10. It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia (FX). The quality on this show has dipped quite a bit, particularly the flashback episode, but these four idiot, plus Danny Devito and featuring Devito’s ridiculous toupee, continue to crack me up.
9. Miss Rap Supreme (VH-1). MC Serch brings his legitimate hip hop credentials to a new season of his Ego Trip production. Last year’s “White Rapper” show was fun, but in a novelty kind of way because most of the guys on the show weren’t very good. This year, Yo-Yo cohosts, and the female contestants, with a few exceptions, are all pretty good. Highlights included the first elimination of Khia, who simply could not believe that “My Neck, My Back” didn’t establish her as the slam-dunk winner; and the episode where the ladies dressed up like male rap stars (although, I can’t understand how P-Diddy rates as a rapper . . .)
8. King of the Hill (Fox). Finally cancelled, this show never stopped being insightful, smart, fresh, and funny. Don’t forget funny.
7. Free Radio (VH-1). VH1’s part-improv oddball comedy about a DJ who’s a little like Howard Stern, only he says inappropriate things because he just doesn’t know any better. It sounds lame, but it’s not. It’s really, really funny, especially when guests appear to promote their various real-life projects, including stars of TV shows like Heroes and 24, as well as folks like Bob Saget, all of whom show they’ve got a great sense of humor about themselves.
6. Celebrity Rehab (VH-1). Season One was pretty good, but mostly just for the shock-and-gawk factor. This season, we saw truly moving personal discoveries by Tawny (“Julie”) Kitaen and Rod Stewart’s kid, and heard Rodney King recount the chilling and painful story of his historical beating. This is the rare example of a reality show that improved on its premise, got serious, and is at turns moving, funny, and startlingly frank.
5. Tim and Eric’s Awesome Show Great Job! The sickest, grossest, twistedest, and most inappropriate show on televions, period. Often brilliant, always shocking, and occasionally repulsive, this is the car accident you crane your neck to see. Plus, it’s full of “Hey, is that really . . . [John C. Reilly, Weird All Yankovich, etc.]” moments. Not for the squeamish
4. Life (Fox). The series “returned” after an abridged, pre-strike debut, and improved on its already great premise. Damian Lewis is fantastic in the role of a cop who spent time in jail after being framed, only to get out, sue the police department for wrongful arrest, and win back his job and over $20 million. The ongoing plot, where he tries to find out who framed him, is unnecessary and, honestly, muddled. But the individual stories are fantastic and fun, especially watching Lewis’ unique approach to interrogations (he always tells the truth, which shocks people into submission) and his Buddhist philosophy (when a girl admires his new sportscar, he gives it to her because he is unattached to the material world). The only thing that could make this show better is to lose the subplot and focus more on Lewis’ character’s trouble adapting to life outside of a cell. Unfortunately, it looks like nobody will get a chance to develop the show. It’s likely going to be cancelled.
3. Dexter (Showtime). Awesome. Adding Smits to the cast for the season was fantastic (he always raises the quality of everything he’s in). And adding Jessie from Fame was cool, too.
2. The Shield (FX). You ended it! You bastards! I would never get tired of this show. Ever. I could watch Vic Mackey connive to get more Jell-O at the old-folks home. Shame on everyone who bailed on this show and stopped watching. It caused the cancellation of the second best show on television.
1. The Wire (HBO). Which brings us to the cancellation of the best show on T.V. Sob.