Sometimes it’s easy to get depressed about the current state of TV.

When tanned and teenage ‘beauties’ are given their own reality shows yet Glenn Close’s Damages is on the verge of cancellation. When networks announce their Fall slates with yet more cop shows, legal series and suburban sitcoms. And when networks take a successful idea – such as a simple show about a cake shop – and copycat it to death… (do we really need any more cupcake and baking shows? Really?)

But though the glass sometimes looks half empty I think it’s important to look on the bright side. I strongly believe we live in a golden age of TV – and honestly I wouldn’t write about TV, or even work in the industry, if I didn’t feel that way.

So in a spirit of optimism – and as a pure celebration of the boob tube – here’s just a few of the reasons I love TV today…

FINALE FEVER: Can Lynette escape the Wisteria Lane strangler? Who will prevail as Chloe and Jack face off? What exactly did happen to the passengers on Oceanic Flight 815? And who will be the next American Idol?

Finale fever is upon us and every show is lining up an epic ending. I love this time of year – and all the drama, spectacle and high stakes. It makes me excited to be a TV viewer – even for shows I don’t watch! There’s nothing better than seeing one of your favorite shows pull off a stunning tour de force finale – that leaves you gasping and counting the months to their return… and this year’s got some classic cliffhangers to come…

THE FALL TV SEASON: Which brings me to my second reason to be cheerful – the eager anticipation for the Fall TV Season. Being a Brit one of the things I love about American TV is how organized and scheduled it all is. Come September you know there’s going to be lots of great stuff to watch – both returning old favorites and new shows to sample. Back in England the TV system is a mess – shows start and end at any old time of the year, most only last for a pathetic 6 weeks, and there are many, many nights where you’d be hard pressed to find anything worth watching. I’m grateful every day that I live and work in the country with the best TV in the world. I passionately believe that.

THE WOMEN OF MAD MEN: Sure we all love Don Draper – but for me the incomparable Mad Men is all about the women. Suburban housewife Betty, poised and beautiful on the outside, yet deep down so selfish and unself aware. Underappreciated Joan – trading on her looks to stay ahead but painfully aware the clock is ticking. And my favorite of all, sweet Peggy, trying to rise up through the ranks in the ultimate boys’ world, dealing with dignity with each little knockback along the way. It’s their little moments of triumph – Peggy calling Don by his first name, Joan returning to Sterling Cooper to save the day – that make Mad Men so memorable and often moving. August can’t come soon enough!

BECAUSE TV BEATS THE MOVIES EVERY TIME: Why go see a bland and predictable romantic comedy like The Back Up Plan when a single Sue Sylvester one liner is funnier than anything you’ll see on the big screen. Bored of the CGI antics of Clash of the Titans and Iron Man 2 – TV gives you low tech, believable action that genuinely keeps you on the edge of your seat and doesn’t feel like a 13-year-old boy’s video game. Struggling to find a decent documentary – than stay at home and check out America: The Story of US, or Life on Discovery Channel. These days it’s strange to think that people once considered cinema superior to TV. How the tables have turned…!

FAN CAMPAIGNS: As you’ve seen from my recent Chuck It Out postings – I’m of the opinion that strictly from a ratings point of view it’s time to call time on NBC’s spy drama. But what I do love about Chuck is the passion of its fans. Sure they’re a little crazy – flash mobs really? – but good on them for fighting for a show they passionately believe in!

Fan campaigns led to Betty White hosting one of the best episodes of SNL in recent memory, and may finally get a same sex kiss on the decidedly old fashioned Modern Family. So I’m all for fan campaigns – they keep TV interesting and people engaged. And at the end of the day it’s the fans that really keep shows on air. More power to them!

THE RISE OF CABLE: Everyone’s always talking about the death of television. Sorry guys – not from where I’m standing. Sure network ratings are on the way down – but on the flipside things sure are looking rosy for cable networks. This would be a bad thing if cable wasn’t delivering but with critically acclaimed dramas (Dexter, Breaking Bad), edgy reality (Intervention) and cleaner and clearer channel brands – there’s more TV choice than ever. Remember there’s a reason Conan chose to go to TBS.

TRUE BLOOD: I may hate Twilight with a passion – and just can’t get into the teen dramas of Vampire Diaries – but boy am I hooked on HBO’s slice of Southern Gothic. It’s campy, crazy, cool and sometimes confounding – but few shows feel as boundary breaking and brave as True Blood. Being a vampire has never seemed so sexy – or appealing.

OPRAH: She’s an easy target for all the cynics out there. Gayle King jokes, weight jibes, the self-improvement culture. But name me one other person who’s used TV to achieve more good? Oprah’s show has challenged and changed my perspective on so many issues, been a source of both comfort and entertainment, and given me so many ‘aha’ moments I could fill a whole book with them. The 25th and final season is just months away, before Oprah transitions to her own network and a whole new future. Some shows simply transcend the TV medium. For me Oprah is that important.

BEING GAY ISN’T A CAREER KILLER: I’ve got issues with many of the gay characters on TV (see my recent Funny Uncles and Glee’s Gay Problem pieces) but at least in the TV world you can be gay and still have a thriving and diverse career. Ellen and Portia, Neil Patrick Harris, Michael Urie, John Barrowman, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Luke McFarlane, Wanda Sykes and Johnathan Groff. All out, all proud and all at the peak of their careers. Compare that to the miserable state of the movie, music and sports industries – where being gay is still seen as taboo – and you’ll realize just how far ahead of the curve TV is.

AMERICAN IDOL: Sure this season is in seriously bad shape (see my Fallen Idol piece) but let’s not forget the power of Idol to create genuine music superstars. Kelly, Carrie, Adam, Jennifer, Chris – all bona fide success stories and all discovered by us, the viewer. At it’s very best – like last season’s jaw-droppingly good finale – Idol is the definition of great entertainment – and one of the few genuine water coolers shows still going! So let’s hope the producers listen to all our advice, replace Simon with Elton and get the best reality show in the world back on track…

Well those are 10 of my suggestions – but what do you think? What are the things that make you love TV today… let’s keep the list going!