scandal-TV

Wow – what a year it’s been. You know a TV year has been great when it’s hard to select just ten terrific shows for an end of the year list. I could easily have added The Americans, The Following, Modern Family and Mr Selfridge to this list. But in the end here’s my 10 faves of the year…

And nope I don’t watch Breaking Bad. I think that one’s had more than its fair share of coverage already!

 Orphan Black-actress

Orphan Black: It took me a few episodes to fall for this curious BBC America cult hit but once I did I was hooked!  By now you’ve probably read dozens of pieces on how great star Tatiana Maslany is as she effortlessly juggles multiple roles – including an uptight housewife, crazed Eastern European psycho and a lesbian science student. But let’s not overlook sarcastic best friend Felix and the ridiculously sexy Paul (Dylan Bruce). Black is only just getting started – so if you haven’t jumped on board yet – now’s your chance!

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Game of Thrones: Thrones’ third season pretty much hinged on one key episode – the endlessly talked about Red Wedding. But let’s not forget this year’s other amazing moments. We learned to love – or at least like – Jamie Lannister; the Dragon Queen Daenerys built her army with a fiery bitch move that had audiences cheering; and Alfie Allen’s Theon endured the most brutal torture scene of the year. Ouch!

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Revenge: Firmly back on track after that rocky second season, Revenge roared into high gear in the Fall, leading up the Hamptons wedding of the year as Emily’s best laid plans came messily undone. Finally Revenge has realized what its fans want – bitchiness, hot guys (hello Patrick) and more Victoria vs Emily face offs. Long may this hot streak continue…

the-goldbergs-cast-ABC

The Goldbergs: My favorite new comedy of the year managed to pull off the tricky balancing act of being both sweet and sour – just like fellow ABC show Modern Family. Eldest son Barry and mom Beverly consistently steal the show. The writing is sharp and the laughs are big. And best of all The Goldbergs doesn’t rely on its 80’s period setting for easy pop culture laughs.

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Scandal: I spent my summer catching up on broadcast TV’s buzziest hit and I’m sure glad I did. Scandal thunders along like a rocket with one stunning cliffhanger after another. Every week you wonder how the show can top the previous episode – but they always do. Kerry Washington holds the whole ensemble together but every character is a winner from duplicitous Chief of Staff Cyrus to budding assassin Quinn. Who knows where the show goes next…

 CARL GRIMES IN THE WALKING DEAD

The Walking Dead: Cable’s biggest show continues to thrive as it eliminates cast members and showrunners on a regular basis! Season 4 managed to balance thrilling zombie action with a deeper dive into key characters. I loved seeing Carol – who I’ve always liked – finally become a fan favorite. And the Fall finale, featuring the Governor’s brutal attack on the prison, was the most action packed TV hour of the year.

 

American Horror Story: TV’s most shocking and outrageous series gave us a double header in 2013. The second half of last season’s Asylum plumbed even darker depths before finally ending on an unexpected note of hope. Meanwhile this Fall’s Coven adopted a lighter tone and saw its ratings almost double – while also delivering the scariest title sequence ever (those KKK style witches outfits are the stuff of pure nightmare). The genius idea to utilize a revolving roster of actors for each AHS season provided a through line between both seasons – and juicy roles for regulars like Sarah Paulson, Evan Peters and of course Jessica Lange. And who can resist a series that gives overlooked talents like Kathy Bates and Angela Bassett the chance to shine.

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Nashville: ABC’s country music saga went super soapy in season 2, adding a roster of new characters and amping up the love triangles. It didn’t all work – Scarlet continues to annoy on a weekly basis  – but I’m loving gay cowboy Will’s secret turmoil and scheming TV talent show winner Layla. Plus the ups and downs of the country music scene make a refreshing and original dramatic backdrop.

 julia-louis-dreyfus-veep

Veep: Julia Louis Dreyfus is outstanding. The writing is razor sharp. The laughs brutal. And boy do you have to pay attention to keep up with HBO’s political comedy. Veep deserves all the accolades it’s received.

 smash-TVShow

Smash: And finally… TV’s most ‘love to hate’ TV show. Critics loved to sniff at NBC’s showbiz soap and it definitely wasn’t perfect. But when Smash worked, it soared! The show featured the best soundtrack on TV. Megan Hilty was vocal perfection. The death of the loveable Kyle was surprisingly emotional. And They Just Keep Moving The Line was quite possibly the best original song ever featured on a TV series. So screw the cynics. Smash will be missed.