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Best of 2009 - Sandy's take (drnanamom)

My favourite shows of 2009 were Dollhouse, Supernatural, Glee, Castle and Lie to Me. Intelligent television is hard to come by but I think this year gave us some interesting plot lines, moral debates and just plain fun.

Dollhouse

Dollhouse is my number one favourite. I just can't get enough of Joss Whedon. He has strong female characters, works with fabulous actors and isn't afraid to deal with dark issues. But I think my favourite thing about his work is that for his last few forays I have watched just because it was his work and for the first little while spent some time going - what the hell? I really don't get what he is trying to do here (really a space western? really a house full of love slaves?) but I hang on because it is Joss Whedon. Then he blows me away with fabulous writing, great plot twists and illuminations on some of the most pertinent questions of life. Who can you really trust? Who is a good guy/bad guy? How do you go up against what appears to be absolute power, especially how do you do that and win? Oh and he does all this and manages to be amusing and clever. Of course it's been cancelled but he'll be back with something even more interesting.

Supernatural

I won't say much about Supernatural because I am sure that Billie and others will cover it very well. Let's just say it is some of the best TV out there for a long time. Soooooo wish it wasn't over this year.

Fun Stuff

Glee and Castle are my fluff tv. They are smart, sharp and a whole lot of fun. Who says that fluff can't be intelligent tv. They aren’t sci-fi which is my passion but a girl just likes to be entertained sometimes.

Lie to Me

Finally, my favourite new show this year is Lie to Me. I am going to say intelligent one more time - sorry you should never overuse words when writing but it’s a theme here. Tim Roth is outstanding as a man who detects lies for a living. It is the observation of human behaviour that I love here. I spent many years of my life as a social worker and this is our stock in trade - not detecting lies, we mostly don't care - but observing people to help them find the truth about themselves. Again this show deals with moral issues. Why do we lie? What would happen if we couldn't lie? How do we face our own truths? I think it will be around for a while.

Torchwood

Torchwood wasn't on my original list but as soon as I read Billie's choices I knew I had to add it. I agree it started a little slow and it was a bit on the dark side but I thought it was 5 nights of superb television. Again, it was dealing with huge moral questions. What would you do if you could save your loved ones even if it was immoral and an abuse of power? As a parent it was a very emotional experience. I doubt given the choice that I would sacrifice my children or grandchild. In a less personal way “Children of Earth” illustrated how easily society crumbles, how power and oppression work to exploit the weak and what vapid excuses are used to justify our choices.

The Not So Great

As I've said before I think we have been spoiled by the great shows, particularly sci-fi that we have had in recent years so I have little patience for TV that just doesn’t try hard enough. I have stopped watching Heroes, Fringe and am on the fence about Flash Forward. I don't mind convoluted plots, if we are actually going to get somewhere, or the writing is really good, or even the acting is great. I don’t have the patience to stumble around with the writers in the hopes of ending up somewhere good (unless they are Joss Whedon-see above.

2 comments:

  1. Thanks, Sandy. As usual, we love nearly all the same things, so I'm now ready to immediately rent Lie to Me.

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  2. Sandy,
    What I really like about Dollhouse is the question of "What makes us us?". If we manipulate our memories, have we created someone else (I would answer yes)? It is the perhaps the most fundamental question of our existence "Who are we and how do we relate to the rest of the universe?". Heavy stuff but the subtext of almost all of Joss' work has always dealt with some of the fundamental questions.
    I also like Lie to Me a lot. I find the interaction between the main characters interesting, especially Cal and Foster. I also like the interaction between Cal and Emily. How would you like to have a father who could read you? That has got to be a bitch.

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