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Billie's favorite TV of 2010

It's the end of another year. How does time manage to fly so quickly? We here at Billie Doux (I still find it weird to refer to myself as a website) are planning to once again talk about our faves. It's fun, and we get to post pretty pictures. (See the three gorgeous guys to your right.)

What was my favorite show of 2010, you ask? Or maybe you didn't ask, but I'll tell you, anyway...

Yes, it's Supernatural again.

After winding up a multi-season arc last spring and getting unexpectedly renewed for a sixth season, Supernatural is still its tragic, gory and darkly comic self, and for the third year in a row, it's my favorite currently running series. The mythology has continued to expand and build -- good and evil, monsters and demons, frightening Old Testament angels, Heaven, Hell, Purgatory, the nature of the soul, the search for God, it takes real skill to pull off stories like this, let me tell you. The Winchester brothers and their codependent relationship are still doing it for me in a big way, and this year they actually made it to the cover of TV Guide. I want a seventh season, and it looks like I just might get it.

Runner up: The Vampire Diaries.

Who knew how good it would turn out to be? The Vampire Diaries started out looking very much like a teenage vampire Twilight clone with nothing in the way of innovation or sparkle, pun intended -- but the machinations, magic rings, plot twists and sexual tension have all turned it into one of the highlights of my week.

Interesting that The Vampire Diaries, like Supernatural, features a complicated relationship between two brothers, neither of whom are your stereotypical good guy or bad guy. One of my favorite quotes this season, and I can't remember where I read it or I'd give you the link, was from an article comparing the two shows: "If the Winchesters met the Salvatores, vampire heads would roll." I'm not much of a crossover fan, but can you imagine a Supernatural/Vampire Diaries crossover? It'd be classic. And hopefully, all four of them would survive because I want more Vampire Diaries. More, more, more. Give us a nice long run, if you please.

Surprisingly, Dexter.

I don't know how they managed it, but the producers of Dexter followed last year's absolutely exceptional and intense fourth season with a completely different but also absolutely exceptional and intense fifth season. I was completely surprised by the direction they took, but I shouldn't have been. It's clear that the producers are well aware that they have a unique, complex character as their lead, played by an exceptional actor (Michael C. Hall, who should have multiple Emmys for best actor on his mantle), and that the series would be over pretty quickly if Dexter himself didn't change and grow. Now, if only his marriage to his sister had worked out.

Also, surprisingly, The Walking Dead.

So while we were waiting for The Event, Nikita, and Undercovers to take off, The Walking Dead swept under the radar and blew us away. I've already said a ton about this innovative series, but suffice it to say that The Walking Dead may appear to be just another zombie apocalypse, but it's actually about survival, morality, and the human condition. We're probably gonna hafta wait until fall of 2011 for season two, so if you haven't seen the way-too-short first season yet, you've got plenty of time to catch up.

Honorable mention.

I discovered two wonderful shows on DVD this summer. Being Human is a UK show about a vampire, a werewolf and a ghost who become housemates and attempt to become, well, human. The premise sounds silly, I'll grant you, but it's not. Being Human is about alienation. Mitchell, George and Annie all desperately want to be normal, to live ordinary lives, and that is impossible because of what they are. As they struggle with their humanity, they learn to depend on each other -- and of course, their love for each other is what makes them the most human.

The UK version of Being Human is getting a third season, probably starting soon. We're not getting it in the U.S., possibly because SyFy is doing an American reboot with the same title starting in January. Across-the-pond-reboots are rarely good; it's not easy to duplicate magic, as the producers of the U.S. version of Life on Mars can tell you. We shall see.

The second show I discovered on DVD this summer, Lie to Me, is about the science of detecting deception. Cal Lightman (Tim Roth) and his staff at the Lightman Group work as consultants who analyze facial expressions and body language in order to determine who is telling the truth, and who is not. Yes, it's a procedural, and I'm not a fan of procedurals. But most of the stories are compelling, Tim Roth is amazing, and I'm really enjoying it. I'm nearing the end of season two and haven't seen season three -- so please don't spoil me!

Fun, fun, fun in the summertime.

Ahh, True Blood. The show has its flaws, and I'm the first to admit it; they keep trying to jam too much plot into a twelve-episode season, and I think they try too hard to shock us. But True Blood is fun, sexy, gory, and outrageous, and even though I've read the entire series of books, I never know what will happen next. It also features the delicious Alexander Skarsgard as my new favorite vampire, Eric Northman. (With honorable mention to James Frain, who made Franklin Mott a Vampire to Remember.) I'm definitely tuning in and reviewing season four so please, Alan Ball -- give us the main plot of book four in season four! Pretty please, with sugar on it?

Doctor Who got a brand new Doctor this season. I still feel like I'm cheating on David Tennant, but I have to admit that Matt Smith just nails the character. And new show runner Steven Moffat just gave us the best season of Doctor Who ever, topped by last week's marvelous Christmas episode. I'm very much looking forward to the next season of Doctor Who. (Although I'm even more excited about season four of the Doctor Who spinoff series Torchwood, which is coming to the BBC *and* Starz this coming summer.)

And finally...

... I should probably talk about the end of Lost. It was a big part of my life; I've written literally hundreds of pages about the show, and the hype and hoopla surrounding the sixth season was overwhelming. Yes, I'm one of the fans who was upset with some aspects of how the series ended. But I think I've gone through the five stages of grief and reached some closure with Lost. I no longer fret about the unsatisfactory resolution of the flash sideways and the disappointment of unanswered questions. When I think about the end of Lost, I think about this -- and it never fails to bring tears to my eyes.

So happy new year! And here's hoping for some marvelous television in 2011!


  1. Series 2 of Being Human and Doctor Who have been my TV highlights this year.

    Being Human was wonderfully dark and managed to stay true to the original premise. It also had some incredibly good acting in the finale. I'm really looking forward to S3, which should start mid-January.

    Matt Smith was a revelation as Doctor Who. I still love Tennant's action hero Doctor and he was a perfect match for RTD's writing style, but Moffat and Smith were just made for each other.

    The Big Bang was pretty much a perfect episode of TV, there was literally nothing that needed adding or taking away and made you see the rest of the series in a new light.

    Thanks to you and all your writers for so much entertainment this year.

  2. I'm still not 100% convoinced by Matt Smith, though he's not as bad as I thought he'd be (I'm prejudiced against him because I don't like the idea of the Doctor being the same age as me...) I really started to like True Blood, after a good few episodes, it finally hooked me and I'm looking forward to seeing series 3 come to the UK (along with Spartacus' prequel and possibly some new Spartacus)

  3. Fun list, Billie! I'm glad yours was long, too. And I love that, except for a few overlaps, our lists are so different! Nice to get some variety.

  4. Some good stuff there, Billie. I certainly enjoyed Dexter, True Blood, Being Human and Doctor Who this year.

    Lost was fine, the finale was okay for me. I got the Season 6 box set for Christmas and I did enjoy watching it again.

  5. My faves:

    To be fair, I've loved every season. Yes, even the third one, though to a lesser degree. I still feel season 1 was the best, but while each other season has its flaws, each has some scenes, characters, and quotes that I can't imagine Dexter without. For season 5 this was Lumen and the exceptionally evil Jordan Chase. I love that they did this season so differently from the rest to avoid repetitiveness and keep me hooked -- it certainly worked. Season 5 wasn't my favorite, and I have some complaints, but I still wouldn't have missed it for the world. Also, this season proved again to me that the creators know how to mix it up while still keeping their fans satisfied. That's not something every show can do.

    Raising Hope.
    Comedies aren't a staple on this site and I don't mind since most comedies don't tickle my funny bone anymore. I feel like this was the only new show this season I actually looked forward to. Imagine my surprise when I realized it was a comedy. Yes, there is an abundance of over-the-top slapstick and gross out stuff, but there is also an equal amount of true wit and heart in this little comedy. I think so, at least. Also, Garret Dillahunt + Martha Plimpton = WIN.

    LOVED the fourth and fifth seasons, but the sixth really hasn't done much for me. Unlike Dexter, which had a clearly superior first season and then some growing pains before it, well, grew up, Supernatural had a mild first few seasons before it found its personal niche. The sixth season, though... I'll be honest, I've been missing the angels (especially Cas and Gabriel). Castiel needs more screen time, Chuck and Becky need to come back, and Crowley needs to be alive again. We need more Bobby, we need less !Sam, and I want old Sam back soon. To be honest, I judge shows a lot on my eagerness to watch them, and while I counted down the time to watch each and every Dexter and Raising Hope, I put off a few episodes of Supernatural because, while the show still has plenty of life left, I found a few of the past episodes borderline boring. I know they can do so much better! On the plus side, some of the hints for shows next year seem very promising.

    I do watch a few other shows on the BBC, including two favorites that I won't go into detail on, Merlin and Torchwood. I only recently discovered Misfits, and though I'm usually not a fan of shows with such of high content of material that I occasionally wish was censored, I love the Misfits. It's funny, well-written, and a total crush for me. I think I love it more than the first season of Heroes, which I thoroughly enjoyed.

    Runners up: Vampire Diaries and True Blood.
    I love the True Blood books, and I enjoyed the Vampire Diaries books, but I'm not terribly impressed with either season this year. Vampire Diaries has certainly improved, but how can I really root for a show when I just want Elena to die? I much prefer Caroline or even Katherine, just like I prefer Damon over Stephan. I really wouldn't care if Bonnie just disappeared. I loved her in the books, but I find her useless and annoying on TV. Even with the improvements they have made, especially since Caroline got fangs, I'm still not in love with Vamp Diaries. I think if they improve again next season I may just love it, though. True Blood... I loved the first few seasons, but season 3 left me a bit cold. Like you said, Billy, they just packed too much in. And I don't like what they've done to the fairies. I miss the Claudine of the books.

    From your list, Billy, I've seen every show except Lost (which I've only seen the first two seasons of) and Doctor Who (ditto first season). It seems the only place we disagree is Supernatural, and I think I've just come to expect a bit too much from it. Anyway, great list as usual. I read your reviews a lot, especially for new shows, and I just wanted to put my extremely long and loud opinions out there. :)

  6. Great list Billie!

    I loved Dexter so much this season. It was different then anything the show has given us before, and I loved Lumen as a character. Too bad she had to run off, although understandable. Glad we have another season to come of the show.

    Same goes for The Walking Dead. It wowed me with it's short first season just like Breaking Bad did three years ago. AMC certainly knows how to pick their shows.

    And Billie, I must say I have seen almost every show you reviewed and have stayed away from "Supernatural" for years. I just didn't think it was my type of show, but it has now become one of my favorites. It sucks now, just having finished my DVD marathon of the entire series, having to wait for a new episode to start. I'm so used to being able to watch multiple episodes again!

    Here's to some good television in 2011!

  7. Interesting list, Billie. I think I only watch two of the shows on it, though I've started watching Supernatural reruns to get caught up, what with all the glowing recommendations here.

    So Lie to Me is good? I admit I've tried to stay away from Fox's Abrasive Jerks Mondays, despite loving both Tim Roth and Hugh Laurie. Should I reconsider?

  8. "Abrasive Jerks Monday." Love it. I actually find Tim Roth to be rather cute.

  9. I gave up Lie to Me in the begnning because I decided to stop watching new procedurals. Maybe I'll catch up some day.

    Dimitri, Supernatural is definitely worth a watch. I was a little reluctant about watching it because, viewed from outside, it looks ridiculous. But so does Buffy and LOST, so I gave it a try and never regretted it.

  10. Great list, Billie! Lots of good stuff on there. I don't find Lie To Me very interesting because I'm one of those people like the Roth character plays who can naturally decode liars, so there isn't much surprise value in it, but I love Roth in the part.

    And please don't feel unfaithful to David Tennant! Doctors come and Doctors go - that's what's kept the show going for 47 years.

  11. I'm totally with you on Lost. You did it to me again by posting that picture. Reminds me of how I felt at the end of Babylon 5.

  12. Billie,
    Thanks for posting. I always check your opinion just because how great your reviews are of La Femme Nikita. So I just HAD to try Lie to Me. I was hooked after the first epizode - and after my netflix 2 seasons ran out - found myself buying all the 3rd season for the support of the show on Amazon. I really would not want to watch anything Fox - but I just loved this show. Often finding myself watching it more for the relationship development part than even the stories. I hope it will be renewed. Thanks again for getting my attention to the show. I would have never heard/tried watching it.

  13. banastal, thanks so much for your comment. I'm so bummed that Lie to Me is likely to be canceled. There are so many procedurals on TV and so few that I like that it just doesn't seem fair.


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