I found this at the Denver Post:
High Notes on the List
December 23, 1999
by Joanna Ostrow
The end-of-the-year “10 Best” and “Five Worst” list-making bug is contagious.
The five best reasons to do a year-end list:
1. We crave order in a chaotic universe;
2. Lists are meant to inspire conflicting opinions;
3. Stray ideas sound better when grouped in lists;
4. We love to tout “The Sopranos” whenever possible;
5. It gives us one last chance to knock the UPN drivel that’s polluting the airwaves.
That said, here’s my 1999 Top 10:
1. “The Sopranos” (HBO) – For its amazing range of comedy, tragedy, emotional depth Joanne Ostrow TV/Radio and vivid character studies, it tops my list. The first 13 episodes were television at its best; the next 13 begin Jan. 16.
2. “The West Wing” (NBC) – Aaron Sorkin writes brilliant oration as well as more mundane dialogue for characters struggling with moral, ethical and interpersonal dilemmas.
3. “Action” (Fox) – Controversial for its rough language and unlovable main character, this adult sitcom might have lasted on cable.
4. “Freaks and Geeks” (NBC) – This high-school angst-fest is a clever meditation on the pains of adolescence suffered by the out crowds.
5. “Once and Again” (ABC) – Talky and frustratingly self-absorbed, the struggling grownups at the heart of this drama still compel us to watch, much the way “thirtysomething” did.
6. “The Simpsons” (Fox) – For subversive political humor, for delightful silliness and for the highest per-minute joke count of any show on television, Matt Groening’s masterwork still reigns.
7. “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and “Angel” (The WB) – Both the original and its spinoff showcase rich, clever writing, great metaphors for life and solid coming-of-age role models.
8. “Everybody Loves Raymond” (CBS) – No gimmicks, just pure domestic comedy where the writing really counts. Doris Roberts deserves the Emmy next year.
9. “NYPD Blue” (ABC) – Retaining its edge despite cast changes. 10. “Felicity” (The WB) – Essentially a soap set on an urban college campus, the performances are good enough to keep us interested.
Honorable mentions: “Roswell” (The WB) – A soulful drama mixing “X-Files” paranoia with WB young adult concerns, this freshman series is a serious contender. “Oz” (HBO), a powerful prison drama, not for the squeamish.
Short-lived but pointing the way to the comedy future: “Frank Leaves for the Orient” (Comedy Central) – only six episodes ran, but this expensiveto-produce, mixed-media sitcom, music-video-animated, special-effects experiment was truly innovative.
Old reliables: “Friends” (NBC); “Law & Order” (NBC)
Best TV movie: “Annie” (ABC) – This was better than the feature film version, and it proved again (like “Gypsy”) that the American musical has found new life on television.
Best miniseries: “Vanity Fair” (A&E)
Ugliest success story: “WWF Smackdown!” (UPN)
Saddest cancellation: “Homicide: Life on the Street”
Fondest farewells: George Clooney on “ER,” Tim Allen and “Home Improvement”
Tonight on TV
“A Home for the Holidays” at 7 p.m. on Channel 4 is a new program encouraging adoption and featuring comments from celebrities who have been adopted – Scott Hamilton, Faith Hill and Wendy’s chief Dave Thomas. Participating are Stevie Wonder, LeAnn Rimes, Brian McKnight and ‘N Sync.
Denver Post Radio/TV Critic Joanne Ostrow’s column runs Monday through Thursday.