HST… Best Television of 2013

BestTV2013Day 4 of the Best Of lists is upon us, which brings the writers of HST… to television.  What kept you on the couch this past year?

AlanTV

Favorite Show: Grimm

This might just be another cop show for some, but for me, it’s the most original, entertaining show on television.  Now three seasons in, Grimm continues to intrigue me.  The story arcs from season to season keep me locked in for the season, and all the unique characters make for a new experience going week to week.  I highly recommend you pick up Season One and start marathoning it pronto!

Favorite New Show: The Following

Sure, it was a bit predictable in its first season, and maybe a tad batshit crazy, but I found The Following to be a tense, psychotic thriller.  Making the man behind the murders rather enjoyable to watch, and having his henchman (and woman) working together to steal a kid made for some great television moments.

Favorite New Character:  Emma from The Following

WHAT.  A.  BITCH.  She posed as a nanny, kidnapped a little kid, murdered without a second thought, betrayed her friends/fellow serial killers all for the love of Joe Carroll.  I don’t know what season 2 has in store for her and her character, but I can’t imagine her becoming “sane.”

Favorite Episode: Breaking Bad “Felina”

I know this isn’t the episode everyone talked about, but “Felina” closed Breaking Bad in the best way possible. Having Walter White tie up all his personal demons, and then taking out the entire neo nazi gang to save Jesse just made the episode that much better.  His inevitable fate was both moving and satisfying, as “Baby Blue” played on as we watch Walter suffer for the last time.  What a show, what a finale.

HeatherTV

Favorite New Show: Orange is the New Black

I think I sufficiently raved enough about this show during my book review for Orange is the New Black that is should be no surprise that this is my favorite new show of this year.  Sure, the show took considerable artistic liberties when adapting the true story to the screen, but that is what makes the show so juicy and drama-filled. A little embellishment here and there never hurt anyone, right?  I can’t wait to see where next season takes us. And the best part? I can binge on them for like 12 hours straight since they are all posted at once. Thank you Netflix.

Runner’s Up: The Blacklist (it’s like the House of FBI shows), American Horror Story: Coven (I’m going by Lauren’s rule here – every season is basically a new show), Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (I’m not one for the superhero stuff, but I love the cast on this show and am surprisingly really enjoying the stories)

Worst New Show: Dads

I gave it a shot for Seth Green, but really, HOW IS THIS SHOW NOT CANCELLED YET? It is truly awful. Spoiler alert: Lauren chooses this for her worst show of the year too, so to keep from being redundant, I’m just going to say “ditto” to her synopsis below.

Runner Up: Moms (Parent shows just were not doing well this year… you know, apart from Parenthood, which I hear is pretty solid).

LaurenTV

Favorite New Show: Orange is the New Black

Dating a prison guard, I hear a lot of disturbing stories about what goes on in a male prison.  My boyfriends perspective provides some interesting stories, from making little outfits for their poop when their medication can’t quite fight the kennel crazy to what happens when a movement team has to rush into the cell of a uncooperative offender, but secretly I like to imagine that something a little closer to Orange is the New Black is going on.  Maybe there’s a redheaded inmate running the prison like she runs the kitchen, maybe there’s someone with crazy eyes marking her territory by another inmate’s bed, or maybe there’s a mythical chicken running around the yard.  With TV (or the internet, as Netflix is responsible for this one) making the rules, anything is possible.

Runner’s Up: Almost Human, American Horror Story: Coven, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Blacklist

Favorite Pilot: Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

I won’t go as far to say that the rest of the season has been a disappointment as I have heard some say, but it hasn’t quite lived up to this pilot episode for me.  Minus the fact that instead of losing a character we actually get one back that he killed previously (Yay AC!), this pilot episode has Joss Whedon written all over it, and for once it is actually the pilot episode he wanted to go with that aired!  Long time fans of the show will definitely appreciate that considering the struggles his shows have had in the past with this, but the audience on the whole can appreciate Whedon coming back to television period.

Favorite episode: Parks & Recreation 6.4 “Dopplegangers”

Pawnee’s Parks & Rec department is forced into close quarters with their Eagleton equals with the threat of being replaced by them since there are only so many positions available.  Tom fights with a drug dealing computer program, Ron once thought he had a friend until it turned out he was the single worst person he had ever met, and April becomes someone completely superficial to manipulate her competition from within, and it was good.  While all of this is going on within the department, Ann is thinking about leaving Pawnee… Oh my god!? Look at that! It’s waffles!

Sampling of runner-Ups: Arrow’s mid-season finale “Three Ghosts” (Oliver is haunted by his past and Barry Allen becomes The Flash), New Girl 2.14 “Pepperwood” (Nick convinces Jess that one of her students is going to kill her, bringing her into the investigation) and 2.19 “Quick Hardening Caulk” (Jess is seduced by Nick’s turn towards being responsible and Schmidt quests to find Cece the Lionfish); Teen Wolf 3.6 “Motel California” (Lydia hears past suicides while the wolves are terrorized by memories and fears strong enough to have them considering ending it all themselves)

Cancelled Too Soon: 1600 Penn

Every year one of my new favorite shows ends up being cancelled.  Ben & Kate still hurts the worst, but the loss of this comedy about the first family is still painfully felt.

Most Missed: Fringe

I could go on and on about loving the blend of paranormal and cop drama that Fringe brought to TV, but honestly, I just really miss Walter.  He may have done some questionable and bad things in his past, but he’s up there with Morgan Freeman for grandpas I wish I had.  With all the shipping couples out there, I just want to spend more time with the platonic Aster.

Biggest Disappointment: Dads

I love Seth Green, but not enough to feel the need to give this show a second chance after the pilot lazily relied on the hope that the audience would be OK with every single joke being racist.  But if it’s coming from the mouth of an extremely obnoxious old man then it’s OK, right!?  No, no it’s not.

Runner Up: Once Upon A Time in Wonderland (It should be noted that I’ve only watched the first episode of this as well; I was just hoping for something a little more mysterious with the possibility that maybe Alice really is crazy, but instead it’s just a straight spin-off of Once Upon A Time in which we know the world of Wonderland is real from the get go)

Turn for the Worse: New Girl Season 3

After a strong second season, season 3 kicks off with yet another through line in which Schmidt ruins his relationship with Cece.  At least when he White Fanged her it had a funny name, but now he’s just a jerk for treating his love interests the way he does, turning him from a lovable character, flaws and all, to an obnoxious jerk.  Luckily the last couple episodes that have aired are heading back to the show I’ve come to love.  Now we just have to fix Winston, who has lost his hold on the straight man character.

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