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Arbitrary Compilation of TV Series That Aired in 2011

With our new kind of end of year list, the Arbitrary Compilation of Films That Came Out in 2011, making such a splash, we decided it was only fair to do a follow up for all the TV lovers out there. Following in the same vein as the first list, this list takes some of the best and worst shows of the year and puts them into categories that I made up just now. Some shows might be the worst, some might be the best, but the one thing they will from this point on have in common is that they are all included in this list. So get ready, because we’re at it again, it’s the “Arbitrary Compilation of TV Series That Aired in 2011.”

Best Comedy That Might Not Be a Comedy and May Actually Be Louis C.K.’s Own Social Experiment
on FX is often a great comedy, but more often than that it seems like it’s trying to smash genres and make some sort of point to viewers. Almost everyone loves Louis C.K., and those same people can’t praise Louie enough as the future of TV comedy. While its still a great show, each episode tends to bring up plot points that go nowhere, and entire episodes are even structured around a single joke at the end. Is C.K. a genius or is he just screwing with all of us?

Most Awaited Show Return
Although 2011 saw lots of shows take extended breaks since their last season, Curb Your Enthusiasm took well over a year between season 7 and 8. The wait turned out to be well worth it, with Larry going full out this year and no one holding him back. We got new terms like “pig parker,” “pre-gay,” and “chat-‘n-cut” this season to use in our daily lives, and amazing guest stars with the likes of Ricky Gervais and Michael J. Fox. All said, this season was pret-ay, pret-ay, pret-ay, pretty good.

Most Awful Show You Can’t Look Away From
True Blood
is very hard to watch if you aren’t a lonely middle-aged woman. Yet, people who aren’t that watch it all the time. Season 4 had vampires, werewolves, werewolves who were panthers, witches, faeries, witches who were male and Spanish, and some other ridiculous things that have no business being in a TV show. However, somehow this season turned in record ratings and most people couldn’t look away from the train wreck.

Best Pseudo-Series Finale
Did the incredibly successful and critically acclaimed show The Office end this year when Steve Carell’s Michael Scott left the show? Nope. It just kept on going, despite one of the show’s best episodes in years with “Goodbye, Michael.” While the show is certainly lacking lately, it’s no fault of the still great cast that we’ve come to love over the last 8 seasons. I suppose any Office is better than no Office at all, especially if no Office means Whitney taking over the world. Which brings us to…

Worst TV Show Ever To Exist…Ever
Can we somehow start a campaign to get Whitney off the air? This terrible show is everything wrong with comedies, and yet it’s on NBC, supposedly the bright spot of network TV. It has a laugh track, horrible sexual innuendos, and is just the all around worst. “What’s so unbearable that I want to gauge my eyes out with a corroded battery from the TV remote any time I see it?” “Your mother?” (Insert Laugh Track Here) No, Whitney. It’s you. (Fade To Black. Applause.)

Best New Drama
Being Human
on SyFy was straight up the best new drama of 2011. Showing that vampires and werewolves can be cool, unlike True Blood who seemed to give up on that concept long ago, Being Human mixes heart with drama and adds some good comedy to the mix.

New Show That Is Alright But Kind-Of-Not-Really
Terra Nova
is FOX’s big budget attempt to bring dinosaurs and Avatar to TV and mix it with LOST. While it hasn’t had all the success of the latter two, the show is still decent enough on its own to be entertaining. It doesn’t have the same addictive draw as LOST, and is lacking most of the special effects that made Avatar special; so why do people keep coming back to Terra Nova? I don’t know, but as long as it’s on, I’ll still (reluctantly) watch.

Best Reality TV Show
I know that this category is almost impossible to choose, since there really has never once been a good reality TV show in the history of television. As Studio 60 On The Sunset Strip once said, reality programming is the same as “illiterate programming.” However, SyFy’s Face Off was the best new reality competition show this year, but only because of the competition part. Face Off had contestants competing to make the best zombie makeup, alien prosthetics, and other behind the scenes movie madness. The reality aspect was terrible of course, with the show trying to draw drama out of nothing, but the special effects and makeup done by the contestants was the real draw, and it was amazing.

Best Comedy
The best comedy this year, without a doubt, was Parks and Rec. With more laughs per episode than any previous season, or any other show on the air, Season 4 of Parks was just amazing. If you aren’t watching this show it’s safe to assume you are an incredibly sad excuse for a human being, and if you are watching, congratulations, you’re witnessing television history in the making.

Let’s All Boycott NBC
So NBC is the fourth place network despite having mostly (critically-speaking) first place shows. So NBC pulled Parks and Rec off the schedule last year until January. So NBC is still continuing with the awful, awful, awful Whitney. We can live with that, right? Oh. Wait. NBC pulled the incredibly amazing Community off the air for an undefined period of time, might cancel it, and put Whitney on Thursday nights where Community used to be? Well that’s just not OK.

Most Jaw-Dropping Moments In Any Season
Season 4 of Breaking Bad was literally bat-shit insane. There were several moments throughout the season that would have been impossible to keep your mouth shut during. Through every twist and turn we saw Walter White’s transformation from an ordinary guy to an evil super villain, and it was an awesome ride. With next year being the final season for the series, we’re sure in for a treat.

Just So Bad
Allen Gregory
might not be as bad as Whitney, but it comes very close. Jonah Hill created and voiced this animated series, which completed his transformation from funny fat guy to sellout skinny guy. This show had horrible animation, terrible voice acting, and an unfunny script. Luckily, it was cancelled after only a few episodes.

All-Around Best New Show
American Horror Story
wins the top prize this year for being the best new series in 2011. Scary, dramatic, and suspenseful, American Horror Story proved to the world that viewers are ready for a horror genre TV series. With record ratings for FX and a second season already ordered, AHS is certainly the show to be watching if you haven’t yet.

Longest Running Comedy To Remain Consistently Funny
It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia
is 7 seasons in and hasn’t missed a beat. Still amazingly funny and fresh as ever, Always Sunny managed to up even it’s own impossible to beat standards this year. With episodes giving us things like CharDee MacDennis and Thundergun Express, coupled with Frank’s incredible speech in the season finale, this show should never go away. And with two more guaranteed seasons and options for more, it looks like we’ll be hanging out with the gang for a long time to come.

Most Fitting Title
is grim. Because it’s not that good. That is all.

Best Yet Most Forgettable New Show
The Killing
really was a great show. A lot of critics panned it for its season finale, which left more questions than answers, but didn’t LOST do that too? In 13 episodes, The Killing proved itself to be a worthy addition to AMC’s lineup, but people can’t seem to help forgetting that the show existed. To prove this point, just know that I almost didn’t include the show on this list simply because I didn’t remember it.

Most Modern, Family Comedy
Modern Family
is the most Modern Family-est of all comedies. Since this list already has a best comedy, it can’t go there. I would give it a second-best comedy spot but I don’t feel like it. Modern Family deserves all the love it has; it’s an amazing show. It’s funny, it’s well written, it’s well acted. Everything about it is good. That’s why I decided to give it it’s own category.

Most Improved Show
The Walking Dead
Season 2, although it isn’t over yet, has created a split between fans and critics. Some said it was awful, some said it was amazing. I happened to think it was amazing, and much better than Season 1. Tons of drama, and enough jaw-dropping moments to give Breaking Bad a run for its money, The Walking Dead showed audiences (well, half of audiences at least) how to take a good show and make it great.

Most LOST References in One Series
Once Upon A Time
is the new show from some of the people who brought you LOST. While the show is good enough on its own, it doesn’t deserve a best of award and it doesn’t deserve a worst of award. It deserves the award for having the most LOST references, including characters eating Apollo chocolate bars.

Best New Comedy
New Girl
is what How I Met Your Mother used to be. Funny.

Jake Horowitz

Easily the most sarcastic, snarky, and opinionated writer on Scene Creek, Jake has been a staff writer with us since 2011 where he has entertained readers with his semi-weekly segment, "All Questions Answered." After writing for Collider.com and other outlets around the web, Jake has found his home at Scene Creek where he has spawned numerous features, reviews, and recurring segments that serve to enlighten, confuse, and infuriate readers. Most of Jake's time is spent writing for television or watching television, but in his spare time he will interact with readers and fans and post witty one-liners on his Twitter account. Favorite Movies: Rain Man, Social Network, Toy Story 3