Friday, December 23, 2011

2011: A Year In (Lists) Review...

'Tis the season of reruns, so I should have a lot of time on my hands, right? Wrong! 'Tis (also) the season of reminiscing, and that is exactly what I've been doing this week...taking you down the short memory lane that was 2011!

Over on my Examiner page I spent the week looking back at some of the most memorable elements of television from this past year. It was quite a task to go back through 300+ days of television shows, actors, episodes, and moments and to remember just how much happened this year. In case you missed any of my round-up pieces, here they all are, with some highlights pulled out to suck you right in!

(Click on the titles for the full feature link)

Best Returning TV of 2011 - Some of my picks for 2011 mirrored those of 2010, but some really struck out, shooting up to the front of the pack after teetering along for a few years, and a few seasons, while others launched to the top of my faves with only its second year on at all. This list was supposed to be an even match of comedy (from Community to Parks and Recreation) and drama (Friday Night Lights, of course!), but somehow the dramas edged out my usual comedy kings to take the most slots. So many, in fact, that I had to extend this past just the Top 5 to include "one for good luck."

Best New Television Series of 2011 - Thanks to mid-season being a viable source of exciting new programming, Happy Endings almost snuck in here twice. It launched in 2011, and it started it's second season in 2011, so really I could have made a case for it to be included in both "new" and "returning" favorites' lists. But I decided not to bend the rules like that just for this one show. Even though if anyone deserved it, it would be them. Surprisingly, they were the only comedy to make the cut here. Drama, when new, was what seems to hit me hardest this year!

Best Guilty Pleasure TV of 2011 - A number of other entertainment outlets may put Revenge or American Horror Story or Awkward. simply on their "best of" list and call it a day. But while I can cop to enjoying them, I haven't had any corporate Kool Aid to drink, so I always take them with a grain of salt. These are not shows that are out to reinvent television, or even a genre (and if they are, well, they shouldn't be), but they are shows that grab you and force you to have a reaction to what's going on on-screen. They're not always the best written, nor best acted, let alone most consistent, and they may be targeted at quite the niche demographic, but they are enjoyable nonetheless, and therefore, need to be noted for being entertainment in its purest.

Best Finds/Underrated Performers of 2011 - From younger stars on the rise like Emma Kenney and Nolan Gould to seasoned performers who just never get their due (like Mark Pellegrino and Max Greenfield), these ten TV actors may not be the stars of their own show, but they stand out every time I see them, and I hope to see more of them next year.

Best TV Moments of 2011 - So many of my favorite moments usually revolve on the relationships between characters, so I worked really hard to look a little more specifically towards events or happenings that had a greater effect on the show as a whole, rather than just a few of the characters. But really, I ended up choosing moments that made me react aloud when watching them unfold. I also included some of my readers' favorite moments in a separate, Twitter-created post.

Favorite Articles of 2011 - There were so many great moments for me in my career this year that I actually split this into two parts: reviews and features first, then Q&As and interviews.

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