, acted and stomach wrenching clever – still so important to keep on our screens.

The Playboy Club

It’s such a shame. SUCH a shame because come the third episode this really began to get good. Then they go cancel it. I hope the last three episodes they apparently filmed will be released soon. Such cute bunny outfits and a likeable gorgeous cast, even the script got better. So what went wrong? Was it all a little too late? We shall never know.

TOWIE (the only way is Essex)

I don’t care what you people say. This show is not my guilty pleasure I openly love watching it and discussing it. Its my Hills and City replacement (remember Living on the Edge? – yeah it’s doing what that should have but so much better) From fake eyelashes to fake friendships The Only Way is Essex is getting blasts from self-proclaimed high brow viewers for its shoddy (and yet BAFTA winning) programming. It’s addictive stuff for those of us who sometimes love to be entertained without really stretching our imaginations (and let’s be honest Big Brother doesn’t do it any more and most certainly not while it’s on graveyard channel 5) Now next year I don’t know how I’m going to feel with Mark Wrights absence.  Arg and Mark’s bromance was a thing of pure beauty. I’m not stupid, I can especially tell what is real and what is constructed for our viewing pleasure and their relationship and banter was real and a pleasure to watch. Additionally the comedy value of Lydia Albright and her mother Debbie is a highlight and their constant teasing of Arg is comedy gold and how can you not fall in love with Joey Essex’s endearing yet baffling dimness.

The Good Wife

If you saw the end of season 2 then you know the title holds merit in other aspects of Alicia’s life. Good mother, good employee – Good Wife? debatable seeing as she finally got down and dirty with Mr Will Gardener. Yum, and when we were all satisfied and relieved that itch is out-of-the-way bigger things… like lawyer stuff…got in the way and true to form this show pulled in a brilliant rotary of stories, characters and resolutions. Still well cast and with some brilliant cameos ala Eddie Izzard and Rita Wilson (to name a few) and beautifully shot, composed and acted. Great TV.

Revenge

I did not expect to enjoy this. I thought it looked awful but after episode 1 I was hooked. However with the storyline SPOILER of a young woman who after 10 years goes back to seek vengeance for her father who was framed and sent down for a ‘terrible awful’ he did not do you know there’s only so much they’ll have to work with before the story becomes stale and ridiculous – LOST / PRISON BREAK. So far though Emily VanCamp is beautiful  and not surprisingly strong as the lead Amanda Clarke. Under the guise of the alluring and worming her way in to the lives of those who ruined her fathers, twisting the knife in their rich domestic lives with ingenious set ups and plottings. Can’t wait to see how the rest of the drama unfolds, seeing as it started with one of the key character being shot. Guilty pleasure ticked.

American Horror Story.

AAAAAAH BEST OF 2011 for sure. There are no frigging words to contain the method to Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk (Nip/Tuck; Glee) madness. This is a formidable writing team and with such diversity! American Horror Story most certainly is one of the best programs to come out of tv land this decade. So twisted, wonderfully executed and beautifully shot and cut. The cast were ridiculous and each horror story connected to the house? AMAZING horrifying. If you watch anything make it this. Watch it all. Its brilliant. From credit sequence (below) to the end everything is meticulously played out. How can you expect less from the team who created Glee in the first place. What’s amazing is how dark and unlike anything America has put out on tv before – its definitely more akin to programs such as Being Human (uk) and the Fades. Whats brilliant is that they have wrapped on this story – ended it on a high and plan to set the next season on a completely new horror story somewhere in America. That is good tv indeed.

Downton Abbey.

I… just watch it.

Awkward Black Girl.

Now I have been banging on about this show to friends, on Twitter and Facebook. This web series is blowing up and taking over the vlogosphere. Not only is it a fresh and more realistic representation of the black female than just the ghetto hoochy mama’s you see on TV its funny its true and it’s interactive. Issa Rae has created a platform for more young black women who have never necessarily been able to conform to the usual sassy black woman created by the media. The character J is awkward and happens to be black. However its more about her being awkward with guys, friends, guys. It deals with the hilarious and confusing issues of dating outside of ones race and coming to terms with ones loveable …um…awkwardness. There are rumours its been optioned for network TV. Here’s hoping.

Now if we’re talking one off’s then Top Boy, This is England 88, Black Mirror and a recent adaptation of Great Expectations were my top picks. Throw Forbrydelsen 2 in there and you’ve got great telly from two countries that ARE NOT US. Well done Europe.

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