Digital Spy

Search Digital Spy
88

TV News

Tube Talk's Top 25 Shows of 2010

By
In many ways, 2010 was the end of an era for early 21st century television. David Tennant handed over his sonic screwdriver to Matt Smith, Gene Hunt went Ashes To Ashes, seminal reality show Big Brother came to an end, Jack Bauer departed the small screen, Heroes limped its last, and Lost reached its controversial conclusion. But how did the expert minds on the Tube Talk team rank last year's fare? After a highly heated debate, including a systematic bullying of the editor (it got physical), the top 25 was decided. Read on for our picks!

Selections and commentary by Catriona Wightman, Chris Allen, Morgan Jeffery and Neil Wilkes


The cast of Being Human
25. Being Human
It's on the outskirts of our poll this year and it's hard to deny that the second series of Being Human was a bit of a let-down after the fantastic first year. Nonetheless, there were enough highlights - Annie's time as a barmaid, Mitchell in the '60s, Herrick's return - to earn the show a spot in our top 25. Let's just hope that when the series returns in 2011, it's rediscovered a little more of its sense of humour. [MJ]


Jack Bauer in 24 Day 8
24. 24
It's rare for a show to keep things fresh and interesting after almost a decade on the air, but 24 achieved just that with its seventh season in 2009. A creative renaissance, brought about by the introduction of steely new President Allison Taylor and Michelle-Dessler-alike sidekick Renee Walker, did alas not carry through to Jack's swansong season on the small screen. The highly unbelievable corruption of Taylor, the sad demise of Renee and the repetition of tried-and-tested CTU plots left us a little cold by the time the final credits rolled. All that said, BRING ON THE FEATURE FILM! [NW]


Jason Ritter as Sean Walker, The Event
23. The Event
With every single so many cult shows reaching their conclusion in the 2009-10 season, serial-TV addicts were left more than a little hungry by the time September rolled around. Cue the arrival of NBC's The Event, a new conspiracy sci-fi thriller that blended elements of 24 and The X-Files. After a superb pilot, the show meandered along for a few episodes before finding its feet again and delivering a cracking midseason cliffhanger. But with a three-month hiatus now underway, could The Event end up going the way of FlashForward? [NW]


Ashes to Ashes: S03E08 - Gene Hunt and Alex Drake
22. Ashes To Ashes
Though it never reached the heights of its fantastic predecessor Life On Mars, the third series of Ashes To Ashes was the show's strongest run yet and gave the iconic Gene Hunt the send-off he deserved. Some of the credit has to go to Daniel Mays for his brilliant turn as the devilish Jim Keats, but the show's writers also deserve a pat on the back for a final episode that both made sense and didn't undermine the wonderful Mars finale. [MJ]


Jessie Wallace as Pat Phoenix in The Road to Coronation Street
21. The Road To Coronation Street
We thought ITV were mad, turning down the opportunity to produce former Corrie scriptwriter Daran Little’s tale of the stalwart soap’s troubled inception, but their loss was BBC Four’s gain. Gorgeous period design, a script that was by turns moving and hilarious, and stellar performances made this magical television. Special mentions go to Jessie Wallace for showing that she’s so much more than Kat Slater, and Lynda Baron psyching herself up to play the terrifying Ena Sharples. [CA]


The cast of Whitechapel season 2
20. Whitechapel
Although lacking the immediate horror punch of the original, Whitechapel II still retained enough eerie paranoia and strong characterisation to make it into our top 25 again. The jerky, stylized direction; the chalk 'n' cheese-ery of Rupert Penry-Jones and Phil Davis's relationship (including the former's slide into OCD-induced alcoholism); and the genuine scariness of Craig Parkinson in the dual role as Jimmy and Johnny Kray, made this compelling stuff. And, to cap it all, RP-J stripped off for a spot of boxing. TV gold. [CA]


Eric and Sookie in True Blood
19. True Blood
It’s true that the second and third seasons of True Blood didn’t quite match up to the first, but it’s easily still one of the best shows on television. It’s beautifully shot and sexy, but it also has an awful lot of wit and intelligence behind it. The core love triangle between Eric, Sookie and Bill will get viewers arguing for hours, and that’s the show’s charm – no matter how much it focuses on the supernatural, the characters are the most important thing. [CW]


Luther in Luther
18. Luther
A cop drama about a maverick detective may be nothing new, but it was Idris Elba's powerful lead performance that made Luther essential viewing in 2010. Partnered with the psychotic Alice Morgan (a great turn from Ruth Wilson) and ably supported by an excellent supporting cast, the former star of The Wire excelled in his role as the tortured John Luther. Another show that ended with a shocking cliffhanger, we're thrilled that Luther will return for two specials next year. [MJ]


Sarah Jane Adventures S04E05/E06: Sarah Jane, The Doctor and Jo Jones
17. Sarah Jane Adventures
It's been another strong year for the little Doctor Who spinoff that could. Though this year's appearance from The Doctor didn't quite live up to David Tennant's guest spot last series, it certainly warmed our fannish heart to see Katy Manning back as Jo Jones (née Grant)! With the show's young cast-members growing more confident in their roles, it's good to know that filming on a fifth series has already begun! [MJ]


The cast Modern Family
16. Modern Family
Modern Family is the breakout comedy of the year. It’s roared to success at all the key awards ceremonies, and rightly so – it’s a comedy that actually manages to be very funny. It’s essentially a traditional sitcom – slapstick and all – but the cast’s performances are fantastic and timed to perfection. The way that everything unravels in each episode means that it is one of the few shows on TV which actually makes you laugh out loud. [CW]


Supernatural S06E04: Sam and Dean
15. Supernatural
Five years in the making, Supernatural's battle of good versus evil finally went down as Sam faced off against Jacob from Lost in the most epic of showdowns. Former showrunner Eric Kripke had always talked about fulfilling a five-year plan, and he certainly delivered, but was a rebooted sixth season really necessary? Prison Break season three, anyone? [NW]


Merlin S03E12: Morgana
14. Merlin
Though it's easy to criticise it for being formulaic, the third series of Merlin was the show's finest hour. Granted, the show could do with a few less 'comedy' episodes and a lot less of Morgana's evil smirk, but the final two episodes were fantastic stuff and left us intrigued as to where the series will go when it returns for a fourth run. A few more bold steps (Arthur as King?) and Merlin could really excel. [MJ]


The Inbetweeners fashion show
13. The Inbetweeners
From the first episode's fashion show (including what shall henceforth be known as testicle-gate) to the finale's camping trip, the makers of The Inbetweeners hit on a winning (and very funny) formula with this third series: humiliate Simon (Joe Thomas) as much as humanly possible. The highlight of this year's run was the lads' trip to Warwick, in which Simon took Jay's "tactical" advice and spectacularly managed to avoid losing his virginity. Here's hoping that the upcoming film version can keep up the quality! [MJ]


Fringe S03E01 Peter and Walter
12. Fringe
After a somewhat shaky start, Fox's Fringe has really gone from strength-to-strength. Recent episodes - including the fantastic second season finale - have been examples of science-fiction storytelling at its very best. As the show's third season continues to impress with a winning combination of bizarre sci-fi ideas and affecting character drama, let's just hope that a recent move to a Friday night slot won't cut the series off in its prime. [MJ]


S02E02 'Brave New World': Damon and Stefan
11. Vampire Diaries
The Vampire Diaries didn’t get off to the best start, but it has quickly become one of the TV highlights of the week. This is largely down to the hugely talented Nina Dobrev, who switches between the good girl Elena and the magnificently evil Katherine with ease. The first season ended with a big shocker, while the second has kept delivering twists and surprises. Some characters have been killed off, others have turned into vampires, and Tyler’s transformation into a werewolf in the latest episode was haunting. Oh, and we melted when Damon told Elena that he loved her – right before erasing her memory. [CW]


Miranda
10. Miranda
Miranda, the show about a character called Miranda played by a woman called Miranda, is the most devisive entry in this year's lineup. Its detractors would question the humour of someone continually falling over well-positioned boxes and accidentally shedding her clothes, but they are simply oblivious to its innate subtlety. The passing-wind-while-curtseying incident from this year's series is our QED. We don't know about you, but we're already starvington stations for a third run. [NW]


Mad Men
9. Mad Men
In 2010, we got what was possibly the best season yet for this character-driven '60s drama, as the cracks began to show in Don Draper's debonair facade. As the troubled ad man began to face the consequences of his heavy-drinking, womanising lifestyle, we were treated to a terrific performance from Jon Hamm. A tip of the fedora hat also to Elisabeth Moss, who proved herself to be Hamm's acting equal in this season's highlight, 'The Suitcase'. [MJ]


Jack Shephard from Lost: The End
8. Lost
Without question, Lost was the defining show of the noughties. While some lost their way en route (let's agree to just forget large chunks of season three, shall we?), those who saw it through to the end were rewarded with a character-led denouement that provoked nostalgia and tears in equal measure. Some complained that the finale lacked ANSWERS!!!!, but did we ever expect every box to be checked? It's time for moving on. [NW]


Dexter from Dexter S05E01 'My Bad'
7. Dexter
The fourth season of Dexter was all about John Lithgow. The show really raised the stakes as our favourite serial killer came up against the person he could have been. It was still full of wit and humour, but the risks became very real, culminating in one of the most shocking season finales ever. Meanwhile, season five saw Dexter coming to terms with his loss and re-evaluating his entire life. Julia Stiles was excellent, and while the show couldn’t quite live up to its fourth season, it proved that it is still one of the most intelligent and interesting programmes on TV. [CW]


Downton Abbey
6. Downton Abbey
Who would have thought period dramas would be massive again? Not since Colin Firth got out of that lake in Pride and Prejudice has a show like this captured the Great British public in such a big way. Its success has been linked to the recession, the government and countless other things, but basically Downton Abbey just had really great stories. There were villains you could hate, romances you could root for, events that made you gasp and it was beautiful to look at. Perfect for a Sunday night with a mug of hot chocolate – bring on the second series. [CW]


Glee S01E15: The Power of Madonna - Sue Sylvester
5. Glee
Say what you want about Glee, but you can’t deny it has become a true phenomenon. It’s just as well the show behind the hype is actually rather good. It’s witty, it doesn’t take itself too seriously, and there are some excellent performances (where else would you see American football players performing ‘Single Ladies’?) And, of course, it introduced us to Sue Sylvester. But it’s also impossible not to be moved by the show at times – the moment when Burt kicks out Finn for using the word “f*ggy” was one of the most emotional scenes on television in the last year. The second season doesn’t quite have the charm of the first, but it’s still one of the most enjoyable shows on the box. [CW]


The cast of Misfits season 2
4. Misfits
Misfits was good last year. It was excellent this year. It loves being as silly as possible – coincidences are everywhere and the villains are amazing (and have truly inventive powers). But there’s a lot more to it than that. Not only is it shot in a fabulously grungy way, but the storyline between Alisha and Future Simon was extremely touching (and included one of the best sex scenes on television this year). It’s funny, crude, witty and edgy, but it also has a lot of heart. Bonus points for a wonderfully un-festive Christmas special which left the show on a great cliffhanger. [CW]


Doctor Who S05E01: The Eleventh Hour - The Eleventh Doctor
3. Doctor Who
2010 was a year of big change at Upper Boat. The Moff took over showrunner reins, Matt Smith and Karen Gillan became the new Doc-Ass combo and the TARDIS got prettified. Not forgetting the SHOCK NEW TITLE SEQUENCE. Series five/31/Fnarg gave us some terrific episodes - the beautifully tragic 'Vincent and the Doctor', the wonderfully-paced opener and the well-imagined finale (THAT'S why he wasn't wearing his jacket!) - but also the multi-coloured monstrosity 'Victory of the Daleks'. Overall, a decent enough start for the new team, but with such a strong pedigree, we couldn't help but feel a little underwhelmed. [NW]


Sherlock Holmes and John Watson in Sherlock
2. Sherlock
With the likes of Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss on board, we always knew that Sherlock was going to be something special. With Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman perfectly cast as a modern-day Holmes and Watson, the result was a perfect cocktail of thrills, humour and mind-bendingly complex deductions. And we haven't even mentioned the final scene - a series cliffhanger so tense that we're literally counting the days until the show's 2011 return! [MJ]


Rick Grimes from 'The Walking Dead'
1. The Walking Dead
We had massively high expectations for The Walking Dead, and it’s fair to say the show lived up to all of them. The series – which let our very own Andrew Lincoln finally escape those “Egg from This Life” comments – was smart, genuinely moving and stunning to look at. It was never afraid of gore - we’re still recovering from the guts-as-accessories moment - but it wasn’t just a standard comic book thriller. The show tackled truly big themes – humanity, fear, hope, survival, choices and mistakes. Vampires are so 2009 – 2010 was the year of the zombie. [CW]


What do you think of our list? Add your comments to this entry below!

You May Like

Comments

Loading...