At some point earlier in the year I realised that, come the end of year, I wouldn’t be able to remember all the great television I’d seen. There are plenty of ways to record films and books you watch and read but I’ve never found anything that works really well for television. GetGlue has probably come closest but being US based means it’s missing a lot of international content. So what I’m trying to say is that I find it quite to difficult to write an end of the year round up of television.
It’s easier to start with what I didn’t see. Really recently I’ve yet to see Great Expectations which sounds wonderful. Sat amongst nearly other 200 things on my PVR I have Top Boy, Pan-Am, Frozen Planet, Life’s Too Short, Misfits, The Slap and the US remake of The Killing. It almost seems too obvious to point out the excellence of Forbrydelsen, I was late to the party but really enjoyed it when I did finally get there and I am still interested to see what the Americans did with it.
The second series of Glee and Downton Abbey were big disappointments. Downton Abbey was far too close to a parody which isn’t great for drama, it picked up towards the end and the Christmas episode was rather good. ITV shouldn’t have rushed out a sub standard series or edited it down into fewer episodes of a higher quality.
The Closer, The Good Wife, How I Met Your Mother, The Big Bang Theory and Californication all maintained their high standards. I’m not sure where I am with Nurse Jackie and The Big C but both still seem good to me.
Closer to home the second series of Luthur worked when it really shouldn’t have. New programmes such as Fresh Meat, Twenty Twelve and Friday Night Dinners were all smart and hilariously done. Only Connect continues to be my favourite quiz show (not hard) and by adding in play-along walls one of the few things I’ve started watching at the time of broadcast.
I’m happy to show my support of 10 O’Clock Live, it took a few weeks to settle down and probably still needs some tweaking but when it worked (Mitchell and Brooker rants) it was really worth it. Speaking of Charlie Brooker if he did any Wipes or How TV Ruined My Life this year they deserve a mention as does Black Mirror which felt like another must see series.
I feel like I’ve not mentioned so much, including what is probably my televisual highlight. Shadowline, Rubicon, Southland, The Hour, The Fades, Being Human, This Is England I recognise as being good but failed to engage me like I wanted them to.
My favourite piece of television throughout 2011 has to be Doctor Who. Obviously there were weaker episodes in the split series but to be none were weak. When it was good, it was really good and one of the few things I immediately wanted to watch again and for me who rarely watches anything multiple times there can be no greater praise.