Thursday, January 2, 2014

Best TV of 2013

I am tasked with writing the TV profile, because I am the most avid TV watcher of the PTA. But TV has been really, really different for me this year. I officially cut the cord and do all my TV watching now on Netflix, Hulu, Amazon and iTunes. And part of that was motivated by the fact that I am less and less impressed by what Network TV has to offer. There are a few shows that I am excited to see what happens next (Parenthood, Scandal, Nashville) but not as many as there once was.

So, my top show of 2013 was Broadchurch

Even googling images from this show made me emotional

Broadchurch was on the BBC earlier in the year and now can be had on iTunes for about $20. In British fashion it is only 8 episodes long and tells the story of a small, English, seaside town where a young boy is found murdered on the beach. It's about the investigation that follows, and because the town is so small, it's also about the impact that that investigation has on everyone in town. It's one of those places where literally everyone knows everyone else. The finale was like a gut punch and I couldn't stop thinking about it for weeks.

Other shows I loved this year: Breaking Bad: A satisfying finish to the series that was a modern day Shakespearian tragedy. The Returned: I blogged about this before. It's French, it's terrifying and it's awesome. Orange is the New Black: so smart and funny and original and SO rated R. So do not watch this show and then send me angry emails. Scandal: I was late to this bandwagon, but devoured the first three seasons in about a week. So campy and insane and fun to watch.

Ken's picks

Thanks to the miracle of Netflix and a lackluster TV line up this fall, I'm watching very few current TV programs, but enjoying a few series of yester-year (Cheers, West Wing). 

My loyalties are still with Parks & Rec, though I am upset with the way NBC is treating this gem of a show. It is consistently funny and entertaining. 

I also occasionally tune in to The Goldbergs because A) If Wendi McClendon-Covey, who plays Becky Goldberg, ever died, my dear friend Lisa Valentine Clark could step right in and America would never miss a beat. They wouldn't even know. And B) I always enjoy a throwback to the 80s. That being said, this show drives me absolutely out of my mind with its inconsistencies. Hey Goldbergs, the 1980s did not happen IN ONE YEAR! When the son references this new Rubik's Cube (1980) while he's dressed as a Ghostbuster (1984) and watching Alf in the afternoon with his brother (never happened), I scream to myself, "Is ANYONE working on this show even TRYING?!" 1987 was NOT the same year as 1981. I assure you. I was there. I tried wearing Parachute Pants in 1987. It did not go well. 

Topher's picks:

I watched a lot of TV this year by my own standards, but I'm a loser within the PTA ranks. My TV selections are admittedly strange and I can't really help it. I like what I like. So here's what brought me to the boob tube in 2013:

Game of Thrones. Lisa and I started with seasons one and two this year, and holy crap. Holy, holy crap. I'm addicted. Even though I have to look up every episode online after I watch it to make sure I understood it. Yes, even though that. The acting, writing, and art direction are mind blowing. You can skip all the sexy parts, it's ok. 

My other favorites:

Parks and Recreation
Mad Men
Nashville (I still watch it!)
The Americans
Bates Motel
Orange is the New Black

Patrick's picks:

Why is Hatty in this picture? She hasn't been on the show for like 20 years.'s Parenthood. I died. I watched all the back seasons on Netflix (only 3...maybe 4) then hopped over to Hulu for the current season (Kristina as the Mayor, bleh, but real into Ray Romano...I KNOW?!)  

My wife would say Scandal.  She tore through them so fast I couldn't keep up, so then I refused to watch them and now I'm in the dark.

Still loving The Mindy Project and New Girl.

Sad about: Happy Endings...though it's nice to see it's actors farmed out to The Mindy Project and New Girl.

Stopped watching Nashville, but I feel bad about it.

Dove in to: Orange is the New Black but I can NOT tell you to watch it, it's super filthy and your kids will walk in at just the wrong spot and you'll blame Part Time please don't watch this amazing show whose next season comes out early next year...which is in a week.

Did not want to watch but then it hooked me:  House of Cards.  When I heard that Kevin Spacey was going to talk to me in my living room about his schemes in Washington DC I was reminded of the first season of Sex in the City where, if you watch it now you're all like, "Oh, Carrie, don't do're better then this, just live your life and act like I'm not here."  But when Kevin Spacey does it...I die over it!  It's like I'm part of his, gang...yeah, I am getting the inside scoop and it's just me and him and Robbin Wright taking over America!!! 


It's hard for me to pick a favorite show this year. But I think, for its penetration into all of pop culture, its near panic-attack-inducing pace and story, its ability to create conversation like nothing else, my favorite drama is Breaking Bad. My favorite comedy is The Wrong Mans, a little British export on HuluPlus. This show is funny, sweet, action packed, and has a cliffhanger almost every episode. It's about two guys who work in an office and accidentally get thrown into a murder, mob, spy, robber thing and bumble their way through it. Please check it out so we can talk about it?

Here's my top 10 list of dramas and comedies with an honorable mention thrown in for good measure:

Dramas Comedies
1. Breaking Bad
2. Justified
3. The Americans
4. Top of the Lake
5. Luther
6. Orphan Black
7. Broadchurch
8. House of Cards
9. In the Flesh
10. Elementary

Honorable Mention: Sleepy Hollow
1. The Wrong Mans
2. Parks and Recreation
3. New Girl
4. Brooklyn 99
5. Mindy Project
6. Bob’s Burgers
7. Moone Boy
8. South Park
9. Happy Endings
10. Regular Show

Honorable Mention: Modern Family  

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