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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The Best Television Shows Of 2012

10) Key and Peele (Comedy Central) Season 1
Created By: Keegan Michael-Key and Jordan Peele

Brief Description: It's easy to call this show the 2012 reincarnation of Chapelle's Show, but please do not. While there are many similarities, Key and Peele's humor is smarter and their skits are more well crafted. This is one of the smartest and funniest shows on television right now.

9) Suits (USA) Season 2
Created By: Aaron Korsh

Brief Description: The show started off amazing as a brewing war in the Pearson Mardman law firm between current firm partner/creator Jessica Pearson and the main character Harvey versus absent firm partner/creator Daniel Hardman but ended sourly because it ended up being the predictable USA show that it is.

8) Homeland (Showtime) Season 2
Created By: Howard Gordon and Alex Gansa

Brief Description: What made Season 1 of Homeland great was that it was 24 except character driven instead of plot driven. However, Season 2 (especially the latter half of it) is now full on 24 with glaring plot holes which diminishes what was an incredible rookie season for Gordon and Gansa.

7) Justified (FX) Season 3
Created By: Graham Yost

Brief Description: The show was not going to live up to its incredible second season but it sure came close. They added two new villains in Season 3 (Quarles and Limehouse) and I thought that muddled the plot because there were too many moving pieces at once. Hopefully, they'll simplify that for Season 4

6) Mad Men (AMC) Season 5
Created By: Matthew Weiner

Brief Description: Despite Season 5 being extremely boring for the vast majority of it and is easily the worst Mad Men series to date, it's still Mad Men. It's still doing things other shows wouldn't dare to do and pulling them off. Despite my constant knocking of the show, there were still many amazing moments like Roger's LSD trip and the Lane Pryce story line during the second half of the season.

5) New Girl (FOX) Seasons 1/2
Created By: Elizabeth Meriwether

Brief Description: While the show took a few episodes in 2011 to figure out its characters and where they wanted to take everybody and everything, by 2012 the show was rocking on all cylinders. The show started focusing more or Schmidt and Nick which made Meriwether's good idea great.
4) Game Of Thrones (HBO) Season 2
Created By: David Benioff and D.B. Weiss

Brief Description: The show aired the best episodes of the year ("Blackwater") and found a way to not only be completely fascinating and mesmerizing but also found a way to focus on character development this season. The one problem I had with Season 2 is that there are so many characters all over this world and some sub-points are getting tiresome (mainly Dany and Jon Snow). I know everyone will converge eventually but right now it feels like the show is dragging its feet at times.

3) Boardwalk Empire (HBO) Season 3
Created By: Terence Winter

Brief Description: "You Can't Be Half A Gangster". Words uttered by the immortal Jimmy Darmody in the show's pilot. Nucky Thompson becomes a full gangster in Season 3 which in turn causes Boardwalk Empire to turn a corner into greatness. The show found a damn good balance between character arcs versus plot points to make this season of Boardwalk the best one to date.

2) Parks and Recreation (NBC) Seasons 4/5
Created By: Michael Schur and Greg Daniels

Brief Description: Parks and Recreation is simply the best comedy on television right now. I think it's surpassing The Office for one of the greatest and recent NBC comedies. Parks and Rec have been on an amazing roll since Season 3 and have not let up on the gas pedal since.

1) Breaking Bad (AMC) Season 5.1
Created By: Vince Gilligan

Brief Description: While normally a Breaking Bad season is 13 episodes long, this "half" season of Breaking Bad was only 8. That in turn affected the storytelling. Gilligan and company are amazing at spending time articulating every detail of everything but they were forced to cut corners with 5 less episodes. That in turn created the worst Breaking Bad season to date since it's first season (which was shortened by the writer's strike). That being said, it's still the greatest show ever and the best show of the year. Even a "bad" season of Breaking Bad is better than anything currently on television.

Shows That Missed The Cut

- Archer (FX): A show that just missed the cut and is 11th on my list. I probably enjoy Archer more than I do Key and Peele but Archer will go through slumps (both mid episode and mid season) and has done so throughout its three year run. I'd like to see Archer be at a higher level more consistently before I throw it on a top ten list.

- 30 Rock (NBC): I have come to grips that 30 Rock will never be as good as it was in Seasons 1-3 but it's sixth season in 2012 was excellent and easily made an argument that it deserved to make my top 10.

- Modern Family (ABC): I know I'm alone on an island on this one but I don't like Modern Family anymore. The characters and the beats of the show have become repetitive and I feel like I'm watching the same episode over and over again.

- The League (FX): Holy cow is Season 4 of The League bad. It was never a great show because it sacrificed both plot and characters for a laugh (which used to work) but now it's not even generating laughs.

- It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia (FX): It's still great but the season is too young for me to properly judge it.

- How I Met Your Mother (CBS) / The Office (NBC): One of my favorite comedies of all time and now have become completely unwatchable (I have stopped watching). Please die already.

- Glee (FOX): it was never that good of a show to begin with but with more worse plot lines (which I didn't think were possible), crappier songs, and poor handling of important teen issues, the bloom is officially off of the Glee rose.

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