TV Shows: 2008 Top 100

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  1. My top 100 TV shows of December 2007 to November 2008.
  2. show [last year's rank, all-time rank @ 3/12/08, seasons purchased on DVD this year]
  3. -
  4. South Park [19 / 3-8]
  5. Paramount finally kicking the UK releases into gear prompted me to start acquiring the complete run on DVD. Comedy perfection - seasons three through eight are remarkably consistent.
  6. Titus [na / 1-3]
  7. An underrated gem that tackled serious topics with unbelievably edgy humour. Christopher Titus' "neutral space" was a superb concept, too.
  8. ER [1 / 10-13]
  9. Last year's number one. This year saw four further seasons hit DVD in R2; while they don't live up to earlier runs, they're still gripping, intense and compulsively watchable.
  10. Sports Night [na / 1-2]
  11. The first of two consecutive Aaron Sorkin titles on this list -- and of three overall -- Sports Night excels with its razor-sharp wit, fine character moments and fast-moving plots.
  12. Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip [na / 1]
  13. The most undeserving casualty of cancellation in recent years. Perry and Whitford led an able cast on a fast-paced journey through the land of broadcasting politics.
  14. Buffy the Vampire Slayer [na / 1-7]
  15. Joss Whedon's original masterpiece, Buffy interweaves compelling action/horror storylines with teenage angst and political and religious metaphor meticulously. Outstanding.
  16. Californication [na / 1]
  17. A show that revels in glorious excess and the darkest of dark humour. David Duchovny is perfectly cast - you instantly forget he was once Fox Mulder - and leads an able team.
  18. Dexter [na / 1-2]
  19. Michael C. Hall shines once again. Intense, funny, and dammit, often pretty scary - Dexter is taut, relentless and absurdly compelling.
  20. Monk [12 / 6]
  21. Still batting it out of the park: the series' sixth season was one of its best-ever. Still rising in my all-time ranks, Monk remains a genuine pleasure, episode after episode.
  22. How I Met Your Mother [10 / 3]
  23. The best current network sitcom. Neil Patrick Harris' Barney is still one of TV's all-time funniest characters. Season 3 maintained the very high standards set by seasons prior.
  24. It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia [na / 1-3]
  25. Buddy comedy at its best: hanging out with Mac, Dee, Dennis and Charlie is about as fun as TV gets. Danny Devito's hilarious contributions shouldn't be overlooked either.
  26. 30 Rock [na / 1-2]
  27. Tina Fey and Alec Baldwin in the same show? It can't possibly fail. And it doesn't. At turns zany, other times witty, still other times grounded in character, it executes every conceivable style of comedy with admirable success.
  28. Friday Night Lights [8 / 2]
  29. Words cannot express my love of FNL - and, more importantly, the characters that inhabit its fictional world. No other show - except maybe ER - delivers emotion so real.
  30. Frasier [6 / na]
  31. Falling, but still the most consistent show in the higher ranks of my annual lists. No more seasons left to acquire on DVD now, but re-watches prove the show holds up after multiple viewings.
  32. Ally McBeal [15 / 5]
  33. Maybe things did get a bit too zany towards the end. Maybe the constant character turnaround did more harm that good. But maybe I still bawled my eyes out when the final strains of "Neighborhood" rang out at the end of the finale.
  34. The Shield [16 / 5-6]
  35. Season 5 proved the most explosive season yet. Gritty, raw and intense - I genuinely cannot wait for the final season to hit DVD. As compelling as ever.
  36. Freaks and Geeks [na / 1]
  37. Painfully accurate. Paul Feig's observations are amazingly spot-on; Linda Cardellini and co. translate them to screen perfectly.
  38. My So-Called Life [na / 1]
  39. More angst-laden than Freaks, but the two shows are definitely cousins, even if the outlook is bleaker here. Claire Danes is perfectly cast as Angela.
  40. The West Wing [na / 2-4]
  41. The third -- and final -- spawn of Aaron Sorkin to hit my list, Wing delivers compelling characters, astutely-drawn political plots, and rat-a-tat-tat dialogue to die for.
  42. Dawson's Creek [na / 1-6]
  43. Soapy it may be -- but once you get drawn in, you can't drag yourself away. Compelling characters, compulsive viewing.
  44. Grounded for Life [na / 1-5]
  45. Exceedingly underrated by the public and critics alike, GFL's quirky style and non-linear narrative belies its traditional four-camera-with-laugh-track setup.
  46. Northern Exposure [na / 1-6]
  47. Witty dialogue, quirky characters and a beautiful Alaskan backdrop. Genuinely likeable characters help draw the viewer in, while the occasional dream sequence ensures Exposure never becomes "just another dramedy".
  48. The Sopranos [na / 1-6]
  49. Beyond the compelling conceit of the mobster-visiting-the-psychiatrist lurks marvellous storytelling, finely-drawn characters and sharp dialogue. James Gandolfini is the highlight of highlights.
  50. Moonlighting [na / 1-3]
  51. The mysteries are fun, but the intense relationship between Maddie and David is the real highlight: the tension is palpable, explosive even. The brilliantly witty banter and wry self-referencing is the icing on the cake.
  52. Never Mind the Buzzcocks [30 / na]
  53. The best panel show on TV - thanks entirely to the hilarious Simon Amstell, one of the funniest men on the planet right now. To rise my ranks, though, better guests are required.
  54. Psych [27 / 2]
  55. Season 2 was an improvement on the already-stellar first: clearly, Psych is here to stay. Thank God, too - it's effortlessly amusing, and the cases are consistently inventive.
  56. Lost [7 / 4]
  57. Still remarkably compelling, and we're finally getting some answers! The real highlight of season 4, though, was milestone and masterpiece "The Constant" - my #1 episode of the year.
  58. House [17 / 4]
  59. Four seasons in, the formula ain't old yet. That's thanks to a combination of Gregory's wit, delivered to perfection by Laurie; and the format shake-up in the show's fourth year, which culminated in a remarkable one-two punch at season's end.
  60. The X Files [13 / na]
  61. Fox and Mulder rank among TV's all-time greatest couples; while the supernatural mysteries are both challenging - as in, challenge the contents of my stomach to re-emerge - and compelling - as in, it compels me to leave my lights on at night.
  62. This American Life [na / 1]
  63. From the radio show of the same name comes one of the most interesting documentary series on TV right now. Not quite reality, not quite news..
  64. Boston Legal [3 / 4]
  65. Without A Trace [18 / 3-4]
  66. Peep Show [na / 1-5]
  67. Louis Theroux documentaries [na / Collection 1]
  68. Mock the Week [33 / THFTV]
  69. Twin Peaks [na / 1-2]
  70. The Big Bang Theory [na / 1]
  71. Pushing Daisies [na / 1]
  72. Phoenix Nights [na / 1-2]
  73. Desperate Housewives [na / 1-2]
  74. Becker [na / 1]
  75. Numb3rs [na / na]
  76. CSI [na / 1]
  77. Curb Your Enthusiasm [na / 6]
  78. Cracker [29 / E1-10]
  79. The Apprentice [na / na]
  80. Taxi [na / 1]
  81. Yes Minister/Yes, Prime Minister [na / 1-5]
  82. Shark [na / na]
  83. Futurama [40 / M2-3]
  84. The IT Crowd [na / 1-2]
  85. The Office (US) [9 / 4]
  86. Whose Line Is It Anyway? (US) [20 / 1]
  87. 8 Simple Rules [na / 1]
  88. QI [39 / 2-3]
  89. Heroes [na / 1-2]
  90. Brass Eye [na / 1]
  91. Prison Break [21 / 3]
  92. Hey Arnold! [na / 1-2]
  93. Are You Afraid of the Dark? [na / 3-4]
  94. Law and Order [na / 1]
  95. The Daily Show with Jon Stewart [35 / na]
  96. Entourage [na / 1]
  97. Sabrina the Teenage Witch [25 / 3-4]
  98. Home Improvement [31 / 8]
  99. Joey [na / 2]
  100. Two and a Half Men [na / 1]
  101. Knowing Me, Knowing You.. With Alan Partridge [na / 1]
  102. The Kids in the Hall [50 / 2-4]
  103. Spin City [na / 1]
  104. American Dad [43 / 3]
  105. The X Factor [na / na]
  106. Scrubs [14 / 7]
  107. Live at the Apollo [na / na]
  108. Mr. Bean [na / CS]
  109. Family Guy [45 / 7]
  110. Friday Night With Jonathan Ross [na / na]
  111. The Day Today [na / 1]
  112. Charlie Brooker's Screenwipe [36 / na]
  113. Blackadder [na / 2]
  114. The Sumpsons [41 / 11]
  115. My Name Is Earl [38 / 3]
  116. Seinfeld [22 / na]
  117. Diagnosis Murder [na / na]
  118. The Colbert Report [na / Best Of 1]
  119. Judge Judy [na / Best Of 2]
  120. Have I Got News For You [16 / na]
  121. Arthur [na / 1-2]
  122. Gilmore Girls [2 / na]
  123. Night Court [na / 1]
  124. Britain's Got Talent [na / na]
  125. Top Gear [na / na]
  126. Argumental [na / na]
  127. 30 Days [na / 2]
  128. Everybody Loves Raymond [11 / na]
  129. The Mighty Boosh [na / 1-3]
  130. Third Watch [na / 1]
  131. Doctor Who [32 / na]
  132. Doug [na / 1]
  133. Would I Lie To You? [na / na]
Author Comments: 

Comments on shows 31+ coming soon.

See my top 50 of 2007 here

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