Here we go with my third annual list of the best television shows of the year. 2009 was a brilliant year for television and whilst once again the list will be made up entirely American shows, I would like to give special mention to Gavin and Stacey for just being an immensely enjoyable show and along with Outnumbered being one of the better British sitcoms to come about in years. Think of this as being an Honourable Mention for the Honourable Mentions. That being said, I now bring you the honourable mentions.
Joss Whedon's new show isn't as fully formed as Firefly was when it came about, and Eliza Dushku isn't the best lead actress in the world, and yes, when the show is bad it's damn near awful. But when it's brilliant it can stand up with the best of them. Not every episode of Dollhouse is a winner but the ones that are such as 'Belonging', 'Briar Rose' and 'Epitaph One' are some of the best hours of television you'll come across from 2009. Sadly we had to sit through some real clunkers to get to the gems and now with the show hurtling along for it's final three episodes, I really want to find out where Joss Whedon would have gone with this great but seriously flawed show.
One of the shows I seriously considered putting on the list. Whilst Modern Family came out of the new season as the clear winner of the best shows, I picked another show to be representative. But Modern Family is superb. It's not quite as cartoony and brilliant as Arrested Development but it's kind of a safe funny family comedy, in the same way that Gavin and Stacey is. It doesn't have the same kind of story, but the ideas behind it being about family and a large expanse of very different people from different cultures whilst still being hilarious make Modern Family a clear winner and a show which will probably go from strength to strength in the coming months/years.
It's the new show from Veronica Mars creator, Rob Thomas and it's absolutely hilarious. It's very sarcastic, dark but it's just so damn good. Following a group of unemployed actors working for a careering firm, we get not only an inside look at Hollywood but also some truly insane characters. Along with Chuck, probably my favourite show for guest casting and not only for the stars from Veronica Mars but actors such as JK Simmons, Breckin Meyer and Ken Jeong. Also Kristen Bell has guest starred and will guest star again in the coming season, so honestly if that isn't reason enough to watch I don't know what is.
Only three new episodes of Pushing Daisies aired in 2009 but it's one of my favourite shows ever and whilst it could never quite make it onto my favourite shows of the year, I'm giving it it's final dues right now. Pushing Daisies was one of the most original shows ever put to the small screen and it was an honour to have been there from the beginning. Pushing Daisies I salute you. Now let's Bryan Fuller (a God amongst men) can get the comic book series out.
Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles
Apart from Pushing Daisies, this was probably the most painful cancellation of the season. Whilst the show kicked off 2009 with a very boring trilogy of episodes focusing on Sarah Connor which weren't very interesting and took a lot of the life out of the show. However they followed this up with a final string of 5 episodes which made the show awesome again. Whilst those three episodes hold the show back so much, I couldn't not put this one my list. Not only for a brilliant finale, some incredible ballsy moves but for the prospect of what might have happened if it had gotten a third season with which to answer the questions so tantalisingly raised in the final episode.