Variety polled members of the Television Critics Association for their picks for the best TV of the past decade. Here are their choices for drama series and comedy series:
Drama: Friday Night Lights, Lost, Mad Men, The Sopranos, The West Wing, The Wire.
Comedy: 30 Rock, Arrested Development, Curb Your Enthusiasm, The Daily Show, Everybody Loves Raymond, The Office.
One thing that strikes me about both lists are not only the obviousness of them (exception being Everybody Loves Raymond), but how even in television polling there’s a heightened dose of recentism. Did I just make up that word?
I suppose I expect that with the sitcoms. Only in the past five years have the sitcom as an artform come back into it’s own, after perhaps 30 years of slumber. Networks are pushing the possibilities of what a sitcom can be — moving beyond the sexy housewife as nagging entity to the schlubby and affable working class husband.
But the past decade has been a golden age for the televised drama. There have been more good dramas on television than ever before. I’m surprised that Six Feet Under didn’t make the cut or even Battlestar Galactica, despite it’s turgid final few seasons.
And that’s not even beginning to scratch the surface of dramas that should and could have made the list. Any others?