Well, here we are again, friends, at the shank end of a year, with nothing but “best of” lists to sift through, and then to wonder -- "why didn't MY favorite show get on one of 'em?” I get this question a lot, and sometimes it's phrased with genuine puzzlement, sometimes with genuine admonishment ("for shame, shame, shame, shame...").
I get it. You want your show lauded, and you deserve to have your show lauded, but sometimes there are reasons why praise is not forthcoming, at least in the form of “Best of” lists.
So here, to celebrate those worthy shows that ended up on virtually no one's dance card, I give short speculative reasons as to why. (And please be sure to complain if your show isn't on this list either; some of these come from readers who wondered about their egregious omission. This list's for you!):
"Suits:” Dammit! Great show, right? I'm convinced the problem lies in the name, a pejorative that says “you will be bored if you watch,” even though you won't be.
“The Good Wife:” Did end up on some, but not many and why? I'll tell ya exactly why -- that foolish over-the-top detour with Kalinda and what's his name. Threw the whole show off track last season.
“Chicago Fire:” I liked this show, but think it was too Dick-Wolfian for most critics, which is to say -- too much like too many other things he's done before.
“Scandal:” Oh, come on! Really?! Best show? Definitely: Best Over the Top Cam;” of the season (along with “American Horror Story: Asylum.").
"Sons of Anarchy:” I've gone over this in some detail in this space, but just to recap - intricate, complicated, baroque story lines sometimes seem to serve no purpose other than to shock or confuse. Plus the soapiness quotient went up this season. (Great acting - Ron Perlman! - can however have a marvelous restorative effect here; Perlman is a great actor whose day of reckoning - an Emmy win for best actor - is approaching.)
"The Big Bang Theory:” Could have been on a list and maybe should have been on a list, but most critics seem to have a bias with and against Anything Chuck Lorre-related and he reciprocates in kind.
“Royal Pains:” The best show on television currently being filmed on Long Island, but is it just me -- or do all the patients who are invariably rich have diseases that are ridiculous and which Hank Lawson -- and only Hank Lawson -- knows how to cure?
“Rizzoli & Isles:” One of my esteemed colleagues (Shameka, are you reading?) loves “R&I” but I still can't tell Rizzoli from Isles.
“The Amazing Race:” Have ya noticed how every season seems to get better and every destination more exotic and every rush to the finish line even more breathless? And yet, no Best of? Why? Because if you've seen one, you suspect you've seen most of 'em.
“Project Runway:” Lost it when it moved to Lifetime. It is still on Liffetime, right?
“Burn Notice:” Well, sure, fine -- we can all agree that “Burn Notice” remains one of TV's chief addictions, but one of TV's best series? Oh, come onnnnn.
“Revolution:” Hey, I still don't get why no one has figured out where the electricity went? (Anyone think of complaining to LIPA -- and good luck with THAT.)
"How I Met Your Mother:” I suspect some/most critics lost track of TV's most twisted story line back in season five or six when Barney and Robin started talking about their “relationship" -- and kept talking and talking and talking and ...
"Girls:” Did make some lists but again under the heading, “didya notice"...didya ever notice how much of the plot revolves around who is sleeping with whom -- though ”sleeping with” is not exactly the term used here -- and why, and whether they'd best sleep with someone else?
“Once Upon a Time:” Great graphics, good stories, memorable characters -- but “OUAT” can be as tough to follow as “Game of Thrones” which is only set in Westeros. This split between real-world Storybrooke and the imaginations of characters whose memories were expunged by the Evil Queen. But still, I'll give it a closer look next season.
“Glee:” Better season, and decent/seamless split between NYC and McKinley, but aren't great shows supposed to be consistency great, and there's no one anywhere who could argue “Glee” has been all that.
“Nashville:” Started off as well as any new series possibly could dream of, then devolved into a soap. Though the music is still pretty good.
“Modern Family:” Just me or did “Fam” start to wheeze a bit this season? The nabobs of the industry awards establishment still esteem it, viewers, too, but it doesn't hit it out of the park every outing like it used to reliably do.