Looking back on the year I have to admit that I watched a lot of TV. I watched a lot because there was a lot to like. It was a strong year on television. Here is a spotlight on my 10 faves in no particular order of the year and why:
1) Game of Thrones: If you were waiting for a fantasy series that would knock on its butt the stereotype that this is genre and cannot have mass appeal then this is the series you have been waiting for. Game of Thrones, based on the George R.R. Martin book series, had an epic first season. Filled with unexpected moments like killing off a lead/beloved character, this was certainly not your typical sword and shield series.
2) Parks and Recreation: This was the NBC series’ fourth season and over the course of this season it has become a more even and entertaining comedy. What is not typical about the show is that the show is filled with characters that are kind and loveable. Yes, wacky as well. The Pawnee Parks Department gang is people you cannot help but cheer for. Part sweetness and part humour. Any episode that you chose to watch from this season was just as likely to make you cry as it would make you laugh. A reminder that hilarious can also be nice.
3) Justified: Flying under the radar it became one of television’s best series in its second season. Much better than the first season. Brings to the small screen the words of one of America’s best writers, Elmore Leonard. The dialogue on the show is amazing. Timothy Olyphant as Raylan Givens is the coolest man on television. Precious few other shows on television are this creative.
4) Boardwalk Empire: The people behind this show raised their game to another level this season. Raising the emotional stakes made it that much better. This is not pretty television but if you like gritty then this is your cup of tea. Impressive in its consistency this show was a much watch in 2011.
5) Homeland: A combination of nail-biting tension and some of the best character development on television has equaled this becoming one of those rare series that people watch live. Great dialogue and complicated relationships. Leads Claire Danes and Damian Lewis both gave strong performances all season long.
6) Once Upon a Time: It could easily have been a cheesy fairytale romp but in the talented hands of the cast and crew has become a show filled with emotion and bold drama. Pretty daring for network television anyways. The cast handles their dual roles well and the show’s writers have added some interesting twists to the well known stories. Not settling for the typical happy endings the show has more of an air of mystery about it. When the drama does veer towards the over-the-top it is nothing but satisfying.
7) New Girl: A new hipster comedy from Fox that features Zooey Deschanel as Jess with all her adorable outfits. Her roommates seem like people you know. Though they are all interesting because of their idiosyncratic behaviour and quirks. Easy to like despite all the neuroses going on.
8) Breaking Bad: All I can say about the fourth season of the show is “Wow”! Against all odds it just keeps getting better and better. A big bravo to the actors and minds behind the show as they have created something unique and wonderful.
- 9) Bob’s Burgers: Now before you have me checked into the loony bin read what I have to say. The animated series features sweet stories and creative voice casting. The three kids on this show are some of my favourite characters on television. What sets this show apart from most television families is that they are supportive of one another and never mean while still being funny and quirky. The parents also keep the family together without foregoing edgy humour.
10) Revenge: Surprisingly this show which is a mixture of Gossip Girl and Dynasty (in other words very soap operaish) has received pretty good reviews over its first season. Inspired by French author Alexandre Dumas’s The Count of Monte Cristo, it features a story about a young woman who moves back to the Hamptons to exact revenge on the people who double crossed her father. Madeleine Stowe, who plays the queen b*tch Victoria Grayson, has been nominated for a Golden Globe for her work as the woman you love to hate.