Be a critic for a day: Name your best and worst of 2008
But I prefer to think of this next request as a fun way to do what I love most: Talk about TV.
Every year, I pore over old blog posts and resurrect old TV schedules to figure out my highlights and lowlights for the year. Some choices are obvious -- I'm expecting Tina Fey and Mad Men to make every reputable list this year -- others require a little more, um, initiative.
So I want to open the process up. I want to ask you, blog reader, what you're checking off in the cool and not-so-cool columns as 2008 closes. What worked and what didn't? Who rose and fell? How did we wind up with a TV season that gave us Fey as Sarah Palin and Mad Men right next to a Knight Rider remake and Criss Angel "surviving" an imploding hotel in prime time?
Here's my list of some interesting TV stuff to consider:
Mad Men -- '60s ad man Don Draper is the ultimate distant dad -- talented, desirable, remote and full of secrets. Placed in a pathologically detailed re-creation of a Manhattan advertising firm, he's the James Bond of Madison Avenue.
Tina Fey -- Possibly swings an election with a dead-on Sarah Palin impression, then runs the Emmy table to win more awards than any other for 30 Rock. Can she get on that whole economic crisis thing next?
The Wire -- HBO's masterful Baltimore crime drama presciently foretold the crumbling of the newspaper industry in its fifth and final season.
Hulu.com -- A few more sites like this one -- which offers a host of NBC, Fox and other TV shows stramed on demand -- and I won't even need a TV.
Lost -- The only series to get better because of the writers strike, finding new, compelling rabbit holes for its endlessly puzzling story of castaways stuck on an island with a will of its own.
Recount -- Laura Dern channels the spririt of Katherine Harris (that's her, as Harris, at left) in HBO's cheeky, involved recounting of how Florida screwed up a presidential election.