2010 LISTS: Best New TV Series
Not in any specific order, here is my choice for 2010 Best New TV Series:
Why: Terriers had maybe low ratings, but the critics, and the people who did love it, know exactly why. It looks you in the eyes, it respects you. Everything you see in Terriers is real, every drop of blood is felt. And the opening credit song is just the best.
The plot: Hank and Britt are trying to fight the crime outside and the crimes inside, on their way to salvation on Ocean Beach.
Sidekicks: character, character, character.
What else: The performance is excellent, and the writer (Ted Griffin), also responsible for the Ocean’s movies, took character as his starting point, and the result is an intense action-drama with a sense of humor like no other.
Next season: Unfortunately FX chose to cancel Terriers.
Boardwalk Empire –
Why: After The Sopranos, HBO shows us a different kind of gangsters. Steve Buscimi is brilliant in his quiet, reserved acting style, but Michael Pitt steals the show. Boardwalk Empire just got better and better throughout its first season, with intensity that didn’t need too many bullets to have an effect.
The plot: 1920′s Atlantic City, the men want liquer, the women want independence.
Sidekicks: the styling, set design and smoky atmosphere of the 1920′s. If AMC brought us the 1960′s with Mad Men, HBO offers us a glimpse into a much less known world.
What else: The unexpected plot turns have made the series’ first season, and especially its finale episode, a must see. The characters and the relationships are always real and alive, and the despair never looked better.
Next season: Autumn 2011 on HBO.
The Walking Dead -
Why: Based on the successful comic books by Robert Kirkman, AMC’s The Walking Dead became a hit with its premiere episode. Although the episodes were not the same in quality and mood, the strong moments of TWD proved that fear is best when its quiet, and the most reserved characters can express intensity to its best effect.
The Plot: When zombies are taking, ex-policeman Rick and the rest of the survivors must find a cure. But first, let’s kill some zombies.
Sidekicks: Fans can become zombies – apply through AMC’s web site.
What Else: The latest news about the change in the writing staff will do the series well, I hope. The combination of the source material (Kirkman’s books) with some original ideas keeps the plot interesting, with the temporary addition of Doctor Jenner and whatever it was that he whispered in Rick’s ear seconds before the end of season 1.
Next Season: Autumn 2011 (13 episodes).
Why: Although Rev. is a British TV comedy, the humor is not too British. The quality of shooting on location and the use of some real-life characters, on the other side – are very British indeed. Tom Hollander (also one of the creators) as Adam, the new Rev. of a London church, is wonderful in his quiet polite despair, and the relations between him and his boss, Simon McBurney as Archdeacon Robert, are an endless source of comic moments.
The Plot: A new priest in town, somebody get him a drink!
Sidekicks: Shooting on location at the church; supporting characters all giving hell of a performance; the quiet elegancy of Christian despair.
What Else: Not too many TV shows today give us a glimpse into an unknown world. The characters and their dilemmas are commonly known, but since it all happens around god’s servant – the solutions are different indeed.
Next Season: Ordered, not clear when will be aired on BBC. I will run my own marathon of the show before the next season’s premiere.