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!
40. Parks and Recreation
The Office's kid sister really broke out in 2010, and we were truly bummed when the show was bumped from fall to midseason so NBC could make room for Outsourced. Highlights from the past year include: the ever-mysterious Ron Swanson, new cast members Rob Lowe and Adam Scott, Chris Pratt's performance as lovable doofus Andy Dwyer, and "Telethon"—in which we said our goodbyes to Pawnee city planner Mark Brendanawicz, enjoyed a thoroughly random guest appearance by retired NBA player Detlef Schrempf, and witnessed the aforementioned Swanson "sleep-fighting" and teaching public television viewers how to re-cane a chair.
Technically, Monk completed its run at the tail-end of 2009, but after leaving the show out of last year's Top 100, we couldn't let another year end without thanking the fantastic Tony Shalhoub for his eight wonderful seasons as the neurotic, OCD private investigator.
38. The In Treatment season finale
HBO's character study hit a high (or upsetting low, depending on your view) when Sunil revealed that he was using Paul to get deported.
37. Glee's rendition of "Teenage Dream"
Just when we thought Glee was getting too big for its britches with its high-production-value musical numbers, the show melted our hearts with an incredible a Capella rendition of Katy Perry's "Teenage Dream," led by the effortlessly charming newest cast member, Darren Criss. No wonder Kurt fell in love with him in an instant.
36. Treme's tunes
David Simon followed up The Wire with this ode to musicianship in New Orleans, and if the music was anything short of outstanding, the series would have been a monumental failure. Thankfully, it exceeded our expectations, raised our spirits, and had us doin' the shimmy all night long.
35. Tosh.0 progressing beyond the Beta phase
One of the most consistently funny shows on television in 2010 wasn't a sitcom—it was one guy standing in front of a green screen making fun of internet videos. Comedy Central's Tosh.0 hammered out the kinks of Season 1, loosened its collar, and became the network's must-see program, thanks to fantastic guests, genius Web redemptions, and millions of stupid people recording the stupid things they do.
Which late-night talk-show host had the best year? It wasn't Leno, Letterman, or Conan. Kimmel and Jimmy Kimmel Live shone the brightest during the whole NBC fiasco, with Kimmel doing an entire show in Leno-face, confronting Leno on Leno's own show and not backing down, and generally providing the best outsider's commentary on the whole snafu. As Leno and Letterman show their age, Kimmel is emerging as the heir apparent to the late-night throne.
33. So that's where Richard Alpert came from!
Lost's "Ab Aeterno" was arguably the best episode of the series' final season, because we finally got some an answer to one of the biggest questions: Who the f*** is Richard Alpert? The answer took us all the way from the 1860s to present day, in one heck of an episode that had nothing to do with eyeliner.
32. The shooting at Seattle Grace
Just when we thought things couldn't get any crazier for the docs of Grey's Anatomy, a gunman walked into Seattle Grace and started blasting away in the two-part, Season 6 finale. The tragedy was accompanied by a lost pregnancy, epiphanies that lead to renewed relationships, and difficult choices that affected who lived and died. Just another day on TV's soapiest primetime soap!
31. Breaking Bad's parking-lot showdown
Holy s***! Television as a whole had a heart attack during the final heart-pumping fracas in "One Minute." (Spoiler alert!) With the Mexican cartel's twin hitmen on his ass, an already frazzled Hank pulled off one of the most harrowing escapes in TV history, and elevated himself to hometown hero.
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