TV has had a great year both sides of the atlantic this year and even shows here in Britain are starting to get bigger and glossier to compete with those big spending Americans that can make darned good television! Click Below to read my countdown:
5) Friday Night Dinner
Written by Robert Popper friend and writing buddy of Peter Serafinowicz, Friday Night Dinner has gone from strength to strength, it is original, grounded but at the same time surreal. Building from the growing success of the first series we rejoin the Goodmans, a Jewish family with an awkward neighbour (Jim, played by the ever funny Mark Heap) as they engage awkward family time moments over a weekly friday night meal. Highlights come in many shapes and forms but none more so than when you hear those two little words after a knock on the door, “Hello Jackie”. The show is completely priceless and there isn’t an episode in its run that isn’t funny, where it may not be to everyone’s taste it is definitely to mine. It’s easy viewing and inspirational to watch and think that its something you could strive towards if you wanted to go into writing. The chemistry is brilliant and even with one comedy character Simon Bird under the belt in the show his one comedy character is the right one to fit the bill. My favourite moment? It has to be when Martin opens a window and as soon as he does Jim’s head just pokes in like he’d been waiting there and they have a conversation while he stands leaning in the window.
4) Doctor Who
I wouldn’t go as far as saying Doctor Who was a disappointment this year. I would however, say that the effort didn’t go into the stories but rather the production, a very American value for a show that is becoming just as popular out there as it is here. Sure, there was only 5 episodes this year (not including Christmas Day’s) but surely we could have had some kind of mini story arc running through it? A last hurrah for the Ponds? No? Oh well, instead we were treated (apparently) to 5 ‘film-like’ stories. Each individual and each as large and out of this world as the next. The sad fact about this was that only two of the five were truly memorable. Two were slightly weak and one was good. As you’d expect Moffat’s stories were masterpieces and true spectacles, welcoming back the Daleks making them formidable once more instead of the jokes they had become, he tore the Ponds apart before putting them back together and then tore our hearts in their final episode with the angels. He couldn’t just kill them once, no, he had to do it twice. Truly emotional brilliance. Dinosaurs on a Spaceship however, along with A Town Called Mercy were weak but featured big guest actors. Rory’s dad was a nice addition to the gang but the stories weren’t as good as the last two series. To me it seemed like a lot more concentration was going into the new companion rather than giving the Ponds a last go so they may as well have just done the two episodes, made a it a two parter and made it amazing rather than pushing it to 5 episodes where 3 of them dragged out the death. It makes number 4 just on those two episodes, if it wasn’t for that Misfits would sit in this spot.
3) Peep Show
A favourite of mine as any readers of my blog will know! The funniest show on television right now, I wanted to include Derek in the countdown but felt one episode wasn’t enough to make it a proper tv show especially as it was only 25 minutes as well! Peep Show is still and always is fresh and funny, surreal and brilliant. The characters all work so well together now after so many years and because of that know the characters so well. So well in fact that David Mitchell is literally Mark Corrigan now and when he comes on a TV Show like QI I expect there to be a voice over as he talks.
2) The Walking Dead
The Walking Dead is amazing and season 3 has been even better. The acting is superb and the gritty zombie fuelled drama is even better. This series we really have learnt though it isn’t the zombies that are dangerous but the men who are left behind from the apocalypse. The addition of David Morrissey to the cast as The Governor is great and he can do evil so well. He’s not evil in the brutal sense, he left that to Meryl (who I think will be with Rick and the gang come part 2 of this season) but psychologically he is deranged making him even more dangerous. But again it is the underdog, Daryl that i love the most and want to see more of. He is a strong link in the remaining group as is new addition Michonne and I can’t wait to see thing play out in Feb!
Sherlock is a joy to watch and although it was one of the first things on in 2012 it is unforgettable. Cumberbatch and Freeman are amazing in it together and the writing is superb. I’d take quality over quantity any day and this is a fine example. Three 90 minute dramas over 3 weeks with fantastic stories with a modern twist and ruthless villains in the shape of Moriarty played by Andrew Scott. Truly amazing Television, there’s nothing more I can say!