Dish Of Salt: Top 10 TV Shows Of 2008

I’ll be taking some time off for the holidays, but I wanted to leave you all with my annual list of my favorite TV shows of the year.

They may not be the critical favorites or the ratings grabbers but they are the shows I love and just can’t miss. After all this is MY list!

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You’ll notice it differs vastly from last year’s list, as only one show continued to be one my favorites list this year.

Mostly, it’s because their new seasons have not lived up to last year’s work. Happy Holidays everyone and I’ll be back with more Dish on January 5.

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#10 – “The Bachelorette” – OK, I know I will get reamed for this by true TV aficionados, but yes I can admit I was completely, 100 percent hooked on this show this year. You can imagine it had nothing to do with DeAnna Pappas at all who I felt was just a little too pompous. Her whole crying scene at the boys’ house was plain embarrassing on her part. The twist with her picking snowboarder Jesse at the end was a shocker (not a shock that they broke off their engagement after the show though) but the truth of the matter what that I was just a sucker for Jason and Jeremy from the moment they each both got out of the limo. Note to ABC: More “Bachelorette,” less “Bachelors.”

#9 – “Big Bang Theory” – This quirky little show continues to grow on me. It’s a gem that only a select few have watched shine. You cannot help but laugh at how someone as smart as Sheldon Cooper can be such a societal nimwit. It’s painful and hysterical to watch him deal with everyday circumstances. Power to the nerds, geeks and fanboys who this show immortalizes!

#8 – “American Idol” – After a disappointing and lackluster group of contestants in Season Six (save for Sanjaya!), Season Seven roared back with a diverse group of singers from dreadlock-loving Jason Castro to hippie chick Brooke White. I didn’t even mind the so-called “ringers” Carly Smithson and Michael Johns. Even the instruments I feel added a little zing to the show. Who could forget when Brooke had to start her song over because she messed up on the piano! Ultimately, it boiled down to David versus David. Cook and Archuleta are what truly made the show this year and what a fantastic finish it was for Cook at the finale.

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#7 – “Mad Men” – Granted this show is an acquired taste. It moves slowly and Don Draper is about as easy to love as Tony Soprano. However, it’s worth spending time with these ad executives. It’s stylish, smart, sophisticated television that at times makes you cringe and be glad for sexual harassment laws and that people can’t smoke in your office, on airplanes or in restaurants anymore.

#6 – “True Blood” – Vampires living among us surviving on synthetic blood. What an utterly ridiculous concept. Yet, this show has taken just that and made a fun, campy, dramatic, soapy little show. I hate horror flicks more than anything, but something about these TV vampires have sucked me in. (yep, I made the lame joke)

#5 – “Gossip Girl” - Three words. Chuck and Blair. Their love/hate relationship was the cornerstone of the show’s second season. Their lightning bolt chemistry is by far the best thing on television in decades.

#4 – “The Office” - Everything just clicked this season, from Toby deciding to resign as Dunder Mifflin’s HR representative to move to a Costa Rica position, to the Jim and Pam engagement and the Angela/Andy/Dwight love triangle that continues to linger. My only complaint is that Amy Ryan could not be persuaded to stick around permanently as Holly Flax, the new HR rep who was the female version of Michael Scott. Their backward office romance was so incredibly entertaining to watch I almost cried when she moved to Nashua. Jan who?

#3 – “30 Rock” – This show does not need big name guest stars like Jennifer Aniston and Oprah Winfrey. All it needs is Jack Donaghy, Liz Lemon and Kenneth the Page. A few more eyeballs would help too. It’s the funniest, quirkiest yet lowest-rated comedy on television since “Arrested Development” and we know what happened to that show.

#2 – “Lost” – When Hurley first uttered those six little words, “I’m one of the Oceanic Six,” it set up what was to come in an entire season, albeit a short one thanks to the writer’s strike. This show is more confusing than putting together a desk from IKEA but it’s worth watching to ponder all the questions that have yet to get answered.

#1 – A tie - “How I Met Your Mother” and “Brothers and Sisters.” Ok, I just can’t be forced to choose between the two. One is my favorite comedy and the other my favorite drama. Again, this is my list so I can do what I want. First, HIMYM is every bit as good as “Friends” was (in its first five seasons) and consistently delivers some of the funniest moments on TV. I look forward to spending my Monday nights with Barney, Robin, Lily, Marshall and Ted. Frankly at this point, I don’t really care who the mother is as long as they continue to make me laugh. As for “Brothers and Sisters” it’s probably not a show on anyone else’s Top 10 lists. The truth is that I’m so insanely jealous of a family that actually all lives together in the same town and can see each other whenever they want, I just want to be a Walker.

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