Best of ’09 — TV

TV in 2009 wasn’t remarkable. There isn’t one show that comes to mind when I think of great TV. With the rise of reality shows and the lack of people of colour on network TV shows, I’m very selective about what I watch. Of course there were a few shows that had me obsessed this year, there were shows that made me cringe they were so bad and one of my favorite shows took a complete nose dive. Here’s the rundown

The Best:

True Blood– I discovered True Blood later than everyone else. My mom had been hooked from the very first episode, but I of course had to read the book first. After I read and loved the book, I watched season one and so began my love affair with Sookie Stackhouse and her crazy friends in Bon Temps. This summer I devoured all nine books in the series and sat in front of the TV every Sunday night for season two on HBO. The show completely blew up this year and became something that everyone was talking about. The vamps are hot, there are shifters and werewolves (to be introduced next season) and the best character on TV, Lafayette. I think season one was a lot stronger than season two, but it was still very entertaining. Next summer can not come fast enough for season three because the third book is one my favorites in the series.

RuPaul’s Drag Race – I had heard about this show, but figured it was one of those American shows that would never air here. When I discovered it, one late Sunday night, I had just turned it on when the drag queens were put in to two teams and had to perform Destiny’s Child songs, complete with outfits, wigs and choreography. Then it came down to two queens and in order to determine who would stay and who would go home, RuPaul says “You have to lip sync for your life!” And I was hooked. That show was amazing. These men were able to transform in to the most beautiful women. From the makeup, to the outfits, to the wigs and the swagger. They walked, and moved just like women. It was crazy to watch. It let people in on this whole other culture and to appreciate it and celebrate the artists they are. Bebe from Cameroon was crowned the winner and season two starts early next year. There is no question I will be in front of the TV to watch that.

Glee – I’m a HUGE fan of musicals so as soon as I heard about this show I knew that I was going to watch it and love it and I did. I watched the first episode and cried when they sang “Don’t Stop Believing.” I don’t know what it is about musicals, but they move me to tears. I love the music and the how all the members of the glee club are misfits. I love that all the actors can sing. It’s the only new scripted show that I got in to this fall. It’s made me so happy and made me look forward to Wednesday nights. I don’t know what I’m going to do without it until April.

Brave New Voices – For all my praise on this HBO show you could check out my previous post, but all I’ll say now is I’m obsessed with spoken word poetry. I’ve put it in to different novels and can spend hours on youtube just listening to poetry. The show has introduced me to a whole new art form.

Ugly Betty – I will never stop watching this show. The past few seasons have been a little weak, but it always makes me laugh and smile and want a better life for myself. Betty Suarez is my hero!

Making the Band 4 – Probably the most captivating TV I’ve watched all year, the final season of Making the Band 4 showed the end of Danity Kane (I will always love them) and the infighting between Day26. Watching Que freak out on his band mates, pick fights, scream at them and twist their words around was fascinating to watch and incredibly sad at the same time. There were debates on blogs about what was wrong with him. There were times my sister and I would have long conversations about what was wrong with Que. People still don’t know and judging from his recent tweets, there are still problems between him and the group. They were able to come together to release their album, we got to see them live and touch them. I really hope that 2010 doesn’t see the end of Day26, but on the other hand I wouldn’t be surprised because no group made on TV has ever passed the two album mark. I hope Day26 can rise above the Making the Band curse!

America’s Best Dance Crew – Yes, season four sucked. But I’m not thinking about season four, I’m thinking about season three which was the best season since the first one. Maybe it was because there were so many professional dancers in the competition, or familiar faces from SYTYCD, or that there was a step crew, but I loved it. So many of the dances were good and the right crew, Quest, won. I hope season five is as entertaining.

No 1 Ladies Detective Agency – This show totally flew under the radar, but I loved it. I’ve read most of the books and the show stayed so true to the story of the books. Jill Scott played such an amazing role but I think what I loved about it the most was the positive portrayal of Africans. The show took place in Botswana and instead of playing in to the images that people have of Africans, the characters in this show lived in houses with indoor plumbing, they had jobs, went to school, dined in fancy restaurants and lived just like normal people. It was so beautiful to see and the show brought a lot of joy in to my life. It doesn’t look like it will be coming back for a second season.

The Worst:

Jon & Kate Plus 8 – Before all the drama happened, there was a time when this show was always on in my house. My sister was obsessed with it because the kids were so cute. But I never drank the Kool Aid. The show always felt a little off to me. Last summer I found a website that bashed the parents and I was done with the show. To see how Jon and Kate acted this year was so sad. Those poor kids are going to be so screwed up in the head. Hopefully in 2010 the Gosselin’s go far, far away.

BET reality shows – I do enjoy a good BET reality show. I loved Baldwin Hills and Harlem Heights, mostly because it showed young black kids doing positive things and being normal. But this year they came out with Frankie and Neffe and Tiny and Toya and I was completely turned off. The very few times I did watch these shows, I couldn’t get in to it. It was train wreck TV and I didn’t want to have any part of it.

Jumped the Shark:

SYTYCD seasons 5 & 6 – I love SYTYCD, but I had a season that stole my heart and nothing else could compare. Season three was my everything and it hasn’t been the same since. However, I enjoyed season four because choreography was on point. That’s why I watch SYTYCD now, for the choreo. Season five was a huge disappointment. I liked the dancers, but I didn’t like any of the routines very much. I still watched every episode and was happy when Jenine won. But season six, the first “fall season” has been so wack. Beyond wack. SYTYCD is a summer show. It comes on in the summer and then goes away for a year. Not this year. It was so weird watching it while it’s snowing outside and I couldn’t connect with any of the dancers. After the finale, I won’t remember any of them. The routines have been uninspired, and the entire season has felt rushed. Instead of a top four, we have a top six and picking the winner from that. It’s so disappointing. When it comes back next summer.. I’m not sure I’ll be watching.

Thanks for sticking with me folks and reading my thoughts on TV this year. Up next is the third and final installment, the best of books.

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