What's the New Best Show on TV?
All five at some point, somewhere, have been proclaimed as the Best Show on Television. In the case of "The Wire" and "The Sopranos" especially, there are quite a few people who would tell you one or the other is the Best Show Ever.
I'm less interested in rehashing that argument at the moment (although, for the record, I'm a Wire guy). But with all the aforementioned shows off the air, it seems like the right time to ask the question: What's the new Best Show on Television?
I don't see anything out there that would get anything close to universal acclamation as the top series. There's a lot of quality TV to be had at the moment -- strike-afflicted, reality-junk-heavy schedules aside, maybe more than at any other time, thanks to the explosion of original programming on cable. But one extra-special series that stands above all the others? I'm not sure there is one, at least not at the moment.
That said, there are more than a couple contenders out there. Here are a handful of possible BSoTs, in no particular order, with pro and con arguments for each.
Con: Tendencies in the past to get too absorbed in its own mythology and a sometimes glacial pace (which has been alleviated some now that the writers know how much time they have left).
Pro: Has won over lots of people not predisposed to
Con: The quality of the acting can be a bit uneven. Plus, Starbuck survived? Really?
Pro: Has surpassed all expectations about its longevity and is still going strong in its fourth season. It's kept the spirit of its British predecessor intact while becoming its own distinct entity, and it has one of the best and deepest groups of funny people anywhere on TV.
Con: The hour-long episodes in the fall showed you can sometimes have too much of a good thing. How long can the
Con: It's only been on for one season, so it has yet to prove it can stand the test of time.
Pro: For six seasons The Shield has given us one of the most riveting characters on TV in Vic Mackey (
Con: Mackey's ability to stay ahead of the forces trying to take him down stretch credulity more than a little bit. If that's how the series ends it'll be pretty hard to swallow.
Pro: It features brilliant, naturalistic acting -- particularly from stars
Con: The disastrous murder subplot at the start of season two took the show to a very strange place and destroyed some of the dynamics that made season one so fantastic. If the show does survive to next season, can it come all the way back from that?
Pro: A singular performance from
Con: Sometimes relies too much on Hall to the exclusion of its other characters.