Consistently funny, I want to bone Joel McHale (who is funny!), and a smart take on comedy in storytelling (like the entire Abed delivering a baby in the background throughout the episode). Great actors all around, and a good kick-off for NBC’s comedy block.
9) Law & Order: Los Angeles
Not just because Corey Stoll was at my birthday dinner (sort of), but the stories are actually compelling and not always about Hollywood. Even if you dislike Terrence Howard, he’s only featured in every other episode (so far), and the combination team of Alfred Molina and Regina Hall in the DA’s office kill it. I’d go as far to say that LOLA is doing much better storywise than SVU this season.
8) The Walking Dead
The six episode season was a great start to the story I’m just now getting through in the graphic novels. At first I was preoccupied with uncovering what caused the zombies, but now I’m totally invested in the survival and redemption aspect of the show.
7) Boardwalk Empire
Slow to start, but by episode 4 you are hooked. Can we talk about how not strange it is to see Steve Buscemi in the lead role every week? Kelly Macdonald get down with your bad self! Paz De La Huerta, you are insane and I LOVE IT. Michael Shannon, wow, your performances give me goosebumps. This is truly a great period piece and these actors are doing wonderful things with it.
It took me four attempts to get through the pilot episode to understand how good this was. I find myself crying at least once each episode, especially when Lauren Graham starts to shed a tear. The characters and their stories feel real and I totally want a bi-racial baby now.
5) Mad Men
Okay, sorry, I know, I spent three years saying this show was only for gay men who wear cardigans and dress like librarians, drinking whiskey and longing to live in the 60’s and get done on someone’s office desk. But this show is addicting. I love no I hate no I love again no I absolutely hate Don, Christina Hendricks is sensational, and you can’t help but cheer anytime something good happens to Peggy. So yes, I now wear cardigans, dress like a librarian, and drink whiskey while fantasizing about John Slattery doing me over his desk.
4) Raising Hope
The Golden Child (SEE WHAT I DID THERE?) of this season, a brilliantly funny, simple show about the trials and tribulations of raising a baby after Jimmy’s one night stand with a convicted (and later killed!) serial killer. Martha Plimpton is hysterical, as is Cloris Leachman as the bat-shit demented Maw Maw. Can we give this baby an Emmy already, please?
3) The Vampire Diaries
You never know what you’re going to get from this show. Kevin Williamson and Julie Plec know how to tell stories, and just when you think they’re going in one direction, a game changer comes around and totally messes with your expectations (and this usually happens early in the season, within the first twenty minutes of an episode. DRAMA!). And Jesus Christ can Nina Dobrev act! Not since Buffy have I enjoyed a show as much as this one, and it is only gets better.
2) The Good Wife
I hate it when critics refer to shows as “sexy,” but I am going to have to break my own rule here. This show is classy, smart, “Sexy with a capital S” — and its on CBS! Julianna Margulies is wonderful, Archie Panjabi never ceases to amaze me (and we’re still wondering what her character’s real deal is!), I’m turned on by Christine Baranski, Josh Charles is America’s (or at least my) dream man, Chris Noth is on his A game, and I forgive Matt Czuchry for doing all those horrible things to Rory Gilmore. Is anyone else waiting for Mary Beth Peil to walk in any second and say “Jennnnnifur” as much as I am? WATCH THIS SHOW NOW.
1) The Big C
Let’s forgive those horrible print ads for just a moment. This show is why I want to be a writer. Clever, brilliant dark humor with nuggets of dramatic tension and tears, tears, tears. Laura Linney is absolutely fantastic, Oliver Platt is fun to watch, I am hardcore crushing on John Benjamin Hickey (that heartwarming moment where he’s willing to give up all his environmentalist beliefs, tears I tell you), and Gabourery Sidibe along with Phyllis Somerville are hysterical (AND SO FUCKING SAD AT THE END). The powerful finale left me a nervous wreck for an hour afterwards. Truly, this year’s best show.