A lot of time in the film industry we focus a lot more on movies than we do on television, and don’t give TV Shows the proper credit that it’s due. Despite the fact that for the right price you can buy a Golden Globe from the HFPA there are some really great performances on television that deserve recognition. I know that I am spoiling my list by saying so in the little blurb up front, but if there were an Academy Award for Best Acting in a TV Series, obviously Bryan Cranston for Breaking Bad would be the front runner, I would argue that the Academy should change their rules and give him a Best Actor nomination regardless, but that’s not how things work around these parts. Without further ado: the top 10 Television Shows/Seasons of 2013.
10. Graceland (Season 1) – This show was a wild card. I really liked it, but didn’t know if it deserved a spot in the Top 10, but after hearing that almost no one has heard of this show, it has to go here just to boost its popularity. Focussing on a group of young adults who all work for various government agencies (FBI, CIA, DEA) living in the same house, helping each other with stings, it has the potential to get really messy, but instead, we were delivered a tight cop drama that could rival The Shield. Bitingly intense and exhilarating I binge watched this show so quickly and can’t wait for Season 2.
9. Brooklyn Nine-Nine (Season 1) – I was really hoping this show was going to bomb. Don’t get me wrong I don’t mind Andy Samberg, but I really thought that after SNL his career was over. I was wrong. Brooklyn Nine-Nine is by far one of the funniest shows on TV and one of the best new shows of 2013. Sure, the humour isn’t the most mature in the world, but when you partner the comedic timing of Andy Samberg with the straight-laced acting of Andre Braugher, it ends up being comedy gold.
8. Homeland (Season 3) – While Season 3 was definitely one of the more boring seasons of Homeland, it really just wraps up the intensity of Season 1 and 2. And without giving too many spoilers away, thank God that the writers had the balls to do what needed to be done a season ago in the end. They could actually finish Homeland now, not do any more seasons, and have created a beautiful story that has the perfect and necessary conclusions it needs. I worry that with a large cast change in store that Homeland is going to become muddied and lose its integrity as the tight, spy-thriller I’ve come to love and adore.
7. Suits (Season 2 Part 2 & Season 3 Part 1) – I was late jumping on the Suits bandwagon, but, thanks to my wife, am now an avid fan that won’t miss an episode. While Season 2 Part 2 was much stronger than Season 3 Part 1 I’m just glad to have this fun, quirky legal drama to follow now that Boston Legal has been off the air for a few years.
6. Bering Sea Gold (Season 2) – I am a “reality” TV junkie, but I try to leave that off of these lists. Bering Sea Gold is my guilty pleasure. Maybe it’s just because I don’t fantasize about money in the same way that the people on this show do, and I am just fascinated by the lengths that people will go to in destroying their personal, financial and professional lives just to make a few ounces of gold a day. Almost every episode is the same, but I still find myself tuning in every week to catch up on the drama on the gold mines outside of Nome, Alaska. Season 3 just started and I’ve saved up a few episodes to binge watch in the New Year.
5. Justified (Season 4) – I love Justified. There’s really not too much more I can say here. Timothy Olyphant as Raylan Givens is great. Walter Goggins as the typical FX villain shines. The writing is great. The plot lines keep my captivated. No way in hell I want this cancelled anytime soon.
4. The Newsroom (Season 2) – Here’s my problem with The Newsroom. I love it. I get engaged and just want to keep watching. BUT. They suck at resolving storylines. End of Season 1 has a serious death threat against Will McAvoy which I was hoping would be resolved in Season 2, instead, it’s never mentioned again. I did love Season 2, despite the fact that I found it frustrating from time to time in the way it would jump back and forth in time. It is classic Aaron Sorkin, so it could go on for many seasons, which gives the writer(s) a lot of time to work on resolving story lines.
3. Sons of Anarchy (Season 6) – I may get a lot of hate for saying this, but if you were in shock and awe of the Season Finale of Sons of Anarchy than you know NOTHING about this television show. Without giving away spoilers, the events that happened in this finale were set up from the beginning. It was an inevitable conclusion. It was only a matter of time; I was just surprised it took this long. If you’ve ever watched anything by Kurt Sutter before you had to know this was going to happen. Despite the fact that everyone was like: “NO WAY!” I still thought Season 6 was a very strong season and truly capitalizes on how the downfall of the M.C. is just around the corner. I’m excited for an explosive 7th and Final Season.
2. Game of Thrones (Season 3) – I have to admit, I stopped reading The Game of Thrones books because of how great the television series was and how true to the book it stayed long before Season 3. So the events like The Red Wedding, which knowing George RR Martin, shouldn’t have been a surprise, truly blew me away, unlike the Season Finale mentioned above in Number 3. I like the whole notion Martin has with the whole ‘every time someone tells me who their favourite character is, I kill them off.’ Game of Thrones is a great show that continues to impress week after week after week. Bring on Season 4.
1. Breaking Bad (Season 5 Part 1 & Part 2) – No surprise here. I was late to the Breaking Bad party. I was in Season 2 when Season 5 Part 2 was starting, but I caught up in time to watch the Series Finale live and was so blown away by how perfect a series this show truly turned out to be. Ozymandias may actually go down as my favourite episode in Television History knocking Casinko from Sealab 2021 from its current position.
Honorable Mention: The Following (Season 1), The Blacklist (Season 1)