Television continues to be one of our most primary sources of entertainment; some good, some bad. We anxiously look forward to the advent of the new series, documentaries, mini-series and situation comedies coming our way every fall. We make our own appraisals and decisions as to which ones are worthwhile, which ones will go by the way side after a few weeks and which ones will become our favorites. The 2010 premier television season has just concluded and we are left with a wide and varied selection of entertainment choices; still, some good, some bad.
My wife and I are semi-retired, basically living on a fixed income, which isn’t all that generous, and we depend a great deal on the cheap entertainment our television can offer. We do look forward to the new season following a long dry summer of tired old re-runs and ho hum specials and flashy variety shows. This season was no different than many others; a great deal of offerings that included some very fresh new shows and some exciting continuations of the old standards.
I offer our list of our ten favorite new comedies for the 2010 television season and why we placed them at the position they are in. Number ten would be our least favorite of all of them and number one, our most favorite. It was a little more difficult to place the shows appropriately since I had to combine our ratings to form one overall rating, but in the end we both agreed with this list of the ten best television shows of the new season
10) The Office: What happened to The Office? It used to be that my wife and I would not miss this one for anything. Then they started changing the set-up. They took the uneasy friction between Jim and Pam out by having them get married. Now the plot we fell in love with has just changed, dramatically. Michael Scott and Dwight continue to entertain but something is missing, so this one fell to the bottom of our list. We’ll watch it but only if nothing else is on.
9) $#”! My Dad Says: Captain Kirk is a bumbling, bigoted, overweight Dad?? Don’t put the commander of star fleet in this position; it isn’t natural. It’s a shaky plot but shows promise. We occasionally tune this one in, on purpose. Secretly we are anxiously waiting the moment Dad bellows out “Beam me up Scotty!”
8) How I Met Your Mother: This is a light, breezy parody of a group of “Friends” wanna bes who hang out in the local bar day in and day out. I have never pictured Doogie Howzer (Neil Patrick Harris) as the male harlot he is portrayed as being in this sit-com, but it seems to work. There are more than the occasional valuable moments in this one so we watch it as a opener for our number 4 show; Rules of Engagement.
7) Mike and Molly: I’m surprised that this one didn’t rate higher on our own list. It is a portrayal of two very over weight, lonely individuals who somehow find each other at an Overeaters Anonymous meeting and clumsily try to hook up. I can relate because I am very overweight, but not nearly as overweight as Mike is in the show. I only wish they would cut through the niceties and hook these two up. Let’s get on with the fat jokes and the trials and tribulations fat people face. Give me something I can really relate with.
6) Cougar Town: Here we have a recast of one of our favorite “Friends” stars; Courteney Cox. It’s the simplicity of the obtuse relationships in this one that keeps us coming back. Courteney is divorced but feels the need to watch over and support her floundering husband. Her two best friends are constantly laying claim to the privilege of being her number one best friend. Somehow the show found the perfect character to play the estranged husband’s son; he looks and sounds just like him. Just a good depiction of what is probably one of America’s classic twisted family relationships.
5) The Middle: This show is a great reminder of Malcom in the Middle, and not just because of the name. It is the same type of plot; American family living in solid America. Three twisted kids; an older son who doesn’t care about anything, a middle girl who never gets recognized for anything and a younger child who knows everything but doesn’t want to do anything. Of course, Mom and Dad are frantically paddling through life simply trying to keep ahead of their kids and behind the steering wheel.
4) Rules of Engagement: One of my personal favorites but not liked quite as much by my wife, is this hilarious depiction of an office manager and his slacky, aka slave, assistant. The assistant is of Eastern Indian origin and the antics between him and his boss (david Spade) almost single handedly carry the show. Jeff (Patrick Warburton) is the classic, service me, American husband. His very beautiful wife, Audrey (Megyn Price), plays along at just the right pace.
3) Modern Family: This is one of both our most favorite comedies on TV right now. Both my wife and I rated this one high on our individual lists; her higher than me. Similar to “The Middle” the casting director has put together a group of people that may just represent one of the most twisted family situations in existence. I am not a proponent of homosexuality and I do not appreciate it being thrust upon us in some form on every television show we have today, but Modern Family has done it in a way that even homophobes like me can enjoy and find entertainment in. Jay, an old, overweight, out of shape Grandpa (similar to me) has found every man’s fantasy in his younger, Columbian wife, (again, similar to me, though my wife is not Columbian). Beautiful, shapely and vibrant she represents everything any man would ever want in a woman.
2) Two and a Half Men: A classic standby, a good solid, prime time, adult comedy. The writers have a way of presenting crudeness, pornography and blatant sex in a manner that doesn’t directly insult the viewer. Never a cuss word, never any raw skin and never any intense love making scenes and yet the message comes across. Charlie’s peculiar relationship with his adoring neighbor, Rose, must remain a part of the show. They nearly lost this viewer simply because they tried to get Charlie married off; don’t you dare.
And our number one choice for new comedy on television today is;
1) The Big Bang Theory: Clearly the first choice of both my wife and me. This is a show about four distinctly intelligent, comic book loving; college professors who tend to hang around with each other wondering why they do not have women. Sheldon, who, by his own definition is the most intelligent of all of them, is the character we wait to see. His character actually plays off the other three. It is that exchange of barbs and innuendos that keep this classic running. This is a certain Do Not Miss!