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Best TV of 2009

2009-12-22 10:16


Mad Men
I loved a lot of things this year – True Blood, for a start – but Mad Men tops my list of new shows to come to SA TV. It’s a funny, stylish, feminist exposé of sixties advertising and corporate culture, and a portrait of a society in transition. Plus a lot of the actors are hot.


I could break out into a very elaborate song 'n dance about this infectious little musical comedy. Outstanding voices, endearing characters, hip music and then there's the biting comedy stylings of Sue Sylvester. I laugh, cry, dance and sing along (alone, however) all in the space of one episode.


Home Affairs
It’s very well-acted and not only does it take South African women as its subject, it’s also written by them. The way it explores their lives in relation to the larger South African public gives a realistic and nuanced perspective as to what it means to be living in global Africa as a South African woman in particular, and an African woman in general – something that’s largely amiss in the otherwise heavily made-up, clichéd and glossed-over narratives of black women in mainstream media.


Friday Night Lights
So, you could care less about a teen show set in the middle of nowhere (ie. Texas) and even less about high school American football. But look a little deeper and you’ll discover a giant heart beating with universal themes of family, friendship, hope and finding your place in the world. And try going through one episode without tjanking - we dare ya!


In Treatment
Eavesdropping into a shrink’s daily sessions with five patients may seem like an exercise in small screen tedium. But thanks to Gabriel Byrne’s slow burning intensity in the lead role, the smart, character-driven dialogue and psychologically complex subplot sidesteps both soap opera and black situation comedy to make for revealingly voyeuristic TV viewing.


30 Rock
Who can resist the antics of Tina Fey and her sketch comedy crew or Alec Baldwin’s compulsive eating? It’s like real-life Dilbert with a clever boss. Love it.


Top Gear
It manages to combine a number of the things I enjoy seeing most – beautiful cars, great scenery (all those great driving shots), good old British humour and of course the dynamic between Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May is classic (which is why every fan has their favourite). It's just an all-round great show.


True Blood
True Blood kept many of our team members going throughout the year. Vampires and telepaths make for good inspiration, it seems.  Set in America's Deep South, it's one of the sexiest, wildest and most intriguing shows of the last few years, and we just hope there are many more seasons to come. You can't help but bite right into it...

The Channel24 team dishes on what kept them glued to the tube this year.

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