The first list - here we go! Please note that some shows that were absolutely stellar this year did not make it on the list because I just did not have time to watch them (see: Boardwalk Empire, Homeland, Justified, Louie, Sons Of Anarchy, etc.) However, to me, these were the best out there.
While the sixth season of Dexter (the “Faith” season) ended with a whimper and not a bang, a mediocre episode of Michael C. Hall’s serial killer show is still way better than most of the shows out there on the airwaves. A whole season of Colin Hanks looking like he doesn’t know why the hell he is on this show led up to a lackluster and unsatisfying kill. But that’s probably because the camera cut to its one redeeming shot - sister Deborah discovering who her desired incestmate brother truly is.
9. How To Make It In America
The NY fashion answer to Entourage's Hollywood question, How To Make It In America truly was the little show that could this season. With a premature (and in this blogger’s humble opinion, truly uncalled for) cancellation, fans are now left wondering what little shenanigans our boys at Crisp will be getting themselves into. Marked with the year’s best theme song (again), How To Make It In America charmed all of us to pursue our biggest dreams (and the hottest girls).
8. New Girl
She’s “adorkable!” I’ll admit that I simply started watching the show because of an eternal crush on Zooey Deschanel. However, the show proved that it had more to offer than just cuteness by creating strong supporting characters like Schmidt, the sensitive/manly Jew boy with a knack for turkey and custom perfumes. Playing off the most subtle of situations (bell choirs, anyone?), New Girl proved that it’s going to stick around for a while by shoving its damn cuteness down your hungry throat.
7. The Life & Times Of Tim
Sure, it’s only aired two episodes to date, and we have yet to see how the season plays out, but this animated show on HBO that no one knows about is one of the most underrated comedies out there. Taking dry humor to the umpteenth level, I dare you not to laugh or at least chuckle at the terrible situations that main character Tim gets himself into like calling a Chinese funeral racist.
6. The Walking Dead
Picking up where we last left them, the Grimes gang exploded into the new season with a killer (pun intended) season premiere. And then, it slowed down … A LOT. Our Zomb Bees crew droned on about faith and living in a dead world. They searched for Sofia, a character that no one really cared about. But as the season paced along, we were treated to signs of great potential (Shane killed Otis! He’s going shit-crazy!). And then, that devastating final shot that closed the mid-season finale: zombified Sofia shot in the head by Rick. Ya, they went there.
5. Game Of Thrones
Winter is coming! Winter came! Winter needs to come back! I’ll admit that I am not a huge fantasy genre guy, but holy shit this show was awesome. Sword play! Nudity! Dragons! Peter Dinklage! With amazing exposition and dialogue, the show demonstrated an uncanny ability to show the best and worst of all its characters. By killing off its MAIN character (and marketing icon) in one of TV history’s most shocking deaths, Game Of Thrones unzipped its pants and proved that it’s got the biggest balls on television.
4. American Horror Story
From its brilliant opening credits sequence to its wonderfully delirious and deranged editing, American Horror Story tapped into the current fears of humanity and created some new ones. The show introduced one too many characters at the beginning and way too many time-jumps, but that was just my impatience at letting this dead flower blossom. AHS wasn’t afraid to push some boundaries with rubber suits, rapes, and killing off main characters. And it never slipped into torture porn, for it all had a delicate meaning: Inside each one of us is an angel and a devil.
3. Parks & Recreation
I dare you not to laugh your brain off or cry your eyes off during each episode of one of TV’s best comedies. Armed with a quirky sense of humor and a loyalty to its characters, Parks & Recreation showed that even the small town folk can do big things. From Andy Dwyer and his awesome marriage to April Ludgate to Leslie’s wonderfully humane affair with Ben to Tom Haverford’s crumbling of dreams and the best catchphrase of the year (Treat Yo Self!), Parks & Recreation was like stepping into the best town ever.
FUCK YOU NBC. Do I really need to go into how awesome this show is? Best clip show ever. Check. Best Christmas musical episode ever? Check. Best parody of Glee ever? Check. Smartest time jump episode with most intriguing ending ever? Check. Annie’s boobs? Check. Donald Glover? Check. Kickpuncher? Check check! Best cover of Seal’s “Kiss From A Rose”? Triple check! This show’s fanbase on the internet is huge, thanks to countless GIFs and quotable quotes. Please do your part to make sure NBC brings it back with #SixSeasonsAndAMovie #SaveCommunity.
Oh, and it’s got Ken Jeong, too.
1. Breaking Bad
You knew it was coming. Literally, the best television show ever (rivaling The Sopranos). An intricate study of the deterioration of a man’s soul, the transition from good to evil, and the finest ensemble cast around, Breaking Bad makes every episode feel like a season finale. The tension mounts, the humor breaks, and the stakes get higher. And that season finale - holy shit. Not only did the show take everyone’s favorite chicken slanger Gustavo Fringe to a glorious death in this season’s most shocking death, but Breaking Bad saved the best for last with its final revelation that Walter did poison the child. They went there, and there’s no turning back now.