2011 End of the Year List

Cal’s Best of 2011 – Television

house stark and retainers - Cal’s Best of 2011 – Television

I don’t find myself enjoying a ton of television shows but 2012 will provide me with a ton of things to watch early on with Mad Men, Game of Thrones, Justified and Walking Dead all airing early in the year.  These are a few of the highlights to the 2011 television season:

Game of Thrones – Season 1

A fascinating and enthralling story from a genre that I don’t find myself enjoying very often.  In the debut season of Game of Thrones no one was off-limits for killing or taking a dynamic shift in their roll and that is part of the reason I was so attached.  On top of the unpredictability was great acting, great writing and the quality of show we have come to expect from HBO.  I have no clue what is in store for season 2 but I am just fine with that.  As long as I can keep hating Joffery, keep laughing at Tyrion Lannister and his love of the hooker and keep sitting on the edge of the couch from week to week, I will be all set.

Justified – Season 2

Season 2 of Justified took us away from the Crowder’s for a bit (well Boyd was around as usual) but kept the story line moving forward.  Maggs was an evil manipulative woman who knew how to use here power to get everyone to fall in line and while I didn’t like her character at first, she really grew on me and let the great writing of the show guide her to the great season 2 finale.  This is still a top 5 show on television with a solid second season under its belt, I am curious to see what happens with Raylan and his ex.

Boss – Season 1

Starz has original programs?  Well yeah I know they had Party Down and Spartacus but I didn’t know they had a show of this caliber.  Kelsey Grammar as Chicago’s mayor deserves an emmy for his performance on this years best kept secret of a show.  I would like to see them cut back on the pointless nudity because it cheapens the quality of the show, but I really look forward to the second season of one of the best dramas on television.

Walking Dead – Season 2.0

I was very critical of how much time they spent looking for Sophia at the beginning of the season and felt that it was pretty clear that budget restraints were keeping the show from moving at a faster pace.  The last few episodes made up for the middle episodes and showed me why I was sticking with the series.  I am a huge fan of the comic series and hope that the show continues to find its stride and maybe go back to some of the great plot lines of the source material.  This was a solid season and in many ways it was superior to the first, only a few months till the second half of season 2.

Versus Hockey Coverage

It would be a mistake not to mention the great coverage that VS aka NBC Sports has given to the NHL.  Many wondered if ESPN would win the bidding war for television coverage but ultimately NBC stepped up and continued their relationship with NHL.  They also stepped up their game with their announcers and coverage of games, showing 3 games a week and not sugar-coating things.  Jeremy Roenick, Pierre McGuire and Keith Jones are just a few of the great commentators they have enlisted to add depth, knowledge and great voices for the game.  I hope the transition to NBC Sports only strengthens a great thing that they have going.

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