Wednesday, January 9, 2013

15 Favorite TV Shows of 2012

You might already know this, but television is really good right now. REALLY good. Sadly, for every decent show we've got a couple Jersey Shores or Real Housewives. But quality show do exist, and there are quite a few of them. Here are some of my favorites for the year:

15. Misfits  -

Although season four of the show was probably its weakest so far, it still had a lot to say about many topics most shows are too afraid to talk about. And, since it's a show about young adults with strange powers, it does so in a fun, irreverent way.

Watch on Hulu Plus

14. Raising Hope -

Although this is far from my favorite comedy on TV, I probably laugh out loud more on this show than anything else. Completely ridiculous, but the prowess of Martha Plimpton and Garret Dillahunt sell everything.

Watch on Netflix and Hulu Plus

13. 30 Rock -

There's not much more to say about this show -- not what it used to be, but still going out on a strong note.

Watch on Netflix and Hulu Plus

12. Dexter -

I honestly did not expect this to be on my list at all this year. Season six was painful and almost unwatchable, but something clicked this season, and the writers handled the fallout from last year's finale incredibly well. They had one of the show's best guest stars with Ray Stevenson, and brought this show back on par with it's earlier seasons.

11. Parenthood -

So much of this show impresses me -- the way they handle the rather large ensemble cast, the way they strive to make even simple things as realistic as possible. This season worried me with the inevitable cancer storyline, but has pulled it off with a great amount of respect.

Watch on Netflix and Hulu Plus

10. Southland - 

This might be television's most underrated show. Though it lacks the bite and social commentary of classic cop drams like The Wire, it still has the authenticity that really makes it stand out.

9. The Walking Dead -

Although I've enjoyed the first couple seasons of this show, it had a pretty fair amount of problems. Somehow, shockingly, season three has seemed to fixed almost all of those problems.

Watch on Netflix

8. Girls -

I have not seen a show more sure of itself and more well-defined in its first season than this one. There are characters that are unique to only this show, which says a lot.

7. Sherlock -

There's only one downside to this show: we only get three episodes every year or so.

Watch on Netflix

6. Sons of Anarchy -

Although the show's fifth season began with kind of a rocky start, everything gradually fell into place far better than I had anticipated. And by falling into place, I mean spiraling out of control.

Watch on Netflix

5. Parks and Recreation -

This show is one of few the progressively get better as it progresses. Into its fourth season it still shows no signs of tapering off.

Watch on Netflix and Hulu Plus

4. Community -

Despite being mired in low ratings and various controversy, this show still manages to be one of the cleverest and most daring comedies on television.

Watch on Hulu Plus

3. Louie -

Speaking of daring television, Louis C.K. has completely transformed and comedies on television. Although season three was not the show's best, Louis continues to break the rules while remaining solidly grounded.

Watch on Netflix

2. Mad Men -

Season five was quite possibly the show's best, with things looking bleaker in exchange for the success of Sterling Cooper Draper Price.

Watch on Netflix

1. Breaking Bad -

What did you think would be number one? I know I talk way too much about this show, but Breaking Bad is something special that doesn't happen very often on television. Not only are the aesthetics breathtaking -- beautiful cinematography, fantastic settings, score, etc. But the characters and plot are incredible -- compelling, gripping, and each turn in the plot is simultaneously obvious and completely unexpected. It's a great example of what can happen when the characters influence the plot more than the writers' desires to get to a certain place. That of course may change with the end of the show, but it's so great to see a show where the creators care a great deal about the characters they've made.

Watch on Netflix

What about you? What have I missed?