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!
80. HBO 24/7
Whether you are a boxing fan or not, HBO's mini-docs leading up to one of their big ticket fights are a work of art, painting portraits of two men (and their worlds) about to beat the snot out of each other. The program is always a favorite at the sports Emmy awards, and it's easy to see why.
79. The execution of Anne Boleyn
No spoilers here. We all knew it was coming, but we still weren't prepared for it. The execution of Queen Anne (Natalie Dormer) in the season-two finale of The Tudors
didn't rely on sappy tear-jerking devices, and the immediate switchover to Henry chomping on stuffed swan gave us a preview of the tyrant's impending gluttony. One swift cut, followed by another--brilliant.
78. Clay Davis' extended expletive
The fast-talking senator became a focal point of season five of The Wire
, and he delivered. Davis seemed absolutely perturbed that people were upset he was stealing money from honest people, capping off each accusation with his lengthy trademark curse (hint: it rhymes with "sheeeeeeeeeeeeeet"). And it got us every time.
77. True Blood's alternate reality
We're crediting author Charlaine Harris for this one, but seeing True Blood
's Bayou where vampires and humans intertwined come to life in the series premiere had us immediately hooked from the opening scene. The world of True Blood
is intelligent camp, keeping us entertained in the spirit of classic horror yet never insulting our intelligence.
Rule number-one: don't go on reality television if you have secrets to hide. When Lauren Cleri admitted
to an extramarital affair and love for her ex on The Moment of Truth
, viewers saw a marriage collapse before their very eyes. Hard to believe it could go any lower, but reality television reached a new low point that day. Your move, Wife Swap
A Wisconsin family with clueless parents, an awkward son, and a social-ladder climbing daughter were taught many lessons by their foreign exchange student--and so were we. Aliens in America
was the best new comedy of 2007-2008, and deserves as much praise as other high-profile premature cancellations. Now where's that season one DVD?
The man women want to be with and men want to be this year is Alexander Skarsgard. Possessing Nordic good lucks and stature, piercing eyes, and a cloud of mystery, Skarsgard delivered an incredible performance as Iceman in Generation Kill
and chills as Erik, the 1000-year-old Viking vampire in True Blood
. He's poised to be Hollywood's next leading man.
MOJO HD's inebriated travel show is always good for a barrel of laughs, but when host Zane Lamprey went to Sin City, we were absolutely floored. Zane gets a shiner from an errant booze bottle tossed by a liquor-twirling bartender, eats a $777 burger garnished with lobster and champagne, and plays drunken poker with pros that are drinking girly martinis. Now that's what we call a weekend.
Why is it that major networks can't get online video right, but two guys who make a potty-mouthed cartoon can do it flawlessly? Every episode of South Park
is online at the show's Web site
FOR FREE, yet other video hubs have partial seasons, too many commercials, and/or are broken. Now do yourself a favor and go watch "Scott Tenorman Must Die."
71. A pair of long-tenured actors
We may not think House
has retained the quality of its storied past, but there is still one big reason to keep on watching--Hugh Laurie
. We're also calling out the wonderful Tony Shalhoub
who deserves every ounce of hardware he's earned for Monk
. These are two actors who carry the weight of their shows on their backs effortlessly.
Check out more TV.com lists here, and be sure to check back tomorrow for numbers 61-70!