The Bitch Awards are incredible to put together, but they also only highlight a few of the amazing television shows from the past year. Without further ado, here are some of 2012’s other Best TV shows.
The posts for the Bitch Awards require a certain amount of conciseness since they’re comprised of four mini-posts in one. And, of course, since TVAngie and I are trying to steer people towards (or away from) certain shows, we usually struggle with brevity (or at least I do).
In order to keep our television posts to a reasonable-ish length, I elected to write an additional ‘Best Of The Rest’ post. So beyond the five I mentioned throughout the week, here are some of the other shows that I’ve enjoyed watching in 2012 (organized alphabetically).
30 Rock S6/S7: This last batch of episodes of the Tina Fey laugher prove that the show is going out in top shape. I’ve always been a fan of the behind-the-scene antics at the Girlie Show but Liz (Fey) and Jack’s (Alec Baldwin) goal to drive the network into the ground is paying off in spades with some of the show’s craziest adventures yet. Bonus points for allowing Liz to indulge in her Princess Leia obsession for her long-awaiting marriage to Cris Cross (James Marsden). Returns: January 10, 2013 on NBC
Arrow S1: The Stephen Arnell fronted adaptation of the Green Arrow comics has proven itself capable of balancing action, mythology and just the right amount of camp (there’s a drinking game to be had in the number of shirtless scenes of Arnell we’ve had in such a limited run). It’s a surprisingly self assured freshman show that could have been a unmitigated disaster and there are some pretty exciting guest stars popping up in the near future. Returns: January 16, 2013 on The CW
Ben and Kate S1: Chalk this one up as a sweet and silly winner. Not only is it fall’s best new comedy, it’s got plenty of heart. A lot of the show’s appeal lies in the amicably dysfunctional relationship between brother Ben (Nat Fixon) and sister Kate (Dakota Johnson), while the gut busting hilarity is courtesy of BJ (Lucy Punch), who steals every scene she’s in. All the show needs to do is stop making Kate a moron around men and this will be a dandy little sitcom. Returns: January 8, 2013 on FOX
Cougar Town S3: The continuing adventures of the cul-de-sac crew, including matriarch/drunk Jules (Courtney Cox) as the glue that binds them together remains hilarious, silly and witty. It’s the least appreciated comedy on television, in addition to the one that most encourages my alcoholic tendencies. Cheers to you, Big Joe! Returns: January 8, 2013 on TBS
Damages S5: The final season of one of the most complex television series I’ve ever seen had its ups and downs. On the down: the McClaren (Ryan Phillippe) case proved to be an unnecessary distraction from the real drama of watching Patty Hewes (Glenn Close) butt heads with former protege Ellen Parsons (Rose Byrne). On the up: the final minutes of the series finale proved to be the perfect wrap-up for a show interested in comparing and contrasting Patty and Ellen. It’s unlikely a show with such complex female roles will show up again any time soon. Bonus points: near career best work from a parade of all-star guest actors
Dexter S7: Narrowly missing the award for most improved (that would be The Walking Dead), Miami’s #1 serial killer, Dexter Morgan (Michael C. Hall) let sister Deborah (Jennifer Carpenter) in on his ‘Dark Passenger’ secret and suddenly became must-see TV again. Although – like Homeland – the show couldn’t quite keep up the tension throughout the season (blame the blah romantic storyline featuring a blank Yvonne Strahovski), kudos must be made to a seven year old show for suddenly recapturing magic not felt in years. Returns: Fall 2013 (supposed final season)
Justified S3: This Southern crime drama features the best combination of procedural cases and season long arcs of any show on television. Timothy Olyphant continues to do amazing work as US Marshall Raylan Givens and his two main adversaries for S3, Limehouse (Mykelti Williamson) and especially Robert Quarles (Neal McDonough) prove nearly as entertaining as S2’s villain, Mags Bennett (Margo Martindale). I can only hope we haven’t seen the last of Jeremy Davies’ Dickie Bennett or Jere Burns’ Wynn Duffy. Returns: January 8, 2013 @ 10pm EST on FX
Ringer: Don’t get me wrong – this is not a good show. But it did make for some highly entertaining TV. When I put it on my ‘Worst’ list last year at #3, it was out of sheer disappointment. Not only was the show an awful comeback vehicle for poor Sarah Michelle Gellar, but it didn’t realize how much campy fun it could be! All that changed in the Winter as the show went gangbusters with double and triple crosses. The true cherry on top came when the show revealed that Andrea Roth’s ex-wife was the delightfully unhinged lesbian behind all of the evil machinations. It made no sense at all, but it did raise the show from ‘trainwreck’ to ‘trainwreck I can’t wait to watch.’
Scandal S2: Shonda Rhimes’ least watched series may just be her best. The case-of-the-week format varies from meh to interesting, but it’s the relationship between political fixer Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington) and her lovah, the married POTUS (Tony Goldwyn) that makes this dish so saucy. In recent weeks the show has seriously upped its game with a Presidential sniper attack and the resulting fall-out. Scandal brings a whole new meaning to OMG WTF. Returns: Jan 10, 2013 on ABC
Teen Wolf S2: The campiest – and guiltiest of guilty pleasures – is easily this MTV smash. In S2 the show introduced new werewolves, new hunters and a brand new villain in the form of the Kanima (played by departing cast member Colton Haynes). The result? The series not only became more compulsively addictive, it proved itself so valuable that MTV has supersized its S3. Returns: Summer 2013
The Vampire Diaries S4: I’ll admit that I wasn’t too keen on S3 (too much Originals crap), so I’ve been glad that Klaus (Joseph Morgan) has been sidelined in favour of refocusing on Elena’s (Nina Dobrev) journey into vampiredom. With that said, I support thedude‘s claim that all of Klaus’ massacres should be set to festive music (genius!) Returns: Jan 17, 2013 on The CW