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2009 Favorites -- Jess's Take

While not necessarily the best of what TV had to offer this year, here are the shows that I most looked forward to in 2009 and was least likely to let stack up on the DVR (in alphabetical order).

Battlestar Galactica. The back half of the final season largely couldn’t match what came before, and the finale did leave me vaguely disappointed, but the two-part mutiny episode was among the series’ best.

Burn Notice. Always a fun romp, with some surprising emotional turns. The second half of Season 2 was pretty engaging stuff (with fun guest turns by Tricia Helfer and Michael Shanks), and even though the first half of Season 3 felt a little adrift, the mid-season finale was fantastic and left me wanting more. My biggest surprise with the series this year: they somehow found a way to make me start liking Michael’s mother.

Chuck. An absolute treat every week. Funny and emotional with fantastic action and great guest stars. How can you not love a show that features ‘Mr. Roboto’ performed by “Sam Kinnison and an Indian lesbian” for impromptu wedding entertainment?

Friday Night Lights. Season 3 was right back in the emotional groove of Season 1, and even if some beats felt repetitive, the show still managed to move me. Plus, I just adore the relationship between Eric and Tami Taylor. Simply the best, most realistic portrayal of a loving marriage I've ever seen on television. Curse NBC for not airing Season 4 until next summer!

Glee. Sometimes a total mess, but one to which I eagerly looked forward every week. Capable of lifting my spirits on even the glummest day.

Lost. Season 5 took things to a whole new level by fully embracing the show's sci-fi core and taking us on a wild time-traveling ride. It made for a dizzying narrative at times, but the best of the season kept the heart of the show front and center --- the characters we’ve grown to love and hate.

Modern Family. A wonderful new comedy that mixes equal parts wackiness, snark, and heart. I still find myself smiling thinking about Cameron, dressed as Fizbo the Clown, forcing the jerky guy at the gas station to apologize to Mitchell: “I’m the ass-kicking clown that will twist you like a balloon animal. I will beat your head against this bumper until the airbags deploy. So apologize, to my boyfriend! Right! Now!” Followed by the wonderful little look of pride and pleasure on Mitchell’s face as they get back into the car and leave. Great stuff.

Supernatural. This year took the Brothers Winchester to even darker and more emotionally devastating territory and went so far as to unleash Lucifer and the Apocalypse. I can’t wait to see how this show wraps its five-year arc.

Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles. At times, the back half of the second season became a little too inward focused, but it really ramped things up for the final run of episodes and went out on a high note.

Warehouse 13. A fun new series with quirky characters and bizzaro objects with mysterious powers. It missed the mark some weeks, but still a fun summer treat.

Honorable Mention – Stargate Universe. I wasn’t too sure about this one at first, but it managed to win me over with a more character-focused storytelling approach. It certainly has room for improvement (communication stones, be gone!), but by the mid-season break, we definitely found ourselves looking forward to this show each week in my household.


  1. I'll echo that sentiment -- "Communication stones, begone!" Thanks, Jess. I'm really enjoying these lists.

  2. Agree about Burn Notice, Jess. It has been feeling a little adrift most of this season. Still a great show (it co-stars Bruce Campbell, how can it not be?) but fingers-crossed the second half of is more focused than the first.

    Modern Family is quickly becoming one of my favourite comedies. Fizbo the Clown was hilarious surpassed only by Shelley Long’s appearance as Jay’s ex-wife.


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