'Chuck,' 'Mad Men,' 'Sons of Anarchy,' 'Dollhouse' plus at least four new comedies made the cut
No. 19: 'Dexter'
A solid, effective, somewhat unremarkable season of "Dexter" took a shocking (or "surprising," at least) detour in the finale, probably clinching the show a Top 20 place for the year, if only because I'm now genuinely interested and excited to see where the show is going to go next. Otherwise, it was just another year of Dexter doing his Dexter thing. Michael C. Hall was, as ever, excellent as our favorite murderous blood spatter expert, this year coping with being a new husband, a new dad and a new suburbanite. Dexter's fresh environs added a couple different shadings to the season, before it progressed into a predictable (and not unsatisfying) mano-a-mano with Trinity, played by the reliably psychotic John Lithgow. Of all of the shows in my Top 20, Vs. the myriad shows of almost identical merit in my Next 10, this is the one that came closest to falling off the list, even in a very enjoyable season. What can I say? I'm easily swayed by a good twist.