Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The Top 25 Episodes of 2009-2010: #20-16

As a forerunner to the 4th Annual AFT Television Awards, my choices for the best of the most recent TV season which begin next week, here is a reader-requested run-through of the top 25 episodes of the 2009-2010 television season. Click on episode titles to read my original reviews of the episodes. Beware spoilers.

#20: “I.F.T.” (Breaking Bad)

Somehow, Anna Gunn is not an Emmy nominee. I dare any Emmy voter to watch this episode, where Skyler calls the police on Walt and then is informed by them that he’s not breaking any laws, and then tell me that she doesn’t deserve it. That’s not even taking into account so many other things in this episode: her revenge affair, Jesse and Hank’s struggles, and a decapitated head on a turtle.

#19: “The Stakeout” (Parks and Recreation)

This was a standout episode from a great season because it paired up all of the characters, paving the way for hilarity all around. Mark and Ann went on a date while Leslie and Tom bonded during a stakeout which resulted in Tom getting arrested. Any scene with Ron or April, not to mention both, is fantastic, but this deserves extra credit because it was really the first of many such brilliant scenes involving the two of them.

#18: “Hybristophilia” (The Good Wife)

What did this episode not have? Alicia getting drunk, Kalinda being asked about her sexuality, the return of Dylan Baker as Colm Sweeney, Cary chewing out Alicia, Cary becoming allies with Childs, a truly interesting twist in Peter’s case, and the introduction of Carrie Preston as a lawyer on Peter’s defense team. The finale was good, but this penultimate installment was by far the best episode of this show’s first season.

#17: “Family Portrait” (Modern Family)

It’s important to go out on a high note when ending the first season of a highly-acclaimed new comedy. This show excelled in that arena by simply trying to take a family picture and encountering considerable obstacles along the way. This episode cemented the durability and longevity of this show, highlighting the relationships between all of the family members in the most endearing and hilarious way.

#16: “Bulletsville” (Justified)

FX’s terrific new drama ricocheted to the end of its first season in seemingly no time, but all of the characters had been so fully developed that it felt like they’d been around forever. The interactions between the sons and the fathers were particularly fascinating, and the closing scene doesn’t quite tie up all of the plotlines, meaning that Boyd might just stick around for another season with Raylan hot on his trail.

Coming up tomorrow: #15-11


Greg Boyd said...

I enjoyed "The Good Wife" for a while, but then I quit because I was growing tired of Alicia always representing innocent clients. Also, I really don't much care for procedurals. I prefer shows that tell long story arcs.

What I'm asking is, does Alicia stop always representing "poor innocent souls" (which was getting boring), and does every episode feature a "case of the week" (a la "Burn Notice")? Or are some just about the ongoing story?

I'm just curious, because I may want to start watching this show again.

Movies with Abe said...

Oh, it definitely gets better. I was watching it because I recap it every week for TVTango.com, and for a while I really couldn't stand it. Ultimately, however, I really started to like the characters and the show actually started getting good. Part of it does have to do with Peter's long-term story arc and the chemistry between Will and Alicia. To answer your question, you'll likely continue to be frustrated in the same way that you are with "Burn Notice" very often, but I think you'll find it worthwhile in the end. I'd suggest getting back into it, and by the last 6 or so episodes you should be pleased.

Fabio Nascimento said...

Watched all five episodes, and do like them a lot.

This is definately Wife's best episode, even though I love the finale.

Great choice for Breaking Bad as well (and I'll go on a limb and say 'One Minute' is your #1), strong episodes for both Modern Family and Justified (very underrated show, unfortunately).

Surprised with the Park's choice, but and I'm hoping you'll find room for 'Telethon' or 'Pawnee Zoo' in your top 15.

Greg Boyd said...

I do love legal dramas. As it is, though, I'm thinking my next TV catch up project (after I'm done with "Mad Men") will be either "Modern Family" or "Sons of Anarchy".

Thanks for the input, though.

Movies with Abe said...

Fabio: while "One Minute" was great, it's actually not on my list, though I do have two more "Breaking Bad" episodes on there. Regarding "Parks and Recreation," this is the one and only episode in the list, though they were all great.

It was tough to make this list, especially considering I've only seen every episode once, so I went through and found all of the episodes I gave an A- to and then began ranking them. Difficult but so much fun!