Monday, April 21, 2008

2007-08 Best TV shows

For the past few seasons, my favorite TV shows were Boston Legal and Veronica Mars. This season, Veronica Mars was gone, but there was a fitting replacement in Pushing Daisies.

Pushing Daisies was only on for 9 episodes in the fall, and I think I only saw four of them. It is due back next fall. I call it a fitting replacement for Veronica Mars because I think both appeal to a younger, science-fiction/fantasy, light-hearted sort of crowd, while Boston Legal may appeal more to liberal intellectuals.

I like Pushing Daisies because it is funny, quirky, has good values, and is packed with stuff. What I mean by packed with stuff is that they just rattle off clever puns so fast that you may not even notice them all the first time around.

I like Boston Legal because it is quirky, hilarious, discusses important issues, and treats its characters with respect. This is a show that features a midget, a transvestite, and a man who purrs whose girlfriend left him for an iPhone, and which treats such characters with respect while at the same time taking full advantage of the potential for humor. I like the fact that there are characters in their 60's or so who are real people, people who still experience romance and friendship just like younger people do. You don't see that so much in TV and movies. I like the depth of caring the characters show toward each other. In particular, I'm thinking of Shirley's love for Denny. They dated a long time ago. She is a powerful, intelligent woman. He is losing his marbles, and something of a buffoon. He wants to get back with her romantically, and shows it in very immature ways, but she sees past that and loves him as the man who has been a part of her life for decades. Also, the friendship between Denny and Alan is the centerpiece of the show. It's rare to see a friendship between two men who will say "I love you" to each other. They're not type of people who are always talking about their feelings either, they are real men's men, they just happen to have a strong friendship. There are so many so-called comedies which to me are just boring and stupid, but Boston Legal never fails to to be funny. At the same time, it also raises awareness of important issues.

I'd also like to give honorable mention to Private Practice. It's not really any better than the average drama (e.g. Brothers and Sisters, Grey's Anatomy, Boston Public, The Practice, Northern Exposures, Men in Trees, Desperate Housewives, Picket Fences), but I like the way that the characters have been around the block a few times. These are not unspoiled youth seeking true love, whose happy ending comes when they and their love interest decide to get together. These people already found their true love, got married, and got divorced.

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