If anyone had the line that summed up this year, it would have to be Snooki. When the Jersey Shore gang traveled to Italy, she had these poignant words: "Como se dice 'This sucks balls'?" Good question, Snook. And more than ever, TV is where we went for the answers. As American culture found whole new ways to suck balls, TV got right to the heart of it all, from sublime drama to reality sleaze.
By Rob Sheffield