2010 was a banner year for television, which means there was certainly no shortage of nominees for our third annual "Top 100 Everything" list. Here you'll find the shows, characters, and episodes that made 2010 amazing—as well as the behind-the-scenes players, trends, and TV-relevant happenings that helped shaped the culture of television this year.
We'll be posting 10 items each weekday through December 31, so check back often to see what made the cut!
30. FX's bad guys
Well, technically one is a gal, but that didn't stop Sons of Anarchy's Agent Stahl (Ally Walker) from being the most vile villain on television this year. And thanks to Walton Goggin's masterpiece of a performance, Justified's Christian neo-Nazi Boyd Crowder also put the fear in us.
The fight over the State's Attorney race was enthralling. Florrick and Childs were anticipating a third candidate, and they spent a lot of time sabotaging her campaign. She stepped up to the podium anyway... and announced the candidacy of somebody else. It was a fabulous moment for a show that needs to be talked about more.
They weren't the all-time best episodes of the series, but the show's ambition to do not one, but TWO live shows (one for each coast—sorry, Chicago!) floored us. And as for how they pulled it off considering the potential for disaster? Color us very impressed.
Bones went all out for its 100th episode: Series star David Boreanaz directed it, Eric Millegan returned to play intern Zach Addy, viewers got a glimpse at the turbulent beginnings of Booth and Brennan's relationship, and—most momentously—Brennan rejected Booth in one of the most heartbreaking scenes of the year.
26. Louie's dentist appointment
In a series overflowing with awkward moments and controversial humor, Louie going to the dentist (played by Stephen Root) may have taken the cake. And then smashed it in our faces.
Until "Girls vs. Suits" (the series' 100th episode), Barney Stinson was basically a consistent fountain of slightly misogynistic one-liners and catchphrases. But this musically inclined episode showed off NPH's superb singing voice and stage presence in the best possible way—it was a song about his two favorite things!
Overall, Season 6 featured quite a few hilarious moments—but our favorites involved the Paddy's Pub gang getting their groove on. Sweet Dee did "the inflatable car dealership man" on top of a boat, and Charlie debuted his minimalist, interpretive "butt dance."
In every episode, after 20 minutes of laughing at Luke doing stupid things, Gloria fumbling the English language, Cameron being flamboyant, Manny behaving like a man-child, and Phil acting the dork, there's a moment when everything comes together. And gosh darnit, we just can't ignore the warm and fuzzy feelings that moment brings. Sitcoms aren't supposed to do this!
The first half of the season was frustratingly terrible (the go-nowhere La Muerta plotline, the noticeably shabbier production values, all the typically awful co-worker characters), but the second half really heated up as Lumen and Dexter forged a blood pact to wreak havoc on her tormentors. Both Michael C. Hall and Julia Stiles did terrific work, bringing Dexter (both the guy and the show) into exciting new territory.
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