Zombie Politics

I drank your milkshake.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

The Zombie's Year in Pop: TELEVISION

01 Project Runway (Bravo)
There wasn’t a millisecond of television more highly engrossing than this season of Bravo’s “Project Runway.” By the time the finale aired, with our four fiercely competitive designers going head-to-head (Laura accusing Jeffrey of cheating? Please!), you couldn’t help but root for your favorite, berate your most hated, and bitchily pick apart each and every ensemble (this season made us all little Michael Kors - over-tanned and queeny). The genius of this season, too, was making Tim Gunn a remarkable kind of star. As mentor, critic, advisor, and father-figure, Tim guided the contestants through the hardships of the challenges, and won us over in the process.

02 Battlestar Galactica (Sci-Fi)
The boxing episode alone earns this spot, but this season seems to be even more dedicated to dealing with current realisms with a shocking bluntness (such as former Galactica members doing suicide bombings). Add in the newfound spirituality of Lucy Lawless’ Number Three, the continued operatic emotional maneuverings of the Galactica crew and Giaus’ slimy turn on the Cylon ship and you’ve got one hell of a show.

03 Lost (ABC)
Between the jaw-dropping season finale in May and the near flawlessness of the six-episode mini-arc this fall, “Lost” is back in a big fucking way. Again, the commitment seems to be bringing the characters back-stories to the forefront in ways that actually connect (emotionally), while deepening the mystery and spookiness of Dharma Island and all its multi-faceted weirdness.

04 Veronica Mars (CW)
Going to college is hard, especially if you’re a television series (see: “Buffy’s” troubled but underrated fourth season), but “Veronica Mars” handed it with (as always) grace and wit. This season has (thus far) seen Vernoica solve, and nearly become the victim of, an on-campus serial rapist while dealing with multiple sub-mysteries, including why her boyfriend Logan is such a slimeball sometimes. With the first mystery arc concluded and the second one set to be even bigger, things look good for Veronica & company, ratings willing.

05 The Office (NBC)
The series peaked this season when Steve Carrell delivered a speech in the form of “Prison Mike,” a character he had just created who was responsible, in his words, for “robbing… and kidnapping the President’s daughter.” The episode was written by the original series’ creators, Ricky Gervais and Steve Merchant, and was followed by an extra-long Christmas episode of equal hilarity. Finally outside of the shadow of the original, it truly shines.

06 Kidnapped (NBC)
The most undeserving early cancellation, this whip-smart and super-fun noir (about a wealthy family’s kidnapped son) was quietly relegated to the NBC website for its remaining episodes. The only problem was, the website was so hard to navigate I have yet to figure out how to watch the final episodes. I remain on the edge of my seat.

07 Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip (NBC)
The most consistently brilliant drama on prime time television, equal parts sweet and sour, Aaron Sorkin always seems to keep things in check – if it’s becoming a little too behind-the-scenes heavy then he switches to a bizarre two-part episode that has a majority of the cast in rural Nevada. It’s this kind of flexibility, and an ace, all-star cast, that makes it so much fun.

08 24 (Fox)
The Jack Bauer Power Hour continues to steamroll ahead, with its best season yet (with the best villain, too).

09 Heroes (NBC)
Finally, “Heroes” seems to be on the more compelling path, one that’s a lot less hokey than the earlier episodes suggested (despite having some of the most awful actors on TV). Right now the problem seems to be that there are too many people with superpowers, although this may be explained later. Still, you’ve got to love brain-stealing super-villain Sylar.

10 Korgorth of Barbaria (Cartoon Network)
Even though only one episode has aired thus far, it was funnier, more violent, and more fun than anything aired yet on Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim lineup. The first season should air sometime next spring. Color me excited