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Top 10 Best TV Shows of 2003

Opinions by Shawn McKenzie 03/10/2004

I don't see every single show on every single channel, but I do watch more TV than most, so I think I'm fairly credible on what is good.  I only choose TV shows that are currently on the air (or are confirmed to be coming back) as of the posting of this list.  You may disagree with my choices, and that's fine, but know what I like.  See what you think.

10. Smallville-Even though it still occasionally has the Kryptonite-infected freak-of-the-week, we are now getting into a continuous storyline, including getting into the mythology of Superman.  The capper of this year was Christopher Reeve appearing to clue Clark in on his Krypton origins.  With the possibility of a run-in with a young Bruce Wayne, this show keeps getting better.

9. The Simpsons-This show is in its fifteenth season, and it is still consistently funny.  It is FOX’s highest rated scripted show, and it is now the longest running comedy in history.  It’s one of the few shows that is still funny even after seeing the episode several times.  For a couple seasons there, I was worried, because it wasn’t cracking me up like usual, but it rebounded in 2003.

8. Nip/Tuck-Quite possibly one of the most boundary-pushing shows on basic cable, this show and “The Shield” have cemented FX as the HBO of basic cable.  If it were just language, violence, and sexual content though, the show would be boring.  It has great acting and writing, and even though the characters don’t exactly do the right things, you can’t help but care about them.  It starts its second season on June 22.

7. Las Vegas-Okay, I will admit…I like the hot women on this show, but it is the cool way that it is filmed and edited that keeps me coming back.  The acting and stories hook me in a way that last year’s “Fastlane” just didn’t do.

6. Angel-I realize that this show recently announced its cancellation, but it was on during all of 2003, so that’s why it is on this list.  Some fans complained about the Angel Team taking over Wolfram & Hart, but I love it.  I think it has allowed the show to get a little lighter and more fun.  I will miss this show when it finally goes, because that will mean the end of the Buffyverse.

5. South Park-I am constantly surprised by this show.  How it continues to remain topical, considering the limitations of animation.  The special bonus for me is all of the Colorado references in the show.  They also manage to get political, and all of their points match my own viewpoints.  Season 8 starts March 17.

4. Alias-I’m still a little iffy on the whole “missing two years” thing, but at least it shows that this show isn’t afraid to completely flip its premise around.  What started out as a college girl living a double life as a double agent has changed so many times that it never gets stale.  Plus, Jennifer Garner still looks good while kicking butt!


3. Joan of Arcadia-This is not only the best new show of the season, it’s one of the best shows on the air, period.  I originally thought that this show was going to be another “Touched by an Angel” because of the whole talking to God gimmick, but it is closer to “The Gilmore Girls” in its witty dialogue.  Amber Tamblyn’s performance alone would be enough, but a great ensemble cast backs her up.  It is the best thing about Friday nights.

2. 24-Yes, I’m having a little problem with the Sherry/Allan Milliken storyline, but this is still the most exciting, tension-filled show on TV.  I’m just glad there are no mountain lions this season!

1. The Gilmore Girls-Now that “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” is gone, this show has been bumped up to #1.  I have been heavily criticized for praising what some people consider a “chick show,” but if they would just check it out for themselves, they would see what I see.  The Rory at Yale story is taxing, only because I really want her to find a good guy there, and she is clinging to home a little too much (like so many women I have met in my life.)  I love the rapid-fire dialogue and the five zillion pop culture references.  I could fill up another page gushing over everything great about this show.  Just watch it, will ya?

What do you think of my choices?  What would you choose as the best TV shows of 2003?  Please email me at shawn@entertainyourbrain.com or go to the Home Page and post your opinion on the Entertain Your Brain Message Board!

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