12 December 2007

Time Magazine's Top 10 Returning Shows 2007

1. The Sopranos Final Season
"David Chase stripped the show down, one unsentimentally eliminated character at a time, to its dark core: a study of a fascinating, evil man. As brutal in its family-vacation scenes as in its gangland whackings, this final season left us with nothing, and everything. "

2. Lost Season 3
"Like a boulder on a desert-island mountain, a Lost season starts slow, but after a dithering first six episodes, season 3 was an awesome force. "

3. 30 Rock Season 2
"This year 30 Rock morphed from a funny office comedy to a subversive TV satire and outrageous character showpiece."

4. Friday Night Lights Season 2
"Though it stumbled this fall with over-the-top plots, this remains network TV's finest slice of life, with a heart as big as Texas. "

5. Big Love Season 2
"The second season of this man-and-wives drama became more outrageous (with the introduction of the bizarro polygamist Greene family), more exciting (with a showdown between suburban protagonist Bill and the rural compound he spurned) and more emotionally real (with rich detail added to the three "sister-wives" relationships). "

6. The Office Season 3
"In its third year, the sitcom deftly played the office love triangle (sorry, Team Karen), balanced wackiness and poignancy and pulled off the brilliant flip-the-script move of promoting temp Ryan to become Michael's corporate boss."

7. The Colbert Report
"Stephen Colbert's nightly ego-blast started out as a punditry parody and has evolved into mass-scale interactive performance art. "

8. The Shield Season 6
"As Vic Mackey (Michael Chiklis) sees the endgame of his corrupt police career draw closer, The Shield's sixth season focused on the complicated friendship/rivalry between him and protégé Shane (Walton Goggins, doing his finest work). Meanwhile, with Claudette Wyms (CCH Pounder) rising to precinct captain, the drama has continued to be a brilliant study of urban and ethnic politics. "

9. Weeds Season 3
"The third season of Jenji Kohan's suburban send-up about pot-dealing mom Nancy Botwin (Mary-Louise Parker) raised the stakes for its characters as Nancy found it ever more impossible to keep her family separate from the fallout from her working life."

10. Top Chef Season 3
"The producers played well off the move to Miami, making use of the area's local Latino food culture and glammy nightlife. But as always the secret was casting, and cocky eventual winner Hung was just the best of a talented, compelling kitchen crew. "