TV Eye

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Top 10 Dramas

Heroes (NBC): Hiro rawks!

Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip (NBC): This show transcends its behind-the-scenes premise to talk about larger issues: free speech, personal expression, friendship, history, race, and the circuitous path of love.

The Wire (HBO): In a word, brilliant.

Thief (FX): It only ran for six episodes but deserves a longer run.

Jericho (CBS): The antidote for lapsed Losties.

Prison Break (FOX): A thrill ride that manages to keep the rush fresh.

Day Break (ABC): Another thrill ride, made even woozier with the very fine Taye Diggs.

24 (Fox): Jack Bauer, U.S. patriot.

Veronica Mars (CW): Ah, Veronnie, even when your creator goes off the rails you still rule!

Rescue Me (FX): Denis Leary is marginally sympathetic, and this season's seduction/rape left fans troubled, but this series is full of heart.

Also notable: Afterlife (BBC America), Boston Legal (ABC), Shark (CBS), Brothers & Sisters (ABC), Sleeper Cell (Showtime), Friday Night Lights (NBC), Six Degrees (ABC)


Top 10 Comedies

The Office (NBC): If you worked with these people, you'd shoot yourself. Fortunately, you can laugh at them in this hilarious workplace comedy.

The Thick of It (BBC America): More workplace foolishness, this one among career politicians.

30 Rock (NBC): Tina Fey and her talented cast bring the funny back to NBC.

My Name Is Earl (NBC): Finding karma was never this fun or weird.

Help Me Help You (ABC): Laughing at other people's troubles is fun.

Extras (HBO): Ricky Gervais as a struggling actor with A-listers playing themselves. Kate Winslet playing a nun demonstrating the finer points of phone sex is still a gut buster.

Scrubs (NBC): Can literally make you laugh, then cry within a moment.

Big Day (ABC): Watching the prewedding meltdown is so much more fun than being in one.

The New Adventures of Old Christine (CBS): Julia Louis-Dreyfus is lovely as our all-too-human divorcée channeling the good-heartedness of Mary Richards.

Entourage (HBO): Jeremy Piven and Kevin Dillon are the real reason to watch, but the antics of these oversized boys keep the laughs coming.

Also notable: Eureka (Sci Fi), Ugly Betty (ABC), and The Simpsons (Fox), as well as The Daily Show and The Colbert Report (both on Comedy Central).


Nine Shows That Make You Feel Like You Learned Something After Watching Them

Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations (Travel Channel): Smart, sexy, and sincerely curious, Bourdain is the perfect ambassador to the culinary world.

To the Contrary (PBS): What The View would be with smart, informed women.

Foreign Exchange With Fareed Zakaria (PBS): The brilliant Zakaria brings us the world and makes it digestible even when most perplexing.

Now (PBS): I still miss Bill Moyers, but this version is worth watching.

Democracy Now! (Cable Access Channel 16): Sure, the production values are flat, but at least they got Amy Goodman to comb her hair.

Good Eats (Food Network): Alton Brown mixes the science of cooking together with his appreciation of pop culture to create a one-of-a-kind cooking show.

Frontline (PBS): Always interesting.

The Biscuit Brothers (KLRU): Uncle Lenny would be proud. This inventive, locally produced series teaches the joy of music to children of all ages.

CBS news breaks on Logo: These brief, slickly produced news breaks offer a refreshing take on what's going on in the world, from a gay perspective.

Bathroom Renovations and Kitchen Renovations (DIY Network): The two most important rooms in a house gutted and redone to a shiny splendor. What can I say? It inspires my inner plumber.


Top 10 Guilty Pleasures

Grey's Anatomy (ABC): I still hate Meredith Grey.

American Idol (Fox): I admit, my favorite part is the auditions. After all these years, some people still have no shame.

The OC (Fox): So much more entertaining now that it's not trying so hard.

The Amazing Race (CBS): There's nothing like sitting on your butt watching contestants run around the globe like greedy, exhausted maniacs.

Beauty & the Geek (CW): More people who have no shame.

Stylicious (DIY Network): Silly, handmade crap passed off as fashion made by self-anointed hipsters amuses me. Okay, it's only 75% crap.

MXC (aka Most Extreme Elimination Challenge, Spike TV): For the 13-year-old boy in all of us.

The Unit (CBS): Buff men in uniform.

Unwrapped (Food Network): Watching how they make junk food is less fattening than eating it.

Saturday afternoon how-to programs on KLRU: Learn how to cook Italian, choose wine, fold napkins ... a swell way to while away the afternoon.

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

top television shows, The Wire, 30 Rock, Heroes, The Office, The Biscuit Brothers, Democracy Now!

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