» This Story:Read +| Comments

The best and worst of 2009: TV

HOT AIR: The Balloon Boy saga was nice while it lasted.
HOT AIR: The Balloon Boy saga was nice while it lasted. (Reuters)

Network News

X Profile
View More Activity
By Hank Stuever
Sunday, December 20, 2009


1. Balloon Boy -- Set aside the distasteful, Warholian, fame-seeking aftermath and just admit it: For about one hour, the Falcon Heene hoax was the most riveting TV all year.

This Story
View All Items in This Story
View Only Top Items in This Story

2. "Glee" (Fox) -- Worried that Fox's whip-smart comedy is already faltering? Don't let Sue Sylvester hear that.

3. "Weeds" (Showtime) -- Mary-Louise Parker's drug-dealing dramedy went epic this season. Nice work with the croquet mallet, Shane!

4. "True Blood" (HBO) -- Them Louisiana bloodsuckers are the only vampires worth lusting over.

5. "The Good Wife" (CBS)-- Julianna Margulies is riveting and so is the unfolding tale of infidelity and marriage. Lawyers and law firms are interesting again.

6. "NCIS: Los Angeles" (CBS)-- If you have to just pick one easy-on-the-brain CBS crime procedural, go with LL Cool J and the gang. Stylish and weirdly . . . is "original" the right word? No.

7. "Lost" (ABC) -- That scene where Jacob and "Esau" are watching that tall ship off on the horizon? Now it all makes sense; or does it? Best season yet.

8. "Sons of Anarchy" (FX) -- Have you noticed that America is really just an aging biker gang? You haven't? Then hop on.

9. "Modern Family" (ABC) -- Smartest new mockumentary series of the season, with a standout performance from Ty Burrell's new twist on the doofus-dad stereotype.

10. Michael Jackson's funeral -- Who would have thought, amid all the Jacko death hype, that Staples Center could take on such a reverent, dignified air? Tell 'em that it's human nature.


1. "The Jay Leno Show" (NBC) -- 10 o'clock's bold experiment? Phhhfffft. Our bedtime isn't that early, after all.

2. "Real Housewives of New Jersey" (Bravo) -- What started out as sharp social commentary in Orange County devolved in the Garden State into a slimy bunch of screaming women. Bravo knows how to do better, right? Sure, just ask the Salahis.

3. Susan Boyle -- A hundred gazillion YouTube hits can't be wrong . . . unless they are. I'd rather weep at Adam Lambert's rendition of "Mad World."

4. "Hank" (ABC) -- A clinical depiction, courtesy of Kelsey Grammer, of everything wrong with the sitcom formats of yore.

5. "The Jeff Dunham Show" (Comedy Central) -- You know it's bad when the New York Times has to write about ventriloquist Dunham's red-state meaning and significance twice. (What are we, dummies?)

Bonus! BEST and WORST

"Mad Men" (AMC) -- The style, the mood, the feel of it! (But also, the inertia, the staring off into space, the relentless Emmy-grubbing.)

» This Story:Read +| Comments

More From Style

[Click Track]


Style writers riff on pop music, comics and other topics.



Get words of wisdom from Carolyn Hax, Ask Amy, Miss Manners and more.

[Reliable Source]

Reliable Source

Columnists Amy Argetsinger and Roxanne Roberts dish dirt on D.C.

© 2009 The Washington Post Company

Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity