Television at its best can educate, inform and entertain. It is probably the most powerful of the mass entertainment mediums. The negative is often focused on but when done well television has the power to positively influence us. What is on television at any given time or year is a good indication what the masses are thinking. It gives clear pictures as to the styles and trends going on in a portion of society at any given time. What does it say about 2010 that shows like Mad Men and Glee are hugely popular? Dunno, but boy are they entertaining! Here is my list of the most "stylish" shows for 2010 in no particular order.
1) Mad Men: If you didn't tune in you've have missed some kind of season. Don's crash and burn has been great to watch. He had to confront what it means to be Don Draper (Jon Hamm) and realized that it demands a high price. Sally's (Kiernan Shipka) acting out has been delicious. The office maneuvering has been underhanded, sleazy and just plain fun to watch. Because of this show everything 1950s is in style again. I'm (and others I'm sure) wondering where they will go next season.
2) The Good Wife: Another court room drama…I can hear you rolling your eyes. This one, however, is worth checking out as it has separated itself from the rest. Reason number one is Juliana Marguiles – need I say any more? But she benefits from the great supporting turns by Josh Charles, Christine Baranski, Chris Noth, Alan Cummings, and the devine Archie Punjabi.
3) Glee: If you were expecting a sophomore slump in its second season well, then think again! This musical dramedy has become even more popular in year two due to some great guest appearances by the likes of Britney Spears and Gwenyth Paltrow. And those songs!!
4) The Big Bang Theory: This has been a ratings killer for CBS. And that is despite being on the most competitive night in television – Thursday. Everyone now wants to be a science geek or at least Sheldon because of the show.
5) Survivor: Nicaragua: In its 21st season this reality show is still going strong. Maybe stronger than ever, actually. With contestants like former coach of the NFL's Dallas Cowboys, Jimmy Johnson and Kelly Bruno, a triathlete whose leg was amputated when he was six months old, it has been interesting from beginning to end.
6) Modern Family: One of the few half hour comedies on television is also one of the most successful programs. It done in a mockumentary style that lends to the humour. It follows the lives of three very different families living in suburban Los Angeles. Positive reviews from critics and multiple award nominations have made this a show to sit up and take notice of.
7) True Blood: Created by Alan Ball, this program about a small town in Louisiana filled with vampires and other creatures living alongside humans was hot right out of the gate. Telepathic waitress Sookie (Anna Paquin) has fallen in love with a vampire, Bill (Stephen Moyer) and the series revolves around that center story. HBO, who has produced the show, does not have a loser in its stables and this is its hottest show right now.
8) The Mentalist: Debuting in the 2008 television season, this show's popularity has been growing steadily since. The story centers around consultant Patrick Jane (Simon Baker) who helps the police solve murders using unconventional methods.
9) Hawaii Five-O: The idea to bring this show back had been floating around for years and finally CBS, the network that aired the original as well, bit the bullet. Well, it has worked out in spades for them. Great bodies, great scenery and lots of scenes of guys in bathing suits and girls in bikinis have helped make it a series fun to watch. Oh yeah, it is about an elite police force that fights crime in Hawaii.
10) The Big C: Now, this might be the most obscure of my choices but I will justify its selection. First of all, Laura Linney is excellent in the lead role of a woman who has cancer. She is a suburban mother who is trying to get through it with humour. Anyone touched by this deadly disease, which is most of us, will recognize the issues and struggles you have to deal with after the diagnosis. Human, poignant and funny.