Jon Hein's Best TV of 2013
by Jon Hein
2013...we hardly knew thee.
I will begin my annual list explaining what shows you will find on most other critic's lists, but not mine.
OVERRATED TV OF 2013 Orange Is The New Black (NETFLIX) I saw four episodes. They were funny. But I didn't go back for more. When I do, perhaps it will make the list. Hey, I was dead wrong about Louie, so I CAN change my mind. Scandal (ABC) I don't mind smart sap, but this show is overrated. It's fine...for an ABC drama. But not Top Ten. Enlightened (HBO) I'm not.
FAVORITE NEW SHOWS The Americans (FX) Really picked up steam towards the end of the season. And I'll watch anything with Margo Martindale in it (including The Millers). Masters Of Sex (SHOWTIME) Michael Sheen and Lizzy Caplan are great, but Beau Bridges and Alison Janney are even better. The show is dry in spite of the subject matter, but still well worth watching.
HONORABLE MENTION Modern Family (ABC) Still makes me laugh, and I always find it touching. It's good, and can be great at times, but needs to get back to its Season One brilliance. And I still don't like the new Lilly. The Newsroom (HBO) I'm a sucker for Sorkin. And Olivia Munn. The Walking Dead (AMC) Maybe I'm growing immune to the zombies and too many regulars are disappearing. I still like it, but it wasn't Top Ten for me this year. Sons of Anarchy (FX) Kurt Sutter knows how to start and end a season, but this just misses making my Top Ten this year. Mayhem will ensue. Parks and Recreation (NBC) I still love this comedy and its ensemble, but this past season was missing something. Hoping that shaking up the cast will lead to more laughs.
MY TOP TEN OF 2013 10. Rectify (SUNDANCE) This moody gem profiling a prisoner leaving death row is a keeper. Heavy drama with some top notch acting...and you'll find out where that teacher Don Draper was banging ended up after all. 9. Veep (HBO) Julia and crew hit their stride this season. Consistently funny satire that uses its cast to its full advantage. 8. Justified (FX) This show continues to stay under the radar. Olyphant and Goggins lead the excellent acting ensemble. The hunt for Shelby was okay, but everything around it was very entertaining. 7. House of Cards (NETFLIX) How can Kevin Spacey in THAT role and David Fincher's direction miss? It didn't. I didn't love Frank talking to the camera so much, but the story picked up speed and careened towards a satisfying ending. Looking forward to season two. 6. Orphan Black (BBC AMERICA) Want to see the best performance by a TV actress last year? Tatiana Maslany awaits you...in more ways than one. 5. The Good Wife (CBS) They shook things up at Lockhart/Gardner, and it paid major dividends. The best show on network TV got even better. Now all they need is a good storyline for Kalinda. 4. Mad Men (AMC) This season was an improvement over last, and that shot of Don looking up at the house on the hill gets you primed for the next season. 3. Boardwalk Empire (HBO) Got off to a great start and ended a little too softly, but an excellent season all around. Bonus points for hardly any Margaret! Buscemi doesn't get enough credit for his performance. 2. Game of Thrones (HBO) Season three hit the ground running and really didn't stop. The Red Wedding shows how gruesome this show can be. Beautifully shot, extremely well acted, and I can't wait to get back to Westeros. Winter is coming. 1. Breaking Bad (AMC) My expectations for the final 8 were sky high. They weren't met...they were exceeded. Breaking Bad is one for the ages. Can't wait to call Saul.
DIDNT WATCH IT YET, BUT LOOKING FORWARD TO ITTop of the Lake (SUNDANCE)
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