Best of 2013 - TV:
"The year of hellos and goodbyes", "The year of Netflix". That’s what comes to my mind when I think about TV shows in 2013. 2013 was a great year for TV, it proved that we indeed do live in the golden age of TV. In this list I’ll talk about my favorite shows of this year (new and old). Let’s begin.
Masters of Sex (Showtime): Probably my favorite show of the year. A show about the lives of Dr. William Masters (Michael Sheen) and Virginia Johnson (Lizzy Caplan) who are considered to be pioneers in human sexuality, and the issues and difficulties that they met during their researches. Masters of Sex delivers powerful performances and a smart plot with every episode. The show is beautiful from the beginning to the end, not to mention its intro theme (my favorite). Let’s hope it stays good, after all, Showtime has a tendency to ruin good shows, e.g: Dexter, Homeland.
Hello Ladies (HBO): A brilliant comedy created by the hilarious Stephen Merchant who is also the star of the show. The show follows the lives of Stuart (Merchant), a web designer looking for the love of his life (a model on a billboard), and his roommate Jessica (Christine Woods), an actress who is trying to land the role that will change her life. Let’s hope it gets picked up for a second season.
Orange Is the New Black (Netflix): OITNB tells the story of Piper Chapman, a woman who is sentenced to 15 months in a federal prison. The show follows the life of Piper as she tries to find her place in the prison while she deals with the inmates and explores her sexuality.. The show is based on a true story, and it’s filled with funny (and emotional) scenes. My favorite show from Netflix, so far.
Les Revenants (The Returned) [Canal+]: In a small french town, a group of dead people (with different times of deaths) mysteriously come back to live with no memory of what happened to them before their deaths. The show is not about zombies, in fact, I’m not sure what it is that made those people come back to life, and that’s part of what makes The Returned a great show. The Returned doesn’t focus on one character. In each episode, it tells the story of one of the returned and how they died. The show’s creepy story is really good, although it ends with a cliffhanger. The second season is coming in 2014, with all the answers we need.
The Americans (FX): A new period/spy drama about a two KGB agents (Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys) who are living in the US (during the presidency of Ronald Regan) as a normal married couple with their children. Their neighbor (Noah Emmerich) is (coincidentally) an FBI agent. Margo Martindale guest stars as the couple’s KGB supervisor. The show follows their lives as they deal with their assignments, their past, and their marriage. A great new thrilling show that you should definitely see. The show will return for a second season in January 2014.
Broadchurch (ITV): A British crime drama revolving about the murder of a young boy in a quiet town. The series follows the story of DI Alec Hardy (David Tennant of Doctor Who), a talented detective followed by his past who recently moved to Broadchurch, and DS Ellie Miller (Olivia Coleman), who recently lost a new job position to DI Hardy, she is connected to the family of the murdered boy. The show is beautiful, the story is great and filled with emotional moments. Broadchurch will return for its second season next year. It’s worth mentioning that FOX will remake this show (for no obvious reasons). David Tennant will reprise his role as DS Hardy in the remake. The remake will also star the great Anna Gunn, and Jacki Weaver. The US version will be called ‘Gracepoint’.
It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia (FX): Everybody’s favorite gang is back with its best season yet! Every episode in this season is great. The chemistry between the gang is still as strong as ever. The show, surprisingly, never feels boring or repetitive. Charlie is still trying to be with the waitress, and Dee is still trying to get famous. Always Sunny is one of my all time favorite shows, and to be honest, your life is pointless if you’re not watching it (it’s that good!).
Black Mirror (Channel 4): Black Mirror has been called the modern Twilight Zone by many critics. It discusses the side effects of technology using satire and drama. Every episode has a different story. Although this season wasn’t as good as the previous one, it still is much better than other shows.
Inside Amy Schumer (Comedy Central): A sketch comedy show by my new favorite comedian, Amy Schumer. The show is full with hilarious stand-ups, interviews, and sketches. Amy’s jokes and topics include: racism, sex, awkward situations, relationships, porn, and sex again. Which is something I’ve never seen a female comedian do before, and that’s why I like this show. Inside Amy Schumer is a great comedy show that will surely make you laugh a lot.
Getting On (HBO): HBO’s newest show. This dark comedy is based on a British series of the same name. The show is set in a hospital’s geriatric ward. It follows the day-to-day lives of the staff (a doctor, two nurses, and a supervising nurse), and of course, the patients. Although the show only started two weeks ago, I didn’t think twice about putting it on this list because it made me laugh more than most of this year’s show ever did. Getting On looks promising and is definitely getting better with each episode. The first season is really short (six episodes), but remember, it’s all about quality, not quantity.
Mad Men (AMC): Everyone’s favorite period drama is back. This season, Don got back to his old games, sorry Megan. Joan became a partner. SCDP merged with CGC, which means that Peggy is back to her old firm, sort of. And most importantly, Don takes a mandatory leave of absence. The season was great as usual. Sadly, AMC announced that the next season is the final season, but with a twist. The final season will be split into two parts, the first will air in 2014, the second one will air in 2015. It seems like AMC is planning on making the final season of Mad Men as good as Breaking Bad’s.
American Horror Story - Asylum (FX): The creepiest show ever is back. In the second season, the story is set in 1964 at the Briarcliff Mental Institution. This season we saw all kinds of crazy stuff, aliens, exorcism, a Nazi, a serial killer, Anne Frank, and more. The cast this season was wonderful. It included Jessica Lange, Lily Rabe, Evan Peters, Sarah Paulson, James Cromwell, and Zachary Quinto. In my opinion, AHS Asylum is much better than the currently airing AHS Coven. Don’t get me wrong, Coven is not bad, it is just that it isn’t as thrilling as Asylum. My favorite episode was ‘The Name Game’.
Please Like Me (ABC2): One of my favorite new comedies. A new Australian show created by and starring the comedian, Josh Thomas. The show is about a 20 years old guy who discovers that he’s gay after getting dumped by his girlfriend. Josh goes through many awkward and hilarious situations in the show. The show’s first season is only six episodes long, so you have no excuse for not watching it.
House of Cards (Netflix): Netflix’s first original program. When I first heard that the great Kevin Spacey is starring in this show, I immediately started watching it. Spacey plays a congressman who helped in the election of the president and was later promised to be appointed as Secretary of State, but then he discovers that the president broke his promise and that he won’t appoint him. That’s when he starts planning for his revenge. The show stars Kevin Spacey as Francis Underwood, alongside Robin Wright as Francis’s wife, and Kate Mara as a reporter that Francis uses to leak news and scandals, and for a brief while, his lover.
Derek (ITV): Ricky Gervais’s latest work of art. In the show, Ricky Gervais plays Derek, an (autistic?) man who is working as a care taker in an eldercare facility. Derek is shown as a kind, innocent man who is just trying to help people as much as he can. The show is funny, but it’s also emotional at some points. The first season is seven-episodes long.
Other great shows:
New: Moone Boy, Top of the Lake, The Bridge, Orphan Black, Utopia
Returning: Scandal, The Good Wife, A Young Doctor’s Notebook, Game of Thrones, Veep, Girls, Boardwalk Empire
The Office (NBC): The final season of The Office was made for the fans. The finale was satisfying, not to mention that it featured Steve Carell! Dunder Mifflin and all its employees will surely be missed. THAT’S WHAT SHE SAID!
30 Rock (NBC): I’ve never seen so many A-list actors guest starring in any show more than 30 Rock. A funny show about the lives of the writers and the actors of a sketch comedy show on NBC. Although the final season was short, it was more than what I could ever ask for. Now we’ll have to wait to see what’s next from the amazing Tina Fey. TGS no more.
Enlightened (HBO): Definitely one of my favorites of the year. Starring the wonderful Laura Dern, Luke Wilson and Mike White. The show (co-created by Dern and White), is one of the most underrated shows ever. It’s a great show with a moving story and terrific performances. The show was planned to have three seasons, but sadly, HBO cancelled it after the second season due to low ratings.
Breaking Bad (AMC): All hail the king. Breaking Bad lived up to the hype and delivered its best season. With great performances by Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul, Anna Gun, and the rest of the talented cast. It kept me on the edge of my seat throughout the whole season. Although the finale wasn’t what I hoped for, it was satisfying nonetheless. The question remains, was Walt dreaming in the car outside the bar? or did he really execute his revenge plan? I guess we’ll never know.
Dexter (Showtime): I don’t have a lot to say about Dexter. All I can say is that this once great show finished its eight-season run with what I consider to be one of the most disappointing seasons ever.
Fringe (FOX): One of the best sci-fi shows finally came to an end. The last season of Fringe wasn’t, surprisingly, as bad as I thought it would be. The final episodes were obviously made for the fans. The show tied up all the loose ends and finally put an end to the multi-dimensional story. I can’t wait to see the cast and their future projects.
Misfits (Channel 4):What show on earth will conclude its 5-season run with a hilarious sky sex scene other than Misfits?
The Killing (AMC): Yes, I know that the show was revived (AGAIN!), but I still think that I should put on this list. I honestly never knew what would happen in the third season, mainly because the show’s first two seasons were focused on one story, the murder of Rosie Larsen. I was surprised by this season’s story. It was great and it served as a conclusion to the series (even before the show was officially cancelled). Let’s hope that the upcoming (Netflix-only) final season is as good as the previous ones.
Futurama (Comedy Central): One of the greatest and funniest animated comedies of all time aired its last episode (Again) this year. I really hope it’ll get picked up by another network.