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The Wire Tag

The run down, poverty stricken streets of Detroit are the backdrop of AMC’s latest crime drama, Low Winter Sun. Just like The Wire and Homicide used Baltimore to great effect, Low Winter Sun uses the streets of the Motor City to set the dark, bleak

Welcome back to The Three Strike Rule.  You’d think I could come up with a better title for this week’s column than that, huh?  Today is my daughter Sophie’s 10th birthday.  When you hear that cliche, “I don’t know where the years went,” believe it.  I have watched a baby grow into an inquisitive toddler, then transform into a bright little preschooler and finally she has become an empathetic (I throw that word around a lot when I discuss my little girl), smart and talented 10-year-old. As I am prone to giving her advice (which she has already begun to ignore), I have opted to dedicate this week’s column to highlighting 10 standout television shows from the past 10 years that I hope Sophie will seek out to be entertained and enlightened.

In the past 10 years, due to DVD box sets, TiVo, and the Internet, we have seen a change in attitudes about television.  No longer is it just considered “disposable” entertainment.  Viewers are seeking out quality programming and making it successful.  Moreover, stars generally associated with motion pictures (once considered the high brow art form) no longer look at television as slumming it.  Instead, actors, writers and directors have taken to TV as a way to create and produce ongoing works of fiction that they wouldn’t be able to do in the expensive film industry.

Since any list is subjective, I’m sure some people will gripe about my selections and what was left off.  I hope so!  he purpose of this great website is ti incite conversation and debates.  In case you’re wondering, my criteria was that the shows selected had to premiere in 1999 or thereafter.  I must confess that I have not seen Dexter and I never went back to The Shield after the first few episodes (i.e. pre-TiVo in the Malchus household).  What I tried to do was pick shows that were consistent in their quality from season to season.  So, even though I loved the first couple seasons of The Sopranos, Six Feet Under and 24, the quality in the writing really started to suffer in subsequent years.  Sacrilege, I know, because The Sopranos is considered by many critics to be the greatest TV show ever.  Oh well, it’s my space, and since this is a special list I want my kid to read someday, these are the shows I feel are the best of the last 10 years.

So, without further ado…