The television season comes to a close

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By Allan Mendiola

By Allan Mendiola

The 2004-2005 primetime television season introduced a group of stranded plane crash survivors and a few desperate women to couch potatoes everywhere.

Two of the biggest hits of the year were newcomers “Lost” and “Desperate Housewives” on the ABC network. The success of both shows proved that audiences were indeed craving a serialized escape from the over-abundance of self-contained crime shows on television.Reality giants “American Idol” and “Survivor” continued to dominate the ratings and overpower its scripted show competition.Sitcoms, however, showed further signs of extinction with the far from “must see” ratings of shows such as “Will and Grace” and the “Friends” spin-off “Joey,” as well as the continued viewer deprivation of unconventional (and yet critically adored) comedies “Scrubs” and “Arrested Development.”

Ratings recaps aside, television had plenty to offer viewers for primetime entertainment this past year.

The fourth season of FOX’s “24” proved to be a thrilling winner. FOX made the wise choice of starting “24” later in the season, which enabled the show to run non-stop every week from January to May. This is precisely how the nail biting “24” is meant to be experienced.

Like seasons past, perennial hero of humanity Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland) was willing to do anything and everything to stop a deadly terrorist plot against the United States. The show was particularly exhilarating as Bauer’s actions to get information and halt the terrorists’ villainous plans got more and more urgent and jaw dropping.

The adrenaline-fueled, edge-of-your-seat “24” was definitely one of the most exciting shows of the season.

High on wicked humor and soapy drama, “Desperate Housewives” ended up being the surprise guilty pleasure of the season.

Week after week, “Desperate” had it all: sharp laughs, engrossing drama and engaging mystery.

Much of the appeal of the show this season came from the regular light-hearted missteps of single mother and housewife Susan Mayer, played by the fantastic Teri Hatcher.

One of the best story lines of the season involved overwhelmed housewife Lynette Scavo’s (Felicity Huffman) addiction to her son’s Attention Deficit Disorder medication, which ultimately led her to a nearly self-destructive breakdown. Huffman’s performance had Emmy written all over it.

In the end, maybe one should not feel “guilty” over watching the soapy “Desperate Housewives.” When you are watching a show this surprisingly entertaining, what is there to feel guilty about?

With a terrific ensemble cast, strong character development and an on-going sense of mystery and intrigue, the island castaways drama “Lost” proved to be one of the most engrossing shows of the season.

“Lost” has some of the finest writers on television because they clearly worked hard to flesh out each of the characters through unforgettable, life before the island flashback sequences.

All season long, “Lost” had a puzzling and freaky “X-Files” feel to it. From cursed lottery numbers to a polar bear roaming the island, “Lost” was full of fascinatingly bizarre intrigue.

Basically no one is safe on this island (one regular cast member has already been killed off). It is, however, safe to say that “Lost” made for “appointment television” this season.

UPN’s “Veronica Mars” features one of the most charismatic and appealing leads on television today.

The phenomenal Kristen Bell stars as Veronica Mars, a teen private investigator and outcast high school student who, for the entirety of the season, was driven to find out who killed her best friend, Lilly Kane.”Veronica Mars” should not be mistaken for a light and air-headed “teen show.” Instead, it features some of the smartest writing on television today.

Like the early seasons of the equally brilliant show “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” “Veronica” tackled many of the issues of being in high school and being a teen, and it masterfully did so in both a funny and a dramatic way.

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