EDITORIAL: Best of 2011 TV

It’s that time of year again, when bloggers and journalists everywhere start making their end-of-the-year lists. What were the best new shows 2011? What were the best moments of a certain series? Who had the best finales or holiday episodes?

I’m not going to go all out with a massive amount of lists, but I thought I’d do my own round-up of what I personally thought were the best shows of 2011 (and as a note, this is a list inclusive of old shows as well.)

1.) Once Upon A Time: Arguably my new favorite show , of both the season and in general. I love the cast, I love the creative team and I love the stories. From the Pilot episode, I was enamored with this series and all I could do was hope that it would take off as much as I believed it would. When the first ratings came back, I was beyond happy. When it got picked up for a full season, I shouted my joy on the street. It’s been a long time since a show has instilled me with strong feelings of obsession and love, and while Once is no LOST (not that anything will ever be) it’s my new “constant.” The fact that it’s become as popular as it has makes me so happy.

2.) Revenge: I thank my friend Alix every day that she pressured me into watching this show, which I previously had no intention of picking up just because I figured I wasn’t going to have time to fit it into my TV schedule. But Revenge hit it right straight out of the gate, and continued to prove itself when it sucked in not just me, but every other person I subsequently introduced it to. The tight plot lines, along with the delicious evilness of Madeline Stowe and cunning nature of Emily VanCamp,  has easily made it one of the best new shows of the year.

3.) Fringe: The best show that nobody seems to be watching keeps getting better, despite the fact you wouldn’t know it from the way Fox toys with the scheduling. The multi-talented John Noble has gone above and beyond his usual heart-wrenching performances as the Fringe team deals with the “Peter never existed” timeline and because of that, it’s been such a treat to see the different relationships that have developed – namely between Lincoln and Olivia, as well as Olivia and Walter. I think I speak for females everywhere when I say that making Seth Gabel a series regular (and exploring more of his Prime Universe character, which before this season was rarely seen) might have been the best thing the show has ever done for itself.

4.) Community: Despite it’s “benched” status, Community continues to deliver and so far, this year has been no exception. With a number of guest stars ranging from The Wire‘s Michael Williams to John Goodman, the inclusion of Dean Pelton as a series regular and a deeper exploration of relationships within the study group, the show has cemented its status as one of the most original television programs. This year’s all original Christmas episode was the perfect reminder of how brilliant the show really is.

5.) New Girl:  A funny, down-to-earth, real show that I feel I can relate to, and yet another that I had no intention of picking up until my friends told me I might enjoy it. I’m a sucker for trying anything new, and even more of a sucker for quirky shows with moments that I feel define my life. This series seems to be either a hit or a miss for people I know, but I’m in the hit category – I adore Zooey Deschanel’s insanity, I love the story lines, and the writing makes me laugh out loud each week.

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