Television is ever evolving and at no time in it’s history has it been more apparent than in 2010. There were new dramas and television series across the board that broke new ground over the year in television and there is more to come early in the 2011 television season.
Best New Drama on Television in 2010: “Boardwalk”
“Boardwalk” is a period piece written created and directed by some of the same people that brought the Sopranos to life is the latest entry into the HBO television series line up. The story involves the early years of Atlantic City and the man who breathed life into the coastal New Jersey town, Nucky Thompson. Thompson, played by Steve Buscemi was the towns controller and the man who pulled the strings in the early days following prohibition.
The story line also features many of the original mafia members who came to prominence because of the institution of prohibition. A young Al Capone, Meyer Lansky and Lucky Luciano are prominently featured through the unfolding story of “Boardwalk.” The series has been renewed for another season by HBO and should be another big winner at the Emmys next September.
Best New Comedy Series on Television in 2010: “Modern Family”
“Modern Family”debuted in fall of 2009 but it is new enough to qualify for this list. The show is made in mockumentary fashion much like “The Office” but it does have it’s own edge. The show was created by long time comedic staple Christopher Lloyd and Steven Levitan.
The show is set in the Los Angeles suburb and follows two families through the trials and tribulations of everyday “Modern Family” life. The show won three Emmy Awards in it’s first season including “Outstanding Comedy Series” and “Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series” awarded to Christopher Lloyd and Steven Levitan.
Best New Documentary Series on Television in 2010: “30 for 30”
ESPN’s “30 for 30” has been a ground breaking new documentary film series that has given us a plethora of new looks into past events. The “30 for 30” series has delved into uncomfortable areas and surreal occurrences in the world of sports and more importantly beyond the realm of sports and into personal lives of the athletes we thought we knew.
One episode in particular is a must see. “June 17, 1994” On this day OJ Simpson flees arrest and is subsequently spotted in a white Ford Bronco driven by his long time friend AC Cowlings. The low speed chase circled Orange County and Los Angeles County as police attempted to talk Simpson out of killing himself.
The documentary contrasted this surreal event against the backdrop of the New York Knicks and the Houston Rockets playing in the NBA Finals and the New York Rangers celebrating their epic Stanley Cup win. During the NBC telecast of the NBA Finals there is a telling shot of Bob Costas (friend & colleague of OJ Simpson) looking flustered and visibly shaken as he prepares to go on the air. The one shot sums up the surreal day.
Best New Mini Series on Television in 2010: “The Pacific”
Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks continue to out do themselves. “The Pacific” is a brutally honest look at life on the front lines of World War II in the Pacific Islands while fighting against the Japanese. The war scenes are some of the most graphic and horrifying ever shot in war movies or television.
The story does not leave off with the dropping of the atom bombs on Japan. It follows the World War II veterans when they return home to life in the real world and the troubles that ensue as they attempt to adjust to a life in civilization. The entire series of “The Pacific” is an instant classic and was nominated for 23 Emmy Awards and received eight Emmy Awards total.
Best Live Event on Television in 2010: “Vancouver Winter Olympics on NBC”
The Winter Olympics bring the world together to compete and the world gathers around their televisions to watch. Nothing can replace the real drama of sport and in 2010 we once again fell in love with niche winter sports such as curling and short track speed skating. There is no other event in history that receives as much attention and viewership for sporting events that the American public falls in love with every four years.
The public loves to watch bobsledding, luge and skeleton once every four years but it will be tough to find any of these events this winter on a television network. They may televise some of the events but the viewership plummets if it is not for an Olympic Gold Medal.