In this gargantuan Top 100 list, we go a little out of the box by looking at specific elements of television--both on-screen and off-screen--that we thought were the most memorable this year. We'll put up 10 more each weekday through January 2nd, so be sure to check the site often. Until next year, Happy Holidays!
40. Jeremy Piven's Emmy acceptance speechThe Emmys experimented with a multi-host format this year, and while making horrible decisions, the producers decided to go all the way and pick emcees from reality programs. Entourage's Piven proceeded to use his acceptance speech to say what everyone was thinking: boy, that was lame. Kudos to you, Mr. Piven.
39. Lovable leading slackers2007's fall schedule introduced a pair of leading slackers--Chuck Bartowski of NBC's Chuck and Sam Oliver of the CW's Reaper--and it was questionable whether or not they would be able to carry a show. Well, guess what...not only did they hold their own, they became some of our favorites. Enough with the model types flaunting their abs in our face, give us more normal people.
38. The Deadwood DVD box setThere's no sunset to ride off into, no sheriff's daughter to court. The Old West world of Deadwood is full of whiskey, bar brawls, and whores, and that's just how it should be. The complete series is finally out in one package on DVD, and now is a perfect time to revisit David Milch's excellent HBO series.
37. Just about anything Walter Bishop saysSome people watch Fringe for the science-y stories, some watch to try and crack the conspiracies, some watch for Joshua Jackson. We watch it for Walter Bishop's outrageous dialogue that's peppered with non sequiturs and bizarre requests for fizzy beverages. How about a Walter Bishop spin-off?
36. Damon & Carlton's Lost podcastsNo other showrunners in television are connected to their fans like Lost's Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse. Even though the dynamic duo's schedule is jam-packed, they always manage to put together podcasts that answer (sometimes) fans' questions, give hints, and manage to be very entertaining. The Lost experience always goes beyond the 44-minute program, and these podcasts are a great example.
35. Foreign actorsIf they weren't so darned good, we might be mad at some of these non-American actors takin' our jobs. But Hugh Laurie (House), Simon Baker (The Mentalist), Ed Westwick (Gossip Girl), Damien Lewis (Life), Jason O'Mara (Life on Mars), and Anna Friel (Pushing Daisies), to name a few, play American better than most Americans.
34. Excessive violence on Life on MarsWe would never advocate police brutality, but when we see Detective Ray Carling and Lieutenant Gene Hunt railin' on a suspect, we say let it rip.
33. Michael C. Hall's intensityAs the serial-killing anti-hero of Dexter, actor Michael C. Hall is absolutely deadly. Whether he's charming others while pretending to be a normal member of society or chastising a victim he is about to dissect, Hall's performance is not to be missed.
32. In Treatment's scheduleA five-night-a-week drama? In Treatment's workman-like run was about as impressive as the cast's performance. And with a new patient each night of the week, those who could only catch Thursdays could still manage to follow along.
31. The tension of DamagesFX's drama about high-stakes litigation lawyer Patty Hewes drips with tension in each episode, giving us heart palpitations while watching this thrilling show. Deft writing, incredible acting, and picture-perfect directing create an atmosphere other dramas aspire to achieve just once a season. Though it technically returns in 2009, we've recently watched season two's first three episodes, as well as refreshed ourselves on season one through the magic of blu-ray. Get ready for a great second season!
Check out more TV.com lists here, and be sure to check back tomorrow for numbers 21-30!