The best TV shows of 2010

Slide show: Killer zombies, glorious "Mad Men," Zach Galifianakis -- the shows that blew our minds this year

Topics: Best of 2010, Slide Shows, Television, slideshow,

If you think 2010 was a bad year for TV, well, you need to reacquaint yourself with that big appliance in your living room. Although very few new series became giant hits, the best established shows got even better this year. Yes, the world fell in love with “Mad Men” like never before (and with good reason), but it was the comedies that really surprised us this year. Remember when nothing on TV made you laugh out loud? These days you have 10 to 15 flavors of laughter to choose from, so many that it’s pretty challenging to narrow them down to just a handful.

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From disturbing zombie parables to madcap stoner nostalgia, from grumbling middle-aged men to grandstanding TV executives, the cream of the crop this year transcended their earlier peaks to bring us great entertainment in the comfort of our soft pants. Notable for their sharpness, originality and ability to make us feel uncomfortably human emotions, here are the 10 best TV shows of 2010.

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Heather Havrilesky is a regular contributor to the New York Times Magazine, The Awl and Bookforum, and is the author of the memoir "Disaster Preparedness." You can also follow her on Twitter at @hhavrilesky.

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