Saturday, January 04, 2014

Top Ten Favorite TV Shows of 2013

Honorable Mention: Family Tree
Nicely affecting little comedy.  Great character work, love love the trip to California and Ed Begley Jr. seals the deal.

Runner-up: Top of the Lake

A decidedly strange, Twin Peaks-ian mini-series, without the humor but with engrossing cinematography (no other word for it) of a high elevation New Zealand town and the surrounding countryside.  The mystery is viscerally disturbing, Peggy Olson is great as the miserable, not-so-smart detective, and an astoundingly haunting Holly Hunter (say that five time fast!) steals the show.

10.  Community

There were actually some good episodes scattered through, from old crew writers like Megan Ganz, and they managed to wrap it up surprisingly well.  I was at peace with its conclusion, but really psyched for Harmon to be back this season.  First two episodes are up on Hulu...check 'em out!

9. The Good Wife

Last season hit the doldrums with the Mr. Big Goes to Washington storyline, but with the divergent rival firms, they're firing on all cylinders again.

8. Orange is the New Black

Wildly ambitious, so naturally has some flaws to work out, but that's way better than the 'Boardwalk' way.  American pie guy needs to seriously fuck off tho.

7.  Arrested Development

Speaking of ambition, Hurwitz is working some crazy angles here, refusing to take any easy route for laughs.  My problem with AD has always been the over-exposition, over-reliance on flashback, and this season was worse there.  But the creativity and daring more than made up for it.  And this:

6.  Parks & Recreation

Talk about an ensemble.  My favorite cast, top to bottom. Perhaps not as funny as it once was, but Pawnee has an alluring geniality that makes you want to set down roots forever.  With a time-share in Muncie for getaways, of course.

5. Veep

Matt Walsh is my spirit animal. 

4. Game of Thrones

I could understand writing this show off, if every actor wasn't absolutely murdering it.  Only the Jon Snow love saga brought you out of the moment.   That said, I think spelunking for Arctic sex caves, complete with requisite hot springs probably skyrocketed this year. 

3. Justified

The season-long mystery was a masterclass on  the slow burn.

2. Mad Men

I think I've finally pinpointed my reluctance to fully embrace this season: Linda Cardellini.  I understand the importance of the storyline, triple-underlining what a wretched man Don Draper is, but her performance, and the writing for her, was unarguably sub-par.  And the hair. 

I still trust Weiner to pull the Season 7 train into the station, but consider the following:

"Who'd rape her?" "Don'd Rape'r!" "Why?" "Because he's a Dick Whit(e)man."

Meaningful?  Meaningless?  Idiotic non sequitur from a man who doesn't know how to stop talking about Mad Men? Who knows!

1. Gravity Falls
 This might seem like trolling, but I swear it isn't.  Check it out.