f a i t h * i n * f i c t i o n: Favorites from 2005 – Television

f a i t h * i n * f i c t i o n

Monday, December 19, 2005

Favorites from 2005 – Television

This week will be devoted to wrapping up 2005. It’s not a “best of” look because I’m only scratching the surface in all these areas. These things brought me some pleasure in 2005 and might be worth paying attention to if you’d never heard of them.

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The Office – It seemed like a disaster waiting-to-happen. Reworking BBC shows has always turned out badly. After a weak start last spring, this show has found its footing. It plays broader than the English version, but the characters are carving out their own space.

Everybody Hates Chris – With all the sex-laden sitcoms on the air, families should be glued here. Still retains some of Chris Rock’s social skewering, but it’s more nostalgic than I expected. And thanks to the writers for Julius (Terry Crews) the best, least cliched father on television.

Arrested Development – Bob Loblaw.

My Name is Earl – The deep affection this show has for all its characters saves it from the easy route of demeaning or stereotyping them. The closing “morals” get a little cloying sometimes but the writing is still sharp. And the best /awful soundtrack on television.

Zoboomafoo – I wanted to be an animal behaviorist until about my freshman year in college. Oh, if only this show had been on back then. A favorite of my girls and one I enjoy almost as much.


On DVD

NewsRadio – Cruelly overlooked when it was on the air this show had probably one of the best large ensembles since Cheers. Phil Hartman, in particular, is brilliant but the rest of the cast all shine. “Good times…good times.”

Freaks and Geeks – Yes, this was on last year’s list but I know you ignored me. Trust me, it’s one of the finest things ever to air on television.