Bullz-Eye's TV Power Rankings, Summer 2005 Edition, best TV shows

Bullz-Eye's TV Power Rankings: Summer 2005 Edition

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Here at Bullz-Eye, we loves us some good television. It doesn’t matter if it’s animated pieces of talking poo, a saloon owner inventing new uses for the word “cocksucker,” or a group of plane crash survivors who may or may not in fact already be dead. So long as it’s good, we’re watching.

So it occurred to us: What are our favorite shows currently on television? We asked everyone on the staff to submit a list of their 10 favorite shows, plus one honorable mention. We then ranked them based on their position (10 points for a #1 vote, nine points for a #2, etc.) and tallied them up. The list did not at all turn out like we expected, which in retrospect turned out to be a very good thing.

And so, without further ado, we submit to you the Summer 2005 Edition of our TV Power Rankings. Check back in a few months for an updated list. Until then, we eagerly await the hate mail that’s bound to come from the David Caruso fan club and Matt LeBlanc’s agent. In fact, we’re looking forward to it, so if you've got any questions, suggestions or gripes, drop us a line.

1. "24" Fox Official Site

Keifer Sutherland’s Jack Bauer has committed more grotesque and morally bankrupt acts in the name of freedom than citizens lacking proper clearance should be allowed to know. And we love him for it. He shot and decapitated a federal witness in order to curry favor with a local spook for hire. He got himself hooked on smack in order to infiltrate a billion-dollar drug cartel. He shot his boss execution style under orders from a terrorist cell. But the most staggering moment of all came at the end of the otherwise unremarkable season three, when he chopped off the hand of his partner Chase (James Badge Dale) to prevent the outbreak of a deadly virus that would have decimated Los Angeles. Forget James Brown: Jack Bauer is the hardest working man in show business.

The most impressive part of “24” is what they’ve done with a very limiting format. Real time television is a great hook, but it’s also a cruel mistress. The show’s producers have finally learned how to deal with it in a, well, realistic way. But the real question is: how much more of this nonsense can Jack Bauer take before he freaks out from sleep deprivation, goes rogue and kills everyone in CTU? Now that would make for an interesting 24 hours. ~David Medsker

DON'T MISS: Season one DVD review l Season two l Season three l 24 Blog

2. "The Sopranos" HBO Official Site

"Tell me, how do you feel about Fredo betraying you?” ”Sopranos” creator David Chase ("Northern Exposure," "The Rockford Files") wondered what would happen if Michael Corleone had gone to therapy after killing his brother. HBO gave Chase a series, and the rest is history. First airing in 1999, "The Sopranos" spearheaded the pay channel’s insurgency into edgy, uncensored television. The show is violent, sexist, racist and, therefore, extremely funny. The series revolves around Tony Soprano (James Gandolfini), a made man in the New Jersey mob, and the problems he faces with his families, both business and personal. And man, does he have problems. He still has issues with his deceased mother, he’s been kicked out of his house and is going through a divorce, he’s got a lazy son and a daughter who hates him - and that’s just his biological family. Entering its sixth and final season (airing sometime in 2006), "The Sopranos" is a well-written, groundbreaking series that will go down as one of the best shows of all time. ~John Paulsen

DON'T MISS: Season one DVD review l Season two l Season three l Season four

3. "Scrubs" NBC Official Site

What ever happened to the sitcom? Laugh tracks and scripted jokes have simply lost their effectiveness since the heyday of shows like “Cheers” and “Seinfeld.” And why am I having a discussion in my head? The use of narration in any form of media is usually an indication of weak writing, but the inner-dialogue of “Scrubs” protagonist J.D. (Zach Braff) is indeed the series’ biggest strength. As a recent med school graduate who now works at Sacred Heart hospital with his best friend Turk (the underrated Donald Faison), J.D. is one of the funniest sitcom characters in a long, long time.

Whether it’s naively having sex with his Resident Director’s ex-wife in one of the patient rooms, sharing his off-the-wall humor with hospital co-workers and patients (J.D. lecturing Elliot about things that are funny is the season one highlight), or irking the jokester Janitor (Neil Flynn), J.D. never seems to go through an entire day without causing some sort of trouble. In fact, it’s his very mention to the Janitor that a penny might be causing the door to jam that begins his long, hard road at Sacred Heart.

And let us not forget the show’s incredible supporting cast, including the cynical Chief of Medicine (Ken Jenkins), the comic brilliance of the usually dead-serious John C. McGinley, or the unofficial star of the show, Rowdy the Dog. Did we mention that Rowdy is dead, and stuffed, and the focus of nearly every joke inside J.D. and Turk’s apartment? “Scrubs” shares the same not-filmed-in-front-of-a-live-audience structure that most of the critically acclaimed comedies (like “Arrested Development”) now exhibit. But it’s “Scrubs” that does it best, with its uncanny ability to have you rolling on the ground in laughter one minute and then heartbroken the next. ~Jason Zingale

DON'T MISS: Season one DVD review

4. "Entourage" HBO Official Site

So who’s the funniest man on television right now? Dave Chappelle? Quite possibly. Peter Griffin? He’s a cartoon, but we’ll accept that. Donald Trump? Unintentionally, perhaps. Matt LeBlanc? Shut your mouth.

We’ll cast a vote for Jeremy Piven, whose role as super agent Ari Gold is one of the unmistakable highlights of “Entourage,” the hit HBO comedy that follows actor Vincent Chase (Adrian Grenier) as he grows into one of Tinsel Town’s hottest young stars and, along the way, bags some of Tinsel Town’s hottest young tail. Ready to scoop up his leftovers are Vince’s step-brother, Johnny Drama (Kevin Dillon), and his two childhood buddies, Turtle (Jerry Ferrara) and Eric (Kevin Connolly). Drama and Turtle are there mainly for laughs - like accidentally “crossing swords” during a three-way at Sundance - but at the core of the story is the friendship between Vince and Eric, a friendship that’s tested when Vince agrees to hire E as his manager. Loosely based on the experiences of executive producer Mark Wahlberg during his Funky Bunch days, “Entourage” succeeds on the strength of its exceptional writing, not surprising considering “Seinfeld” vet Larry Charles penned several of the episodes.

As for Piven, his Primetime Emmy nod for Outstanding Supporting Actor is well deserved. He delivers most of the show’s classic one-liners (“Call me Helen Keller because I'm a fucking miracle worker!”) as Vince’s abrasive and arrogant agent and, aside from maybe John C. McGinley on “Scrubs,” Piven fills his role better than anyone else on TV today. ~Jamey Codding

DON'T MISS: Season one DVD review l Entourage Blog

5. "Arrested Development" Fox Official Site

The father George (Jeffrey Tambor) is an escaped convict who lives in the attic. The daughter Lindsay (Portia de Rossi) is in a sexless marriage with the gayest straight man alive. The eldest son Gob (pronounced ‘jobe,’ played by Will Arnett) is a scheming screw up. The youngest son Buster (Tony Hale), now well into his 30s, is still tied to the apron strings of his mother Lucille (the sublime Jessica Walter), a thoughtless lush who has scarred them all. It is up to the middle son Michael (a spot-on Jason Bateman) to keep them all from killing each other, and run the family business at the same time. Welcome to life with the Bluth family. And we haven’t even mentioned the nephew that is in love with his cousin.

The beauty of “Arrested Development” is in the details. When Gob’s cell phone rings, it plays “The Final Countdown.” Nearly everything gay/straight Tobias (David Cross) says is loaded with unintentional gay innuendo, and he refuses to be nude, ever. Where some shows survive on a grand story arc that guides the action, “Arrested Development” works in spite of one, which would make following the show downright impossible without narrator Ron Howard, who calmly and evenly guides us through each crazy episode. Thank heaven the show was recently re-upped for a third season. ~DM

DON'T MISS: Season one DVD review

6. "Deadwood" HBO Official Site

When a western has graphic sex and violence, nearly indecipherable dialogue, and seems to make a sport of how many times the word “cocksucker” can be uttered in one episode, you know you’re not watching one of your grandfather’s “horse operas.” No, no. You are watching “Deadwood,” HBO’s gritty look at a small frontier town, the scum and lawmen that live and die there, and the women who love them. Epitomizing the morally questionable characters in “Deadwood” is saloon/brothel owner Al Swearengen (Ian Mcshane), a character so unabashed that it is impossible not to love him. Whether Al’s swindling money out of his whores, meddling in local politics, ordering around his drunken lackeys or palsied maid, downing repeated shots of whisky, philosophizing during a blowjob, or simply killing someone, it’s difficult not to admire the guy. He’s a man’s man who, deep down, every guy wishes he could be, though at the same time we’re thankful that he’s not our neighbor. ~Andy Kurtz

7. "The Shield" FX Official Site

King Kong ain’t got shit on Vic Mackey! Which makes us wonder, what would a training day with this guy be like? After getting progressively more crooked throughout the first three seasons of the series, Vic (Michael Chiklis) finally eased up a bit in season four to earn respect with the new police captain (Glenn Close, who helped increase ratings before hitting the road). But old habits die hard, and there’s no denying that we’ll be seeing the return of the old Strike Team some time real soon. Chiklis’ gritty L.A. detective has certainly raised the bar for television cops throughout all of network and cable television. From ripping off the Armenian mob, to leaving grill marks on a Mexican drug lord’s face, there’s no guessing what Vic will do next. He could drown you in a vat of oil, choke you with a bottle of mustard, or hell, just look at you and smile a devious smile.

Whatever it may be, there’s no denying that “The Shield” is still one of the most groundbreaking shows on the air, and its success has helped pave the way for more quality original series from the small basic cable channel, FX. The writing team has continued to deliver clever plot lines and rich character development throughout all four seasons, but more recently, they’ve upped the ante to Hollywood proportions with meaner brawls and bigger explosions. Still, it’s ultimately Chiklis’ gritty performance as Mackey that steals the show, and his supporting cast of seasoned actors like CCH Pounder and Walton Goggins add extra strength to the program’s Golden Globe-winning efforts. ~JZ

DON'T MISS: Season one DVD review l Season two l Season three l The Shield Blog

8. "Six Feet Under" HBO Official Site

Created by Alan Ball ("American Beauty"), "Six Feet Under" is a dark dramedy about the Fishers, a family who puts the “d” in dysfunctional. The series opened with the death of the family's patriarch and the challenges his two sons, the reluctant Nate (Peter Krause) and the eager David (Michael C. Hall), faced as they took over the family’s funeral home. The widow (Frances Conroy) and her daughter Claire (Lauren Ambrose) round out the Fishers, who are constantly at odds. To make matters worse, Nate chooses to pursue Brenda (Rachel Griffiths), a genius/nymphomaniac whose equally intelligent and messed up brother (Jeremy Sisto) is in love with her. David - already ashamed of being gay - has probably the worst luck in the world, whether it’s getting caught with a male prostitute in Las Vegas or picking up the wrong hitchhiker in L.A. The show is currently in the midst of its fifth and final season and it has never failed to entertain. Plots and subplots often take random and darkly funny turns, so viewers never quite know what to expect when tuning in. ~JP

9. "South Park" Comedy Central Official Site

A list of the all-time great television characters would likely include icons like Ralph Kramden, Archie Bunker, Sam Malone and Homer Simpson. Some would also argue that a certain big-boned third-grader from a small town in Colorado deserves at least an honorable mention on that list. On our list, however, Cartman and his three pals, Stan, Kyle and Kenny, are top-10 material.

It’s not easy to do what Trey Parker and Matt Stone have done. When “South Park” premiered on Comedy Central in 1997, it instantly became one of the funniest shows on TV, and eight years later, it’s still one of the funniest shows on TV. No shark jumping for these guys. And to think it all started with some construction paper, a lot of free time and, one has to assume, even more drugs. Stan, Kyle, Kenny and Cartman obviously stand as the show’s headliners, but “South Park” would’ve burned out years ago if it weren’t for the presence of secondary characters like Chef, Mr. Mackey, Mr. Garrison, Jimmy, Timmy and, the cream of the supporting crop, Butters. And let’s not forget the pot-smoking towel and the talking piece of Christmas Poo.

Still, nobody compares to the racist, sexist and diabolically conniving Cartman. When Parker and Stone first created “South Park,” it was Cartman and not Kenny who was slated to die at the end of every episode. Thankfully, they changed their minds. ~JC

DON'T MISS: Season one DVD review l Season two l Season five

10. "Lost" ABC Official Site

It is somewhat of a miracle that “Lost” has survived at all. The ABC hour-long drama about the pretty survivors of an airline crash on a deserted Pacific island has plenty of problems: excessive amounts of commercial interruption, an airing schedule that sometimes saw gaps of three weeks between episodes, a slow-developing story arc, and an unforgiving fan-base of rabid geeks willing to dissect every scene, to name a few. These are the kind of problems that usually spell disaster for a fledgling series. The show has lasted, however, because of its cool-ass characters. John Locke (Terry O’Quinn), a paraplegic that regained the use of his legs after the crash, has turned into a master huntsman with all sorts of secrets. Sayid (Naveen Andrews) is a former Iraqi Republican Guard turned good guy. Sawyer (Josh Holloway) is a Han Solo-esque dude who, on the surface, is a jackass, but at his core is a decent guy. And let’s not forget Hurley (Jorge Garcia), the lottery-winning millionaire fatso who mysteriously jinxes everyone with bad luck. These characters are just a taste of what “Lost” has to offer. The first season ended on some of the show’s hokier elements (pirate kidnapping? come on), but “Lost” seems primed for more good seasons to come. A faster paced plot and a steadier airing schedule wouldn’t hurt, though. ~AK

DON'T MISS: Lost Blog

11. "House" Fox Official Site

He won’t wear a lab coat. He watches “General Hospital” when he’s supposed to be working. He pops painkillers as if they’re going out of style. Dr. Gregory House is nothing like the cuddly Doug Ross or John Carter from that other, higher-rated medical drama. House can’t even stand to be in the same room with his patients - unless they’re babies, and therefore can’t say anything stupid.

The smartest guy in the room is rarely, if ever, the most likable guy in the room - and House is no exception. He’s brilliant, principled, prickly, stubborn - and wounded both inside and out. By refusing to curry anyone’s favor, House paradoxically becomes the most lovable unlikable character on television. ~Buffybot

12. "Family Guy" Fox Official Site

Who ever thought that a dim-witted dad, a world domination-plotting child and an alcoholic talking dog would be the ingredients to a hit comedy, but Seth McFarlane’s highly praised “Family Guy” is just that. One-upping “The Simpsons” in just about every way imaginable, “Family Guy” is an animated cocktail of clever humor and memorable characters, never hesitating to push the limits of television censorship with hilarious cutaways that have more recently included God picking up girls at a bar with parlor tricks and the second part of the Giant Chicken vs. Peter Griffin fistfight. Even better is the comical one-two punch of Stewie and Brian, but Stewie definitely steals the show with his Christopher Walken-like rants. ~JZ

DON'T MISS: Volume one DVD Review l Volume two l Freakin' Sweet Collection

13. "Chappelle's Show" Comedy Central Official Site

Man, do you miss this guy or what? The initial rumors were pretty ugly, with some saying the third season of Comedy Central’s mega-hit “Chappelle’s Show” was on hold because long-time standup and short-time multi-millionaire Dave Chappelle checked himself into a mental institution in Africa and was battling a vicious drug problem. Yikes. Turns out Chappelle’s head was fine, but his heart wasn’t. Unhappy with the course his life had taken after inking a $50 million deal with Comedy Central last year, Chappelle bolted for South Africa in the middle of shooting the third season to “check his intentions” while visiting a family friend. He says the first two seasons of “Chappelle’s Show” had spirit, and he wants to make sure the third does as well. You’ve got to admire him for that, even if it means we’re missing out on Tyrone Biggums, Tron, Lil' Jon and Rick James. Come back soon, bitch. ~JC

DON'T MISS: Season one DVD review l Season two

14. "Curb Your Enthusiasm" HBO Official Site

During the past decade, the network sitcom has been dying a slow (“Friends”) and painful (“Joey”) death. Canned laughter sounds outdated, so jaded comedy writers worry more about what will get a laugh out of a studio audience and less about creating interesting characters or a compelling storyline. Enter Larry David (co-creator of “Seinfeld”), who has quietly been putting out one of the funniest shows on TV, HBO's "Curb Your Enthusiasm." “CYE” works a different angle than most sitcoms. There is no studio audience and no laugh track - just a few cameras, an outline of a script and a crapload of awkward situations. The show focuses on the grumpy David, playing himself, and the mundanely funny predicaments he gets himself into with uncanny regularity. After a few epVlove it or you’ll hate it, and water-cooler phrases like “pants tent” and “Krazee-Eyez Killah” will permeate your brain like a bad tumor. ~JP

15. "The Simpsons" Fox Official Site

Moe: “Uh, Amanda Hugginkiss? I’m looking for Amanda Hugginkiss? Why can’t I find Amanda Hugginkiss?”
Barney: “Maybe your standards are too high!”

And now, thanks to “The Simpsons,” so are ours. Of all of the hundreds of contributions “The Simpsons” has made to the world had to be boiled down to one thing, it’s that they made everyone else in TV Land try harder. In a dumbed down world, “The Simpsons” raised the bar impossibly high for what audiences should expect from a sitcom, animated or not. They’ve also brilliantly expanded the show’s scope (Disco Stu, Professor Frink, Ralph Wiggum, Snake, the list literally goes on and on) without losing sight of its core characters. But the reason that the show has continued going strong all these years (okay, some years were definitely better than others) is because it has more heart than anything else on television that doesn’t have the word “Hallmark” in its title (see “Lisa on Ice,” and bring Kleenex). Also, there isn’t a single character in television history as awesome as Ned Flanders. ~DM

DON'T MISS: Season three DVD review l Season four

16. "Da Ali G Show" HBO Official Site

For side splitting, tear-rolling, oxygen-depleting laughs, it is harder to find a show that delivers more than “Da Ali G Show.” Starring British comedic genius Sacha Baron Cohen, this half-hour show on HBO features Cohen’s three hilarious alter egos: urban gangster wannabe Ali G, Kazakhstani television personality Borat, and gay German fashion reporter Brüno. It may sound odd, but after watching Ali G make a mockery of clueless high-ranking government officials, or Borat acclimate himself to culture-shocked Americans with pseudo-Kazakhstani customs, there is no doubt just how funny this show is. It’s not clear when the third season of “Da Ali G Show” will begin, but in the meantime there is a piss-yourself-hilarious interview Ali G conducts with David and Victoria Beckham currently making its way across the Internet, and also look for a feature film starring Borat later this year. ~AK

17. "Rescue Me" FX Official Site

Tommy Gavin (Denis Leary) might be the biggest dick on cable television, but it’s still hard not to like the guy. His struggles with alcohol, in particular, have gotten so bad, Jesus has literally moved in with him at his new place. Ouch. It’s tempting in these post-9/11 days for a firefighter drama to make them all out to be saints, but “Rescue Me” wisely avoids that, with political slams, racist slams, sexist slams, and just about any other slam you can think of. One of the more gratifying subplots of the series is the ongoing feud that the firefighters have with the police, in both the literal and figurative sense; Tommy has rumbled with at least three cops in just over a season. “Rescue Me,” indeed. ~JZ

DON'T MISS: Season one DVD review l Rescue Me Blog

18. "The Daily Show" Comedy Central Official Site

Starting in 1996 with host Craig Kilborn, "The Daily Show" took the idea pioneered by the hilarious fake-newspaper "The Onion," added some truth, and put it on TV. After Kilborn and his ego left to do late night, Jon Stewart took over as host and during its Indecision 2004 coverage, the show really hit its stride. Injecting humor into an oftentimes mundane and depressing news cycle, the writers love to point out the hypocrisy (and sometimes the out-and-out deception) of today's governmental leaders. The show leans left, but the writers are as critical of the Democrats as they are of the Republicans. There are several talented correspondents (currently Stephen Colbert, Rob Corddry, Ed Helms, Samantha Bee and Bob Wiltfong) who follow up on weird news stories around the country and conduct mock interviews of unsuspecting citizens with hilarious results. ~JP

19. "Desperate Housewives" ABC Official Site

Most men will tell you that they watch “Desperate Housewives” for two reasons: because either their girlfriends or wives make them, or for the abundance of cheesecake. And while both of those statements may be based in fact, they would be lying on both counts. Guys watch “Desperate Housewives” because it’s damn good television, with each character going through a phase in their lives that both women and men can relate to. Sure, it may have leaned too much on the bumbling ways of Susan Mayer (Teri Hatcher) at times, but they also had Bree Van De Kamp (Marcia Cross), the sexiest, sassiest gun-toting Republican on television. It’s a pity we had to lose Bree’s husband Rex (the excellent Steven Culp) in the season finale. S&M fetish aside, Rex was the most realistic male character on the show. ~DM

DON'T MISS: Eva Longoria profile l Desperate Housewives Blog

20. "Reno 911" Comedy Central Official Site

So simple, and yet so damn funny. Watch an episode or two of “Reno 911” and you’re bound to wonder, “Hasn’t someone done this before?” It just seems too obvious - a parody of “COPS” that blends some of the most depraved, degenerate and ignorant criminals you’ve ever seen with some of the most depraved, degenerate and ignorant cops you’ve ever seen. This summer’s third season started out a bit slow, but once the first two episodes wrapped up last season’s cliffhanger finale, Reno’s finest sprung back into action. ~JC

DON'T MISS: Season one DVD review l Season two

21. "Alias" ABC Official Site

It pains us to admit that “Alias” would have easily made our top-10 a couple years ago. Alas, life has not been good to Sydney Bristow & co. lately, with Sydney (Jennifer Garner) losing three years of her life at the end of season two, but gaining a Latino sister Nadia (Mia Maestro). She loses love of her life Vaughn (Michael Vartan) to soulless double agent Lauren (Melissa George), only to get him back and lose him again (we are led to believe) in a vicious car accident at last season’s end. Her father (Victor Garber) nearly died of radiation poisoning to protect her, and her mother (Lena Olin) just came back after being presumably dead, for a second time. What was once a clever spy thriller has become a taxing spy soap opera. Still, there is hope for the show yet, and if anyone can bring the show back to life, it’s creator J.J. Abrams, who was presumably too wrapped up in getting “Lost” off the ground to notice what had happened to his other baby. But he will have his work cut out for him. We only hope he doesn’t cave in to Garner’s surprising diva turn of late and axe Vartan, for that would be removing the show’s soul. ~DM

DON'T MISS: Season one DVD review l Alias Blog

22. "Nip/Tuck" FX Official Site

FX, the cable spin-off of the Fox network, has built a name for itself with a number of edgy television programs of late, but none continues to titillate or mutilate more than “Nip/Tuck.” Created by Ryan Murphy, the man who brought us the critically adored but publicly ignored show “Popular,” “Nip/Tuck” follows the lives and medical practice of two very different Miami-based plastic surgeons, Sean McNamara and Christian Troy (Dylan Walsh and Julian McMahon). Although its plotlines are far-fetched, and its graphic depictions of plastic surgery are stomach turning, “Nip/Tuck,” thanks to its emotionally complex characters played by its enormously talented cast, remains an intriguing guilty pleasure filled with violence, sex, depravity and narcissism. What else could one ask for? ~AK

23. "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" CBS Official Site

Even after five seasons, the original CSI based in Las Vegas is still one of the best shows on television. This gritty drama, created by Anthony E. Zuiker, has all but saved CBS from bankruptcy, and has consistently remained smart and engrossing. The cast, led by the talented William L. Petersen, has stayed relatively intact and has some of the best chemistry in the business. Thankfully, CSI has kept its brilliant mix of humor, mystery and thoughtfulness in the face of its inferior spin-offs based in Miami and New York. David Caruso’s ridiculously bombastic Horatio Caine, and the criminally underused Gary Sinise’s Mac Taylor have yet to match the grace or presence of Petersen’s Gil Grissom. ~AK

24. "Smallville" WB Official Site

How did Superman learn to use his powers? How did he and Lex Luthor become arch-enemies? Could a standard condom contain his super-sperm? The WB show "Smallville" intends to answer (some of) these questions as it heads into its fifth season. The story revolves around a teenage Clark Kent (Tom Welling) as he comes of age in his hometown of Smallville, Kansas, having to deal with enemies of all shapes and sizes, including a young but dome-headed Lex Luthor (Michael Rosenbaum). He also learns about love, friendship and heavy petting with the likes of Lana Lang (played by the scrumptious Kristin Kreuk), Chloe Sullivan (Allison Mack) and even Lois Lane (Erica Durance). This series didn't hit its stride until Season 2, so patience will be rewarded if you are catching up on the show via DVD. ~JP

25. "The Apprentice" NBC Official Site

Book smarts. Street smarts. Gay cucumber porn. “The Apprentice” had it all. The drama quotient shot through the roof this spring, with Bigmouth Brian and Snotty Kristen nearly coming to blows in front of their renovated motel, and high-strung Verna quitting, then un-quitting (to rejoin her teammates for the most forced hugs ever captured on film), then quitting again. You had Danny wearing leisure suits and deely bobbers, and Tana leading the Great Staten Island Bedazzler Quest. Best of all, though, you had Chris, World’s Angriest Self-Made Millionaire, wearing a clown suit, chewing tobacco, and scaring children and parents alike.

Martha Stewart’s got her work cut out for her. ~Buffybot

DON'T MISS: The Apprentice Blog

Honorable Mention

The Amazing Race” (CBS)
Why do we love this show? It’s not the cinematography, and it’s not the tension of the race -- though both are compelling. It’s the people, good and bad, we meet along the way. This season we met Joyce, who agreed to shave her head to gain a strategic advantage -- but couldn’t do it without crying. We met a blue-haired bully who called himself a superhero, and we wanted to beat him with a stick. We met the self-absorbed, the un-self-conscious, and a pair of true Survivors. And we met 66-year-old Gretchen, who fell down a cave, gashed her head open and kept going, finishing among the final four teams. Amazing. ~Buffybot

Attack of the Show” (G4)
There’s a pretty good chance you’ve never heard of “Attack of the Show,” since you can only catch the daily tech talk show on the cable channel G4. It may appear a bit sophomoric at first glance, but if you’re looking for up-to-date news and rumors on the tech world, or just some fun bits like “It Came From eBay” -- a weekly search for the funniest and most outrageous auctions online -- then this might be just the reason you need to upgrade your cable today. If all else fails, at least you’ll have the drop-dead gorgeous co-host, Sarah Lane, to stare at for an hour. ~JZ

Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” (ABC)
The nomination of “EM: Home Edition” was met with plenty of harassment in the Bullz-Eye office, with many saying they couldn’t stand “that shrieking dipshit with the megaphone,” Ty Pennington. True, that dude can be annoying as hell, but the show itself is uplifting and heartwarming. Contrary to popular belief, that’s not a bad thing. ~JC

Gilmore Girls” (WB)
Decidedly, “Gilmore Girls” is a chick show, but it is an extremely well made chick show. Centered on Lorelai and Rory, a single mom and her daughter (Lauren Graham and Alexis Bledel) living in a small town in Connecticut, “Gilmore Girls” is filled with hilariously eccentric characters supported by some of the best, and most dizzying, writing on television. Last season had daughter Rory getting arrested and then dropping out of Yale. Oh, the scandal! ~AK

Real Time with Bill Maher” (HBO)
Maher's “New Rules” segment at the end of each show provide some of the funniest bits on television. Here’s one example: "New Rule: Just because your tattoo has Chinese characters in it doesn't make you spiritual. It's right above the crack of your ass. And it translates to 'beef with broccoli.' The last time you did anything spiritual, you were praying to God you weren't pregnant. You're not spiritual. You're just high." ~GCO

The West Wing" (NBC)
Want to pretend we have a different President? Check out "The West Wing," which is entering its seventh season this fall on NBC. Created by Aaron Sorkin ("The American President," "Sports Night"), this series provides a dramatic yet funny glimpse into the executive branch by following President Bartlett (Martin Sheen) and several members of his staff as they govern a better version of the United States. The show's writing and acting is consistently among the best on TV. Last season was especially compelling as Bartlett's second term is coming to a close and the nation must choose a new leader. ~JP

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