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Old 06-04-2014, 06:14 PM   #1
AP Oz
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Default Top Ten shows of past season

Since the 2013-14 television season is technically over (I believe that a show had to have premiered by May 31 in order to qualify for this year's Emmy's) here's my TOP TEN list for the last year. Note that, so as to not unduly penalize network shows, I only consider the best 13 episodes of each show's season.

(1) BREAKING BAD: I consider it to be the best TV drama of all time, and "Ozymandias' the best TV episode of all time, so no surprise that it tops my list.

(2) TRUE DETECTIVE: first six episodes were mesmerizing (the last two were fine, but the show lost a little something when it abandoned the interrogation conceit).

(3) ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK: the first original Netflix show that was good enough to reward binge-watching. Really looking forward to the Season 2 release later this week.

(4) MAD MEN: Thank you to AMC for insisting on a split season, which I think imposed a structure that made Season 7A episodes work much better than first half of Season 6.

(5) THE AMERICANS: another great season, though I thought not revealing the big twist in the final episode earlier in the season hurt the episodes that preceded it.

(6) MASTERS OF SEX: very appropriate that a show about a study of human sexuality depicted one of the best character studies (of Bill Masters) on TV.

(7) SLEEPY HOLLOW: What a gloriously berserk show! Or as critic Mo Ryan calls it, "BonkersAwesome!"

(8) ARROW: the Season 2 finale felt truly epic, and did a great job of tying together most of the season's numerous plot lines into a satisfying whole.

(9) THE GOOD WIFE: Season 5 had a LOT of terrific and memorable moments (though the biggest one kind of derailed the latter part of the season).

(10) GAME OF THRONES: Season 4 has had several great storylines-- but also a couple of not-so-great ones (I'm looking at you, Reek and Stannis).

Honorable Mention: the cleverly-structured FARGO, which with two episodes left could crack my Top Ten by the time it's done.

Incidentally, I didn't think any comedies were even close to a Top Ten show (which is strange because in late 2012 I remember thinking that there there were a bunch of really good comedies on TV at the time). My top 5 comedies of the last year, based simply on how much they made me laugh over the course of the season, are: (5) Legit, (4) Enlisted, (3) The Neighbors, (2) New Girl, and (1) Trophy Wife.
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Old 06-04-2014, 07:48 PM   #2
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Default Re: Top Ten shows of past season

Good choices. Right there with you on Breaking Bad.

Sad that it's being forced to compete with True Detective in the Drama Series category at the Emmys (when we all know TD is really a mini-series). But I have a hunch BB will clean up as a final tribute to its amazing run (Best Series, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress).

No love for Scandal?
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Old 06-04-2014, 08:14 PM   #3
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Default Re: Top Ten shows of past season

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No love for Scandal?
I liked it-- I'd put it in my Top 20-- but for me Season 3 had trouble living up to the greatness of Season 2 (which did make my Top 10 last year). There were times when the show was clearly trying too hard (e.g., the chewing, and the licking) to regain the crazy magic of Season 2.

And as much as I enjoyed Joe Morton's performance, his character in many ways weakened Olivia for much of the season, because it made her very unsure of herself.

Hopefully she won't be quite so passive in Season 4 ...
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Old 06-04-2014, 08:57 PM   #4
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I liked it-- I'd put it in my Top 20-- but for me Season 3 had trouble living up to the greatness of Season 2 (which did make my Top 10 last year). There were times when the show was clearly trying too hard (e.g., the chewing, and the licking) to regain the crazy magic of Season 2.

And as much as I enjoyed Joe Morton's performance, his character in many ways weakened Olivia for much of the season, because it made her very unsure of herself.

Hopefully she won't be quite so passive in Season 4 ...
True, this season wasn't as good as the last, though I still enjoyed it. And Joe Morton's grand speeches got tiring after like, the 10th time. Hopefully it'll rebound next year.
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Old 06-05-2014, 03:42 AM   #5
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Default Re: Top Ten shows of past season

Just curious, did you see this season of Louie?
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Old 06-05-2014, 04:20 AM   #6
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Just curious, did you see this season of Louie?
I did. I would put it near the end of my overall Top 20.

It didn't make my Top 5 sitcom list because I don't think it's really a comedy anymore, as the show doesn't seem particularly concerned about getting laughs.

I thought "So Did the Fat Lady" was a fantastic episode. But the "Elevator" six-parter has essentially been a quirky independent film, which is fine, but I like TV a lot more than I like indies.

In case you care, Season 2 of Louie made my (and just about everyone else's) Top Ten that year, but I think the excessive critical adulation of Season 2 (most of which was great, but there were flaws) resulted in the overindulgence that has characterized much of Seasons 3 and 4.
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Old 06-09-2014, 01:28 AM   #7
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Default Re: Top Ten shows of past season

My top twelve (not sure which are eligible):

1) Breaking Bad
2) Game of Thrones
3) Silicon Valley
4) 24
5) The Americans
6) Arrow
7) The 100
8) The BlackList
9) Vikings
10) The Newsroom
11) Falling Skies
12) Suits

I couldn't get into True Detective. I know the acting is great, but I've just seen the slow, deranged serial killer thing too many times.

I suspect The Americans will get shut out of the emmys after getting Oliver North some a writing credit.
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Old 06-13-2014, 12:54 PM   #8
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Default Re: Top Ten shows of past season

I've had some time to think about it, and what makes True Detectives stand out is the exploration of the theme. "Time is like a flat circle" has deep and meaning (although I am still trying to sort out the meaning . Theme is rarely explored with such depth, it's explored in many if not most of the scenes. And I think that is what people are connecting too.

The story is slow too start, I did not become really interested until episode 4. The serial story is average and the ending so-so. While the two leads are well explored from a character standpoint, the rest of the characters felt average to me.

What pulls you into the story is the theme.
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Old 06-13-2014, 01:01 PM   #9
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My top twelve (not sure which are eligible):
4) 24
I'm pretty sure 24 isn't eligible, because not enough episodes aired before June 1.

But I have to say, so far 24 has been terrific this season. The chase scene in the last episode felt novel and exciting.

I think the show works MUCH better as a 12-parter, which basically eliminates the need for the mostly pointless digressions that have derailed many earlier seasons.
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Old 06-15-2014, 07:40 AM   #10
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Default Re: Top Ten shows of past season

GoT behind shows like Sleepy Hollow and Arrow? That's cute.
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