Bruce Frett’s pick of the top ten television shows of 2000
1. The Corner
(HBO) A deeply harrowing yet ultimately hopeful portrait of a drug-ravaged Baltimore community, this superb six-hour docudrama pulled off the year’s most thrilling upset, beating out such bloated network fare as ABC’s Arabian Nights and CBS’ Jesus to win the best miniseries Emmy. Well-deserved awards also went to writers David Simon and David Mills and director Charles S. Dutton. If only The Corner‘s stunning cast — especially Khandi Alexander, T.K. Carter, and Sean Nelson — had received the same recognition.
2. Everybody Loves Raymond
(CBS) The measure of a great sitcom ensemble is that given the spotlight, every member can shine. This year has belonged to Brad Garrett, who’s equally uproarious whether cop Robert Barone is experiencing good luck (falling in amore with a gorgeous Italian gelato girl) or bad (getting gored in the butt by a wild bull).
3. The King Of Queens
(CBS) It’s time to proclaim Kevin James’ too-long underrated gem as one of TV’s biggest gut-busters ever, right up there with Raymond, Seinfeld, and The Honeymooners.
(NBC) A kind of anti-Providence, the potentially sappy story of a big-city yuppie (terrific Tom Cavanagh) returning to his hometown undercuts any sentimentality with welcome doses of absurdity.
5. The Sopranos
(HBO) The Mob opera’s uneven second season still qualified as TV’s most addictive, adventurous drama, thanks to the twisted, doomed ”romance” between Tony’s con-artist sister Janice (Aida Turturro) and rageaholic ex-con Richie Aprile (David Proval).
6. The West Wing
(NBC) Who’da thunk a prime-time drama could make such wonky issues as immigration policy and nuclear test ban treaties seem so damn fun? Aaron Sorkin, that’s who.
(HBO) After four seasons, the prison serial retains the power to shock (witness the horrific execution of Kathryn Erbe’s child killer, Shirley Bellinger) and move (yes, those were glimmers of humanity glimpsed within J.K. Simmons’ white supremacist, Vern Schillinger).
8. Gilmore Girls
(The WB) The warm Thursday-at-8 p.m. dramedy about a 32-year-old mother (Lauren Graham) and her 16-year-old daughter (Alexis Bledel) is witty enough to make you forget you’re missing Friends.
9. Gideon’s Crossing
(ABC) Homicide: Life on the Street vet Andre Braugher proves that he’s still the small screen’s finest actor with his scalpel-sharp performance as a profoundly good doctor.
10. Will & Grace
(NBC) It’s the feel-gay show of the year!