So, this isn't a Best Of list... it's a personal Favourites list. Below are the 10 television shows I most enjoyed watching this past year, even if some have big flaws and may not be widely considered better than the critical darlings that don't appear. These are the 10 shows that most occupied my thoughts this past twelve months, and kept me watching their seasons/series all the way through. There may be some glaring omissions in your opinion (Justified, House of Cards, Broadchurch, The Returned?), but if I had to recommend 10 shows to a friend, these are the shows I'd put box-sets of in their Christmas stocking...
|10. The CW's 'ARROW'|
|9. HBO's 'EASTBOUND & DOWN'|
|8. Showtime's 'MASTERS OF SEX'|
|7. Channel 4's 'BLACK MIRROR'|
|6. BBC1's 'DOCTOR WHO'|
|5. AMC's 'MAD MEN'|
|4. Starz's 'SPARTACUS: WAR OF THE DAMNED'|
|3. HBO's 'GAME OF THRONES'|
|2. NBC's 'HANNIBAL'|
|1. AMC's 'BREAKING BAD'|
- The Walking Dead - a game-changing third season finally saw this drama evolve into something I could enjoy beyond an appreciation of gore, violence and rustic tone.
- Luther - a strong third year, but too much fizzled out in that last episode.
- Top of the Lake - much too long but soaked with atmosphere and excellent natural performances.
- The Americans - fitfully brilliant and a clever marital study, yet sometimes dawdling and repetitive.
- The Fall - slow-going but impressive, until an unnecessary cliffhanger soured the meal.
- Fresh Meat - more hilarious student japes from the most underrated comedy on the box.
- The Wrong Mans - perhaps could have been funnier, but it was addictive and perfectly paced.
- House of Cards - it looks tremendous, Kevin Spacey's magnetic, but I was bored rigid five hours in.
- The Good Wife - always brilliant and the perfect balance between serialised and standalone storytelling, but season 5 hasn't started in the UK yet.
- Homeland - still entertaining but no longer essential in season 3.
- Orange is the New Black - it didn't seem all that impressive to me after 3 episodes, and I still hate how Netflix dumps 13 hours on you overnight.
- Boardwalk Empire - sorry, I gave up on this halfway through season 3 and don't regret it, despite everyone telling me I stopped just when it found a second wind (as that's always the case with these things, isn't it...)
- Justified - I'm a big fan, but the most recent season's story arc didn't chime with me that much.
- Broadchurch - look, it was good, but was it that good?