Monday, December 31, 2012

2012: The Best of Television

With movies like The Hobbit and Les Misérables ruining what were once perfectly good books, there is no doubt that Television is in a new golden age. Here are ten shows that best capture the spirit of these times.


TV's funniest comedy also featured the most engaging behind the scenes dramas as series creator Dan Harmon (Heatvision and Jack) went head to head with Chevy Chase (Spies Like Us) over petty, personal drama while the students at Greendale Community College learned to forgive each other for petty, personal drama. The show returns in February with new show runners Sam Simon, Frank Darabont, and Allan Burns.


The line between fantasy and reality has never been as thin as in Wilfred's twisted world. The second season made the normal seem weird and the weird normal as the eponymous giant, talking dog (Jason Gann) accompanied Ryan (Elijah Wood) on an even crazier series of philosophical adventures. What is Wilfred? Is he us?

Peep Show

Matt King has said that he would like to see what Super Hans is up to in his 70s. I don't think anyone would object to another thirty years of Peep Show.

Don't Trust the Bitch in Apartment 23

The best new show on television comes from a former Undergrads/Malcolm in the Middle/American Dad writer Nahnatchka Khan. Krysten Ritter (The Bitch) plays the real life version of Roger the Alien. Ray Ford plays Luther, the best read character on television since Omar Little.


Despite a brutal take on motherhood in its first season, Louie couldn't confront his father. Something about facing the penis what made you is scarier than replacing David Letterman. Probably because late night talk shows are outdated and seem simple, like something you could hire to entertain children at a party. Fathers are even scarier than a date with Parker Posey. Louie even went to China.


The last series of Skins is the best argument for assisted suicide. For years, each new series piled on more unbelievable melodrama. However, in its final run Skins pulled no punches killing a main character early, instead of the penultimate episode (seriously, their finales were always like funerals).

The Simpsons

The Simpsons can still keep pace with anything else on TV. Every few years someone mentions how The Simpsons isn't as good as it used to be. Nowadays, critics are sometimes willing to concede that there are good episodes up to the 15th season, which means they're only overlooking 38% of the show (plus, a kickass movie). I blame it on laziness. Otherwise, they would have seen 2012's season finale ‘Lisa Goes Gaga’ and realized they had wasted their lives on lesser television.

Breaking Bad

This season on Breaking Bad, the episode Dead Freight fulfills the grandest of all cinematic accomplishments: a great train robbery. Long straight lines make for wonderful perspective shots, and the rhytmic pounding of machinery is the stuff of cinema in its purest form. Viva Vertov! Too bad the first half of the season was a coronation ceremony for Hank (Dean Norris) as the world's most oblivious DEA agent.

American Horror Story

The horror genre has been in such a slump for years, between lame monsters of the week and uncomfortable torture films that would make zombie cannibals vomit with shame. Combining every horror cliche all at once and in every episode, AHS has finally created something that TV has never seen: a genuinely frightening horror series. Take that Stephen King.

30 Rock

Liz Lemon finally got married, dummies. And it wasn't a big hairy deal. I don't know, actually, they may have advertised the hell out of it. I don't actually have a TV.


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