Saturday, December 24, 2011

Best Shows of 2011 - Top 20

I love watching tv so this year I decided to make a list of the best tv shows of the year.  I had originally intended to make a top 10 list, but there were so many good shows, I decided to extended it to a top 20 list.  Because I don't have cable or satellite tv, most of these shows are major network shows so keep that in mind if some of your favorite shows from premium channels are not on here. These are my favorite shows of 2011.

1. Breaking Bad
This show does get a lot of praise from fans and critics alike, and it is well deserved.  Bryan Cranston and the entire cast make this show thrilling and dramatic to watch week after week.  Having finished up it's 4th season, this was a good one, but not my favorite of the series.  Still, I am very much looking forward to the next season. 

2. Big Brother
This is one of the most addictive reality shows out there.  Big Brother has been on for over 10 seasons and I only recently started watching it a couple years ago.  It airs 3 times a week and I make sure to catch every episode.  The drama and scheming that plays out among the house guests is exciting to watch.  I can't wait until next season!

3. Secret Millionaire
This show doesn't get as much attention as some of the other shows, but it is one of my favorites.  In this one, Millionaires go undercover into poor communities and get to know people.  At the end of the week, they give money to the people who are in need.  It is a good hearted show that makes a difference in the lives of the people on it.  We need more shows on tv like this one.

4. Rules of Engagement
Another great show that does not get talked about very much is Rules of Engagement.  It is one of the best comedies on tv right now.  The characters are likeable and the writing is very funny.  This show has been on for several seasons for a reason.  If you like sit-coms and haven't seen this one, give it a chance.

5. Human Target
Human Target was a fantastic action drama that had it's second and unfortunately final season this year.  It's kind of like Mission Impossible each week where Chance and his crew have to save someone from being killed.  The characters were great and the episodes were fun and exciting.  If you missed this one, be sure to watch it online or on dvd.

6. Parks and Recreation
Parks and Rec is on a lot of people's best shows of the year list and for good reason. It is another one of the most funny shows on tv right now.  They have a great cast who work well together.  It is similar to The Office in terms of style, but as The Office has gone downhill, Parks is at the top of its game.

7. So You Think You Can Dance
You don't have to be into dancing to like this show.  I'm not a dancer, but I love watching SYTYCD for the contestants, judges, and of course the lovely host Kat Deeley.  This competition show finds America's favorite dancer each year.  The talent is amazing showcasing all different styles of dance, and the contestants themselves are just as great as we learn about them throughout the season.

8. Hell's Kitchen
You either love him or hate him.  I happen to really enjoy watching Gordon Ramsay and specifically his show Hell's Kitchen.  In this one, a group of chefs compete each week to become the next head chef at a nice restaurant.  There is tons of drama and action in each episode as you might expect with chef Ramsay.

9. America's Next Top Model
Ok, this one is a bit of a guilty pleasure.  ANTM had it's All Star season this year where they brought back some of the most popular models from the past 15 seasons. While I am not a fan of Tyra herself, I do enjoy this show.  There is a nice combination of reality drama mixed with artistic photography and competition.  This season had a lot of great contestants as well as some controversy.

10. Friday Night Lights
FNL had it's 5th and final season this year.  I did not even watch the first 4 seasons, but I got hooked on this last one and I'm glad I did.  The show was like a movie following this football coach, his family, the players, and the community in a small town.  There was a lot of good acting and the story was well written.

11. America's Next Great Restaurant
This was a new show that debuted this year where a group of restaurant entrepreneurs compete with each other to get the support and funding to open a new restaurant chain. Each week they competed to developed their brand and their food while being judged by experts in the food industry.  It was a good show and I hope it comes back for another season.

12. Outsourced
Outsourced was a new comedy that premiered this year but unfortunately was canceled after the first season.  It did not get a lot of support, but I really enjoyed the show and thought it was original and funny.  The show follows an American who was sent to India to manage a telemarketing group.  There were many lovable characters and hilarious moments throughout the season. 

13. Undercover Boss
In this show, CEO's of companies go undercover in their own business to see how it really is as an entry level worker in their company.  They get to see what goes on behind the scenes in their own company and find out what people really think about them.  This is another feel good show where at the end, the CEO rewards the good employees for their hard work and dedication to the company.

14. Man Up
Man Up was another new comedy that got overlooked and ultimately canceled before it even finished it's first season.  This was once of the funniest new comedies on TV, but apparently did not get high enough ratings.  It follows a group of guys, and their relationships with each other and their families.  It's hard to describe, but the characters are very funny and this one is definitely worth watching.  You can see the final unaired episodes on or Hulu. 

15. Globe Trekker
Globe Trekker is a travel show that follows different guides as the venture to far off destinations around the world.  It is always interesting and relaxing to watch and learn about distant cities and countries from the comfort of your own home.  The show is well produced and the guides are very likeable.

16. X-Factor
Simon Cowell's new singing competition show debut in the US this year and overall it was pretty good.  It was fresh departure from American Idol which I have grown tired of.  In X-Factor individuals or groups of just about any age can try out for a spot on the show.  There were a lot of emotional moments and amazing singing as they found America's next pop stars.

17. Same Name
Same Name was a fun show that took celebrities and regular people who happened to have the same name, and had them switch lives for a week.  The famous person lives the normal live, and the normal person lives like the famous person.  The results are entertaining as you might imagine.

18. America's Got Talent
This was another one of those big budget talent competition shows.  What I like about this one is the diversity of the talent.  You get to see a lot of unique acts performing incredible feats as they compete to win a grand prize of money and a Vegas show. 

19. Love In The Wild 
Love In The Wild was a new reality show that took a bunch of singles and put them in Costa Rica to compete in challenges while being paired up randomly with each other.  Each week they could stay with their partner or switch.  The lowest performing group would be sent home.  Overall the show was fun to watch and the scenery of Costa Rica was beautiful.

20. Raising Hope
Rounding out our top 20 shows of the year is the light hearted comedy Raising Hope which follows a young dad, his baby, and his wacky family.  The show has some great characters and is different enough to stay fresh and bring the laughs each week. 

Check out the best tv shows of 2012 here

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