Today I am going to look ahead, and make my wish list for what I am hoping to see on television in 2010.
10. Continued improvement of this year’s new shows: FlashForward, Modern Family, Community, and V are solid new additions to my TV lineup, and I look forward to their continued growth. Some of them need a little work, particularly FlashForward and V, but four new shows in a season is something to be thankful for.
9. Double seasons of reality stalwarts: Shows like Top Chef, The Amazing Race, Project Runway, and Survivorare the biggest reality-series that we get double-doses of most years. American Idol and all those horrible dancing shows get usually one season per year, but these stalwarts typically get a Spring and then a Fall run, and I am thrilled at having them around all year long.
8. Mad Men, Season 4: I am not putting any restrictions on this, because I have enough faith in Matthew Weiner to leave me satisfied with whatever he chooses to do. Will Betty Draper continue to be a major character on the show, or did that call seem as final to Don as it did to me? Will the show suddenly switch full-time to the Ocean’s Eleven tone of the Season 3 finale? Will poor Sal be brought back into the fold, despite the importance of the Lucky Strike campaign to Don’s fledgling company? Again, what makes me happiest about Mad Men is that I don’t have to wish that the plotting or the characterization or the pacing were more effective.
7. Another big year for Bravo: At this point, I watch every original series that Bravo chooses to air (apart from the one about the hair salons). Keep ‘em coming, Andy Cohen!
6. Something completely unexpected: I am, at this point, dimly aware of things on the horizon. I read somewhere that JJ Abrams has a new series for Fall 2010, I think someone told me that Aaron Sorkin is off cooking up something new… that’s great. I will be dutifully excited about those things when the time comes. But what I am more excited about is the prospect of something coming along that we are not even talking about yet.
5. Showtimeimprovement: Across the board, Showtime has programs with great potential, marketable stars, and excellent production values. When I started thinking about shows that I wish would improve, I realized that virtually every one was on Showtime. Dexter, Weeds, Californication, United States of Tara, Nurse Jackie, and The Tudors are all shows that I look forward to and continue to watch despite major flaws in each of them. I hope that the 2010 seasons of all of these shows, especially Dexterand Weeds (the ones in which I am most invested), are a marked improvement over their 2009 iterations.
3. My wife to enjoy sports: I am realizing that many of the items on this list are pretty much guaranteed. The finances will dictate that those reality shows produce two seasons annually, many of my struggling series could not get much worse, I have no doubt that Mad Men will continue to be spectacular… but this is a real wish. Will she ever understand that I see the fact that the NBA playoffs last two months as a good thing? And that having football on Thursday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday during the last month of the season is better than only having it on Sunday? Oh, and that the guys on PTI are being ironic when they hold those cardboard cutouts in front of their faces? Maybe this will be the year.
2. Continued smiles: The resurgence of comedies in the past few years has been a real treat for me. ABC suddenly has a Wednesday lineup that is full of successful comedies, to match NBC’s Thursday slate (which suddenly is a solid two hours of snarky laughs), and cable continues to produce new comedies (Curb, Eastbound and Down, Weeds, and It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia). Also, I have heard that there people are watching CBS comedies on Monday besides How I Met Your Mother… though I’ll admit that I’ve never seen one.
That’s my list. Now, what are you wishing for in 2010?