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The 15 Best TV Shows Of The 2012/2013 Season

Features
by Oliver Lyttelton
June 26, 2013 1:03 PM
113 Comments
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10. "The Americans"
For now at least, many of the stalwarts of the cable drama world are still going, so relatively few new ones were premiered, and those that were ("The Newsroom," "Bates Motel") felt pretty underwhelming to us. The happy exception was "The Americans," created by ex-CIA agent Joe Weisberg, and produced by "Justified" mastermind Graham Yost. The series had an irresistible premise -- a married couple in D.C in the 1980s, who are secretly long-embedded KGB agents, whose union is technically a sham, but seems to have become more and more real as time's gone on. That said, irresistible premises haven't always led to anything more than a decent pilot, but "The Americans" started strong, and only got better over time. Anchored by a trio of phenomenal performances from Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys as the central duo, plus Noah Emmerich as their FBI Agent neighbor, the series flirts with the edges of credulity thanks to some positively "Alias"-esque spy plots and disguises, but balances it out both with its beautifully detailed period setting (complete with great and surprising musical choices from the likes of Fleetwood Mac and Phil Collins), and by grounding the whole thing in domestic drama. Elizabeth and Philip Jennings might be stealing missile plans and battling West German assassins, but they're doing so while trying to keep their marriage and family intact. On paper, that makes it seem like a sort of TV take on "Mr. And Mrs. Smith" or something, but by seeing this world through the eyes of the "enemy," it lends their actions real weight and consequences. Which isn't to say that it isn't fun -- it's one of the most entertaining spy series we can remember -- but it's not lightweight either, and all the better for it. Viewing figures dropped off swiftly for the show, but not before a second season had been commissioned; hopefully people check it out over the summer, because we'd love to see this one run and run.
Best Episode: "Only You," which sees Derek Luke's Gregory, a radical who's also been Elizabeth's lover for years, come front and center.

9. "Bob's Burgers"/"Gravity Falls"
We're cheating a little bit here with a double bill, but if you can't lump in two superb animations with great vocal turns from Kristen Schaal here, when can you do it? To be honest, we haven't been big animation people since "The Simpsons" went off the boil -- Seth MacFarlane's shows leave us cold, we stopped keeping up with "South Park" a while back, and we're a bit baffled by "Adventure Time," meaning that only "Archer" has been holding up the fort (and even that show had a solid fourth season without quite hitting past glories, hence it dropping off the list this year). But two shows showed us the light this year, one a big comedy that's finding an ever-growing audience, and another that you've probably barely heard of. The past season saw us finally get on the "Bob's Burgers" train (along with many others; it was one of the few shows whose ratings actually grew in 2012/2013), and all of those who've been calling it the true successor to "The Simpsons" are entirely correct. The series (about a dysfunctional family who run a burger restaurant, as the title might suggest) falls right between Matt Groening's masterpiece and the taboo-pushing MacFarlane stable, but it gets the balance just right; it's odd, a little surreal, occasionally smutty (not least when it comes to Tina, the eldest of the children, and her stormy hormones) and has a deceptively large heart. The low-key tone can take a few episodes to find the rhythm of, but you'll be soon hooked. Meanwhile, while Schaal plays youngest daughter/trickster god Louise on "Bob's Burgers," she pops up as Mabel in "Gravity Falls." Created by Alex Hirsch, it airs on the Disney Channel (probably why you haven't heard of it), and owes as much as "Bob's Burgers" to peak period "Simpsons," while cross-breeding it with "The X-Files," "Twin Peaks," "Freaks & Geeks" and "The Hardy Boys" along the way. Following two preteens (the other played by Jason Ritter) on an extended vacation with their uncle in the titular town, which is plagued by all manner of paranormal activity, from gnomes to a Miyazaki-esque candy monster, it's very, very funny, gloriously weird, intricately plotted, and features Alfred Molina as the voice of the Swedish-pop-loving Multi-Bear. Oh, and it looks gorgeous. What more could you want? It's been frustrating to watch the show, because it airs in fits and starts (three episodes, then an absence of months), and we're not sure if that's usual for the Disney Channel or not. But hopefully, as its cult grows, it'll move to a more regular schedule.
Best Episode: For "Bob's Burgers," the highlight was "Mother Daughter Laser Razor," which exemplifies so much of what the show does well. For "Gravity Falls," it's "The Inconveniencing," which blends awkward coming-of-age with convenience store ghosts.

8. "Breaking Bad"
Ok, ok, don't yell at us all at once. "Breaking Bad" is undoubtedly one of the best, most important shows of the current era, and will go down in the history books alongside "The Sopranos" and "The Wire" as a classic. And there was the usual mix of greatness in the first half of the final season when it ended last summer. Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul remain titanic as Walter and Jesse, it's directed as well as anything on television and the twists and turns can make you gasp more than anything else on the air. And perhaps most importantly, it has such a handle on individual scenes and set pieces: even with its truncated run, it contained all kinds of memorable moments and set pieces, from the magnet-aided heist in the opening episode to its final shot. But, to our mind, for all the greatness in there, season 5.1 of "Breaking Bad" saw some of the flaws stick out a little bit more. It still doesn't know what to do with its female characters (something not helped much by the addition of Laura Fraser's Lydia, who's pretty much a straight lift of Tilda Swinton's character from "Michael Clayton"). It's plot-driven to such an extent that it doesn't necessarily have the weight of some of the other top tier dramas. And most crucially in this season, it accelerated the demonization of Walter. By the end of season four, Mr. White was rapidly heading towards the dark side, but still had some texture to him. By the start of season five (barely days later), he's become virtually irredeemable, and despite the greatness of Cranston's performance, it feels like a slightly different character. We don't want to dwell on the downsides too much; the show's still one of the most furiously entertaining programs on TV. But if you're wondering why it's number eight, rather than number one? Now you know.
Best Episode: "Dead Freight," which is basically a full-on western, and which features a train heist as thrilling as anything the show's ever done, and a button at the end that's as shocking.

7. "Game Of Thrones"
There's something extraordinary about the way that "Game Of Thrones" has managed to capture the popular imagination. A little over two years ago, it was a serious risk: a hugely expensive, incredibly dense adaptation of the kind of books that most people would never dream of reading (at least judging by the covers), seemingly destined to be known as "Lord Of The Rings" with T&A. Now, its characters, settings and stars have penetrated to the zeitgeist to an impressive degree, as familiar as Frodo and Mos Eisley and Daniel Radcliffe, and major plot developments that can keep water coolers both real and virtual busy for days, if not weeks. Perhaps most impressively of all, it's stayed remarkably consistent across the three seasons so far; try to think of a truly duff episode of the show, and you'll likely struggle to find one. It's fair to say that in places in the third season, the show did drag a little. Sometimes it can feel like you're checking in perfunctorily on a character for five minutes just to remember where they are. And we're still not massively engaged with events North Of The Wall, despite the efforts of Ciaran Hinds and Rose Leslie this season. But even when the show isn't soaring, it's still an absolute pleasure to hear the best cast on TV (Diana Rigg and Paul Kaye among the highlights of the new additions) deliver deceptively great writing. And when it does soar -- Tywin Lannister and Lady Tyrell facing off, the turns in Jamie Lannister's story, Daenarys getting one up on the slave trader, the already-legendary Red Wedding -- there's nothing that gets the pulse pounding and the synapses firing in the same way. We're coming up to what we're told is a crunch point (apparently book four is the weakest of the bunch by some distance), but it's a testament to the continuing quality of "Game Of Thrones" that it's hard to envisage it ever dropping off our watch list.
Best Episode: It has to be "The Rains Of Castermere," which was a fine episode even until its climax, a moment that instantly entered the TV hall of fame.

6. "30 Rock"
It's so rare for a television series to go out on its own terms. Either no one watches a show and it's taken from us prematurely, as with this year's most-missed premature casualty, "Ben & Kate," or it becomes a huge hit, and networks decide to keep it on the air long past its natural lifespan ("Lost" and "The Office" spring to mind as recent examples). But Tina Fey's "30 Rock" fell in between -- never commercially successful enough to become a schedule mainstay, but just critically acclaimed enough to make it to seven seasons before Fey, Alec Baldwin and co decided to call it a day. And "30 Rock" is doubly rare, because not only did it pick its own exit date, but it also went on a season that, when all is said and done, may end up being considered its very best. Even during its slight dip in its fourth and fifth seasons, the show was always capable of inducing big laughs, but knowing that the end was near, seemed to have lead to an all-killer-no-filler run of episodes, going from Jack purposefully trying to tank the new NBC schedule to a finale that should be studied by future showrunners as a textbook example of how to wrap it up. The gags came at the same furious speed as before (if not more so), but it also managed to twang the heartstrings in a way that it had never quite done before (try not to sniffle a bit when Liz Lemon meets her soon-to-be-adopted kids). The ideal finale for a show brings things to an end in the most satisfying conclusion you could ask for, while making you reevaluate and reappraise the show that's gone before. Fey and co did that over not just their last episode, but the whole of their last season, and it was only as it drew to a close that we realized how much we'll miss a sitcom that deserves to sit among the greats.
Best Episode: Almost any (perhaps bar a slightly shaky election-related two-parter), but we'd have to go with the double-length finale "Hogcock!"/"Last Lunch," which was satisfying on just about every level.

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113 Comments

  • Haris Khan | July 1, 2014 5:07 AMReply

    Game of thrones and Sherlock . these 2 are simply awesome.

  • em | May 18, 2014 6:04 AMReply

    top of the lake? what are you snuffing dude....

  • 123 | April 30, 2014 2:07 PMReply

    Parks and Rec was the only decent show on this godawful pathetic excuse for a list

    and Lost went longer than it's natural lifespan????? STFU you clueless moron
    stick with breaking bore and all the other terrible crap you listed

  • randhir gunpath | April 7, 2014 10:53 AMReply

    supernatural has now become so monotonous, it was once an amazing show, now they do the most stupid of things, its like one big circle. plz review, coz it really ain't worth watching anymore.

  • cara | March 1, 2014 12:54 AMReply

    One of the best tv lists I have yet to find for this years shows. My list: 1. Top of the Lake 2. Rectify 3. Homeland 4. Game of Thrones 5. Breaking Bad 6. True Detective. For more light hearted or just ok viewing: 1. Orange is the New Black 2. New Girl 3. Sons of Anarchy 4. House of Cards .. Like the writer states, it is always subjective. I thought the Walking Dead was terrible acting and a bit of a bore. While, Top of the Lake, Rectify, Homeland, Game of Thrones, etc had me obsessed with wanting more! Must check some others on the list..

  • rickey | February 21, 2014 11:39 AMReply

    Supernatural is easy top 5. Only supernatural tv show ever, where most of the seasons themes are REALISTIC! And not some bs fairytales. But even that is spinning offroad. How can all the Angels falling be taken kind of lightly?

  • Merona | January 29, 2014 2:36 AMReply

    Sherlock. Game of Thrones. The Fosters.

  • Hannah | January 26, 2014 8:49 AMReply

    The Walking Dead is brilliant, the new show Masters of Sex is also brilliant. I loved Vikings and can't wait for series two. GOT, Dexter and Breaking Bad are possibly the best three programmes to have ever been created! No list is complete without Suits, Supernatural, Downton Abbey, Homeland and Revenge. This year i'm looking forward to Black Sails and Mob City.

  • tuenti | January 16, 2014 4:14 PMReply

    1-Hell on wheels 2-Breaking Bad 3-Mad Men 5-The Borgen
    That's my list. No doubt about hell on wheels.

  • bill | May 28, 2014 11:24 PM

    hell on wheels is really good never gets enough credit to be ranked with breaking bad and game of thrones also must see

  • Mason | January 13, 2014 1:42 AMReply

    Why is Sherlock not on this list. Sherlock is arguably the best crime drama tv series after season 3. The actors and the story plot are just brilliant and getting more and more attention every year

  • Jerry | January 11, 2014 2:39 AMReply

    to say any ONE of those shows is better than breaking bad is to admit that you are a mental deficient

  • Liz | February 14, 2014 8:26 PM

    Agreed

  • Dave | January 6, 2014 11:41 PMReply

    .... BREAKING BAD is the best TV show EVER....the acting and the writing are simply beyond anything else ever done.. Never in my life have I seen an ensemble of characters that I cared more about. Every single episode left you wanting more. It was the best time I've ever spent in front of a screen. I laughed, I cried and caught myself saying "wow" more than once.

  • Zac | May 8, 2014 11:45 PM

    AMEN!!!!!!!!!!

  • Liz | February 14, 2014 8:28 PM

    Breaking Bad was fabulous. Absolutely addictive. These other shows pale by comparison.

  • Trent | December 25, 2013 3:26 AMReply

    This is the worst god damn list ive ever seen, wtf

  • Ahmad | December 22, 2013 8:19 AMReply

    Out of those 15, I've only seen Game of Thrones, and it's one of the best TV shows I've ever watched.

  • alex | December 17, 2013 1:18 AMReply

    Homeland kinda overhyped show. Period. Overacting crap.
    Spartacus and Game of thrones are the greatest TV shows ever. Breaking bad my arse.. never watch stupid shows.

  • alex | December 17, 2013 1:14 AMReply

    House of cards is utter crap. I watched BBC house of cards..Acting in that was awsome. Spacey is bad casting. He do not fit at all. He is wooden in this role

  • alan | December 16, 2013 9:59 PMReply

    Breaking bad is the best show ever aired and any list that can place it eighth is just a joke. Dont all yell at once? If all are yelling then you know yourself you were wrong to place it eighth I mean not even top 5. What a joke. I came looking for something good to watch but who could trust this dribble of a list.

  • Dave | January 6, 2014 11:42 PM

    Alan... you are 100% correct... it is simple in a league of its own PERIOD... those who haven't seen the series have truly missed something special...

  • Anomynous | November 25, 2013 12:56 PMReply

    Mad Dogs...

  • nila sizan | November 11, 2013 11:42 AMReply

    The idea that the American version of 'house of cards' improved upon the original BBC series is almost laughable. Though clearly an American wrote that comment, and one devoid of any knowledge of superlative acting. The BBC series actually was as much satirical, ironic, and highly comedic..whilst typically the American version was mundane, dry and had some of the worst acting I have ever seen on a TV series, including Spacey who simply never measured up to the part. But the real problem with the American version was even more obvious the writing was atrocious. Take my advice watch the original, and note how the European theatrical history simply jumped out of the TV. Americans seem to adore bad acting, unlike in Europe, where fame, celebrity, and good looks are not required, but merely the skill in acting a part.....

  • Christina | July 3, 2014 6:21 PM

    It's not very often that an American version of a BBC show has any success. Yes, Americans appreciate different aspects than Europeans. I enjoy both. I watched the BBC version years ago and enjoyed it. I tried watching the American version but couldn't get through one episode even though I love Kevin Spacey. It keeps getting great reviews so I'll try it again. Note: even though the American version of The Office lasted a lot longer than the BBC version, I still think I prefer the BBC version.

  • Chad | October 10, 2013 5:16 PMReply

    I forgot Hannibal, it should be in the upper part of my list, moving out Da Vinci's Demons.

  • Chad | October 10, 2013 5:12 PMReply

    Couldn't put together a worse list. lol. You have crappy taste.

    1. The Walking Dead
    2. Game of Thrones
    3. Doctor Who
    4. Whitechapel
    5. Ripper Street
    6. Being Human (UK)
    7. Dexter
    8. Spartacus: War of the Damned
    9. Supernatural
    10. Da Vinci's Demons

    ...haven't watched Breaking Bad yet, but will soon, so don't knock me for not listing it. I'm sure it would make my list had I seen it.

  • kaos | October 6, 2013 7:06 PMReply

    how can you not even mention the norwegian hit The halfbrother - it has won all sorts of awards from silver at Seoul International Drama Awards - beating "orphan black"

  • jack mioff | September 29, 2013 4:12 PMReply

    lmao, what the hell is this?
    are you living under a rock?
    game of thrones, best tv show right now!
    breaking bad... and all the rest!

    top of the lake #1 really, where does it come from, never of it, ask people around if it's that great... not!

    sir, please! step away from the keyboard...

  • green | September 29, 2013 1:44 AMReply

    Bullshit. Game of Thrones - 1, Breaking Bad -2. Then everything else :)

  • procrastinator | September 12, 2013 8:06 PMReply

    Shame on you all for no Top Boy, Carnivale, or Adventure Time. Seriously.

  • Tony | September 11, 2013 7:19 PMReply

    What about The Following?

  • Anomynous | September 5, 2013 8:15 AMReply

    What about Pretty little liars, Teen wolf, The Vampire diaries, Glee?! like what

  • Anita | September 6, 2013 5:07 PM

    Seriously???Pretty little liars,teen wolf,The vampire diaries,glee???? Do you seriously think that 20-60 yr age group would watch a bunch of teenagers strutting around in designer clothes who couldn't even act to save their lives???? These shows don't even have a strong story line and the dialogues are laughable. Which grown up educated person would watch those teenage shows???

  • hanna | September 6, 2013 5:00 PM

    Those are for kids.Matured people stay away from such junk like pretty little liars,teen wolf,the vampire diaries,glee...etc.

  • CERG | August 27, 2013 8:14 PMReply

    I haven't seen many of those listed...some can't analyze from a holistic perspective, but I liked the Americans, just finished 1st season of "Orange is the new Black" which was fun..., diehard Suits fan, however beginning of much anticipated 3rd is fading fast. The show I really enjoyed, especially from the lead male actor standpoint, is RECTIFY. A really in-depth character study, with a hint of mystery to it...mostly a drama in the end. Plot builds slowly, and so does the intrigue...the prisoner cell clips are phenomenal.

  • Jake | August 25, 2013 8:42 AMReply

    Where is Sons of Anarchy??? Best show ever after Breaking Bad and Justified!

  • James | August 22, 2013 8:03 PMReply

    Top Of The Lake? Top Of The Lake? COME ON!!!! how about The Fall or Broadchurch

  • Hanna | August 16, 2013 9:13 PMReply

    ....."and newcomer "Orphan Black" proved to be a compelling new slice of sci-fi" Sci-fi ????? Did you watch it on drugs?

  • Dave | August 9, 2013 9:10 AMReply

    It was mentioned but advise a watch. Utopia, I thought, was fantastic. The story, acting and visuals are quite something. I was truly amazed by Hannibal. The juxtaposition of some of the most beautifully shot yet terrifyingly graphic scenes made this my pick of the year so far. I love GoT but Hannibal is something completely different and inventive. Not for the feint hearted....

  • Jen | August 3, 2013 3:50 PMReply

    Season 3 of Walking Dead was amazing.

  • chuks | January 27, 2014 10:04 AM

    thank you... so amazing

  • Johan | August 2, 2013 2:23 PMReply

    No Bates Motel but there's New Girl? Stupid, not so credible list.

  • Sheila | August 2, 2013 12:26 AMReply

    Am I the only one that thinks that Treme is a great show?

  • Dave | August 9, 2013 9:02 AM

    Nope!

  • - | July 31, 2013 2:30 PMReply

    Having watched a bit more TV since I last commented, mine would be
    1) Breaking Bad - I don't think I need to say much here, seeing as 99% of the internet seems to be in love with this show. I had some problems with some of it feeling slightly contrived (if I had to single out one episode to demonstrate this, it would be Dead Freight) but it was so entertaining those only amount to niggles.
    2) Mad Men - Even though I prefer Mad Men in general to BB, I don't think there's much disagreement that this was its weakest season. It still picked up later on though, and now that it's over I think the latter half more than made up for the slow start. The finale was amazing, and the season as a whole was easily the most important in terms of plot since season 3.
    3) The Americans
    4) Boardwalk Empire - Had what is probably the show's best episode to date (the penultimate one, can't remember the name), even if there was the odd boring subplot, e.g. Margaret and Gillian. I really enjoyed how they fleshed out Richard Harrow.
    5) Game of Thrones - I seem to be in the minority in thinking this was the show's weakest season. I think people are just remembering the red wedding, which is understandable because it's one of the most well-executed scenes I've ever seen on television, but the season as a whole wasn't that great to me. In some episodes (the most obvious example being 'The Bear and the Maiden Fair'), it kind of felt like they threw in some really memorable scenes at the end to distract colour people's impressions of otherwise pretty mediocre episodes.
    6) Homeland - In spite of its obvious flaws, I still found it highly watchable this season. There were very few shows I found more entertaining.
    7) Hannibal
    8) House of Cards - Great performances, and quite a fun show, even though the cynicism turns Frank Underwood into a villain of almost cartoonish proportions toward the end. I don't think it's good enough to have been nominated for an Emmy, though.
    9) The Newsroom - This is a really, *really* distant 9th, and it's the only one on the list that I don't at least like.
    I haven't finished watching Walking Dead season 3 or Top of the Lake yet.

  • Mr Flow | July 29, 2013 2:40 PMReply

    this is my list: Braking Bad, The Walking Death, Game of Thrones, True Blod and Boardwalk Empire,, all of which are the first place, I have no specific order.

  • YouKnowWhoIAm | October 12, 2013 1:42 PM

    You misspelled Game of Thrones and Boardwalk Empire.

  • tttt | July 19, 2013 12:47 PMReply

    where is arrow,spartacus,walking dead,supernatural and so on and on,Who wrote this stupid list.

  • tttt | July 19, 2013 12:45 PMReply

    this list is for crap...the worst shows ever

  • markus | July 15, 2013 4:17 AMReply

    Walking Dead, Supernatural, The Grimm The BEST! Hate too much talk like hannibal, madmen, girls, justified etc.. crap they bore me.

  • Lily | July 9, 2013 7:03 PMReply

    lmao. This is the most ridiculous fangirl list I have ever seen. Top of The Lake is a boring sluggish pretend-to-be-deep-but-really-pretentious Forbrydelsen/Killing knockoff. Rectify and Orphan Black in "honorable mentions"?! When Mad Men, New Girl and Louie are in the list? ON TOP of House of Cards? Are you serious?
    What about In The Flesh? Not high profile enough?

  • Theresa | July 8, 2013 7:04 PMReply

    Lol Mad Men is on Season 6, not Season 5.

  • J Culver | June 30, 2013 11:28 AMReply

    Internationally speaking, I am dumbfounded that you did not even acknowledge the stunning combination of high drama and all out action that is the amazing "Copper". The ensemble is award-winning, and has the most encompassing, jaw-dropping performance by a minor in the body of Kiara Glasco, as Annie Reilly, since Linda Blair in The Exorcist.

  • Lauren | June 29, 2013 5:44 PMReply

    There's only 5 episodes, but The Fall on BBC Two was one of the best crime dramas I've seen in a long time. I'm a big Hannibal fan and it was right up there next to it for me. All 5 eps are on Netflix, too.

  • jesus | June 29, 2013 4:36 PMReply

    Adventure Time beats anything on FOX, Breaking Bad has been #1 every years it's been out. Game of Thrones is right after that, HANNIBAL for number one? whoever made this list is mentally unstable..

  • - | June 29, 2013 12:43 PMReply

    Also, I've only watched up to episode 5 of Hannibal, but it's really not that great, at least from what I've seen. The only thing that's great about it is Mads Mikkelsen's acting (and to a lesser extent Hugh Dancy's)

  • wes | July 1, 2013 11:15 PM

    Whereas I disagree with your Mad Men statement below, yes, so far episode 6 and 7 of Hannibal are good. The rest that I've seen because of this list (1-5, 8) are terrible.

  • - | June 29, 2013 11:36 AMReply

    There's no way season 6 of Mad Men was better than season 5 of Breaking Bad, and I happen to think that Mad Men is the overall better show. Mad Men's sixth season didn't get great until the last three or four episodes, whereas season 5 of BB was bloody brilliant all the way through. (although I do have a few nitpicks about believability there, everything is so well done that it's not that big a deal)
    I didn't like Thrones as much though. Aside from the Red Wedding, I thought it was kind of below par.

  • Milo | June 28, 2013 12:53 PMReply

    It's 'Jaime' Lannister, I think, not 'Jamie' :P

  • JQ | June 28, 2013 1:06 AMReply

    I think The Venture Bros. deserves a place on the list.

  • JoannieG | June 28, 2013 12:08 AMReply

    Rectify was sheer perfection. Every episode was magnetic, powerful and deeply emotional...still thinking about it long after the final episode aired. Nothing else like it on TV.

  • Kitty | June 27, 2013 10:29 PMReply

    I wish Deadwood was still around.

  • Nila sizan | November 11, 2013 12:07 PM

    About the only comment worth reading here it which rings true. I agree Deadwood was superb, the acting the script, the scenery...truly wonderful..
    I rate Deadwood and The wire the two best ever made American TV shows, and not being a fan of American acting which is usually dreadful and hammy.

  • William | August 8, 2013 7:22 AM

    I too enjoyed deadwood, although a bit crude. I did like it!

  • Lindsay | June 27, 2013 4:00 PMReply

    Orphan Black is one of the most sophisticated shows in ages and proves that BBC America has real potential for releasing high-quality original programming. And speaking of the BBC, The Hour is the best writing on television and was cut criminally short.

  • Yellow Jester | June 27, 2013 10:48 AMReply

    Walking Dead?

  • Christian | June 27, 2013 5:24 AMReply

    WHERE THE FUCK IS SCANDAL??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

  • Carry | June 27, 2013 1:18 PM

    You voluntarily agreed to stop commenting on the site. Have you forgotten?

  • Alan B | June 27, 2013 6:57 AM

    It's a series that tries to convince us that the dead-eyed asshole villain in 'Ghost' is also a sex symbol. No, I don't understand, either.

  • wes | June 27, 2013 5:20 AMReply

    But you all seriously need to rewatch and rewatch Arrested Development and reconsider not putting it on this list.

  • Ugh | June 27, 2013 5:18 AMReply

    Fucking joke that GIRLS was on this list & BOARDWALK EMPIRE is an "honorable mention"

  • M | June 28, 2013 3:05 PM

    Agreed.

  • wes | June 27, 2013 5:02 AMReply

    thank you for saying that about Breaking Bad. So overrated. I doubt I'll watch the finale. Season 4 and season 5.1 ruined it all, as far as I'm concerned.

  • nila sizan | November 11, 2013 12:10 PM

    I agree, very overrated...funny at times, but it reminded me of a tv series that didn't actually know whether to take itself serious or not, and the result showed in the dichotomy it melted into.

  • wassup | June 27, 2013 1:17 AMReply

    You're either out of your mind, or you were probably drunk when you wrote this list. I know this is your personal opinion, but seriously, Game of Thrones and Breaking Bad aren't even on the top 5? That's a pretty ridiculous opinion to have.

  • Nick | June 27, 2013 12:48 AMReply

    Southland belongs on this list, if only for Michael Cudlitz's fantastic performance.

  • Javier | June 27, 2013 12:11 AMReply

    Have to definitely agree with Chris on Regular Show. And Maron???

  • adam | June 26, 2013 11:23 PMReply

    Surely this list isn't supposed to be in order ...

  • Sam | June 26, 2013 9:31 PMReply

    Hannibal and Rectify were by far the best new shows of the season for me. Both beautifully and subtly written and filmed, captivating (Hannibal in a eerie way) shows that left you thinking long after the credits had run. My two most anticipated returning shows are Sherlock and Breaking Bad. I'm far more excited for TV than I am for any upcoming movies these days.

  • Paul | June 26, 2013 9:03 PMReply

    Rectify was a great show, highly recommended. Hannibal was magnificent. Can't wait for Breaking Bad. However, New Girl over The Fall, Copper, Bates Motel? No way... By the way Bates Motel and Copper were not even in the honorable mention section. What's up with that? Mad Men was a great season this year (still may be the best show overall on TV even though the show just completed its sixth season). And seriously, what about Downton Abbey? Why no love for this amazing show Playlist?

  • Paul | June 26, 2013 9:08 PM

    I forgot to mention Game of Thrones which was awesome as usual. The Americans and Shameless also very good. Your list is good. I need to Netflix Louie, House of Cards and Top of the Lake for sure ASAP.

  • loudrockmusic | June 26, 2013 6:43 PMReply

    The best episodes of season 3 of Bob's Burgers are "The Deepening" (the mechanical shark) and "Wagstaff Broadcast News" (mystery pooper/Li'l Bob)!

  • Chris | June 26, 2013 6:06 PMReply

    What no Adventure Time with Finn & Jake? That and Regular Show. Veep was fucking brilliant this season and as a fan of In The Thick Of It I wish people would quit comparing the two, it's not close, it's just as good. No love for Person Of Interest? C'mon, that's a great show. No Sherlock? Arrested Development really does deserve to be on this list. I thought in many ways it was much better than the first three seasons. Which I faithfully watched the first time around. Family Tree should be in the top 10.

    Other than that, good list. Don't get the love affair with Girls though.

  • Ted | June 26, 2013 7:34 PM

    Sherlock last aired during the 2011-2012 season.

  • Matt | June 26, 2013 5:29 PMReply

    Fairly decent list, though you missed "Orphan Black."

  • Matt | June 26, 2013 5:28 PMReply

    Fairly decent list, though you missed "Orphan Black."

  • Matt | June 26, 2013 5:28 PMReply

    Fairly decent list, though you missed "Orphan Black."

  • Judy | June 26, 2013 5:16 PMReply

    From the Mad Men section: "Even lower-key plot-wise than season four, season five saw fans swapping conspiracy theories for weeks."

    You meant "Even lower-key plot-wise than season FIVE, season SIX saw fans swapping conspiracy theories for weeks."

    This was season six.

  • AJ | June 26, 2013 5:05 PMReply

    Happy Endings

  • Leni | June 26, 2013 4:22 PMReply

    I was with you until I realized Homeland wasn't included at all. It would be hard to top that first season, but the first five episodes or so had twists that many people thought would be the endgame for the series, and left viewers wondering what could possibly happen next. I'm glad Parks and Rec is included though, I agree with that for sure.

  • Chris | June 27, 2013 2:42 PM

    Season 2 of Homeland repeatedly insulted our intelligence with its plotting. Still great character work, but my god, it can be idiotic when it really wants to be. (The entire sequence with Brody picking up the tailor should be enough to disqualify the show from any "best of" lists.)

  • Dan S | June 26, 2013 4:14 PMReply

    "Girls" should not be on this list. Season 2 may be the winner for most depressing "comedy" series ever. Christopher Guest's "Family Tree" is a much better show. And no mention of Jonathan Nolan's "Person of Interest?"

  • h8r | June 26, 2013 3:51 PMReply

    TOP OF THE LAKE is trash. I can't believe you suggest viewers watch it in a full 7-hour marathon when literally every single person that tried to watch it couldn't even finish one full episode without falling asleep or changing the channel.

  • Geo | June 28, 2013 2:25 PM

    Excellent show - but decent Kiwi accent for Moss? I was thinking - I wonder why she didn't even try for the accent.

  • Lobo | June 26, 2013 4:06 PM

    Wow, you're a huge fucking idiot.

  • Boetticher | June 26, 2013 3:07 PMReply

    That was a big surprise. Top of the Lake was the biggest disappointment for me. Very early on I figured out the mystery, and also the identity of the ring leader. And after that, it was a very slow burn to the anticlimactic climax. It was still enjoyable, but I did regret wasting all that time.

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