Posted by: Paul | December 24, 2010

Paul’s Top TV of 2010 – Part 3

Here are the ‘Honourable Mentions’ – shows that either didn’t fit into the category of comedy or drama (i.e. Documentaries) or those I really enjoyed but just didn’t quite make the top 5 for their respective niches.

Best Documentary Series – A History of Horror with Mark Gatiss

The League of Gentlemen’s Mark Gatiss charted the history of the horror movie with warmth and enthusiasm. No mere ‘such and such with so and so’ celebrity vehicle, Gatiss is an expert in the field and showed infectious enjoyment of his ghoulish subject matter and carried the audience along with him as he explored the evolution of the genre, from its roots in early Hollywood, through the Hammer years to its reinvention in seventies America, never losing sight of how one era influenced the next and beyond. A genuinely enthralling series which appealed not just to genre fans – I’m not really one – but to an audience who just enjoy a good yarn, well told.

Best Documentary Feature – Erasing David

An experiment – is it possible to disappear in today’s surveillance society? Journalist David Bond wondered this after finding out the government had lost his daughter’s details in the Child Benefit Register scandal. He set out to find how much information other government departments and private companies held on him – the answer was a staggering amount, about the tiniest things. If you’ve ever wondered whether identity fraud could happen to you, watch this and consider your own habits. A cautionary (rather than alarmist) tale as much as a stunt – Bond hires private detectives to track him down – some of the paranoia seems hokey, but overall it’s a gripping story, and might make you think about the way you handle your information.

Best 30 minute Comedy-Drama Series – Nurse Jackie

Nurse Jackie didn’t comfortably fit into either the comedy or drama category and so lost out to other shows, but is still worthy of much praise. The Sopranos Edie Falco starred as the conflicted and addicted nurse – conflicted between husband and lover, and addicted to prescription painkillers. The show caused controversy in the US – Jackie breaks every ethical rule in the book – but it was a funny, bleak exposition of how the extreme pressure of the medical profession can cause extreme behaviour.

Best one-off drama – On Expenses

The MP’s Expenses scandal was the news story that ran and ran, and with the ongoing criminal prosecution of four individuals, it still continues to make headlines. This ‘fact-based’ drama was enormous fun, depicting at first the stonewalling that journalist Heather Brooke encountered with her freedom of information requests to find out what MPs had been claiming, and then their abject horror and panic when they realised, well, they had to spill the beans. Couldn’t have happened to a nicer group of people. Remember – they work for you!

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