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The 15 Best TV Shows Of The 2012/2013 Season

by Oliver Lyttelton
June 26, 2013 1:03 PM
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Best TV 2013

Unlike the movies, which do operate on a January-December basis when it comes to awards consideration, the TV season is a slightly different proposition. With ratings dipping in the summer, new shows tend to be unveiled in September or early fall, and are usually wrapping up by May. The rise of cable networks like FX and HBO has staggered this more, but the Emmys taking place in September tends to mean that the season has a more definitive end at this time of year.

Indeed, voting for the biggest and most prestigious TV awards closes on Friday, and as such, and as we've done the last few years, we thought we'd take the opportunity to take a look at some of the best TV of the 2012/2013 season. Voters certainly have a wealth of shows to choose from, but away from the domination of "Modern Family" and "The Big Bang Theory" and company, there's all kinds of greatness that's likely to get overlooked when it comes to the nomination announcements.

Indeed, we found narrowing our (entirely subjective) choices down harder than ever this year; with new outlets like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon and even the History Channel emerging, there's more original programming than ever before -- and crucially, more great original programming. We managed to chip it down to fifteen below, but it should be noted than at least the top five are pretty much interchangeable with each other. So what follows "Parks & Recreation" and "Mad Men," our victors the last two years, into the number one slot? Find out below, and let us know where you agree and disagree in the comments section below.

House Of Cards Kevin Spacey Robin Wright
15. "House Of Cards"
While it might have been revolutionary in its method of financing and delivery -- Netflix paid as much as $100 million for two seasons, and debuted the first in its entirety simultaneously on its streaming service -- "House Of Cards" didn't exactly reinvent the TV wheel when it came to its content, despite big movie names like David Fincher and Steve Zaillian in the credits. But while the show's likely to be remembered more for its method of distribution than for its drama, that doesn't mean that the 13-episode series was a disappointment. While perhaps not a very top-tier show, "House Of Cards" was still furiously entertaining, excellently acted and beautifully directed television. Expanding, and in many aspects improving on, the BBC original, the series followed Democratic congressman Frank Underwood (Kevin Spacey)'s machinations after he's passed over for the Secretary of State job, with subplots that follow rising journalist Zoe Barnes (Kate Mara), young, troubled Representative Peter Russo (Corey Stoll) and Underwood's wife Claire (Robin Wright). As we discussed earlier in the year, it has its flaws, undoubtedly, including some eye-rolling plot contrivances, a few sub-plots that go nowhere, that clunky product-placement, and some thin material for the female characters. But it also had one of the most complex portraits of marriages on television, some fine performances across the board (not least a star-making one from Stoll, who's going on to headline Guillermo Del Toro's series "The Strain"), and a confident aesthetic that saw filmmakers like James Foley and Joel Schumacher aping the style that Fincher established in the pilot. Not an unreserved success, creatively, but more than enough to land it on this list for us, and one senses that the show is only just starting to hit its stride (if it can get past the death of a certain key character, anyway...)
Best Episode: It divided fans, with some calling it the draggy low-light of the season, but we loved "Chapter Eight," which broke with formula to take Frank back to his military-school alma mater, fleshing him out and showing his humanity in a way that, for all its strengths, the original series never really came close to doing.

New Girl
14. "New Girl"
No one would have blamed you for avoiding "New Girl" based on the first couple of episodes, or even the initial marketing. For many, the show's never given them to reason to tune in after its "adorkable" tagline, or its uneven, awkward early episodes. But those who stuck around, or were tempted back, discovered the show picking up confidence over that first season. And in its second season, it really started to fly, somehow turning from something mostly skippable, to a consistently strong and thoroughly enjoyable series. The secret has been shifting emphasis away from Zooey Deschanel's Jess and making it more of an ensemble hang out -- arguably the most creatively successful of its kind since "Friends." Which is not to say that Deschanel's the weak link -- she's actually proven over the 50-odd episodes so far, that she's as talented a comedienne as you could ask for. But the rest of the cast -- Jake Johnson, Max Greenfield, Lamorne Morris and Hannah Simone -- are easily her equal, and have more than found their feet this season (Morris still gets the weakest plotlines, but excels in each one). So when they're all on form, as they mostly have been across the second season (the show's great asset of late has been its sheer consistency), there's hardly anything else on air that can match it for laughs-per-episode. And yet it's more than just a gag delivery system; the show's excellent roster of indie-leaning guest directors including Lynn Shelton, Jesse Peretz, Larry Charles and Max Winkler lend "New Girl" an amiable looseness, and more importantly, a sincerity to its low-key gradual character development that insures that we care about real people, even when the show's at its broadest. There are TV shows that are doing more with the medium, sure, but few were as purely pleasurable to watch over the last twelve months as "New Girl."
Best Episode: Again, the last season or so proved to be so consistent that it's hard to separate from the pack. "Winston's Birthday" might have been the funniest, but we'd lean toward the more emotionally satisfying "Chicago," which saw the gang come together for the funeral of Nick's father (Dennis Farina), including predictably excellent guest spots from Margo Martindale and Nick Kroll.

Parks & Recreation
13. "Parks and Recreation"
 "Parks and Recreation" -- now heading into its sixth season as the lynchpin of NBC's comedy line-up, something that seemed unthinkable a few years ago -- might not be the best comedy on TV any longer (indeed, after its pitch-perfect third season, we called it the best show on TV full stop). But it's all too easy to take it for granted at this point, and looking back over the fifth season, we're reminded of how much we'll miss it when it's gone. Moving away from the only semi-successful election arc in the previous season, things were shaken up just a little by placing Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler, in her finest run yet) inside the city council, where she butts head with the lazy, corrupt Councilman Jamm (Jon Glaser of "Delocated," an appropriately repellent villain). And indeed, almost every character was allowed to grow or change or find new texture in a way that hadn't necessarily been as successful with the previous season -- Ron Swanson falls in love with a single mom played, appropriately, by Xena Warrior Princess Lucy Lawless, Ann and Chris find their way back to each other, even the long-suffering Jerry gets a moment to shine as he retires. The actors -- still the deepest bench of a comic ensemble on TV -- know these characters like the back of their hands, and they're able to wring every single laugh out of the already outstanding scripts. And there was more emotion to the show this year than ever before, including several episodes that proved to be legitimately tear-jerking. Again, "Parks and Rec" hit such a high a few years back that it's easy to overlook it for the thrill for the new, but there's still a consistent brilliance to it that we hope long continues.
Best Episode: "Halloween Surprise," which shows the depth of the show's universe and pairs Nick Offerman with two preteens dressed as princesses, and closes off with the best marriage proposal we've seen in a long time.

12. "Justified"
Every year, we finish a season of "Justified" and fully expect it to figure in the top 5 when we come to compile this list. And every year, we find it pushed lower down by the stiff competition. Which is to say that its relatively low placing should not be taken as reason to avoid the show; "Justified" has been fantastic for the past three seasons, seemingly reaching a peak, and then finding new heights to hit. Seasons two and three focused on major antagonists -- Margo Martindale's Mags and Neal McDonough's Quarles -- but season four subtly reinvented itself, with the plot lines revolving around the search for a long-missing bank robber who has both the law and the Detroit Mob on his tail. And in doing so, it confirmed that over the years, Graham Yost and co have established in its Harlan County setting a world that's as rich, detailed and stacked with memorable characters as Pawnee or Westeros, and a lot of that world building paid off in the hunt for Drew Thompson. Timothy Olyphant got to play Raylan Givens as even more of a (lovable) asshole than before. Walton Goggins' Boyd continued to contain countless multitudes, and thrive as his back was against the wall, even as he paid a terrible cost by season's end. And virtually every character, from MVP recurring guest stars Jim Beaver and Ron Eldard to one-episode walk-ons, feels fully realized. On both a micro and a macro level, the show is plotted, acted and shot in a way that would make Elmore Leonard (creator of Raylan Givens) proud, and we can't really think of anything more pleasurable than the idea of a new Leonard tale every week; even if he wasn't directly involved, his spirit sings in every line or twist. Maybe it'll drop off one day, but for now, "Justified" keeps going from strength to strength.
Best Episode: Unquestionably "Decoy," an action-packed armrest-gripper that was more exciting than every summer blockbuster we've seen so far this year.

Girls Lena Dunham
11. "Girls"
It's fair to say that "Girls" was the most-talked about series of 2012, at least in proportion to its relatively small ratings. It's probably also fair to say that the second season -- written before the first had even aired, and back on HBO barely six months on -- wasn't quite as triumphant a success as the first, probably because of that shortened time frame. In places (particularly a slightly questionable third episode that marks the series' lowest point so far) it felt more of a traditional sitcom than what we've come to expect from Lena Dunham's show, and it could benefit from letting the rest of the ensemble have as much time as Hannah, while the final run of episodes didn't build to as satisfying a conclusion as they did first time around. So sure, a slight case of second album syndrome. But when "Girls" is good, as it was for much of its sophomore season? It's really, really fucking good. The show came off the blocks with a confidence that belied its status as a relative newcomer (starting to address some of its concerns about a whitewashed NYC, even if only in passing), with the same big laughs, and stings of accuracy, that marked its earlier run. Like most modern sequels, it was darker, putting the characters through the wringer (most notably Marnie, who sung an excruciating karaoke song, and had a fling with the dreadful Booth Jonathan), and giving some of the supporting players, most notably Shoshanna and Ray, more texture. And yet its most exciting moments were when it broke from formula, turning episodes into weird, tonally dextrous little mini-movies (which feel inspired by "Louie" as much as anything to us). Even if the slight downward curve continues for the upcoming third season, "Girls" will still remain one of the best shows on TV.
Best Episode: "One Man's Trash," the aforementioned formally experimental, dreamlike half-hour that sees Dunham unexpectedly shack up for a few days with a lonesome divorcee played by Patrick Wilson. The show's critics saw it as a sort of wish-fulfillment, which was to somewhat miss the point...

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  • Theresa J | August 19, 2014 9:58 AMReply

    Game of Thrones! I'm addicted!

  • 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


  • 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


  • 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


  • - | 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


  • 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.

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