A few caveats. I only picked shows that debuted in the last decade. Therefore a show like Freaks and Geeks, that began in 1999 but ran briefly into 2000 was not included. Also, there are lots of TV series that I just don't watch, even shows that are probably great. Friday Night Lights for example.
10. Battlestar GalacticaIt should probably have run one season less than it did. But when it was good, it was very very good.
9. The OfficeThe American version. It was hard for me to put this on this list since the show has really started to tank. However, Season two, in particular, was great comedy television.
8. DexterEverything a serial killer show should be. Warm-hearted, humorous and life-affirming.
7. ExtrasIn roughly fourteen hilarious episodes, Ricky Gervais tackled two great subjects: the depressing anonymity of failure, and the horrifying pressure of fame.
6. Party DownSimilar subject matter to Extras. Just as funny and just as painful. And a little bit romantic as well. I am eagerly anticipating season two.
5. Veronica MarsSome of the best snappy dialogue in film or TV the last decade. The season-long story arcs were great as were most of the standalone episodes. Enrico Colantoni is my favorite TV dad ever. Sorry, Fred MacMurray.
4. Foyle's WarThe entire history of World War II, told through the eyes of a police detective in a sleepy English seaside town. Michael Kitchen is the champion of under-acting (in a good way).
3. The Forsyte Saga Damien Lewis as Soames is phenomenal. The scene where he first looks at his new-born daughter is only topped this decade by the scene where he removes his glove to shake Irini's hand.
2. The WireLike an amazing complex novel in which every character speaks as though they'd been speaking that way forever.
1. The OfficeSmall in scope but a masterpiece. The Christmas Special shook me in a way I didn't think television could.
Special Award for best standalone episode:
Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Once More With FeelingThis musical episode of Buffy aired in 2003. To me, this is the single most entertaining fifty minutes of television ever. What amazes me about Joss Whedon is not just that he pulled this off, but that the episode advanced the story. Brilliance.