Category Archives: Best TV of 2010

J’s Top 25 Episodes of 2010!

Part 2: The Top 10!

Top 25 Television Episodes of 2010 (Part 1 #25 – #11)

So here are the top ten, they’re a little late cause I got a little flu over the holidays. Anyway without further ado; the Top Ten. The best episodes of last year. I laughed and cried my way through these ten again recently and they still hold up on multiple watchings. The best TV always does.

1. “The Suitcase” Mad Men (S. 4 E. 7)

written by Mad Men Mastermind Matthew Weiner and directed by Jennifer Getzinger

Possibly the greatest Mad Men episode of all time. If you’ve seen it than you know why. Don vs. Peggy. Their verbal play was the strongest the series has ever seen; Jon Hamm and Elizabeth Moss gave incredible performances. Don received a message from Stephanie – he knew it was bad news regarding Anna – so he holds Peggy hostage at work with impossible standards. Unresolved issues? Check! Drunken fight scene? Check! Nasty break up? Check. The single best episode of 2010? Check!

2. Modern Warfare” Community (S. 1 E. 23)

written by Emily Chance and directed by Justin Lin (Fast & Furious, Fast 5ive)

No episode of any comedy in 2010 was filled with as much glee and joy as Modern Warfare, everyone was on the top of their game and everyone looked like they were having fun. The campus of Greendale is turned into a post apocalyptic paint ball war zone – the last man standing gets . . . priority registration. What ensues was an action basket full of homages to Hard Boiled, Die Hard, Terminator, Predator and The Warriors among others and way more awesomely and hilarious; Jeff and Britta doing it! Even the little moments are great; Pierce taking out Starburns, Annie popping out of the trashcan, Shirley’s delivery of “I’m going home Britta” it was a perfect episode heightened by Lin’s sharp direction.

3.The End” Lost (S. 6 E. 17/18)

written by executive producers Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse and directed by primary Lost director Jack Bender (he directed all the best episodes).

The episode had two timelines – the on-island endgame of Jack and troupe vs. the Man In Black and the alt-timeline story of Desmond and troupe’s quest toenlighten the rest. The first story played out as expected – Jack defeats the MIB, passes the Island torch to Hurley, saves the island (and subsequently the concept of “good”) and dies. But watching it was an experience. Watching Kate, Sawyer, Claire escape on the plane, Vincent cuddling up to a dying Jack, Hurley and Ben taking over were the moments that diehard Lost fans had waited for and they weren’t disappointed. The alt-timeline in the episode had the characters awakening and consolidating their memories giving us wicked-sad/happy reunions. In the end, The End turned out to be a very literal title and the perfect ending to a brilliant series – just try listening to that score and not tearing up…

4. “Anna Howard Shaw Day” 30 Rock (S. 4 E. 23)

written by Matt Hubbard (30’s supervising producer) and directed by Ken Whittingham.

Anna Howard Shaw day is an example of pure uncut high grade 30 Rock. Three perfect plots; Jack meeting his new love interest, right wing political commentator Avery Jessup (a note-perfect Elizabeth Banks), Jenna dealing with her stalker’s (Horatio Sanz) sudden disinterest in her and Liz scheduling oral surgery on Valentine’s day to prove she doesn’t need anyone. Liz’s anesthesia induced hallucination of her three past boyfriends (Jason Sudeikis, Dean Winters and Jon Hamm) and Jenna’s montage of stalkery are only two of the many reasons this episode rose above the rest. The scene that rolled over the end credits of Liz’s 3 exes as Jamaican nurses was the single funniest scene I’ve seen all year.

5. “Peter” Fringe (S. 2 E. 16)

Story by: J. H. Wyman & Jeff Pinkner & Akiva Goldsman & Josh Singer; teleplay written by the above minus Goldsman and directed by David Straiton.

Peter is a harrowing tale of loss and consequences, it is both a brilliant stand alone episode and also one entrenched in the series’ mythology. Many amazing moments in this engrossing hour; we watched Nina lose her hand the observers talking shop. It was brutal to watch Peter die in Walter’s arms, John Noble gave one of the year’s top performances as we saw the actions he took to save the other universe’s Peter, who became his Peter, and in the process started a cross-dimensional war. Plus the retro opening credits were awesome!

6. “One Minute” Breaking Bad (S. 3 E. 7)

Written by Michelle MacLaren and Directed by Thomas Shnauz.

The best action sequence of 2010 – even when you watch it again your heart still pounds like it did the first time. The last scene of this episode alone is reason enough for it being here over other season three classics like “Fly” and “Full Measure” but add in Aaron Paul’s performance in both of his speeches to Walt, Hank and Marie in the elevator, the Cousins buying bullets from a McPoyle brother and some tough but amazing work between Gunn and Cranston and One Minute stands out far.

[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jkImA_SXp-Q]

7. “VIP Treatment” The Good Wife (S. 2 E. 5)

Written by series creators Robert & Michelle King and directed by Michael Zinberg.

Starting on the cliffhanger of the previous episode; the announcement of 3rd candidate in the state’s attorney race Wendy Scott Carr (Anika Noni Rose) at a banquet while the LG&B partners have 4 hours to decide whether or not accept an unsympathetic client and press civil sexual and physical assault charges against a Nobel Peace Prize winner who does work with women in Africa. A showcase for Chicago backhanded politics, women’s rights, morality and overall great performances. In the typical twisty, Good Wife-ian fashion the various plots tie together in surprising ways, in a year where the Good Wife was consistent and strong, it’s us who got the VIP Treatment. (9 Hours – the most recent episode is equally as good and is worth noting.)

8. “Bully” Louie (S. 1 E. 9)

Written and Directed by Louis C.K.

Louie’s on a date, it’s going well – they’re having a good time – and before he knows it he’s got a teenage bully in his face; making Louie ask the bully not to kick his ass. It’s one of those scenes thats almost too excruciating to watch. He’s just ridiculed and completely emasculated. Later he follows the bully home and confronts his parents. What followed was both realistic and tragically funny; a portrait of lower middle class America. To top it off, the episode ends with a child version of Louie looking at his adult self in disgust. Louie’s taken us to some really horrible places (the dentist…shiver…) but none more terrifying than Bully.

9. “NS” Sons of Anarchy (S. 3 E. 13)

Written and Directed by series creator and overseer Kurt Sutter. (Co-written by Dave Erikson)

Hey Hey My My. A solid offering all around –  but the last sequence alone is enough to land this on the list. After last season – with Ethan Zoebelle getting away scot free we needed the Sons to get a win – and just as it looked like it was going to be another depressing after season – the sons pulled a fast one on us and that bitch Stahl – and we were got good. It wasn’t an especially exciting season of Sons of Anarchy, at least compared to the last one, but NS made up for a weaker season by ending it with an emotional smash.

10. “200”/”201″ South Park (S. 14 E. 5 & 6)

Written by Trey Parker and Matt Stone (200 only) and Directed by Trey Parker.

The 200 and 201st episodes of were a love letter to fans and a stark examination of the first amendment and censorship. Celebrities were skewered, mysteries were solved (Cartman’s father?) and many laughs were had. As good was the Coon Trilogy in the tail end of the season.


Best of 2010: Life and Death Edition

The Top Ten Most Promising Midseason Shows!

and The Five Most Devastating TV Series Cancellations.

2011 is looking pretty promising so far, both the networks and the cable channels have plenty of new stuff to stuff down our retinas – and the 10 (unranked) series below have my retinas salivating.

Bob’s Burgers – Premieres Sunday Jan 9th at 8:30 on Fox

Who: The brainchild of Loren Bouchard, creator of Home Movies and featuring the voices of H. Jon Benjamin who’s doing double duty as the star of FX’s Archer and Flight of the Concords’ wacky fan, Kristen Schaal.

What: A fox animated series not created by Groening or Macfarlane? Shocked! Sit Down, Shut Up was a massive disappointment; it’ll be interesting to see if this will break through and find an audience on FOX’s already bloated animated sunday. I’m ready for a change and Bob’s Burgers look like it might taste right.

Breaking In – Premieres Wed April 6 at 9:30 on Fox

Who: Stars Christian Slater in his third attempt (after My Own Worst Enemy and The Forgotten) at a starring network gig. It also stars Odette Yustman (You Again, Cloverfield) and Brett Harrison of dead series Reaper.

What: 3 looks like it might be the lucky number for Slater, Breaking In is about a team of geniuses that work at a high tech security fim. If it finds an audience it may just be a hit and if a post idol slot is any indication an audience it will.

The Cape – 2-Hour Premiere on Sun January 9 at 9:00, Regular slot on Mondays at 9:00 on NBC

Who: Starring David Lyons (Dr. Brenner on the final ER season), Keith David (There’s Something About Mary), genre goddess Summer Glau, Vinnie Jones (Juggernaut in X-Men 3) and James Frain (Franklin Mott on True Blood).

What: A cop is framed and left for dead, saved and trained to use his powers by a circus, he fights crime in fictional Palm City protecting it from an evil billionaire (Frain) with the codename: Chess. I initially wrote it off, but the quality looks above average and Glau doesn’t usually sign on to trash.

The Chicago Code – Premieres  Mon February 7th on Fox

Who: Created by Shawn Ryan (creator of the Shield and current Lie To Me showrunner) and starring Jennifer Beals (Flashdance, Lie To Me), Jason Clarke (Brotherhood), Matt Lauria (Luke from Friday Night Lights) and Delroy Lindo.

What: Beals plays a take no prisoners Chicago Police Chief battling bureaucracies and corruption. Beals is great in everything she does and Shawn Ryan knows how to command a police drama; I think this is a sure fire winner.

Episodes – Premieres Sun January 9 at 9:30 on Showtime

Who: This satirical Brit-com stars Matt LeBlanc (Joey!) as … himself? … … Explain?

What: Episodes is about two married British producers who come across the pond to re-imagine their hit series for Americans and land LeBlanc as their American star. The trailer looks fantastic; LeBlanc looks like he’s at his best and British stars Tamsin Grieg and Stephen Mangan appear to be worthy imports.

Game of Thrones – Premieres in April on HBO

Who: Based on George R.R. Martin’s tomes, it stars Sean Bean (Baromir in LOTR), Lena Headey (TV’s Sarah Conner), Mark Addy (star of CBS shitcom Still Standing) and Peter Dinklage.

What: An epic fantasy series done HBO style? As Liz Lemon would say “I want to go to there”

Light’s Out – Premieres Tues January 11 at 10:00 on FX

Who: Starring Holt McCallany (in what will surely be his big break) along with veteran Stacy Keach (Prison Break), Pablo Schreiber (The Wire) and Catherine Mccormack (Braveheart).

What: A series about boxing and family of the same ilk as Rescue Me and Justified. McCallany plays an aging retired heavyweight at a crossroads between entering crime as an enforcer or returning to the ring. If it’s anything like Rescue Me or Justified i’ll watch.

Luck – Premieres sometime in 2011 on HBO

Who: From Deadwood creator David Milch and starring big time movie stars Dustin Hoffman, Nick Nolte and Joan Allen along with Richard Kind (Spin City), Kevin Dunn (Shia’s father in the Transformer series), Dennis Farina (Orbach’s replacement on Law & Order), Ian Hart (Professor Quirrel in the first Harry Potter film), Kerry Condon (Rome) and Jason Gedrick (Murder One and Boomtown)

What: A gambling series that focuses on the goings on of a racetrack through the eyes of Chester “Ace” Bernstein (Hoffman)

Mr. Sunshine – Premiers Wed Feb 9 at 9:30 on ABC

Who: Created by and starring Matthew Perry along with Alison Janney and Better Off Ted alum Andrea Anders!!!

What: Perry is the manager of an arena; the series tracks him and the weird shit a arena manager has to go through… huh? This is replacing Cougar Town? ABC is showing this a lot of faith, I hope it doesn’t disappoint.

Young Justice – Premiers Friday January 7 on Cartoon Network

Who: Greg Weisman (creator of Gargoyles) takes the lead and it stars Jesse McCartney (Summerland) and Danika McKeller (The Wonder Years) but really it stars Robin, Kid Flash, Aqualad, Miss Martian, Artemis and Superboy.

What: Six sidekicks team up and try to make a name for themselves. The pilot aired on Nov. 26 and it impressed me. Made with the same care as DC’s animated films (may faves are Justice League: The New Frontier and Superman/Batman Apocalypse) this series will be a window into the DCU from the eyes of it’s youngest protectors.

The Rest: Shameless starring Willian H. Macy, Olivia Munn sitcom Perfect Couples, SNL Alum Casey Wilson’sHappy Endings, Shonda Rhimes jungle medical Off The Map, Pot smoking Kathy Bates in Harry’s LawMixed Signals with David Denman (The Office’s Roy), Body of Proof with Dana Delaney, American remakes of Brits Skins and Being Human, Fairly Legal with Sarah Shahi (Life) and  Retired At 35 on TV Land.

…and the 5 most anticipated returning series!

5. Pretty Little Liars – Returning Jan 3. Trash that knows it’s trash and embraces it’s trashy ways is always welcome to me and this trash is like crack addictive.

4. Big Love – Returning Jan 16. After a rocky 4th season, the 5th and final season focuses on the Henriksons, with their polygamy in the spotlight.

3. V – Returning Jan 4. Jane Balder and Marc Singer from the original series guest star this season. Balder as a re-imagined version of her character Diana

2. Justified – Returning Feb 9. If Parks and Rec returned in the fall when it should have, this would be number one. Season 2 has Raylan Givens (Timothy Olyphant) hunting after the Bennett family, the biggest pot growers in Kentucky. Margo Martindale and Jeremy Davies (Daniel Faraday on Lost) signed on as Bennetts.

1. Parks & Recreation – Returning Jan 20. Ohmigod ohmigod it’s like less than a month till Parks and Recreation returns and I. CAN. NOT. WAIT. (which is apparently worth it) Adam Scott (Party Down) and Rob Lowe join the cast.

In my ranking and listing frenzy I’ve started to commiserate upon the TV series who’s flames were extinguished to soon. 2010 was a pretty violent year in terms of cancellations – CBS was gutted losing 7 series and stalwarts like 24, Lost and Scrubs ended their runs, all in all it was a bloody year.

Here are the 5 best series, cancelled 2010, and ultimately before their time was up…

5. Terriers, cancelled by FX after its first season. This scrappy PI drama had all the moxie and none of the viewers. Donal Logue and Michael-Raymond James take on evil land developers.

4. Dollhouse, cancelled by Fox during its second season. Technically cancelled in 2009 but aired its last brilliant three episodes in 2010.

3. Rubicon, cancelled by AMC after its first season. Twisty and complex, tense and intelligent – a brilliantly underrated series.

2. Party Down, cancelled by Starz after its second season. It could have suffered the loss of cast members Adam Scott and Ryan Hansen, it survived Jane Lynch leaving. But Starz didn’t want to take that chance and gave this new classic the axe.

1. The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien, cancelled by NBC after 146 episodes. Need I say anything. NBC deserves to be in 4th place for these shenanigans.

Top 10 Guest Stars of 2010

Top 10 TV Character Deaths in 2010

Top 7 Villains of 2010

Top 10 Performances of 2010

Top 5 Reality Competitors of 2010


Top 5 Reality Competitors of 2010!

 

 

 

 

Best of 2010!

The most uniting factor of the five people in this list is that when it came time to claim the win they so rightfully deserved, they were robbed. Whether it be a bitter jury, a deaf America or choking in the final, for one reason or another the five people on this list lost their respective titles. But still this isn’t a list of the best competitors who didn’t win, this is just a list of the best that just also happens to be a list of the robbed, still I can’t help but revel in the competitive glory of these five contenders.

5. Crystal Bowersox, Runner Up on American Idol (Season 9)

I don’t get the appeal of Lee DeWyze, to me he’s nothing more than a wannabe Cat Stevens. Bowersox on the other hand, was the real deal. Her voice was effortless, she took criticism like a champ (not that there ever really was any) and she was totally above the whole Hollywood thing which may have eventually lead to her downfall.

4. Angelo Sosa, Runner Up on Top Chef: DC (Season 7)

The biggest ego in the kitchen was the closest thing 2010 saw to a sure thing and then in the finale he got sick, made some curious choices (black cherry palate cleanser? Gag)… and then he lost … to Kevin Sbraga, It’s not that Kevin was a bad chef, I was constantly impressed by his originality in the kitchen (his veal tuna dish in the Best Served Cold challenge looked amazing) its just that from the way the season was going it seemed like Angelo could do no wrong; he was either in the top or won almost every challenge and he was a wicked competitor; supposedly sabotaging contestants. He might still be reality TV’s most egotistical and narcissistic personality (he’s currently kicking ass on Top Chef All Stars) but he was also one of the most talented.

3. Miles Mendenhall, 2nd Runner Up on Work of Art: The Next Great Artist (Season 1)

It’s sad really; after scoping out competitors Abdi and Peregrine’s final exhibits I have to agree with the judges on this one – he sorta choked. He had the opportunity to create something wild and huge and he literally went as small as he could. 1 part tortured artist – falling asleep on his piece as part of his installation, 1 part performance artist – he was constantly criticized by his fellow contestants for putting on the brilliant tortured artist routine as a ploy, and 1 part alpha male competitor – convincing challenge teammate Jaclyn to go naked because he wanted her to. An example of perfect casting.

2. Parvati Shallow, Runner Up on Survivor Heroes vs. Villains

Her third time playing the game, the season 16 winner was up against the best of the best, and while Russell made most of the moves that lead him, Parvati and winner Sandra to the final three, he never fully had Parvati in his pocked, if he did he might not have been surprised when she presented both Jerri and Sandra with immunity idols at tribal council and saved her alliance from being decimated it was thrilling to watch… so watch it again below! Probably the best player in the history of the game.

1. Mondo Guerra, Runner Up on Project Runway (8th Cycle)

I am still in shock at his loss to stink-face Gretchen Jones. His designs were streets ahead of the competition, he was an expert pattern maker and was actually likable. Gretchen’s final collection may have been a smidge more polished but Mondo’s had character and colour and after both this season’s editing and the judges’ critiquing patterns it looked like it was Mondo’s, but the producers and the judges pulled a fast one on us. Gretchen was a fierce player and had she lost she’d have made this list for sure but not the top spot; this was the upset of the year.

For more best of 2010 check out

Top 10 Guest Stars of 2010

Top 10 TV Character Deaths in 2010

Top 7 Villains of 2010

Top 10 Performances of 2010


J’s Top 10 Performances of 2010

… and the Top 10 Worst too!

 

So the ranking continues! Today we cover the ten best performances of the year, a list exclusively saved for regular characters (and one TV movie star), who’s day job is putting on great performances as their characters. There were a lot of great performances in 2010, forming this list of ten was harder than the last few, there were so many worthy performances.

10. Matthew Fox as Jack Shephard on Lost – There was something different about Jack this season – he began dejected as his plan to change the future failed and Juliet lost her life, and over the course of the season we watched as Jack accepted his fate to become the next protector of the Island and came to realize that everything he once opposed, everything that Locke had stood for had been true; he evolved as a character and Fox evolved with him. Matthew Fox has always been a solid member of the Lost ensemble, but this year for the first time he stood out far and above.

9. Nina Dobrev as Elena Gilbert & Katherine Pierce on The Vampire Diaries – I can’t imagine a dual role would be easy for anyone, especially with the vastly different parts of Katherine and Elena; but Dobrev nails both of them. As Elena she’s good, she hit all her emotional marks and not succumbing to overacting. But as Katherine, Dobrev’s outstanding. I literally feel as if I’m watching another actress take on nasty villain (and Elena’s vampire ancestor) Katherine.

8. Alison Brie as Annie Edison & Yvette Nicole Brown as Shirley Bennett on Community – Brown plays Shirley as possibly TV’s most confident and unapologetic (and still very likable) Christians. With a split second shift in tone Brown’s Shirley can go from sweet to sassy, her secret weapon is her dazzling array of voices. Brie is turning into one of TV funniest physical comediennes, earning her spot on the list for the chloroform scene alone. I constantly look forward to everything Annie, her new bag dance (from the Chicken Fingers episode) to the look on her face when she popped out of the trash can in the bathroom ambush scene from Modern Warfare.

7. Anna Gunn as Skyler White on Breaking Bad – Season 3 was Skyler’s season. It was an honour to watch Anna Gunn’s Skyler breaking bad. This season she went downright nasty; with three words she was able to destroy her estranged husband (I.F.T. if you know it, good, if not it’s too good to spoil) and watching her spin her improvised lie of Walt’s (Bryan Cranston) supposed gambling addiction to her sister was like watching a prodigy at work. Cranston is the best actor on TV deservedly winning 3 back-to-back Emmys and Aaron Paul ‘s performance finally got him the Emmy he deserved, but for some reason there was no love for Gunn this year. If Skyler’s meeting with Saul Goodman (Bob Odenkirk) and her argument for purchasing the car wash showed us anything, it’s that Gunn is just getting started.

6. Archie Panjabi as Kalinda Sharma on The Good Wife – Panjabi is easily the breakout performance of the year. Her Kalinda is TV’s greatest enigma; watching do her job is seeing her at her best, using everything in her arsenal to get what she wants. Normally we see Kalinda on the offense, disarming with a smile or intimidating with a glare, but with the season 2 addition of nemesis Blake Calamar (Scott Porter) we get to see Kalinda cover new ground, and when Kalinda is on the defensive Panjabi is enthralling.

5. Sandra Oh as Dr. Christina Yang on Grey’s Anatomy – Who would have thought that Oh would be her best when Yang isn’t cutting? Sandra Oh’s performance of a doctor suffering from severe PTSD is one of the main agents of Grey’s creative renaissance. Whether slinging drinks in Joe’s, fishing with Derek or generally avoiding surgery Oh is always at her finest. I especially love her tense encounters with estranged best-friend Meredith.

4. Claire Danes as Temple Grandin in Temple Grandin – The last time I thought Danes was good in anything was as a regular on ABC’s 1994 series My So-Called Life. To say she’s simply good as Grandin is a severe understatement, she’s uncanny – she essentially becomes Grandin (at times throughout the film I forgot it was Danes). She’s in pretty much every scene, and commands the screen at all times even earning a much deserved Emmy. She’s flawless, embracing Grandin’s ticks and quirks, even changing the tone of her voice. On the same level of biographical portrayal as Jamie Foxx’s Ray and Philip Seymour Hoffman’s Capote.

3. Khandi Alexander as LaDonna Batiste-Williams on Treme – Alexander stands out amongst Treme’s mega-talented ensemble. In 2010 we followed LaDonna on her 2006 (just post Katrina) quest to find the truth about her missing brother. She was a character of many faces; the sultry barkeep, the protective mother, the amicable ex-wife, the loyal daughter, and the grieving sister and Alexander was a pro at each one. I can’t see where season 2 will take LaDonna but whatever it is Alexander will nail it.

2.  Jon Hamm as Don Draper on Mad Men & Danny McBride as Kenny Powers on Eastbound & Down – Though their mediums were different Hamm and McBride offered brilliant twin portraits of loneliness, addiction, delusion and ultimately redemption. Don Draper spent his fourth season alone and depressed, hell bent on using his vices and addictions (booze, ladies, smoke, etc..) to either take away his pain or his life. Whether it’s the drunk making an ass of himself at an awards ceremony, or the father fighting for his children; Hamm was perfect, he gave 100% all the time. Powers’ second season was spent picking up the pieces of his life, deeper invested into his delusions. In Mexico, Powers confronted his father (Don Johnson) played minor league ball and even fell in love and had his heart broken. Throughout all this we got to watch him learn lessons in family and humility, and was set on the path to becoming a real human being. Kenny Powers and Learning – not exactly PB and J – but McBride was superb. Though Mad Men’s quality may have afforded Hamm the single best performance of the year (The Suitcase and Tomorrowland alone), McBride in a quarter of the time was equally as moving, dedicated and convincing.

1. The Fringe Team: Anna Torv, John Noble and Joshua Jackson as Olivia Dunham, Fauxlivia Dunham, Walter Bishop, Walternate Bishop, Peter Bishop and Olivia’s Peter Bishop Hallucination on Fringe – 3 people, 6 different characters – colour me impressed. The core of Fringe’s cast are the tightest team of performers on TV and together they give us the year’s finest performance. These three actors, when engaged onscreen together have the greatest chemistry and constantly make each other better. Joshua Jackson is severely underrated subtle performance was fantastic as Peter came to terms with his past and who he is. Noble was pitch perfect as the often childish, but brilliant Walter. In 2010 he started to emerge from the fog of his mind and accept responsibility for his actions. And while Noble and Jackson’s second characters were glimpses, Torv played two complete (or four if you’re this guy who’s not entirely wrong) fully realized people. Both O and Faux – livia were conflicted and complex characters, but in terms of personality, they were night and day, and like Dobrev, Anna Torv was not one but two forces to be reckoned with.

Honorable mentions go to Timothy Olyphant – Damages, Mae Whitman and Dax Shepherd – Parenthood, Chris Colfer – Glee, Campbell Scott – Damages, Iffran Khan – In Treatment, Andrew Lincoln – The Walking Dead, Scott Caan – Hawaii 5-O, Amy Poehler  – Parks and Recreation and the entire Modern Family cast.

The Top 10 Worst Performances of 2010


The following ten people just spent the better part of the year rubbing me the wrong way. Now even though this list is the worst performances, I don’t blame the actor entirely. It’s the crucial combination of casting, writing, directing, and acting that totals in my mind, a performance.

10. Matthew Morrison as Will Schuester on Glee. There’s nothing gleeful about Mr. Schuester; to me he’s simply  a one dimensional inspirational-teacher type. I never understand his motivations and I don’t think Morrison does him either.  He spent the first chunk of Glee mostly rapping (just the worst) and since that stopped he’s only been singing adult contemporary. To put it simply – Give me Holly Holiday over Mr. Shue any day.

9. Shane West as Michael on Nikita. Insanely miscast. West lacks that physical bravado that an action man requires – and even though his fighting skills are killer – he looks like a hobbit next to statuesque Maggie Q.

8. Lauren Velez as Captain Maria LaGuerta on Dexter. I will say I believe Velez tried her best and that it’s the way LaGuerta’s written that makes her suck so hard. I doubt even Meryl could make good with LaGuerta, the most ineffectual (non corrupt) police person in TV history.

7. Will Estes as Jamie Reagan on Blue Bloods. Jamie, the youngest of the Reagan brood also comes across as the most wooden and unrelatable of the bunch; It doesn’t help that his character is one of those Ryan Atwood martyr types.

6. Jessica Szohr as Vanessa Abrams on Gossip Girl. A complete waste of a spot on Gossip Girl’s regular  cast (along with complete wastes of space Rufus and Jenny Humphrey). Vanessa is supposed to be the good one, free of the evils of greed, yet Vanessa continues to do the most obnoxious things and Szohr doesn’t sell it for one second.

5. Sarah Roemer as Leila Buchanan on The EVENT. I once heard the Event referred to as an acting vortex, and I can’t possibly think of a better term. The entire cast, most of whom are quite talented, slum it week after week but Roemer stands out as the worst of the bunch. She spends most of her time whining about her missing sister and waving a gun she looks like she can barely lift.

4. Parevsh Cheena as Gupta on Outsourced. I get that this character is supposed to be annoying, but Cheena makes Gupta a billion times more cloying than he has to be. He is the sole reason I stopped watching Outsourced after 2 episodes, it wasn’t the fact that it wasn’t funny, or that it was mind-numbingly stupid; it was Gupta.

3. 2. & 1.  Three Way Tie! Michael Chiklis, Kay Panabaker and Jimmy Bennett as The Powell Family (minus Julie Benz’s Stephanie): Jim, Daphne and JJ on No Ordinary Family. The only thing out of the ordinary with the Powells is how much they – for a lack of a better word – Suck! As a family they have no chemistry, they could just as easily be strangers, and individually they’re even worse. Bennett is all face acting; big expressions and eye rolls – also the worst hair on TV. Panabaker is as believable as real teen as Drew Barrymore in Never Been Kissed and she’s actually a teenager. And Chiklis – poor Chiklis, going from one of TV’s all time bad asses on the Shield to a eunuch like Jim. He seems just as miserable and bored as hell. Of the Powells the only one who doesn’t grate on my every nerve is Stephanie played by Julie Benz, which is ironic because as Rita on Dexter, that’s all she did.

Outraged I forgot anyone up top or included anyone on the bottom, let me know!

For more Best of 2010, be sure to check out:

J’s Top 10 Guest Stars of 2010

J’s Top 10 TV Character Deaths in 2010


J’s Top 10 TV Character Deaths in 2010

Best of 2010!

Beware! Spoilers lurk below! Ye have been warned…

2010 was a bloody year. A lot of folks got offed this year, between Lost and 24 ending, it was a veritable bloodbath. Tears were shed for my friends and cheers were afforded to the deaths of my foes, and even though there were no shock style Rita moments, 2010 will still go down as a damn bloody year – with three group killings on the list, and over 40 possible deaths to choose from, network execs were trigger happy in these tough economic times. This list is not exclusive to regular cast members, Amy’s death on The Walking Dead proved you don’t need to be in the opening credits to make an impact. Here are my picks for the top 10 TV character deaths in 2010.

10. Tom Shayes (Tate Donovan) on Damages

Death by: Murder! Drowned in his toilet by Joe Tobin (Campbell Scott)

Other than Glenn Close and Rose Byrne, Tate Donovan was the only regular stalwart of Damages ever-revolving cast, therefore the mystery of his death holds a lot of weight. Tom had a rough season; in addition to losing ass his money to the Louis Tobin (Joe’s dad played by Len Cariou), Tom Shayes was first stabbed by one of Mr. Zedeck’s (Dominic Chainese) cronies protecting the whereabouts of his cashcow, Tobin’s lawyer Leonard Winstone (Martin Short) who saves his life at the last second. Tom, bleeding, makes it home only to be ambushed by a drunk, crazed Joe Tobin – and when Tom calls Joe’s dead poppa a thief, Joe drowns him in the toilet. He later confessed to Patty, and is probably serving time – but that still doesn’t take away the sting that Damages will have two more seasons sans both the character Shayes and Donovan.

9. Talbot, Royal Consort to the Vampire King of Mississippi (Theo Alexander) on True Blood

Death by: Murder! Seduced and staked by Eric Northman (Alexander Skarsgard)

Eric Northman’s viking family was murdered by a Vampire leading a pack of werewolves and his father’s crown was stolen, for 1000 years he hunted that Vampire who turned out to be Russell Edgington, the Vampire King of Mississippi (Denis O’Hare), so Eric infiltrated his ranks waiting to exact his revenge; to kill Russell’s family – and his family was Talbot. Talbot was the flamboyant and feisty consort who’s words can sting just as sharp as his bite. Eric won the king’s trust and one night when he was babysitting an unruly Talbot, he seduced and staked him. Talbot was only a recurring but he was a scene stealer, a fan favorite & he died in a big gay mess as seen in the NSFW clip below.

8. Ida Blankenship (Randee Heller) on Mad Men

Death by: Don Draper (according to Roger, but probably natural causes)

Roger Cooper put it best: “She was born in 1898 in a barn. She died on the 37th floor of a skyscraper. She was an astronaut.” Mrs. Blankenship arrived after Don took advantage of his last secretary, Joan knew she was exactly what Don needed. During her short recurring tenure as Don’s secretary she was always good for a laugh or a life lesson or both; her “It’s a business of sadists and masochists and you know which one you are.” barb to Peggy was a doozy! One of 2010’s funnier deaths, I still chuckle picturing her face down at her desk and being wheeled out covered in Harry’s blanket “My mother made that!”

7. Amy (Emma Bell) on The Walking Dead

Death by: Zombie Attack!

Technically this could count as a bloodbath as Ed was killed also, but the entire scene and my emotional reaction were all cause by Amy’s shocking death (Emma Bell, a recurring actor, was in all the promo material with the lead cast for TWD). The first sacrifice of a series which is sure to have an entry on this list every year was especially hard to stomach. Amy was about as sweet as they come, she’d been protected by her sister Andrea (Laurie Holden) but one a solo trip to the bathroom, she separated from the group and fell victim to a Zombie attack. Technically this could be considered a bloodbath (like #’s 4,2 & 1) with Ed dying and Jim getting bit, but it was Amy’s death that hit us the hardest.

6. Creighton Bernette (John Goodman) on Treme

Death by: Suicide

I never saw it coming. I saw he was in a funk, even like his wife Toni (Melissa Leo) I thought that all he needed was Mardi Gras to cheer him up. It didn’t. His videos got angrier and more dejected. He talked to his class about endings, he went for a walk, tipped Annie (Lucia Micarelli) generously, rode the ferry and bummed a smoke from a fellow passenger, and he was never seen again. Clinical depression can be that subtle I suppose, and in the wake of Katrina’s destruction I can see Bernette’s hopelessness. I find some solace however in Toni’s refusal to give Creighton a second line for his selfish act, she was still rightfully angry (hell, I’m a little angry too). I’ll miss Goodman’s Bernette next season, he was presence and stood out among Treme’s regular ensemble.

5. Renee Walker (Anne Wersching) on 24

Death by: Murder! Assassinated by a sniper

It was the last season of 24, they could have let Jack have some love; Terri Bauer, Nina Meyers, Claudia Hernandez (secret cartel lover) are dead and Audrey is in a coma or a mental hospital, it was the last season and they could of let Jack have a little love. But no, Renee gets shot by an assassin almost immediately after nailing Jack Bauer – like literally minutes post coital. Renee wasn’t the only regular to kick the bucket in season 8, Omar Hassan (Anil Kapoor) and Dana Walsh (Katee Sackhoff) got murdered too, but the timing of Renee’s gives her the edge.

4. BLOODBATH: Reed Adamson (Nora Zehetner) & Charles Percy (Robert Baker) on Grey’s Anatomy

Death by: Murder! Shooting rampage by gunman Gary Clark (Michael O’Neill)

Grey’s Anatomy had sucked for 2 or 3 seasons before disgruntled widower Clark brought a gun to Seattle Grace and revitalized this dying series, which is only part of the reason for Grey’s bloodbath being this high, the other reason is the vastly different deaths experience by two recurring characters: Reed and Charles. Reed was shot in the episodes opening minutes, it was precise and sudden and set up the episode tonally. Charles was shot standing up for his profession (“Are you a surgeon?” … … “Yes” BANG), Bailey (Chandra Wilson) and a patient (Mandy Moore) do their best to save a bleeding Charles, but their plans are foiled when no power stops them from moving Percy to the OR and he dies in their arms. The way Miranda let him know his time had come still chokes me up. Charles and Reed may not have been popular but their death mark a return to quality and will thusly be remembered.

3. Jack Shepherd (Matthew Fox) on Lost

Death by: Umm… I guess overexposure to electro magnetism… and stabbed by the MIB (Terry O’Quinn)

I suppose Lost had to end with it’s star‘s death, it was very cyclical and kind of a perfect for the ending to the real life narrative. It was a beautiful scene which Fox played it perfectly. The sombre yet uplifting music along with Jack’s peace of mind in seeing the plane take off and Kate leave safe made for a fitting exit only made better by Vincent laying with Jack in the end.

2. BLOODBATH: Agent June Stahl (Ally Walker) and Jimmy O (Titus Welliver) on Sons of Anarchy

Death by: Revenge Murder! Stahl shot by Opie (Ryan Hurst) and Jimmy stabbed by Chibs (Tommy Flanagan)

Ethan Zoebelle got away and in the finale SOA made up for it. Chibs got his revenge on longtime nemesis and baby thief, Jimmy O; the man that stole his wife and kid and gave him a glasgow smile. Jimmy got the same smile before Chibs gutted the SOB, and as much as I loved Jimmy’s death, I can’t think of a character on a series I’ve wanted to die more than June Stahl. That bitch was just the worst, torturing the Club for three years, her actions lead to much bloodshed and murder. This bitch got what she deserved. Since she set in motion events that resulted in the death of his wife Donna, Opie’s had her number – once even sparring her – but not this time. Opie calmly instructed her, through cries and begs, to get in the front seat. Then he told her “This is what she felt” then he picked up the machine gun and shot her in the back of the head. Both longtime recurring enemies for the gang, both needed to go, and as Opie finally breathed, we all did, feeling the same catharsis he felt fight then. And it felt good.

1. BLOODBATH: Sayid Jarrah (Naveen Andrews) and Sun & Jin Kwon (Daniel Dae Kim & Yunjin Kim)

Death by: Murder! Sayid is blown up and Sun & Jin drown all by the bomb of The MIB (Terry O’Quinn)

We knew that in Lost’s final season, like 24’s, there was going to be death and it was going to be hard – we just didn’t know how hard. But the deaths of Sun, Jin and Sayid are still just as numbing as they were on May 4. There is a bomb on the sub, Saywer tricks the failsafe and the timer speeds up. And with “..it’s going to be you, Jack” Sayid takes the bomb and runs offscreen, a second later he explodes. The bomb rocks the sub and traps Sun under debris, and despite their best efforts Jin, Jack, and Sawyer cant set her free. Jin sends them away and stays with Sun, “I wont ever leave you again. I love you Sun”. The submarine descends into the sea as the score and my tears swell. Some people say Sayid’s death was overshadowed by Sun and Jin’s, but I think the opposite. In one fell swoop the MIB took out almost half the candidates, and even though they were separated by a few minutes, I feel psople seem to forget that we lost three beloved characters in just a few minutes, not since the opening minutes of season 5 of 24 has so much happened so fast and meant so much.

Honorable Mentions go to:

David Hale (Taylor Sheridan), Sons of Anarchy – Ran over by Mayans; Katherine Rhumor (Miranda Richardson), Rubicon – Poisoned by Clay Davis; Dell Parker (Chris Lowell), Private Practive – Car Accident Injuries; Gale Boetticher (David Costabile) – Most likely shot in the face by Jesse; Robert McCallister (Rob Lowe), Brothers & Sisters – Killed in car accident.

Anyone you’re shocked I missed?  Who’s on your list?

For more Best of 2010, be sure to check out:

J’s Top 10 Guest Stars of 2010


J’s Top Ten Guest Stars of 2010

The Gute gives a lesson in good guesting.

Best of 2010!

There are two kinds of great guest stars, people that show up once or twice, and make a lasting impression, and those who sign on for an entire recurring or guest arc, becoming intertwined into the plot of our favorite stories. It’s the right mix of a great character and perfect casting that makes certain guest stars unforgettable. A great guest spot can reignite a career (Shatner on the Practice) and sometimes even and gets ’em hired on full time (like Esposito and Huston). For the list below I have the Top 5 One Shots (one or two sporadic appearances) and the Top 5 Guest Arcs, I didn’t include anyone that got hired on full time – they got the reward of a regular gig in this economy. I also threw in my Top 5 WORST Guest Stars; banal and mundane characters or stunt casting make up that list of epic fails, but firstly; the tops.

Top 5 One-Shot Guest Stars

5. Lennie James as Morgan Jones on The Walking Dead “Days Gone Bye”

Lennie James had  a trio of guest roles; he was great as the Chance’s arch-nemesis Baptiste on Human Target and stole his scenes of HBO’s Hung as Charlie, Tanya’s pimp mentor but it was the role of Morgan Jones that stuck in my mind. Without Morgan, Rick (star, Andrew Lincoln) surely would have been a quick casualty of the zombie apocalypse. Asides from being a mentor to Rick and a good father to Duane, Morgan’s got his own baggage in the form of his recently zombified wife who he can’t bring himself to kill. James was brilliant; one part teacher, one part grieving widower and one part bad ass zombie killer.

4. Steve Guttenberg as Himself on Party Down “Steve Guttenberg’s Birthday Party”

It was only a matter of time before Veronica Mars vet Steve Guttenberg guested on Party Down (P Down is created by V Mars creator Rob Thomas). Instead of a regular catering gig, the Gang find themselves the guests at the party the Gute forgot to cancel. What stood out about Steve Guttenberg was how great of a guy he is; he told them to invite their friends, he helps Roman and with his screenplay hell – he even inadvertently gets Henry and Casey back together. It’s the best I’ve seen Guttenberg since Cocoon.

3. James Franco as Himself on 30 Rock “Klaus & Greta”

If you’ve seen the episode and recognize the picture above, you know why soap star/oscar host/potential nominee James Franco’s portrayal of himself – the James Franco who loves Kimiko (above right)

2. Mamie Gummer and Dylan Baker as Nancy Crozier and Colin Sweeney on The Good Wife “Bad”

Gummer (left) vs. Baker (second from right)

Two great one shot performances in one episode! Dylan Baker was at his absolute creepy best as Sweeney who was being charged with the murder of his wife by his step-daughter in a civil suit and he’s a riot; constantly makes jokes about killing his wife to Alicia and acting cavalier about the entire situation. And Mamie Gummer? (soon starring on Shonda Rhimes new series Off  The Map) is even more brilliant as Nancy Crozier, a rookie lawyer taking her friend Charlotte’s defense. Precocious, naive, and lucky? Hah! More like the charade of a shrewd attorney. With every hesitation and stutter, Gummer shined – not really a surprise seeing as she’s Meryl Streep’s daughter.

1. Gwyneth Paltrow as Holly Holliday on Glee “The Substitute”

I may hate what Glee has become; the saccharine, the off base song selection – but even a total hater like me can’t deny Gwyneth her dues. Holly Holliday was the perfect role for Gwyneth, hip, cool, bad without crossing the line (unlike April Rhodes) and they gave her good songs to sing (Forget You and Conjunction Junction). In 42 minutes Gwyneth gave us the complete picture of a flawed person and the closest thing Glee has come to a realistic character in a long time. Interesting Fact: Gwyneth was a term for “Cool” used by the girls in the titular crew on Ryan Murphy’s (creator) first series; Popular.

Top 5 Guest Arcs

5. Heather McComb as Agent Collier on The EVENT

The Event is absolutely ridiculous, I feel like even mentioning it in a positive way is somehow enabling it to continue to be insane, but I have to give mad props to the super-hot, Ex-Mrs. Dawson (as in Leery) Heather McComb. Her Agent Collier is bad ass; she fights, she shoots, she aids Sean Walker on his quest to answer the question; Huh?

4. Raymond J. Barry as Arlo Givens on Justified

Raymond J. Barry oozed southern creepy charm as Arlo Givens, the crook father of of a cop son. Mentioned in every episode prior to his arrival in “The Lord of War & Thunder”, Arlo was a shadow hanging over Raylan’s head long before he showed his face – and once he did we weren’t disappointed. Barry proved a formidable sparring partner for his son Raylan(Timothy Olyphant) and his thick as molasses drawl made me love him even when he was about to betray his son to the Miami Cartel. Best cast parent of the year.

3. James Frain as Franklin Mott on True Blood

James Frain has never been better than here as Franklin, the psychopath private detective OBSESSED with Tara. Set on Sookie’s path by Russell (Denis O’Hare) he became infatuated with Rutina Wesley’s foulmouthed bartender – and once he did, he tied her up and MADE her love him – literally DEATH did them part, and the whole time Frain had us riveted the whole time.

2. Gretchen Mol as Gillian Darmody on Boardwalk Empire

A decade ago Mol was touted as the new It girl but for some reason or another she never quite took off. With Gillian, Mol is able to flex her wings playing the dedicated friend, the protective mother and grandmother (at 38!), the showgirl, and the gun moll (pun INtended!) and she does it all with a delicate softness that hides a fierce Momma Grizzly. Mol makes sure Gillian is a rich character, an unapologetic harlot, and a strong woman.

1. Scott Porter as Blake Calamar on The Good Wife

On a show as original as The Good Wife, it makes sense the a character as complex as Kalinda Sharma would need a formidable rival to spar with, and coming off a year of giving her Emmy material, they didn’t disappoint in Blake Calamar, an investigator brought into the firm with new partner Derrick Bond (Michael Ealy, who also deserves notice for his great job) has attempted to mess with Kalinda since day one causing mayhem in a sadistic game of one-upmanship (which Blake started, he called her Leela first – check the interview clip below) Porter has established Blake as a force to be reckoned with; he’s good looking, charming, smart, creative and violent – I’d pray for him to get a contract and stick around, but I get the feeling that Chicago isn’t big for both him and Kalinda.

And before we get to the worst, I wanna give serious honorable mentions to David Costabile as Walter’s cooking assistant Gale Boetticher on Breaking Bad, Jan Hooks as Verna on 30 Rock, Martha Plimptoni n Fringe and as Edie in How To Make It In America, Timothy Olyphant for The Office and Katie Cassidy as Juliet Sharpe on Gossip Girl.

The 5 Worst Guest Stars of 2010

The 5 people below had no business going anywhere near these roles, which in most cases were probably terrible to begin worth. A worst guest stars embrace the unholy trinity of bad casting, obnoxious character and parasitic quality (how much they invade on our favorite series like a parasite), and the 5 guest stars below still have me wishing they’d just not bothered.

5. Britney Spears as various drug induced hallucinations of herself Glee “Britney/Brittany I was so disappointed in how Ryan Murphy and Co. wasted Ms. Spears’ guest spot. Save for one hilarious fantasy where she was a student, the guest with the most promise, potential for biting commentary or wacky comedy fell entirely flat.

4. Michael Benjamin Washington as Donald Jordan in 30 Rock “Chain of Mental Anguish” 30 Rock may be one of the most consistent comedies on TV but this everything is wrong with this character, including Washington’s pouty, whiny performance of Tracy’s fake son who’s two years older than him.

3. Leven Rambin as Sloane Riley on Grey’s Anatomy Talk about terrible children – If Rambin accomplished anything in her arc as Mark Sloan’s daughter, she really made us feel for the poor guy – all he wants is a family and he’s stuck with a selfish, childish parasite who teases him with the prospect of family, like it’s leverage to get stuff from her father. Part of me would like to hope it was just bad writing, but I watched Scoundrels this summer on ABC and Rambin was dreadful there as a selfish teen too. Its just terrible casting; she kicked ass on Terminator: The Sarah Conner Chronicles as a time-traveling freedom fighter.

2. Betty White as June Bauer on Community “Anthropology 101” I’m all for the Betty White craze;  I was there when David E. Kelley figured it out with Practice and Boston Legal character, murderer Catherine Piper, but this is too unfunny, too late. As a wacky urine drinking anthropology professor, White wields a crossbow and contributes to her own overexposure.

1. Hiroyuki Sanada and John Hawkes as Dogen and Lennon on Lost No single aspect of Lost’s final season frustrated me more than these two characters. In the last season, what could have been an opportunity to give us some final time to explore The Others at their true base was wasted on a cryptic Japanese mystic and his mouth piece. I would gladly give them the top two spots, but that would dignify their performances as separate – which they are most certainly not. Sanada’s Dogen was nothing more than a cartoon, stroking his beard and making big eyes and Hawkes – who nailed it in my fave Deadwood and a guest spot in the Eastbound and Down finale – dressed in a five dollar hippie costume and acted as Sanada’s translator because Dogen doesn’t like the way english tastes on his tongue (SO STUPID). As bad as Nikki and Paolo in my opinion.

Well that it for guest star list in 2010, anyone that stick out in your memory that evaded mine?

If you’re feeling in the mood for more best of 2010 coverage check out:

J’s Top 7 Villains of 2010

J’s Top 25 Television Episodes of 2010 (Part 1 #25 – #11)


J’s Top 7 TV Villains of 2010

The 2010 TV landscape was rich with villainy. Evil gave good a run for it’s money and we reaped all the benefits. Our favorite heroes had a lot to contend with, and it was such a rich year there’s a lot of nasty people who sadly didn’t make the list; people who force overdose debutantes, dopplegangers from parallel universes and people stuff women in barrels. The people on this list have inflicted the most emotional and physical damage and just f*cked up the worlds of our favourite characters. WARNING this list contains 7 or 8 murderers… OH! and SPOILERS for recent seasons.

7. Boyd Crowder

played by Walton Goggins on FX’s Justified

Despite joining Raylan to battle his Poppa (M.C. Gainey) and Miami drug cartel reps in the finale, Boyd Crowder is scary as hell, the scariest thing about him is that you have no idea what he’s going to do – the only thing that makes him scarier is how convincing his bullshit conversion from insane racist to man of God is. Whether he was blowing up a church or a meth shipment with his handy rocket launcher or robbing banks with his merry band of forest cons, he was always menacing and always scary. Goggins was upgraded to a regular for the second season – thing is, Justified ain’t no buddy cop show. I’m forsee Boyd climbing the list, Man of God or not, he just wont be able to help it.

 

 

 

6. Truxton Spangler

played by Michael Cristofer on AMC’s Rubicon

This is a man who manipulates the terrible disasters he’s tasked with preventing all in an effort to essentially make a shit load of money and umm.. control the world. Train collisions, terrorist bombings, Spangler was game for anything as long as the casualties are high. It wasn’t until Rubicon’s final few episodes that we knew exactly what kind of man Truxton Spangler was, when the series started he was the cereal slurping boss and over the course of 13 episodes he transformed into someone truly terrifying, a power crazy suit for whom human life lost all meaning.

5. Katherine Pierce

played by Nina Dobrev on CW’s The Vampire Diaries

I love The Vampire Diaries, I do not love Elena Gilbert. I find her whiny, mopey and hell bent or martyrdom. It’s says something truly special about actress Nina Dobrev if I feel the complete opposite while watching her as Katherine. Katherine Pierce is just as deadly with a word as she is with a fist, the way she destroyed Damon earlier this season was brutal, and looking like Elena makes it easy to toy with the uber-sensitive Salvatore brothers. Did I forget to mention she was behind the transformation of not one but two regular characters into monsters; she murdered Caroline with Vamp blood in her body turning her into a vampire and sent mind-controlled teens after Tyler to enable his werewolf curse. The thing that makes her the most dangerous is how in love with Stephan she still is.

4. Joe and Marilyn Tobin

played by Campbell Scott and Lily Tomlin on FX’s Damages

A mother and son team more sickening than Lucille and Buster at Motherboy. Damages season three was a pleasure to watch and evan  had the story been weak, watching Joe Tobin’s transformation from a man who is striving to do that right thing, even coming forward to help Patty in the beginning, to a man who would coerce his mentally unstable sister into murdering his old girlfriend, and commission the murder of his own half-sister to keep his family and their money safe. Except it wasn’t his half sister, he was tricked by his mother Marilyn into killing his daughter – he just thought it was his step sister. And let’s not forget he murdered Tom Shays! And Marilyn – well she tricked her son into murdering his daughter – that bitch will rot in hell.

3. Paul Young

played by Mark Moses on ABC’s Desperate Housewives

No motive is scarier than vengeance, it fuels hate and it can’t be bought all of which make Paul Young’s return to Wisteria Lane more menacing. Behind bars since being set up for the murder of Felicia Tilman, Young cultivated a strong hatred the supposed friends that let him rot, that stood as far from his side as possible when he was being persecuted, the families of Wisteria Lane. In the last few episodes Paul’s plan was revealed, to turn a home into a halfway house and fill the lane with criminals. People may think Paul is awfully high considering all the murder above him (he hasnt killed somone since the first season which is 12 years ago in DH years) but what scares me is how realistic it is, his plan could work. He’s already succeeded in getting the neighbor to turn on each other, started a riot – AND his wife, Beth – Mrs. Tilman’s daughter (Emily Bergl) sent by her to bring him down – was once deceitful spy is now right in the palm of his hand, the perfect wife. The absolute scariest thing about this sociopath is how much sheer glee he gets from his evil doings. The winter cliff hanger has Paul lying on the lane in a pool of his blood after someone tried to kill him, leaving the question: Who Shot Paul Young?

2. ATF Agent June Stahl

played by Ally Walker on FX’s Sons of Anarchy

A survivalist to her core, and a thorn in the side of SAMCRO since the 6th episode of the first season. For three years she tortured our boys in leather and in the past set in motion events that directly lead to the deaths of Donna Winston and Half Sack, and in season 2’s unfulfilling finale, she killed Edmond, framed Gemma for his death and indirectly got Jax’s son kidnapped. But season three brought her villainy to all new levels. She started the season by making a deal with Jax, turning him into a rat in exchange for charges dropped on the club and Gemma, and in the course of keeping her deal with Jax, she framed and murdered her colleague/lover; Agent Tyler. And after the deal was done she could have walked away, but NO! She had to tell the Club that Jax had turned rat knowing very well the punishment for that is death. In the end Stahl got what she spent the last three seasons earning; she had her head blown to shit by Opie and a machine gun “this is what she felt”. Stahl’s death was a long time coming, she NEEDED to die,  but mark my words: Charming will never find as formidable a foe as Agent June Stahl, RIP.

1. Titus Welliver’s Trio of Villainy: The Man in Black, Jimmy O and Glenn Childs

played by Titus Welliver on ABC’s Lost (shared role with Terry O’Quinn), FX’s Sons of Anarchy and CBS’ The Good Wife

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I know this may be unfair but the facts remain; Titus Welliver gave a trio of great and lasting antagonistic performances. All three villains attacked in very different ways; The Man in Black was the pure incarnate of evil, but even prior to him being a mystical smoke monster, we saw a Welliver as a petty man driven by jealousy to matricide. And when the role was handed over to Terry O’Quinn, it took new flight – O’Quinn’s MIB was disarming and bone chillingly lethal, O’Quinn was amazing, but it always felt to me like he was Welliver in an O’Quinn mask, which is a compliment to both. Jimmy O was not the thorn in SAMCRO’s side that Stahl was, don’t let that distract you, Jimmy O is one ruthless sonofabitch. It takes a really sick individual to murder Abel’s adoptive parents and kidnap him to use him as leverage, which is almost as awful as ordering the assassination on his wife and step daughter – both of which Jimmy O is guilty of this season. The SOA finale provided a heaping of catharsis in Stahl’s death, but also in watching Chibs – Jimmy O’s Arch Nemesis – gave Jimmy the same Glasgow Smile Jimmy once gave him, before promptly stabbing him to death. In the MIB, Welliver got to be a mystical evil force, in SOA he was a thug and a gangster and in Glenn Childs, Welliver gets to play devil in a suit. Glenn Childs is the man responsible for bringing down Peter Florrick (Chris Noth) and taking his job, and in 2010; like a chess master he masterfully moved played people like to his gain. He hired Carey Agos (Matt Czuchry) fresh off his firing in favour of Alicia (Julianna Margulis), just to screw with Alicia and Lockhart/Gardner, and on top of that he’s the Cook County State Attorney! Talk about untouchable, he has infinite lackeys to take the fall should his name get dragged in the dirt. Currently he’s in a three way battle for his own job against Peter Florrick and Wendy Scott Carr (Anika Noni Rose) and having seen what he’s already capable of I’m sure his hands are going to get much, much dirtier.

So that’s it. That top villains of the year, they sure made/continue to make things interesting. I hope Gus Frings makes next years list, he was so great this season but not a villain quite yet. I also hope Boyd Crowder climbs the list, Goggins is a great talent and I can’t wait to see where it goes. I know having the Welliver trio is sort of a cop out – but the fact remains his 2010 efforts needed to be honoured. Any snubs you find too evil to be missed? Who were your top baddies of 2010?