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My 10 Favorite TV Shows of 2007

Here are my 10 favorite small screen choices of 2007, in alphabetical order:

American Idol. This was my first year watching this reality series for more than a few episodes—and I actually voted once. I’m not much for reality television. I watched the first two seasons of Survivor fairly religiously, but dropped interest when folks started figuring out how the game was played—and Christians started playing the game instead of living their faith. Heh, I’ve argued this one into the ground with some good friends who think otherwise, but hey, they're wrong. Anyway, with the writers’ strike, I’m actually thinking I’ll be watching this years’ Idol contest again. As a final note, my husband can't stand this series. Go figure.

Battlestar Galactica. This dark sci-fi series still remains one of the best things on television. Last season’s opening episodes were some of the most powerful ever, and in the second part of the season I particularly appreciated the finale and the whole Starbuck bamboozle. When word came down that the 2008 season is the series' last, I had mixed feelings; I hate to think of not being able to settle into that universe for an hour every week, but I think going out when your still a rich and powerful story is a worthy decision—plus having an intentional ending (versus fizzling out) is always a plus to good stories. The 2008 season doesn’t begin until April, so you can catch up on the arch-heavy series at Wikipedia. For more from this blog, see here, here and here.

Doctor Who. This campy British sci-fi series is one that keeps on delivering. While I miss Rose, having Martha Jones around definitely made for some good episodes in terms of developing the Doctor’s character. Particularly strong episodes in 2007 including “The Lazarus Experiment,” “Human Nature” (which has some thought-provoking elements concerning the incarnation) as well as the season finale. Also noteworthy is the suggestion by one of the writers that the elements of God-talk in his episodes are sometimes intentional. For more from this blog, see here and here.

Eureka. This has been one of my favorite series since it debuted. A kind of "dramady," the series follows a community of genius scientists that live in a secreted community in the Pacific Northwest of the same name. It's well-written, funny and engaging--plus it's dealt with a number of themes of interest to this blog, including what makes and goes into community and why it is so important to us. But this past season escalated my interest. I appreciated how one of the more ethical characters on the series starts to make some decisions (all in the intent of helping and protecting her son) that lead her down a morally questionable road. I love stories that explore the roads we walk and why we walk them and the world and life that results due to the many choices we make along the way.

Heroes. While the series doesn’t carry the same punch for me this season (too many characters and storylines weakened its impact, in my opinion), it remains one of my top favorite shows. And it sure drips in God-talk, at least in the first few episodes. I wasn’t all that enthralled with Peter’s storyline (amnesia and back again), but I enjoyed Hiro’s journey backward and forward—I’m beginning to see how our good-hearted hero gets the edge of his future version. In addition, I continue to enjoy the series’ emphasis on how heroes and villains are made—by the decisions they make regarding their gifts and powers. It’s something we all face. What we do with our gifts and the power we have at our disposal—and why—isn’t limited to this comic book world. For more on this blog’s take on God-talk in Heroes, see here, here and here.

Jericho. I’m just plain hooked on this end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it series. While it still maddens me just a bit that none of the large main cast go to church or mention God when they live in the heart of Bible country (Kansas) and are facing an apocalypse, there’s enough God-talk in the series to make up for it—the Prodigal Son theme (which got pretty much wrapped up in the first season finale) and its propensity to make me think in particular. I almost swore off this the series when Johnston Green (of whom I’d become rather enamored) was killed off, and then I almost didn’t have a choice on the matter. The series was cancelled—until its fan base started drowning CBS in nuts (taken from a reference in one of the final episodes). So as a result of a significant viewer protest, CBS gave the series a second season of seven episodes which begin in February. And, I must admit, I’ll be watching.

Pushing Daisies. This is one of the more unique shows to hit the small screen (imho) in quite some time. With its bright comic-book-like colors, whimsical sets and equally-whimsical narrator, the whole show takes on a modern fairy-tale/fable like quality. And it’s witty and humorous. I mean actually a guffaw-and-make-you-smile-often wit. And it has some thought-provoking explorations of why we do what we do and the results of those decisions. I’m not sure if they’ll be able to keep it fresh or if they’ll tip their hand on what philosophy they’re embracing, but until then, it stays on my DVR’s record list.

Reaper. This series had a really strong pilot episode, and while the other episodes aren’t as strong, it continues to amuse and keep our attention. I am particularly intrigued by and appreciate the series portrayal of the Devil. He’s witty and even likable at times, but every so often he does or says something that reminds you just who he is: an agent of Darkness masquerading as Light. The series doesn’t by any means contain a full biblical universe (God, for the most part, isn’t mentioned often, though I think grace has a subtle if unacknowledged presence), but in its own little corner this series provides some pretty interesting and even on-target explorations of themes like sin, love and the paths we choose to walk.

Skyland. We didn’t catch this series until it was in its second run on NickToons, but my whole family actually engaged in this one—both for its storyline and its unique computer-generated imagery (which apparently makes use of motion capture technology). The series is set in the 23rd century, and the Earth has been shattered into individual pieces (called “Blocks”) all floating around a single core. (Yeah, the physics are, well, impossible.) The story revolves around brother and sister Mahad and Lena, who are hiding with a group of rebels after being separated from their parents—a powerful Sajjin woman and a hot-shot pilot and leader of the rebellion against the ruling and tyrannical Sphere who control Skyland’s water supplies. The siblings often face decisions where their own agendas (finding their parents) conflicts with what’s best for others, which make for good opportunities to talk about similar issues with our own kids. Plus it’s a good story, heh.

Smallville. This series continues not to disappoint. This is an example of comicbook storytelling at its best. I’m behind on the series this season (man, I really love DVRs), but found the season premiere especially wonderful. You can catch up on the previous seasons at the CW’s site, Wikipedia or KryptonSite (which is also a killer site for spoilers, if you like that kind of thing). Read more what this blog’s written about the series here, here and here.

I feel compelled to also mention that I still watch House (though this fall it really rather bored me), 24 (but it lost me the second half of last season), Bones (as entertaining as ever, but that Christmas episode was disappointing), and Lost (I must admit Charlie’s demise and the now infamous flash forward were unexpected, but thank goodness they didn’t pull another Eko and ax John Locke—I would have sworn off for good). I was really interested in TNT’s Saving Grace at first, but it is now off my list (frankly, it’s got too much nudity for me and its theology is just too maddenly wishy-washy) as is Flash Gordon (which makes Mark Harris’ EW’s editorial all the more convincing).

(Word of warning: Some of these shows contain violent and sexual content that will offend some viewers. Use prayerful caution when determining what you put on your TV screen.)