Counting down the best TV in 2010
6. Drama Classics (TIE): "In Treatment" (HBO) and "Friday Night Lights" (DirecTV, NBC)
I paired these two because they're both deeply emotionally honest shows that demand active viewer empathy. Also, they're both low-rated contemporary classics. "In Treatment" (left) isn't just the best therapy drama ever made. It's one of the best dramas ever made, period. The writing is layered and dynamic enough to keep you riveted despite the lack of action. Backstories unfold, and client and therapist (the great Gabriel Byrne) push each other's buttons, and the result is dramatic heaven. This season, Dan Futterman and Anya Epstein took over the series and gave it a streamlined, but no less emotionally rocky, momentum. As Sunil, Irrfan Kahn was haunting, and Amy Ryan was heroic as Paul's new therapist.