Home Featured TV Shows All TV Shows Movie Reviews Book Reviews Articles Frequently Asked Questions About Us

Serena's Top 9 of '09

Since 9 is my lucky number (my bday is 09-09), it seemed appropos to post my Top 9's of '09. I've got not one, but FIVE lists for you!
  • Top 9 Glee Songs
  • Top 9 Glee Moments/Quotes
  • Top 9 Sue Sylvester Quotes
  • 9 Jaw-Droppingly Good TV Moments
  • 9 So-Bad-Its-Pointless Disappointments

Top 9 Glee Songs:

9. "Defying Gravity" - Rachel and Kurt, 1.9 Wheels
8. "Poison" - Acafellas, 1.3 Acafellas
7. "Sweet Caroline" - Puck, 1.8 Mash Up
6. "Imagine" - Mercedes, Artie and Deaf Kids, 1.11 Hairology
5. "Proud Mary" - Tina, Mercedes and Artie, 1.9 Wheels
4. "Don't Rain On My Parade" - Rachel, 1.13 Sectionals
3. "Halo/Walking on Sunshine" and "It's My Life/Confessions" - Boys v. Girls, 1.6 Vitamin D
2. "Rehab" - Vocal Adrenaline, 1.1 Pilot
1. "Don't Stop Believin'" - Rachel, Finn and Crew, 1.1 Pilot

Top 9 Glee Moments/Quotes

9. The Mattress Commercial. As I said, one of the best performances on Glee so far, right up there with "Rehab" and "Don't Stop Believin'". I love it when the mattress store owner jumps! [1.12 Mattress]

8. Boys v. Girls Mashups. Ok, already mentioned in my Top 9 Songs, but Rachel and Finn on speed still crack me up. I listen to the mashups so much that when I heard "Halo" the other day, I got confused when it didn't cut over to "Walking On Sunshine". [1.6 Vitamin D]

7. Kurt: "Oh Bambi, I cried so hard when those hunters shot your mommy." [1.5 The Rhodes Not Taken]

6. Slushee Stalking. That opening scene with Kurt in a transparent pea coat and Mercedes screeching, "My weave!" is just awesome. [1.8 Mashup]

5. Ken Tanaka: "I had a monster case of athlete's foot a couple of years ago and got all my toenails removed. So if she steps on my feet during the dance, I might pass out." [1.8 Mashup]

4. Puck: "It was a message from God - Rachel was a hot Jew and the good lord wanted me to get into her pants." [1.8 Mashup]

3. Celibacy Club Motto: "It's all about the teasing, and not about the pleasing." [1.2 Showmance]

2. Rachel (when caught trying to throw up): "I tried, I guess I don't have the gag reflex."
Emma: "One day when you're older, that will turn into an advantage." [1.2 Showmance]

1. Josh Groban: "Josh Groban loves a blowsy alcoholic." [1.3 Acafellas]

Top 9 Sue Sylvester Quotes

9. "I'll often yell at homeless people 'Hey, how's that homelessness working out for you? Give not being homeless a try!'"

8. "If I have a pregnant girl doing a handspring into a double layout, the judges aren't going to be admiring her impeccable form, they're going to be wondering if the centrifugal force is going to make the baby's head start crowning."

7. "You're too busy chasing tail and loading your hair with enormous amounts of product! I mean, today it just looks like you put lard in it."

6. "All I want is just one day a year where I'm not visually assaulted by uglies or fatties."

5. "You sunk my battleship, Rod, and you sunk it hard."

4. "In fact, I like minorities so much, I'm thinking about moving to California to become one."

3. "When I heard Sandy wanted to write himself into a scene as Queen Cleopatra, I was aroused, then furious."

2. The Journal!

1. "Santana. Brittany. Wheels. Gay kid. Asian. Other Asian. Aretha, and Shaft."

9 Jaw-Droppingly Good TV Moments:

9. House and the Mental Hospital. So far, the season isn't nearly as good as previous ones - I think I like House better when he was unabashedly mean (and funny), Foreteen is a bore, wtf is up with Cuddy and Lucas, and what happened to Chase's fabulous hair??? But I cannot deny that the season premiere episodes, when House is stuck in the mental hospital, are some of the finest moments of the show. Stark, grim, hopeless, and gray, the hospital (and the episodes) seemed like another world, another show. Someone needs to give Andre Braugher a permanent show - he is superb.

8. Lost - When Juliet detonates the bomb. Lost is always a funny show for me - I never watch it during the season, I'm not obsessed crazy, and I don't try to figure things out ahead of time. Sometimes, it even feels like homework - I feel like I have to pay really careful attention, so that I don't miss a single, potentially important moment. But without question, last season's finale, ending with Juliet detonating the bomb, was one of the best pieces of television I've ever seen, and for once, I can't wait until the next season starts. Besides, the complexity of Juliet has forever ruined me from any other character Elizabeth Mitchell plays.

7. Chuck - "I know kung fu." I love Chuck with a vengeance - so much that I actually went to Subway during the "Save Chuck" campaign. And why wouldn't I? Season 2 was packed with great episodes, and awesome guest stars. (It's one of the few shows that actually use their guest stars as more than a plot stunt.) The good? Scott Bakula as Chuck's dad, Tricia Helfer sauntering in to Buy More as the stripper cop, Chevy Chase as evil Bill Gates, Sarah choosing Chuck over Bryce, just off the top of my head. The best? Chuck: "I know kung fu."

6. Battlestar Galactica - "The Oath" and "Blood on the Scales". Although the last 1/2 of the series was spotty, the double episodes "The Oath" and "Blood on the Scales" were good enough to make up for the entire season. We got a lethargic Starbuck back in bad-ass form, Lee out of his horrendous suit, and a glimpse of what made Bill Adama the Admiral he is today. This is Battlestar at its best: powerful, dramatic, and seat-of-your-pants gripping.

5. CSI. Yeah, yeah, I know. But there's a reason CSI made this particular list - a cheeky little episode that sent up sci-fi conventions, complete with BSG's Ellen and Boomer as guest stars. What cinched it was when a smarmy producer unveils his heavily anticipated remake of a cheesy sci-fi tv show - the male lead is overly sensitive and starts crying to show off his human weakness - and Ron Moore yells, "You suck!" Classic.

4. True Blood. Hot "I thought you were dead" sex. "Smite me, motherfucker!" Pam in a pink Chanel suit. And of course, Alexander Sarsgaard. I can't choose - could you?

3. Dollhouse, Season 2. If you'd told me this summer if Dollhouse would become one of my favorite shows, I'd have looked at you like you were wearing a paisley shirt with plaid pants. But the last 6 episodes that aired after Fox officially canceled the show have been frakking-un-believable.

With the addition of Daniel, Topher's redemption, Adele's downward spiral, and an even more sinister Dollhouse, this show is going out with more than just a bang. And the much-lambasted Eliza Dushku is giving one hell of a performance - we finally care about Echo and her past, and can see why she *is* something special.

The sad irony is that what makes the last episodes of Dollhouse so scary good - a heroine we root for, the action-packed plots, tight storytelling, characters with depth, and an intelligently crafted alternate universe - are the things even die-hard Whedon fans criticized the show for not having when it premiered. What a complete, 180 transformation. I'll be sad when it finally ends.

2. Glee - The Pilot. I tuned in because I'm a musical theatre geek; by the end of the Pilot, I was head over heels in love. Never before had there been a show like Glee, with its black humor, snarky satirization of high school, completely weird characters, and wonderfully inappropriate musical numbers. Like the McKinley kids, my jaw was on the floor after Vocal Adrenaline's performance of "Rehab" - without question, the best musical number of the show - but it was six misfits in red T-shirts, and their unbelievable rendition of "Don't Stop Believin'" that stole my heart.

1. Dexter - Season Finale. You'd think that Glee would be my number one show of the year. After all, I loved it so much that I forced myself down Billie's throat as a reviewer :-) But, wow - that ending. I was shocked, stunned, screaming at the tv, rushing onto Internet boards. Those last three minutes placed Dexter firmly at the top of my list this year.

It was an amazing ending to an amazing season - easily the best since the show's first season. John Lithgow better win an Emmy - never again will I be able to watch 3rd Rock from the Sun without getting the willies. I loved watching Dexter becoming more and more human, from his unexpected jealousy to uncharacteristically frantic chase of Trinity, out of fear for his family. And then - WHAM!

The ending shot was beautifully symmetrical, and opens the door for endless opportunities. For the last 4 seasons, we've seen Dexter slowly growing as a human being outside of his dark passenger; now that Trinity has killed his last tie to humanity, the regression will no doubt be swift and intense. Bravo to an outstanding season!

Honorable Mentions: I need to point out Victor from Dollhouse. Sure, he was incredible as the creepy serial killer let loose, and dead on as Topher #2. But it was his coed-at-a-club that I can't get out of my head. Absolutely brilliant!

9 So-Bad-Its-Pointless Disappointments:

9. The last few episodes of True Blood, Season 2. After a thrilling plotline with the Fellowship of the Sun, True Blood... just... lost... steam... A big part of it was the overly drawn out Maryanne story. Really, they should have spread the two plotlines evenly throughout the season, or focused on one after the other. Such a waste of Michelle Forbes, who is a fabulous actress, and seemed to be having so much fun with the role.

And uh, what was the point of the first 30 minutes of the Season 2 finale? I felt like I was watching people clean their house.

8. Heroes. Why isn't this show dead yet?

7. Fame, the movie. As everyone knows, I'm a die hard musical theatre geek, and the rising popularity of musicals and dance has my heart swelling. But Fame just plain sucked. Which in itself sucks, because one of the contestants from my favorite season of So You Think You Can Dance - Kherington - had a starring role.

6. So You Think You Can Dance. A bunch of must-see shows fell off my radar this year: Grey's Anatomy (too many cast members!), Gossip Girl (what happened to Blair's wardrobe??), for example. But the one which fell the furthest is SYTYCD, which went from being my complete obsession to not even on my TiVo list.

Up until this year, I couldn't get enough of it. I sought out all things SYTYCD - songs played on the show, the live tour, Tabitha and Napoleon's hip hop class, even watched Dancing with the Stars and some pretty bad dance movies out of loytalty to my dancers. But I think the turning point came in Season 5, when they cut Natalie inexplicably from Vegas try outs. The judges tried so hard to defend their decision that they kept referring to the Season 5 contestants as "the best dancers we've ever had", and I lost faith in their judgment.

Another nail in the coffin was Season 6. I initially loved the idea of having two rounds of SYTYCD per year, but one right after the other? It was too much. Even a 3 month break would have been better. But the judges were whizzing off from ranking Season 5 to Season 6 tryouts. I watched maybe one ep of Season 6, and I just took it off my TiVo.

5. V. Snore. Did I miss anything?

4. Terminator: Salvation. While not a bad movie, my expectation was sky high because of Christian Bale's presence. After all, he helped transformed the Batman franchise from a cheesy cariacature into a smart, dark tale of an antihero. Unfortunately, it was just another ho-hum action movie.

3. HawthoRNe. The only reason I even attempted to tune in is because I desperately needed my Michael Vartan fix. And hey, I've always liked Jada Pinkett Smith. But even Vartan's pretty face couldn't save this insipid mess - made all the worse because Showtime released their very own - and far superior - show around the same time, Nurse Jackie. Jada couldn't hold a candle next to the sharp, dysfunctional Edie Falco. After just one painful episode, Alexander Sarsgaard officially replaced Michael Vartan as The Love Of My Life.

2. Every other episode of Glee. *Sigh* I love this show, I really do. But I'm starting to think Glee is just a wee bit bipolar. It alternates weekly from frakking amazing to painfully disappointing. I feel like if you took every all the even numbered episodes, you'd have a near-perfect season.

I don't know, maybe it is because after a fantastic episode, I'm riding a high and have unrealistic expectations. But I've almost never watched a show where the quality vacillates so wildly from one extreme to the other - it's usually more of a trend, when a story arc, character development, or entire season goes bad. The only the exception is the last of half season of Battlestar Galactica. Which leads me to...

1. Battlestar Galactica - "No Exit" & "Daybreak". Jeez, people! I know you only have a handful of episodes to wrap up your epic story, but did you really need to have an entire hour of exposition to explain the Final 5 Cylons? Where is the fun of the reveal? It just felt like a completely cheap way of tying off one of the biggest, most fascinating mysteries in BSG history. Boo!

And the series finale. It's been months since I've seen it, and I just grow more and more disappointed every time I think about it. There were some clever moments in there, like at the end with Six and Gaius, but for the most part - huh? Let me count the ways in which it sucked: Starbuck. Bill abandoning his family. Ron Moore inserting himself at the end.

I know that a lot of shows start off great, and then slump in quality over the years until they are mercifully put out of their misery, but I did not expect this from BSG. Besides the fact that BSG is probably one of the most powerful, well written, intelligent, and well acted shows to ever grace the small screen, Moore had plenty of notice as to when the series was going to end. So he could have crafted a well thought out way to wrap up his masterpiece. Also, the first half of Season 4 wasn't bad at all. So, um, what happened?

Honorable Mention: Twilight-mania. Can someone explain to me why people find Edward Cullen swoon-worthy?

Happy 2010, everyone!


  1. Victor! If Enver doesn't get another show, there's no justice in the universe. Thanks, Serena -- great list.

  2. A very fun group of lists. I really love your choice for the #1 Glee quote. I just loved that Josh Groban line!

    I was particularly excited to see your first list because it gives me a chance to gush about how much I love the Glee Vol. 1 and 2 albums I got for Christmas! (Although I wish the girls and boys mashups were on them!) After listening to these, I completely agree that Don't Stop Believin' is quite possibly my favorite Glee number. It is just so darn peppy. My second favorite is Somebody to Love.

    Also, after hearing it apart from the show, I can now appreciate your love for the Will and Rachel version of Endless Love. (I know you didn't mention it here, but when I heard it, I thought of your review.) I still don't like the song very much, but they do sing it beautifully.

  3. Great review! Love the quotes piece and Sue Sylvester is so over the top it's funny although sometimes I find her a bit wearing especially when I'v had a day where I've run into someone who is just too much like her. Then she will say something hilarious and I'll remember not to take such things so seriously. With Sue at least you know what you are dealing with. I can't believe that I didn't include Battlestar Gallactica in my list. Even when it was uneven it will still better than most of what was on TV. I guess I really have to start watching Dexter. Everyone I know loves it but I've had some trouble getting past the concept. But if you all can then it must be worth a shot.

  4. Drat! I can't believe I didn't include Enver in my list of best actors, or the Bambi quote from Glee...I might have to change my list.

  5. Honorable Mention: Twilight-mania. Can someone explain to me why people find Edward Cullen swoon-worthy?

    I can't figure it out either. He is the least attractive "heartthrob" I have ever laid my eyes upon.

  6. Really good set of lists (I say that because I agree with about 90%). I too am a big Glee fan, probably even more positive about the show than you are (don't actually mind the "reach to the sky" moments). Two things I want to specifically comment on:
    1) Agree completely with your assesment of Dollhouse. I was totally unimpressed with S1. I guess the turning point for me was the release of the S1 DVD set. Epitaph 1 was just fantastic (and I have to confess that I would pretty much watch anything with Felicia Day)and I liked the unaired pilot so much more than what was aired. Then S2 ratcheted it up several notches. Over the holidays, I rewatched the fisr 10 episodes of S2 and then rewatched Epitaph 1 which I liked even more than the first time. Hoping for a great last three episodes, especially Epitaph 2.
    2) BSG - Come on Starbuck an Angel? Head 6 and Baltar angels. Hera's importance? The opera house resolution. The Plan? What a bunch of BS. The last hour of the finale completely ruined 3.95 years of watching this show. I am bitter and it is not getting any better.


We love comments! We moderate because of spam and trolls, but don't let that stop you! It’s never too late to comment on an old show, but please don’t spoil future episodes for newbies.