The best TV shows of 2008 stayed relatively unchanged, since so few quality new shows came about in 2008. But some old favorites slipped in 2008 while others rose to the very top of the best TV shows list. While this TV season collapses under the weight of failed new shows, it will have to live off the glory of the best TV shows last season for a while longer. Here are the top five front runners of TV in 2008.
5. The Colbert Report: The Republicans can do worse than pick Stephen Colbert to comically rebuild the party in 2012. That is, assuming Colbert doesn’t find a spot on Obama’s cabinet, or have a mental breakdown when Obama’s Presidency finally sinks in. But the Christmas special industry may give Colbert some extra income to soften the blow.
4. The Shield: Seven years of brutality and being on the top of best TV shows lists ended in 2008 for The Shield. Fittingly, The Shield ended as surprisingly and shockingly as it began, making it a little harder and more frustrating than ever for the Emmys to ignore it. For all the frantic shaky cam action, illegal actions and massive beatdowns, The Shield chose to end it all with silent tragedy and raw, non violent pathos.
The biggest stunner? That The Shield could get in an unexpected laugh to close it all out for Vic Mackey, and get away with it.
3. Mad Men: Don Draper and his Mad Men moved forward in time, but moved significantly backwards emotionally and personally, to the delight of 2008 viewers. Don lost his seat of power at the Draper household, while the rest of the staff lost, or nearly lost, even worse. The times they are a-changing at Sterling Cooper, although not fast enough to clear out all that smoke.
But while Mad Men Jon Hamm, John Slattery and Vincent Kartheiser got to have their fun and angst, Elisabeth Moss, January Jones and Christina Hendricks made the Mad Women walk off with Season Two. Hopefully Emmy voters show them more respect than the men in Peggy, Betty and Joan’s lives do.
2. 30 Rock: We are all Tina Fey’s servants now, with Alec Baldwin as her First Man of TV. Tracy Morgan, Kenneth the Page, and almost half of Hollywood are on their cabinet. The rest of TV comedy are 30 Rock subordinates until further notice. For those that once again missed an opportunity to find out for themselves during the election, McCain and Palin have nothing on Donaghy and Lemon.
If there is still a Hollywood celebrity without a 30 Rock appearance on their resume, they must be doing something very, very wrong. They might as well get on the two time Emmy winning 30 Rock ticket while there are still some slots open.
1. Lost: In 2008, Lost returned to the top by moving an entire island and going to the future to raise the stakes for its Lost heroes, as well as still ambiguous “villain” Ben Linus. Tear jerking phone calls were made, new characters added more mystery and bloodshed, the island got even more powerful, and not even young daughters were safe on Lost this time. But first, a moment of rare Lost silence for Jeremy Bentham before his body is dragged all over the place next season.
The latest Lost success even inspired this author to write a book “Lost Episode Guide For Others” to try and sum the whole thing up before 2009.
Runners up for best TV shows in 2008: Pushing Daisies, The Office, Saturday Night Live, Dexter.