BEST OF 2012 - TOP 10 TV SHOWS
Alphabetical order cause who the hell is to say what is better, Louie or Breaking Bad? I will however say what was IMO the absolute best show of the year. It also happens to be what I think is the absolute best artistic achievement of the year, period.
There were, as it has been for the past 15 years, an abundance of great TV. And while I try to watch every pilot out there, and most shows up to a few episodes, I miss some. And I may not give enough time to some great shows out there (Adventure Time for example). So be clear this list is not definitive.
Negative first. Two disappointments of the year for me.
How I Met Your Mother - I was hoping that the end game of season 8 (now season 9) would spark life back into the show. I believe seasons 1-5 are sitcom classic. But nope… still drowning outside of a few episodes.
Parks and Recreations - This is still a great show… but I thought it peaked in season 3, and have definitely found myself not watching it compulsively anymore.
There should be more, but I am limiting myself to a few shows. More than anything, these are just the shows that didnt make my top 10 that stuck out immediately for a variety of reasons. Whether its the best new sketch show, or just a weird summer show that somehow was amazing. Don’t look into it too much.
Ben and Kate, Sherlock, Bunheads, Key and Peele, Rev, Misfits, Homeland
Breaking Bad - The most propulsive and brutal piece of pulp perhaps even put on TV. And yes, it is pure pulp. Brilliant, audacious, and you never know what is coming.
Community - The best written sitcom since Arrested Development. Period.
Cougar Town - A show so breezy and light it makes you forget that what it is pulling off may very well be the hardest type of show to right. Heartfelt, witty, and one of the best comedic casts around.
Girls - It is rare to find such a specific and unique voice in TV. Funny, charming, and insightful. The last 2 episodes are classics.
Good Wife - This is borderline cheating as Season 4 has been rough, but the second half of the brilliant Season 3 was in 2012. However, I watched the whole show this year in a span of 3 weeks… that is how compulsive watchable it is. Honestly, it might very well be (along with Veronica Mars and S1 of Lost) the best network drama I have ever seen.
Happy Endings - Sometimes just being funny is enough. And that is what Happy Endings aims to do. It stands on the edge of sitcom and live action cartoon, but almost every episode is a nonstop barrage of killer jokes and amazing comedic performances.
Louie - Season 3 may not be as perfectly brilliant as Season 2 was, but in its own much more intimate way, it hits the same levels. The Late Night Trilogy is a masterpiece of TV.
Luck - Oh how lucky we are to have even these 10 measly episodes. How Milch and Mann ever worked together I will never know. Nor do I think I will ever understand just how the show is as good as it is. A beautiful poem of gambling, ambition, horse racing, and of course Luck. The horse race scenes are among the best sequences of the year, movie or tv.
Parenthood - This show started great, and every season since has only gotten better (just like the best show of the year). Katims simply understands how to evoke the most human emotions out of his audience. Friday Night Lights with out the football. A show about family that understands all the nuance, pain, love and commitment of the word.
MAD MEN (Best show of the year) - I really have nothing to say other than this is THE artistic achievement of the year. Mad Men works on a level that nothing else does, and when it is all said and done, it will probably be one of the most important cultural artifacts of our time. Season 5 has a string of 5 episodes that are all masterpieces. All 5 of them are among the best episodes of TV I have ever seen.