Best of the Decade: Television

8 Dec
Television is good for you

Television is good for you

In just a few short weeks, the 00s will be over. With it will go our youth, our innocence, our good looks, our days of underage drinking and our fears of a belated Y2K meltdown. We here at We Have Internets (man, we should have thought of a better blog name) have decided to celebrate the decade the same way as every other newspaper, magazine, website, blog, Twitter feed and diary entry out there:  With a series of top 10 lists.  Each list will be brought to you by a different blogger.  Marc is first with the Top 10 TV Shows of the 2000s.

Criteria: The television show had to start sometime between 2000-2009 with the exception of The Sopranos and West Wing because Marc argued that they didn’t hit their stride until this decade. I consented because, eh, what the hell. No one reads this blog anyway.

List-maker’s Qualifications: Marc is a lonely, lonely man who watches a lot of TV.

1. The Wire

In its simplicity it is a game of cops and robbers played out in Baltimore. At its most complex it is a study of the human spirit, the decline of the American city and the loss of values in our society. It’s told in a well-crafted arc that is worthy of Shakespeare. If you can’t tell, I love this show. You should too. Go watch it now.

2. Arrested Development

I want Claire to write this one.

Claire:  Okay, here you go…

At its heart, Arrested Development is about the importance of family. In this case, the family includes a drunk, a slut, the slut’s gay husband, an egomaniac, a mildly retarded man-boy, a rebellious teen and her awkward cousin who’s in love with her, a crooked CEO and Liza Minnelli. Hilarity ensues. It frequently involves blue paint.

3. West Wing

Not only does Jeb Barlett top the list of greatest fictional presidents, he would beat out most of our real presidents too. I may end up writing him in on the 2012 ballot if we’re still alive then. According to John Cusack, we’re all going to die around then or something.

4. Mad Men

Boozing, womanizing and general boyish badassery. What’s not to like about this show? Don Draper makes me wish I had lived in the 60s.

Note from Claire: I don’t really have anything to say here, I just can’t get the photos to line up unless we have a few more lines about Mad Men. So I’ll just say that I agree with Marc’s statements, although I would have ranked the show much higher on my list.

5. Deadwood

There are no heroes in this show. Just a smattering of villains, drifters, lawmen and whores. Lots and lots of whores. It’s gritty and dirty, it’s the Old West in all its raunchy glory and it is epic. And if you’ve ever been to the real Deadwood, it really hasn’t changed that much.

6. Battlestar Galactica

BEARS. BEATS. BATTLESTAR GALACTICA. Yes, it’s a show for nerds. But it just so happens that I’m a huge nerd, which means this show was made for me.

Note from Claire: Too short. Also, I hate Battlestar Gallactica. And contrary to popular belief, I have actually seen a lot of it (involuntarily). I’m sorry, but “fark” is a stupid swear word.

7. The Office (US)

Sometimes it’s awkward, sometimes it’s a cheap joke, but after a solid half hour it always leaves you satisfied. That’swhatshesaid!

Note from Claire: Too short again. Marc sent me a message the other night saying that he couldn’t complete his Top 10 list because his entries were long, rambling and emotional. I told him to limit himself to 3 sentences. It worked, but now it’s TOO short.  That’swhatshesaid.

8. Always Sunny in Philadelphia

If you were to combine Seinfeld with Arrested Development, lace the whole thing with cocaine and pour liquor down its throat, you would come out with Always Sunny. I think I’ve said all I need to here.

Note from Claire: BAH! too short!! Marc was the very first person who recommended this show to me back in 2006 or so. Bonus points to him for discovering it.

9. Chapelle’s Show

Let’s just name a bunch of amazing sketches from this boundary-pushing show: Racial Draft, Charlie Murphy’s True Hollywood Stories, The Black George Bush, Reparations, Wayne Brady, Do You Know Black People, so on, so forth, ad infinitum.

10. The Sopranos

They point out in this show that everyone loves Mob stories. It’s true, and why shouldn’t we? Money, violence, sex, crime, they have everything you’d want in a show/life. The Sopranos has all that and it’s dominated by Tony Soprano—one of the great TV characters of all time.

Honorable Mentions: Lost, Futurama, Firefly, Curb Your Enthusiasm, The Tudors, Venture Brothers, Eastbound and Down, Summer Heights High, Aqua Teen Hunger Force, The Ali G Show

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18 Responses to “Best of the Decade: Television”

  1. Molly December 8, 2009 at 4:47 pm #

    Except for a few, I’m a little shocked I’m not angrier with your list.

    WAIT, 30 Rock doesn’t even get an honorable mention????

    • Claire December 8, 2009 at 4:49 pm #

      Marc hates 30 Rock. This is because Marc is stupid

    • mazall December 8, 2009 at 4:49 pm #

      i agree. 30 rock should have been on there.

  2. Marc December 8, 2009 at 5:24 pm #

    Bah. It’s not as funny as any of the comedies, or at all for that matter, and it’s not as worthwhile as any of the dramas.

  3. Marc December 8, 2009 at 5:44 pm #

    BEG is about the human experience. It’s sci/fi, but it has more to do with what we do when we’re pushed to the limits than Star Wars. It’s characters have incredible depth and arcs, witty dialogue and great plot lines. Also, it has a bunch of fights with robots. Totally rad.

    Sunny is brilliant. Never do such a group of assholes make you love and hate them at the same time. Their schemes are zany; clever in their simplicity but diabolical in their depth. The make me want to buy a seedy bar and spend all my time drinking free booze and trying any number of get rich quick schemes. Take out the owning a bar part and that’s most of my life anyways.

    • Marc December 8, 2009 at 6:15 pm #

      Also, I wrote that at
      lunch on an iPod, so please
      excuse the absurd typos and grammar.

  4. Drewpreme December 8, 2009 at 10:25 pm #

    I support Marc’s list. I would have had “30 Rock” as well but then I finally watched “Arrested Development” and it blows “30 Rock” out the water…

    Yes “The Wire” is the greatest piece of television ever.

    • Drewpreme December 8, 2009 at 10:27 pm #

      PS – regarding “Chappelle” you also forgot “Clayton Bigsby” and “Racist Hollywood Animals”. LOL…

      • Marc December 10, 2009 at 5:29 pm #

        Oh man, you’re right. I also neglected to mention the skit where Chapelle goes over what he would need to see to convince him of R. Kelly’s guilt. Classic.

  5. Claire December 9, 2009 at 12:17 am #

    I haven’t seen the Wire so I can’t really say…but has anyone encountered someone who watched a whole season and didn’t’ like it? All I ever hear is praise.

    • molly December 10, 2009 at 2:15 pm #

      Um I saw the elevator shot

  6. Cara December 9, 2009 at 2:35 am #

    Top Ten lists should be written in reverse. You can’t give the top ranked show first. I have to have something to look forward to to keep scrolling down.

    That’s all I have to say cause I don’t really watch TV (evidence: I have only seen episodes of 4 of these shows, and Battlestar was only 1/2 an episode forced by Paul and Camacho). I for some reason thought we watched It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia at Logandy’s wedding in June 2005, but apparently that is wrong since it didn’t even start until August 2005.

    • molly December 10, 2009 at 2:19 pm #

      agree with Cara. My top ten books list (oooh! racy!) will be done in reverse.

    • Marc December 10, 2009 at 5:31 pm #

      We watched the 1400, while we all layed in bed hungover.

  7. Sookie December 9, 2009 at 4:59 am #

    Glad to see 3 of my favorites of all time (AD, Chappelle & The Wire) made the list with Sunny quickly getting its way there. Plus a few of my favs were on your honorable mention, including our agreement of Eastbound and Down making its way to the best of the decade in just 6 episodes and squeaking in under the cutoff.

    One thing we dont agree on:

    David Palmer >> Jeb Bartlett

    • Marc December 10, 2009 at 5:26 pm #

      I penalize Palmer for three things
      1. A nuclear bomb was detonated on American soil.
      2. His wife
      3. He only served one term. Yes, he pulled out, but only because a scandal would have likely destroyed any shot at being re-elected.

      Don’t get me wrong, he’s definitely Top 5 and probably Top 3, but I’ll take Jeb over him any day.

  8. Serenity May 20, 2010 at 7:51 am #

    It’s good to see the dysfunctional genius of Arrested Development noticed, but you missed one show that was shot down even quicker for being too original and brilliant for television: FIREFLY! If you haven’t seen it, do yourself a favor and buy the dvd set for yourself and anyone else you respect.

    • Marc June 20, 2010 at 3:44 am #

      Firefly is AWESOME. I put it in my honorable mentions, but I had a hard time putting it in the Top 10 over any of the other shows. Criminal is the only way to describe its abrupt cancellation.

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