I started reading Alan when the World Wide Web was a mere screaming baby, and he was a college student writing weekly reviews of NYPD Blue. And now, he's one of the best TV critics out there.
Speaking of improving as they go, I thought "Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles" got quite a bit better after the first few boring episodes. Specifically, the introduction of Brian Austin Green, of all people, signaled the moment when I began to think this show might have more legs than I initially thought. For whatever reason -- my guess is a network note about making the main character more relatable -- the producers decided to soften Sarah from the homicidal nutcase she was in "Terminator 2," and so they wound up giving all of movie Sarah's most extreme, memorable qualities to Derek Reese, and the former David Silver somehow pulled it off. I bought him as a hair-trigger commando from the future, and he gave the show an unpredictable quality that it didn't have with the original troika.
The finale also featured one of the great "do more with less" moments I've seen lately. With the weekly budget obviously much lower than for the pilot, there was no way to actually show Cromartie massacring the FBI tactical team, and so they shot virtually all of it from the point of view of the bodies falling, one by one, into the pool far away from Cromartie's hotel room. It helped that they scored the whole thing to Johnny Cash's "The Man Comes Around" -- any scene feels more epic when it's accompanied by a number from one of Johnny's America albums (see also the opening of the most recent season of "The Shield," where Johnny's "I Hung My Head" kicks an already powerful opening sequence into something magnificent), and the song itself is about Judgment Day.
Now (with apologies for the self-indulgence), compare that to what I wrote.