Fans will often ask writers, "Where do you get your ideas?" The answer is actually very easy. We steal them. First go to The AV Club to look at their list of the "30 Best TV Shows of the Oughties." Then come back and look at Part 1 of my list of my favorite TV shows of the last 10 years. Before I get started, you should know that I haven't seen everything. There's a lot of stuff I miss, especially on premium cable, but I'll do my best. And here are some honorable mentions that didn't make the list: FARSCAPE, FIREFLY, FOYLE'S WAR, KEVIN HILL, WHAT ABOUT JOAN?
#20: Clerks - The Animated Series (2000)
A whole 2 episodes of this series played on ABC in 2000, but 6 were produced and put onto DVD. It's loopy, meta-level plots and constant pop culture references were right up my alley, and Alec Baldwin is spot-on as the evil Leonardo Leonardo, pre-figuring his Emmy-winning turn on 30 Rock. "Who is driving the car? Oh no! Bear is driving the car!"
#19: The X-Files (1993-2002)
X-Files was still going for 2 1/2 seasons into the new Millennium, and is still one of the best sci-fi shows in history. It's supernatural investigatory premise virtually kickstarted the SciFi Channel, not to mention tons of shows on the WB.
#18: Gilmore Girls (2000-2007)
Yes, I have a feminine side. But this show is not about that. It's about the writing. It's about the dialogue. It's about generational conflict, and about a 30-something mom still finding strength within her.
#17: Damages (2007-Present)
There has only been two seasons of this show so far, but they have both been outstanding. Glenn Close is continuing the great work she started on THE SHIELD, and Rose Byrne is a revelation. Great supporting turns are all over this series, from Ted Danson to Zeljko Ivanek to Anastasia Griffith. I am looking forward to a new season in January.
#16: Da Vinci's Inquest (1998-2006)
Imagine CSI, only with humans! This Canadian series is based on an actual Vancouver coroner who became an activist and eventually a politician, gaining the Mayor's office. Nicholas Campbell is great as Dominic Da Vinci, and Ian Tracey and Donnelly Rhodes are great as the main cops that work with Dom. This may not be the last Donnelly Rhodes series on the list. Tune in tomorrow!