The 2010-2011 Television Season: A Look Back

Now that all of the 2010-2011 Television Series have concluded I wanted to take a chance to reflect back on the year in TV.  However, before I get into my main discussion points I would like to point out a few things that hopefully will eliminate pointless comments by everyone who views this. First of all, I realize that it is always trendy to talk about HBO shows as the best shows out there but I DONT GET HBO so you are not going to hear me talk about any of these shows (most of which are overrated in the first place!).  Second, I do not watch sit-coms in their initial runs. The only time I watch sit-coms is once they have entered the land of re-runs, so you also won’t hear me talking about those.  I will throw in a couple cartoon references but otherwise this blog is strictly about what I think about when I think about the television season, the hour long action/drama series!! So, with that being said, I have broken down the last year of TV into 9 categories……ENJOY!!

Shows we said Goodbye To

I can’t remember the last time I saw so many of my favorite shows no longer on the fall schedule.  Law and Order was a staple for over a decade and I simply never even considered the fact that one day it would end. What a sad day that was though!! However, we all know it wasn’t the same without Jack in his main role or Lenny making his always colorful comments!  In the end it was probably the right decision to make to end this show before it became a shadow of what it once was.
Cold Case was always one of my personal favorites. One reason for this is because in the pre-dvr days it was the one show I could always catch since it usually aired on Sunday Nights. To me, it was a very clever and unique crime drama that I really grew to love more and more with every episode.
Finally, perhaps the best show of the 2000s, LOST came to an end. I didn’t watch this show for the first 4 seasons but had caught up to every episode on DVD before the final season. The show was simply amazing and it may be a long time before we get something quite as epic as this one was.

The Hub

2010 saw the launch of the Hub Network with a whole slate of new and old programming.  The best two new shows were easily Transformers Prime and G.I. Joe Renegades. I absolutely love the storytelling and origin stories that we got with Renegades and am majorly pissed that it will not be returning for a second season.  As far as Prime goes, the show definitely started out with a huge bang and gives us the perfect blend of classic transformers mixed with Beast Wars-esque story telling.  For me the jury is still out on this one though as I really need to see how they are going to tie everything together at the end of this first season and continuing into the second.  The show I found myself watching the most on the Hub though would undoubtedly be, the Wonder Years. I DVR’d the entire series and still have about 50 episodes to get through but man this is just a fantastic show. I never watch this show as a kid but am really enjoying it now as I watch it for the first time. I can’t wait to get through the remaining episodes! I am also looking forward to see what next year will bring for the Hub as we have already seen the likes of the classic Jem series added to the lineup for this summer. Looks like the 80’s goodness will continue!!

Those Singing Competitions

I am not afraid to admit that I am a complete sucker for Singing competitions and this year certainly gave us a few to choose from. The best singing show was definitely the Sing-Off with its acapella format, these groups were amazing. I know the show flies under the radar a bit but it also had insanely good judges with Shawn Stockman, Ben Folds and Nicole Scherzinger, plus Nick Lachey is far less annoying than Ryan Seacrest.
American Idol definitely had a fantastic start to its new season. Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler seemed to be doing fantastic as replacement judges and the talent was off the hook during the audition stages. However, the curse of Idol came into play again. For being as popular of a show as it is I will NEVER understand why they have never fixed their voting process. Each week someone is selected to go home, therefore america should be voting FOR WHO THEY WANT TO GO HOME, not who they like the best.  Anyways, after Pia Toscano (by far the best singer on the show in years) was given the early boot to the shock of the world, I boycotted the rest of the season and have not regretted it a bit. In fact I may be done with the show forever at this point!
Finally we had, The Voice, which is actually currently still running so I won’t say to much about it other than the fact that it has a unique format that I think has been working rather well.  Here’s hoping the show can end as well as it has begun.

Guilty Pleasure Shows

Again, I don’t care what you think about me I love me some reality shows/game shows. This year we had The Million Dollar Drop, A Minute to Win it, The Marriage Red and Kitchen Nightmares all available for us to watch but the three that grabbed my attention most are those pictured above.  I absolutely love the Shark Tank and thought it was a nice touch to have a few stand-in guest sharks this season. This show is just a fun no brain show that is easy to watch while you eat dinner or something or the sort.
America’s Next Great Restaurant had a ton of potential but as the season went on I realized that the best episodes were the early ones and as I kept watching it was just getting worse not better. I still stuck around for the entire show to see who won but it was much more interesting seeing all the different concepts in the first few episodes.
My #1 Guilty pleasure is BY FAR Celebrity Apprentice!!  I can’t explain it but something about it had me glued to the TV for 2 hours every Sunday Night. This is probably the only show this past year that was never on my DVR more than a couple hours. As soon as the record was done I usually watched it immediately. I LOVED Lil Jon, Meatloaf, John Rich, Mark McGrath and the rest of the celebrities they had on this season. Once again the right people made it to the end and I can’t wait for next season to start!!

Shows that didn’t Survive

I don’t think I have ever seen as many shows get canceled in a year than I did this year, and most of them were canceled instantly! I didn’t think Outlaw with Jimmy Smits was that bad but it got an instant axe as did the cleverly done Whole Truth.  There were a few shows that I did not mind seeing cut though, including the Paul Reiser Show (even though I love him), Detroit 1-8-7 and the Lost Wannabe, The Event! Good Riddance!!  However there was one show that took an early exit that I was really getting into and that was LoneStar. This show about a con man father and son team seemed to be pretty interesting and I wanted to see where they went with it, but since they never got to the 3rd episode I guess that will never happen haha.
There were two shows that did at least make it through one whole season though before getting canceled that I wanted to mention.  First off was the Criminal Minds spin-off Suspect Behavior. I really wanted to like this one especially with Forest Whitaker leading the team but I totally understand why this one did not survive. It just couldn’t capture that same magic that Criminal Minds had, which is most likely due to the fact that Forest Whitaker looked out of place on a TV series and the rest of the cast could not even come close to compare to the cast of the parent show.
Then there was the Chicago Code which was probably my favorite new show of the season. I am completely baffled and pissed that this show was not renewed for a new season. The cast, with Delroy Lindo and Jason Clarke was amazing. They did an excellent job of capturing the culture of Chicago and the topic matter, corrupt politicians was a nice divergence from the typical crime dramas we have been getting over the year. I know there is a petition out there to get this show back for another season and I can only hope that this effort is successful even though I know that is not very likely. This show was great and its a shame that it will not be on next year!!

The Lone Survivor

Hawaii Five-0 is just straight up entertaining. Is it a show worthy of a bunch of awards and the like, absolutely not, but if you just want a no brainer, entertaining action packed show this is all of that and more.  Perhaps one of the best retro-reboots for a television show of all-time the cast is absolutely amazing and the blend of comedy, action and drama is virtually perfect. If you haven’t watched this show don’t worry, it will be back next year and good lord was the Season 1 finale an incredible cliff hanger!

The Best Show of the Season

With Lost now destined for the history books, Criminal Minds took the spot as the best series on TV this past season.  The storylines were even better than previous seasons as the huge story arc involving Emily Prentiss made it feel like we were watching a 24-part movie. I love vritually every actor/character that is involved in this show and the way the show delves into the ‘criminal mind’ is truly both interesting , educational, and entertaining.

The only show to watch this Summer

I am not about to say this show is one of the best shows on TV but I definitely look forward to watching it every summer when all of the other shows are on re-runs. Nick Cannon is perhaps the best host in reality television history and the variety of talent you see here is truly amazing.  Come on people, nothing else is on this summer so why not check this out!!

Shows Worth Looking Forward To

So, I couldn’t end this blog without at least taking a sneak peek into the upcoming season’s slate of shows and man do we have some interesting stuff to check out next fall!  It will be interesting to see if Simon Cowell’s X-Factor can win in a battle against American Idol next year. Also, should be interesting to see how good or BAD some of these other shows turn out to be: Napoleon Dynamite (at least is has the whole original cast), The Firm, Playboy Club, Revenge, Charlie’s Angels (just because Hawaii Five-0 was a hit??).  Here’s guessing that most of those also get the early axe treatment. The two shows I am most looking forward to though are, Person of Interest and Alcatraz.  Person of Interest stars Jim Caviezel, one of my favorite actors and received such good feedback from the test audiences that it prompted CBS to move CSI from a time slot it had held for TEN YEARS!!! Alcatraz, which includes Sam Neill in its cast, is brought to TV by JJ Abrams the genius behind both LOST and the Star Trek movie. It is a sci-fi/drama that has all the makings of a truly epic show. Here’s hoping these two can follow through on their potential.
So, those are my thoughts on the season that has passed. Expect another entry as we get closer to the 2011-2012 slate of shows. While you wait for that, don’t forget to catch up on all the great podcasts here at the GeekCast Radio Network!
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Kevin "OptimusSolo"

OptimusSolo is a Cartoon Historian and even has an actual History degree to go with it. He's also an avid Toy collector boasting an over 1,000 piece Star Wars collection and nearly 400 Transformer toys. He is one of the hosts of the Powers of Grayskull series. He also has a passion for cartoon Theme Songs, Star Trek, MacGyver, Baseball, and is a major Movie Geek!

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