Game of Thrones makes AFI’s Top 10 list for the third year in a row
By Winter Is Coming on in Awards.

Game of Thrones has landed on the American Film Institute’s list of Top 10 TV Shows of the year. This is the third year in a row that the show has made the list. Additionally, it joins Breaking Bad and Mad Men as the only shows to repeat from last year. Here if the full list, courtesy of HitFix:

“The Americans”
“Breaking Bad”
“Game of Thrones”
“The Good Wife”
“House of Cards”
“Mad Men”
“Masters of Sex”
“Orange Is the New Black”
“Scandal”
“Veep”

Winter Is Coming: Nice to see Thrones continue to be recognized as one of the top shows on TV. What does your top 10 list look like?


145 Comments

  1. Patchy Face
    Posted December 9, 2013 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

    Hodor! My favorite show

  2. Turncloak
    Posted December 9, 2013 at 6:46 pm | Permalink

    And Game of Thrones didn’t make Hitfix’s top ten list this year.

  3. Ozymandias
    Posted December 9, 2013 at 6:58 pm | Permalink

    Hitflix’s (Alan Sepinwall) TOP 10 TV Shows of 2013 :

    1. Breaking Bad
    2. Orange is the New Black
    3. Enlightened
    4. Top of the Lake
    5. Masters of Sex
    6. Mad Men
    7. Boardwalk Empire
    8. Southland
    9. Hannibal
    10. The Good Wife

    But who cares about a dude’s opinion, seriously.

  4. Hodor's Bastard
    Posted December 9, 2013 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

    Yay! I watched the top 4 shows listed, but admittedly I don’t know much about the other six. But what does this list really mean? Quality? Popularity? Originality?

  5. Hounded
    Posted December 9, 2013 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

    AFI’s list is seriously lacking Boardwalk Empire (seriously season 4 was incredible) and Hitfix’s list is obviously lacking GoT. My personal list would go -

    1. Breaking Bad
    2. Game of Thrones
    3. Boardwalk Empire
    4. It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia
    5. House of Cards
    6. Masters of Sex
    7. Parks and Recreation
    8. Luther
    9. Mad Men
    10. Sons of Anarchy

    I’ve yet to watch Justified season 4 yet but I’m assuming I’ll enjoy greatly. (Most underrated show on TV – Its brilliant)

    I was thinking that with Breaking Bad ending this year, Thrones would be by far the best drama on TV next year but if Boardwalk’s fifth season is anywhere near as good as its fourth it will be giving Thrones a run for its money.

  6. debbie
    Posted December 9, 2013 at 7:12 pm | Permalink

    I would add Justified.

  7. Tyrion Pimpslap
    Posted December 9, 2013 at 7:20 pm | Permalink

    Ozymandias,

    Mad Men was not better than Game Of Thrones this year or last. And I’m a huge Mad Men fan who thinks the first 3-4 seasons are as good as TV gets. I also can not say ‘Masters Of Sex’ is better off of the first 10 episodes. Sepinwall has been pretty open on his feelings on GOT, though I thought towards the end of season 3 he was very positive about the show. But he is very vocal on the show having too many storylines and wanting more episodes focused on fewer characters.

  8. Tyrion Pimpslap
    Posted December 9, 2013 at 7:33 pm | Permalink

    Understand that I don’t watch most of the current TV shows, so I will rank the ones I watched this year.

    My list:

    1. Breaking Bad
    2. Game Of Thrones
    3. Boardwalk Empire
    4. Mad Men
    5. Eastbound And Down
    6. Archer
    7. Louie
    8. It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia
    9. Masters Of Sex
    10. The Americans

    The only other show I watch regularly is Homeland, and I just can’t list it as a top show anymore. I intend on watching Orange Is The New Black and House Of Cards at some point, and I’m sure I’ll watch Justified and Sons Of Anarchy eventually.

  9. Abyss
    Posted December 9, 2013 at 7:33 pm | Permalink

    Ozymandias,

    Honest question: Is this list his personal ranking or did he write it as a professional critic? Because there is absolutely no question that, with this season of GoT having the RW in it (arguably the most talked about TV moment this year) and season 3 hitting an all time high of 90% on metacritic (even though metacritic isn’t the answer to everything), Got should be on this list. I know, buzz isn’t the same as quality, but GoT clearly deserves a place on that list from an professional point of view, if only for the phenomena it was this year.

  10. Lex
    Posted December 9, 2013 at 7:36 pm | Permalink

    Wasn’t Sepinwall the one who had trolls constantly ruining the show for him? Purposefully ruining the RW (and everything still to come) in the comments section. That’s what they get, for being such mean spirited trolls. Hurting the reputation of the show.

  11. Tyrion Pimpslap
    Posted December 9, 2013 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

    Lex,

    I’m pretty sure he said he had the RW spoiled for him.

  12. Khal-A-Bunga
    Posted December 9, 2013 at 7:42 pm | Permalink

    My top ten shows that are currently airing and/or in-production:

    10. Masters of Sex
    9. Veep
    8. Rectify
    7. It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia
    6. Justified
    5. Treme
    4. Game of Thrones
    3. Louie
    2. Boardwalk Empire
    1. Mad Men

    Top ten shows of all-time:

    10. Breaking Bad
    9. Band of Brothers
    8. The Twilight Zone (original series)
    7. Friday Night Lights
    6. Curb Your Enthusiasm
    5. Six Feet Under
    4. The Shield
    3. The Sopranos
    2. The Wire
    1. Deadwood

  13. Ozymandias
    Posted December 9, 2013 at 7:49 pm | Permalink

    Abyss,

    I’m pretty sure it’s his personal list based on the choices…
    Top of The Lake, Southland and Enlightened over Thrones Season 3, come on man let’s be serious for a sec.

    My Top 10 favorite shows this year :

    1. Breaking Bad S5b
    2. Game of Thrones S3
    3. House of Cards S1
    4. Boardwalk Empire S4
    5. Masters of Sex S1
    6. Mad Men S6
    7. Orphan Black S1
    8. Hannibal S1
    9. Orange is the New Black S1
    10. Vikings S1

    Homeland is going downhill.

  14. Alex Greyjoy
    Posted December 9, 2013 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

    Top 10 this year:

    1. Breaking Bad
    2. Game Of Thrones
    3. Vikings
    4. Orange Is The New Black
    5. Archer
    6. Arrested Development
    7. Sons Of Anarchy
    8. Parks And Recreation
    9. The Borgias
    10. It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia

    Honorable mentions – House Of Cards, Walking Dead, Homeland, Mad Men, How I Met Your Mother.

  15. Greenjones
    Posted December 9, 2013 at 8:01 pm | Permalink

    Someone show this to the Walking Dead trolls on the Game of Thrones imdb!

  16. Yago
    Posted December 9, 2013 at 8:03 pm | Permalink

    Got, Breaking Bad, Justified, Boardwalk Empire, Hannibal, The Americans, Vikings. Tbf those are the only shows I watched this year, except Homeland (and can’t include that).

    Not watched the last season of Sons of Anarchy and Southland yet, and didn’t watch anything of the others, although I’m going to catch up with House of Cards.

  17. Ozymandias
    Posted December 9, 2013 at 8:04 pm | Permalink

    Greenjones,

    The Walking Dead don’t exist for critics lol but let’s give credit to Season 1.
    Oh and Season 4 was pretty good especially the mid-season finale.

  18. Rygar
    Posted December 9, 2013 at 8:05 pm | Permalink

    Watching Deadwood again. My God that series is perfect. Now I need whiskey.

  19. Abyss
    Posted December 9, 2013 at 8:07 pm | Permalink

    Abyss,

    *phenomenon…

  20. Ozymandias
    Posted December 9, 2013 at 8:08 pm | Permalink

    Rygar,

    It’s not TV, it’s HBO.

  21. Clob
    Posted December 9, 2013 at 8:22 pm | Permalink

    I liked Deadwood “okay,” but it was getting stale for me and I’ve never missed it or wished they’d revived it. It’s just personal preference. I need a show a bit more… exciting, a bit more grand and spread out. Deadwood could have been on a Broadway stage really as they only had a handful of sets that were all right in town. The dialog and delivery of which was really starting to get to me as well, like it was a dumbed down Shakespeare play or something. Sanderson as Farnum was just laughable for me. Swearengen was the best part of the show and it’s probably not a coincidence that he spoke the most “normal” of all of them. I understand that some people really loved it, so no disrespect, I just could never put it on my list of Greats.

  22. Sareeta
    Posted December 9, 2013 at 8:30 pm | Permalink

    It’s definitely been a good year for TV, especially new dramas. Netflix and Sundance have brought their A game with their original series.

    My list:
    1 Breaking Bad (AMC)
    2 Orange is the New Black (Netflix)
    3 Justified (FX)
    4 Enlightened (HBO)
    5 Mad Men (AMC)
    6 Orphan Black (BBC America)
    7 The Returned (Sundance)
    8 Southland (TNT)
    9 Spartacus: War of the Damned (Starz)
    10 Game of Thrones (HBO)*

    *It’s still one of the best series on TV, but since Game of Thrones is limited to 10 hours per book, there’s just not enough time to give the characters the development they need or cover the plot as completely as the book. Orange is the New Black, Justified, and Mad Men pull off character arcs much better.

  23. Ser Tahu
    Posted December 9, 2013 at 8:58 pm | Permalink

    My comments on the shows on their list:
    The Americans – a decent show, I have no problem with it being there.
    Breaking Bad – definitely deserves its place
    Game of Thrones - definitely deserves its place
    The Good Wife – I only just finished the first season, so I can’t really comment on it, but if it’s recent stuff is anything like the first season then it is very good, but not brilliant
    House of Cards – I would say that it deserves its place
    Mad Men - I only just finished season 3, so I can’t really comment. It’s a good show, but I wouldn’t say that it deserves an Emmy for best drama, let alone four in a row.
    Masters of Sex – it’s a very good show, but I don’t think it deserves to be here
    Orange is the New Black – I haven’t seen it (but I plan to)
    Scandal - doesn’t deserve to be here. It just isn’t that good.
    Veep - I have’t seen it, nor to I plan to. I know that their list isn’t restricted to dramas, but it does feel out of place here as the only comedy among a bunch of dramas.

    Anyway, this is what my list would be based purely on the stuff that aired in 2013):
    1 – Breaking Bad (AMC)
    2 – Broadchurch (BBC)
    3 – Game of Thrones (HBO)
    4 – Rectify (Sundance)
    5 – Boardwalk Empire (HBO) (I have been a very vocal critic of the show, but even I must admit that seas 4 was brilliant)
    6 – Sons of Anarchy (FX)
    7 – Vikings (History)
    8 – Hell on Wheels (AMC)
    9 – In the Flesh (BBC)
    10 – The Escape Artist (BBC)

    Honourable Mentions: House of Cards (Netflix), The Newsroom (HBO), Orphan Black (BBC America), Spartacus (Starz), Misfits (E4), Justified (FX), Da Vinci’s Demons (Starz) and The Borgias (Showtime)

    The series’ that I really wish I could have put on the list but can’t (AKA the biggest disappointments): Dexter (Showtime) and Homeland (Showtime)

  24. Jambo
    Posted December 9, 2013 at 9:08 pm | Permalink

    Sareeta:
    Spartacus: War of the Damned (Starz)

    Spartacus was awesome – I really miss that show already.

    And glad to see It’s Always Sunny get so much love around here. It’s pretty crazy they’re in the 9th season, and this one of the funniest yet. If you haven’t watched that show yet, do yourself the favor!

  25. Ozymandias
    Posted December 9, 2013 at 9:17 pm | Permalink

    Sareeta,

    Great to see someone who likes The Returned, I would have it in my Top 10 but I saw it back in 2012. (I’m french)
    Probably one of the few good shows we have here in France… :(

  26. loco73
    Posted December 9, 2013 at 9:43 pm | Permalink

    It has been and eye opening experience overt the past few years to watch how television has grow by leaps and bounds. Sure there is a lot of garbage on television, but there is quality programming if one bothers to look for it. Here are some of the shows I like in no particular order :

    Game Of Thrones
    The Walking Dead
    Low Winter Sun (recently cancelled by AMC)
    The Killing (will thankfully get a proper conclusion on Netflix even though with only 6 episodes)
    Boardwalk Empire
    Supernatural (yep still watching the Winchester bros kick ass)
    Sleepy Hollow (just started watching, decent show)
    Ray Donovan
    Hello Ladies
    Almost Human (guilty pleasure, due in large part to the awesome Karl Urban)
    Banshee
    True Blood
    The Borgias (foolishly cancelled by Showtime)
    Spartacus: War Of The Damned

    New TV shows looking forward to seeing:

    True Detective (HBO)
    Black Sails (Starz)
    Outlander (Starz)
    The Strain (FX- Guillermo Del Toro’s vampire saga)

    I recently read an article in Variety, about how producers and Hollywood execs are nervous about all the talent migrating to television…and you know what, after another atrocious year of subpar and mediocre movies (with some exceptions)…they should be!

  27. Greatjon of Slumber
    Posted December 9, 2013 at 10:05 pm | Permalink

    I’m still somehow only on Season 3 of Breaking Bad so can’t even include it on my list, though Season 3 is so good that I’d imagine it would be there for me. Hard to make a top 10 when I don’t watch enough shows that really would get it there, but I’d go something like…

    1. Game of Thrones
    2. Justified (all those who mentioned it, yes, you’re right, and it is seriously underrated)
    3. 30 Rock (last season, went out like a champ)
    4. Boardwalk Empire (really stepped it up in Season 4)
    5. Orphan Black

    The Bridge wasn’t bad. Mad Men off its game a bit this year. I’d add in Top of the Lake once i watch it :), and The Fall as well. Downton got a bit too twee for me in this last season, and Homeland has basically gone off the deep end, and How I Met Your Mother is past the peak. Girls is ok, but nothing awesome, I didn’t watch The Americans, which is supposed to be real good, and haven’t hit the Netflix dramas yet but will do so soon. American Horror Story’s been real uneven in its Season 3, Luther is good but not great, and haven’t gotten to Broadchurch yet and have no idea how to find Borgen which is supposed to be awesome.

  28. THEIRONprice
    Posted December 9, 2013 at 10:07 pm | Permalink

    Everyone talking about greatest tv show of all time just shut up and put a sock in it. Best show of all time is The Sopranos and best sitcom of all time is Seinfeld.

    /thread

  29. Tyrion Pimpslap
    Posted December 9, 2013 at 10:27 pm | Permalink

    THEIRONprice,

    Never watched Seinfeld, but The Sopranos is certainly at or near the top of my list of all-time best dramas.

    1. Breaking Bad
    2. The Sopranos
    3. The Wire

    Decent dropoff

    4. Mad Men
    5. Game Of Thrones
    6. Rome
    7. Deadwood
    8. Carnivale

  30. Rygar
    Posted December 9, 2013 at 10:34 pm | Permalink

    My good friend just told me that Michael Shannon should be in silent films due to his amazing expressions. Nice to see BE getting the props it deserves.

  31. Joshua Atreides
    Posted December 9, 2013 at 10:59 pm | Permalink

    Rygar,

    Even his Zod was epic ( not to be outdone by Antje Traue’s Faora-Ul who stole the film) :

    “You think your son is safe? I will find him Lara! I WILL FIND HIM!!!!”

  32. Tyrion Pimpslap
    Posted December 9, 2013 at 11:02 pm | Permalink

    Rygar,

    It’d be nice if they gave Willie’s screen time to Van Alden. Or Chalky’s. Or Harrow’s.

  33. Stannis
    Posted December 9, 2013 at 11:04 pm | Permalink

    Breaking Bad actually really disappointed me in the end… The finale was rubbish, and I don’t see why it’s receiving the praise it is. Sure, ozymandias was so good it gave me a stiffy but the finale was such a contrived crowd pleaser it was a joke IMHO. On the other hand, I had nightmares about GoT this year and it was satisfying to watch because they still have the balls to upset the audience (which is exactly what breaking bad lost).

  34. Joshua Atreides
    Posted December 9, 2013 at 11:11 pm | Permalink

    The book fans shot themselves in the foot with Sepinwall. Not only was the RW spoiled for him but you could read the evil glee in his recap. His response to the game changing event: Meh.

    Season 4 may bring Sepinwall back to the fold but it seems he has his pet peeves. And while even Andy Greenwald agrees with him in regard to too many storylines, at least Greenwald accepts why it must be so. Sepinwall needs to understand that GoT was designed for the bingewatch generation not the week to week generation.

  35. JoyToTheSnails
    Posted December 9, 2013 at 11:11 pm | Permalink

    Ozymandias,

    I’ll give credit to the pilot episode, nothing more.

  36. Hodor's Bastard
    Posted December 10, 2013 at 12:03 am | Permalink

    Stannis,

    Wow…that is a minority report for BB. Yes, “Ozy” was probably one of the most dramatic/troubling episodes in history (like the RW, several screen shouting moments) but WW’s story really couldn’t end there. The story needed those last two episodes to wrap things up. Any other ending (such as the deaths of those who didn’t die) wouldn’t have fit the brilliantly desperate arc that began in the first few minutes of S1. Imho, BB’s ending was inevitable and a truly satisfactory conclusion to the multi-season plot arc.

    On the other hand, I can’t compare GoT and BB. Two very different kinds of entertainment.

  37. WompWomp
    Posted December 10, 2013 at 1:55 am | Permalink

    Stannis:
    Breaking Bad actually really disappointed me in the end… The finale was rubbish, and I don’t see why it’s receiving the praise it is. Sure, ozymandias was so good it gave me a stiffy but the finale was such a contrived crowd pleaser it was a joke IMHO. On the other hand, I had nightmares about GoT this year and it was satisfying to watch because they still have the balls to upset the audience (which is exactly what breaking bad lost).

    I can see what you mean. My only real issue with the finale was the song they chose to end it with. It was so on-the-nose that it stole the impact of what I’d call a serviceable conclusion. Vince Gilligan was right when he said Ozymandias was the best episode they had this season, but even then, it was a surprisingly clean segue into a tidy ending. I honestly expected more upsets and consequences.

    I expected a more troubling ending, but Gilligan’s post-series interviews make it clear that he and his writers were going for satisfaction over all else with their conclusion, which is a fair goal. I just always assumed they’d go for a darker closer considering their chronic hints at the ultimate costs of Walt’s actions. Not that we didn’t get plenty of that, but man, that “perfect” ending song just tainted the concluding affair for me in a way I never expected.

  38. WildSeed
    Posted December 10, 2013 at 2:24 am | Permalink

    Sareeta,

    Thanks for mentioning BBC’s ” Orphan Black “

  39. Arthur
    Posted December 10, 2013 at 2:32 am | Permalink

    Tyrion Pimpslap,

    That’s the big issue I also hear many people complain about GoT (besides the fantasy elements which some people just can’t get into because their personal prejudice against fantasy period). The big issue always seems to be that there are two many characters and no time giving to them for a proper story arch.

    I doubt this issue of people feeling like a characters storyline is being rushed will ever be resolved considering D&D’s pacing choice for the show. It’s a necessary sacrifice D&D have consciously chosen to pay in order to bring us as much of the book characters to the TV show they can. So instead of a huge time consuming character story arc that would satisfy some people, they cast another book character and give some time to develop this new character. The good thing is, there are so many cool GoT characters that a TV viewer will most definitely find one they really enjoy. The bad thing is dividing up all the screen time.

    I think maybe D&D will be forced to change this pacing choice for seasons 5 and beyond. They need to slow down to give GRRM time to finish the saga. I bet seasons 5 and beyond will start getting very difficult for D&D because they will need to find a slower pacing while at the same time keeping the show very entertaining.

  40. TheBerylfly
    Posted December 10, 2013 at 3:05 am | Permalink

    Nice to see Orange is the New Black getting some recognition

    Offtopic, guys, but I am on a reread binge and omg, there was so much foreshadowing of the red wedding, how in the hell did all of us miss it

  41. TheBerylfly
    Posted December 10, 2013 at 3:09 am | Permalink

    I am also very surprised on the Elementary getting no mentions. Is it disqualified for the selection somehow? Watch it, guys, it’s uber badass

  42. Podricks Gift
    Posted December 10, 2013 at 4:09 am | Permalink

    BB’s ending was amazing I wish more shows would close all the holes and figure out a good way for the protagonist to go out. I can’t believe soo many people hate perfection. It could of been darker but instead it was perfect. I guess it depends on what you think of Walt but as someone whose faced their own trials and tribulations it was awesome. You can do what you want but theirs a price to pay. Doing your best within the system is the safest way to go but some people can’t control themselves and they meet their fate. That’s what the BB ending said to me and that’s excellent social commentary which is the core of all good entertainment.

  43. Gaius Baltar
    Posted December 10, 2013 at 4:15 am | Permalink

    This list seems to be bit US centric. Two shows i enjoyed pretty much more then anything on this list expect GoT are The Returned and Utopia.

    I am glad Orange is New Black is there and i think Orphan Black should be there too. I am not big fan of BB, because i do not like masculine shows without good female characters, and the finale was awful, but i guess it deserve its place amongs top ten for skillfully building of tension.

  44. OldeCrone
    Posted December 10, 2013 at 4:46 am | Permalink

    The only ones I’ve seen any episodes of are “Game of Thrones”, “The Americans” and “Mad Men”. I only ever managed to watch two episodes of “Mad Men” and will happily continue without seeing another. Just thinking about it makes me want to go and lie in a darkened room but obviously I’m in the minority … Well, obviously I like “Game of Thrones” or I wouldn’t check out this website. I’ve seen a few episodes of “The Americans” and thought it was well acted and perhaps would like to see some more. I like my radio so possibly watch less TV than some folk.

  45. Mescalinic
    Posted December 10, 2013 at 6:03 am | Permalink

    Hodor’s Bastard:
    Yay! I watched the top 4 shows listed, but admittedly I don’t know much about the other six. But what does this list really mean? Quality? Popularity? Originality?

    in the authors intention, those are Quality-list.
    BTW, Mad Men is the best show on tv by far, so if you love tv-shows and don’t watch it, it’s like if you love food and don’t eat italian :)

    i agree that no list can be complete without Boardwalk Empire, season 4 was wonderful. and i also agree with Utopia fans: crazy, amazing show

  46. Patchy Face
    Posted December 10, 2013 at 7:52 am | Permalink

    Mescalinic,

    Interesting – it really is all up to your particular taste. Olde Crone posted above you that she found Mad Men not worth the watch. As to me, tried to watch it a few times and just found it tedious. Breaking Bad good but not to my taste. Only have about four shows that I can stand to watch anymore. Would prefer to read a book.

  47. Joshua Atreides
    Posted December 10, 2013 at 7:59 am | Permalink

    Off topic but has anyone seen Alexandra Octaviu’s audition tape? It’s creepy to say the least…
    http://youtu.be/PvMHRx1rIsQ

  48. Winter Is Coming
    Posted December 10, 2013 at 8:29 am | Permalink

    Gaius Baltar:
    This list seems to be bit US centric.

    Hmm…. I wonder why.

    American Film Institute Top 10 TV Shows

    American Film Institute

    American

    …..

    Oh, that’s why!

  49. Alex Greyjoy
    Posted December 10, 2013 at 8:36 am | Permalink

    Joshua Atreides,

    I was waiting for her to start crawling out of the screen.

  50. Ser Tahu
    Posted December 10, 2013 at 8:43 am | Permalink

    Joshua Atreides,
    Not from Game of Thrones, unfortunately.

  51. Alex Greyjoy
    Posted December 10, 2013 at 8:49 am | Permalink

    Podricks Gift,

    Agreed. BB ended the way it should’ve ended. I don’t understand why people call it a happy ending – Walt’s actions destroyed his family, caused the death of Hank and many others, not mentioning all those who used his product. The fact that he managed to get the money to his family somehow doesn’t even begin to atone for all he caused them.

    The finale of the story was Ozymandias – Walt’s family ruined, Hank is dead and his secret life is out. The last two episodes were a finale for Walt – he did what he thought was right, but never stopped being a selfish egoistical asshole (probably the best scene in the finale is when he finally admits that he did everything because it made him feel good). He went to all the trouble of getting the money through Schwartzes, and went for revenge on the Nazis because his ego didn’t allow him to go out when his goals were not reached. If he just turned himself in instead of disappearing, it would’ve saved a lot of trouble for his family.

  52. Joshua Atreides
    Posted December 10, 2013 at 8:50 am | Permalink

    Ser Tahu,

    Yeah but I’m excited with what she can do.

  53. Mr Fixit
    Posted December 10, 2013 at 9:17 am | Permalink

    Ozymandias was no doubt a masterpiece, but the more I think about the last two episodes of Breaking Bad, the less I like them. They’re still good episodes, but the finale was far too neat for my tastes. It’s not that it was a happy ending, as that’s hardly what I would call it, but Walter managed to outwit and outfox everyone a bit too easily and with no setbacks to his grand plan. For five seasons we’ve been witnessing how even the best plans tend to have unintended consequences, how every single move Walt does takes away a piece of his soul and hurts those he cares about most. The last two episodes are just a tad too pat and masterstroke-ish with Walter going out with one last “hurrah!” that set things as right as they could possibly be at this time.

    I’d have appreciated a more messy, a more honest conclusion.

  54. Zack
    Posted December 10, 2013 at 9:21 am | Permalink

    I guess I don’t watch that much TV.

    1.Breaking Bad
    2.Orange is the New Black
    3.Boardwalk Empire
    4.Justified
    5.Game of Thrones
    6.Archer
    7.House of Cards

    I hate The Walking Dead, I never got into Sons of Anarchy or Mad Men but I’m sure they’re good, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia has been in decline recently, Homeland should have ended after its great first season, and I haven’t seen too many of the other shows people are listing.

  55. Hodor's Bastard
    Posted December 10, 2013 at 9:42 am | Permalink

    Mr Fixit,

    I was wondering….for those who thought BB’s ending was too clean, what did you think of the Sopranos’ ending? It had sort of an “insert your custom ending here” type of finale.

    Btw, there is an alternate ending for BB on the DVDs/blurays that will probably satisfy those who desired a jolt. It was all just a crazy dream….
    :)

  56. Jared
    Posted December 10, 2013 at 9:48 am | Permalink

    Solid list, and good representation of what people were talking about this year in TV. Not having to rank their choices should save them a reasonable amount of grief :)

    My personal Top 10 for the year

    1. Breaking Bad – The television and cultural event of the year. One of the best final seasons for any TV show, and it ended perfectly.

    2. Game of Thrones – The best season yet. Far too many great moments to list, but we all remember them here :)

    3. Broadchurch – Gorgeously shot and brilliantly acted. Haunted me for weeks after I finished it.

    4. Top of the Lake – Slow-paced, but eerily beautiful and gripping. Elisabeth Moss was great.

    5. Hannibal – The biggest surprise of the year for me. What could have been derivative, unnecessary schlock in the hands of a lesser creative team became a dark, haunting meditation on the nature and consequences of violence. It was like a nightmare that I didn’t want to wake up from.

    6. The Americans – An excellent balance between Cold War capers and rich marital drama, elevated by superb performances from both the main cast and guest stars. No show had a better soundtrack this year.

    7. Mad Men – Not my favorite season, but it was still great and ended its season with a very strong finale.

    8. Justified – Hit its peak with the episode “Decoy”, but the season was consistently strong, as usual. Great acting, and the dialogue is rich, sharp-witted, and funny.

    9. Orphan Black – Tatiana Maslany gave what I thought was the best performance(s) of the year. The show around her was extremely fun.

    10. Boardwalk Empire – This show had slipped a bit in my esteem after the 3rd Season, but it rebounded with perhaps its best year yet by focusing on some of the lesser-used members of its ensemble.

    Honorable Mentions go to The Good Wife, Orange is the New Black, Parks and Recreation, New Girl, and Rectify. I also really enjoyed Archer, Arrested Development, Veep, The Bridge, Shameless, Downton Abbey, Sleepy Hollow, and 30 Rock (which only aired 3 episodes this year, but damn they were good).

    Haven’t gotten around to watching Masters of Sex yet … a consequence of falling behind on the increasingly ridiculous 3rd Season of Homeland. Want to get around to The Fall and the 3rd Season of Luther too. Too much good TV …

  57. Turncloak
    Posted December 10, 2013 at 9:49 am | Permalink

    Joshua Atreides,

    This makes a strong case for the Ragnarok theory. The children of the forest seek the distriction of mankind

  58. Turncloak
    Posted December 10, 2013 at 9:51 am | Permalink

    Arthur,

    Not going to happen. D&D won’t sacrifice the quality of the show to wait for GRRM’s writing to catch up. The show will usurp GRRM before that happens

  59. Winterdark
    Posted December 10, 2013 at 10:07 am | Permalink

    Top10 tv shows I saw this year

    1. The Killing(Forbrydelsen) (season 3)
    2. Broadchurch (season 1)
    3. The Bridge(Bron/Broen) (season 2)
    4. Game of Thrones (season 3) (it’s still my favourite show guys)
    5. Boardwalk Empire (season 3)
    6. Battlestar Galactica (seasons 1 – 4)
    7. The Fall (season 1)
    8. Breaking Bad (seasons 1 – 4)
    9. Damages (seasons 1 – 4)
    10. Engrenages (season 1)

  60. Hodor's Bastard
    Posted December 10, 2013 at 10:27 am | Permalink

    Turncloak:
    Arthur,
    Not going to happen. D&D won’t sacrifice the quality of the show to wait for GRRM’s writing to catch up. The show will usurp GRRM before that happens

    I’m throwing a fat and juicy leech on the barbie for the usurper Turncloak for stating such heresy!

  61. dizzy
    Posted December 10, 2013 at 10:56 am | Permalink

    I think people tend to overrate Orange is the New Black. It’s o.k. maybe even be a top ten show but ahead of GoT, Boardwalk Empire or Breaking Bad? No way.

  62. Jon Snuuh
    Posted December 10, 2013 at 11:04 am | Permalink

    GoT was easily my favorite show this year. Breaking Bad was amazing as well, but it never interested me the way GoT has and I’ve been watching BrBa since the day it aired.

    Boardwalk Empire, House of Cards, Hannibal, and Mad Men are all top notch as well.

  63. dizzy
    Posted December 10, 2013 at 11:08 am | Permalink

    My current tv watching top ten looks like this:
    Football
    Football
    Football
    College Football
    Hockey
    Sons of Anarchy
    Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (shoot me)
    Basketball
    Sophia the First
    Dora the Explorer

  64. Patchy Face
    Posted December 10, 2013 at 11:30 am | Permalink

    Joshua Atreides,

    Had this discussion on another thread – over produced audition video…hard to tell if acting is good.

  65. Danarya
    Posted December 10, 2013 at 11:39 am | Permalink

    My top 10? I’m not a big TV viewer, and my favorite shows disappointed this year.

    1) Game of Thrones
    2) Game of Thrones
    3)Game of Thrones
    4) The White Queen
    5) Veep
    6) The Newsroom
    7) The Big Bang Theory
    8) Mom
    9) Dexter–even though it sucked this year.
    10). The Australian version of Big Brother–because the US version is a sick joke.

  66. Shaldun
    Posted December 10, 2013 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

    I don’t watch that much TV it seems. I just don’t have the time between the life besides and the others entertainment stuff (I watch a lot of movies too, read and play some video games but I can’t spend enough time to see all the good stuff in all these areas).

    Seriously, I just haven’t watched enough shows to do a Top.

    This year :

    Game of Thrones, season 3. We’re on this website so obviously, everyone love it but yes, I loved it ! GoT stays my most anticipated show every year and the one I prefer to watch, the only one that I follow so closely. Everyone loves it so no need to speak about it. this year has really shcok me how it is a huge show and a culture landmark now. Pretty much everyone that I know watch it now even people not in fantasy or in TV, it was less the case for the last 2 seasons.
    Breaking Bad, season 1-5. I’ve all watched on a month or so, great show, really gripping and well acted (Bryan Cranston is just amazing !) with very good scenario. I suppose the fact that I watched it all in one time has reduced its impact on me (when you follow a series on a lot of years, it helps, here in one month, these characters have finished their journey)
    Sherlock, seasons 1-2. I watched it a couple of weeks ago as I’m actually in London in academic exchange, I wanted to go on UK TV + the buzz of the approaching season 3. It’s just perfect, Cumberbatch is a perfect Sherlock and the modern adaptation of the cult character is amazing. Can’t wait for season 3 (the wait will be short for me).
    House of Cards, season 1. I just loved it, I don’t know really know how to explain it but everything is great and I can’t wait for season 2.
    The Walking Dead, end of season 3 and season 4. A special series for me, I watch it for some episodes just so great (as the mid-season 4 finale) but I have to pass some pretty boring episodes in between. But there is always some zombies to pass it faster ;).
    American Horror Story : Coven. It isn’t scary at all this year (in fact season 1 was the scariest IMO, I have less loved season 2 but it was still very good) but witches are great and I love the story and characters. And Jessica Lange is great.
    Homeland, season 3. I have loved the first 2 seasons but this year its hard to watch. I stopped some weeks ago. I am at episode 5 or so and I don’t have the motivation to watch more (I’ll certainly give it a try another time).

    I watch also a list of sitcoms (not great comedies, but for a fun time, it’s always good)
    How I Met Your Mother, The Middle, Modern Family, The Big Bang Theory, 2 Broke Girls.

    I hope to catch up Rome, Vikings and maybe Utopia during the holidays. I’ve also The Tudors, The Sopranos, 24 and many others to catch up.

  67. dizzy
    Posted December 10, 2013 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

    Shaldun,

    Bump Rome up to the top of your que, it’s awesome.

  68. Shaldun
    Posted December 10, 2013 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

    dizzy,

    Yeah it is at the top with no doubt, it have been months that I want to watch it (I’ve seen the first season years ago, don’t remeber why I haven’t followed the season 2 directly) . In fact, this summer I wanted to watch it and in the end, I have re-watched the 3 seasons of GoT instead ;)

  69. juseas
    Posted December 10, 2013 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

    Breaking Bad dropped the ball quite a bit. Ozymandias is vastly overrated… just the shock value overshadows all the lost possibilities of storytelling.

    [Mod edit: Breaking Bad spoilers galore.]

    Hank should never have died. He should have been the one to defeat Walt and live in the end. His dead was so stupid and foreseeable and a bad story development. As it stands Hank always was the big idiot and punchbag getting hurt, betrayed and used all the time. I expected more from one of the best TV shows ever.

    Then you have all the logic holes. Over the course of a few hours Walt drives out to the desert, gets caught and has car troubles. Then in the DESERT on FOOT he miraculously finds a house with a car and gets back in time for the afternoon supper. Cheap…

    Biggest failure is Walt being completely out of character during the family breakdown. He always did everything to protect, support and help his family. Of course he liked the power, he felt good being somebody but the FAMILY always stood above that. The Walt as witnessed in the five seasons before would have never been able to LEAVE his family when his son and wife BOTH turned against him.
    He should have had a complete breakdown and give up. But in the stupidest story development ever he acts completely out of character and suddenly turned against his own family which completely negates five seasons worth of character development…

    BB dropped the ball with Ozymandias and delivered a fantastic follow up episode and a weak and boring finale. But the episodes leading up to Ozymandias were great.

    Sad that the BB fans don’t seem to see past the shockers of Ozymandias to get what a failure the episode really was…

    Game of Thrones without a doubt is the better show right now.

  70. Shaldun
    Posted December 10, 2013 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

    Btw do you see Game of Thrones finally getting some majors price this year (like GG and surely others, I’m not a specialist of all the awards) ? I suppose that BB will win all the best drama awards given it’s his last year. But I find that GoT haven’t enough awards for the amazing show it is.

  71. Pliny
    Posted December 10, 2013 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

    juseas,

    Or you know, people might actually like it and “gasp” disagree with you.

    I found that episode WAY more effective than the Red Wedding which was only about the shock value to me.

    But I guess I’m just an idiot. You rock, I suck.

  72. Hodor's Bastard
    Posted December 10, 2013 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

    juseas,

    I’ve found another fat and juicy leech for you, ser….just because…

    Watch the first few minutes of S1 ep1 again. WW would never give up; he was prepared to go down in a shootout; he always wanted to be remembered for a false ideal; he never thought about the consequences to others; he battled with his ego til the very end. That’s the way the showrunners foreshadowed it from the beginning. Any other ending would have been a compromise to the story and a betrayal of those first few minutes of blind desperation.

  73. Hounded
    Posted December 10, 2013 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

    How about biggest disappointments of the year?

    3. Homeland season 3 – actually starting to get good now but its taken far too long into the season to be considered anything other than disappointing.
    2. Community season 4 – very disappointing- obviously because Dan Harmon wasn’t involved.
    1. Dexter season 8 – massive suck-fest. Honestly, I’ve never known a show to end so badly.

    And how about next year? I’m looking forward to

    1. GoT season 4 (obviously)
    2. Boardwalk season 5 (could be the last!)
    3. Mad Men season 7 part 1 (beginning of the end!)
    4. Sons of Anarchy season 7 (final season)
    5. Sunny in Philadelphia (probably final season!)
    6. True Detective – new HBO show – looks awesome
    7. Masters of Sex season 2
    8. House of Cards season 2

  74. Hounded
    Posted December 10, 2013 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

    A lot of great shows being mentioned here – you guys have good taste.
    Something I’m wondering however is have any of you guys seen/ heard of ‘This is England’. It’s pretty big here in the UK but I don’t know if its even been shown outside of the UK. It started off as a film (called this is Engalnd) which was very good and then they followed it up with a mini-series called This is England ’86 which is honestly one of the best pieces of television I’ve ever seen. Its up there with the Sopranos etc. Its only 4 episodes but it is so powerful its scary (Its also very dark and contains some very upsetting scenes but it is brilliant). They then followed that up with This is England ’88 which wasn’t quite as good but was still fantastic. Seriously if you haven’t seen it do yourself a favour and watch it – it is amazing.

    http://www.amazon.com/This-Is-England-86-88/dp/B0073D9UDA/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1386699181&sr=8-2&keywords=this+is+england+86

  75. RDS
    Posted December 10, 2013 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

    I would find room for Suits on my list. And Boardwalk Empire had a really good season.
    Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad, Sons of Anarchy, Veep (although the first season was much funnier)…. thats about all I can think of right now…

    I have tried to watch Mad Med… I have never been able to get into it.

  76. Patchy Face
    Posted December 10, 2013 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

    Does anyone watch Ripper Street on BBC America? Just thought of it and really liked it last year.

  77. NimbusWarrior
    Posted December 10, 2013 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

    Breaking Bad and Game of Thrones :)

  78. Mr Fixit
    Posted December 10, 2013 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

    Hodor’s Bastard:
    Mr Fixit,

    I was wondering….for those who thought BB’s ending was too clean, what did you think of the Sopranos’ ending? It had sort of an “insert your custom ending here” type of finale.

    Btw, there is an alternate ending for BB on the DVDs/blurays that will probably satisfy those who desired a jolt. It was all just a crazy dream….
    :)

    I am ashamed to admit that I… ahem… haven’t watched the Sopranos yet. Though I do intend to correct that mistake.

  79. Hodor's Bastard
    Posted December 10, 2013 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

    Mr Fixit: I am ashamed to admit that I… ahem… haven’t watched the Sopranos yet. Though I do intend to correct that mistake.

    I actually envy your situation. Personally, I thought the success of Sopranos paved the way for BB. It would be interesting to come into Sopranos cold after watching BB. You might have a very different take on it than most.

  80. Joshua Atreides
    Posted December 10, 2013 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

    Patchy Face,

    Sadly it’s been cancelled :(

  81. Hounded
    Posted December 10, 2013 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

    Patchy Face,

    I really wanted to like Ripper Street cause it seems right up my alley and has loads of actors from GoT in it but I found it just wasn’t that good…

    Zack,

    I thought season 9 of Sunny was awesome. ‘Mac Day’ ‘Flowers for Charlie’ ‘The Gang tries desperately to win an award’ ‘The gang saves the day’ … all great episodes.

    And yeah the walking dead sucks haha. Although that last episode was actually pretty good.

    Greenjones,

    Those people exist?!?!?! Link me. I need proof

  82. Mr Fixit
    Posted December 10, 2013 at 3:54 pm | Permalink
  83. Alex Greyjoy
    Posted December 10, 2013 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

    Hounded,

    1. Dexter season 8 – massive suck-fest. Honestly, I’ve never known a show to end so badly.

    Lost was much worse.

  84. RedViper
    Posted December 10, 2013 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

    My favorites of all time (not just this year), and in no particular order:

    Game of Thrones (had to put it first!!)
    Battlestar Galactica (reboot)
    Breaking Bad
    Deadwood
    Carnivale
    Rome
    Star Trek : TNG
    The X-Files
    ALIAS
    24

  85. Patchy Face
    Posted December 10, 2013 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

    Joshua Atreides,

    Ahhh – well, it looks like I was a fan base of one for that show!

  86. Patchy Face
    Posted December 10, 2013 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

    RedViper,

    Really like your list – though I would replace 24 with Lost (I know the finale sucked) and throw in a couple of comedies.

  87. RedViper
    Posted December 10, 2013 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

    Patchy Face,

    Thanks – yes … LOST is definitely up there, with a few more that came to mind after I posted my list, such as:

    Damages
    Justified
    The Fall (new from BBC starring Gillian Anderson – excellent)
    True Blood (Seasons 1,2, 4)
    Dexter (Seasons 1-5, 7)
    The Newsroom
    Downton Abbey

    In the comedy categorie:
    VEEP
    Parks & Recreation
    Arrested Development
    Big Bang Theory
    Modern Family
    Friends
    Cheers
    Murphy Brown
    Simpsons (first 10 years!)
    South Park
    The Ricky Gervais Show

  88. Hodor Targaryen
    Posted December 10, 2013 at 7:03 pm | Permalink

    Ozymandias,

    I find it interesting that Sepinwell didn’t have Game of Thrones in his top 10, but did have it in his “If I Had an Emmy Ballot” list of shows he thought should be nominated for best Drama series. http://www.hitfix.com/whats-alan-watching/if-i-had-an-emmy-ballot-2013-outstanding-drama-series

    Maybe there are several shows that are personal favorites of his…that he doesn’t think should be nominated at the Emmys?

  89. Turncloak
    Posted December 10, 2013 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

    Hodor’s Bastard: I’m throwing a fat and juicy leech on the barbie for the usurper Turncloak for stating such heresy!

    If I’m leached to death how will I support my king Stannis :(

  90. Patchy Face
    Posted December 10, 2013 at 7:08 pm | Permalink

    RedViper,

    Nice … I guess over a 25 year period we are bound to get some pretty decent TV. Really hoping that True Detective lives up to expectations. Also, looking forward to Sherlock, Downton Abbey and of course GoT coming back up soon. Also you hit on Damages – what a great series.

  91. Tereeza 777
    Posted December 10, 2013 at 7:08 pm | Permalink

    Don’t watch enough TV – haven’t seen a lot of these. For me, it’s Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones, Vikings, and The Killing – Peter Sarsgaard was awesome last season as death row inmate Ray Seward. Used to watch Homeland but for me it has really gone downhill. Thought they would have Brody go to the Middle East and get some serious “Syriana” type action go down. Instead, he goes to Caracas, Venezuela. Why? I keep falling asleep after about 10 min., so gave up on Homeland. My bf loves The Walking Dead, so I watch it too. David Morrissey was great this season – and the finale of the first half of season 4 was cool. And, my school, Florida State University, is playing for the National (Football) Championship next month – so have to confess – been watching a little college football on the side as well. Go Noles!!

  92. Hodor's Bastard
    Posted December 10, 2013 at 8:06 pm | Permalink

    Mr Fixit:
    Hodor’s Bastard,
    How so?

    No reason, just curious. For me, The Sopranos broke ground for maintaining intensity within each episode and across multiple episodes, with sudden, often violent, turns. It prepped me for the intensity of BB (and contributed to temporary high blood pressure). You get it in reverse. Curious.

    Both shows have a family at the center, a conflicted patriarch, a strong, assertive spouse, close relationships fraught with dysfunction and consequences, domestic vs criminal balance and overlap, child(ren) caught in the middle, moments of bonding, various medical issues (cancer treatment vs psychotherapy, trauma), etc. Both have elements of classic drama, tumultuous, multi-season arcs, and strong “temporary” side characters with vicious effects on the flailing, reactive main characters.

    Enjoy those 86 hours of escape.

  93. Sareeta
    Posted December 10, 2013 at 8:19 pm | Permalink

    WildSeed:
    Sareeta,

    Thanks for mentioning BBC’s ” Orphan Black ”

    Orphan Black was a surprise for me. It is unlike any other sci-fi series that I have seen and seemed to exist in its own little world until suddenly it gained critic’s attention. Tatiana Maslany gave an outstanding performance, especially when you consider how she had to at times play three different clones interacting with each other in a scene.

  94. WildSeed
    Posted December 10, 2013 at 8:52 pm | Permalink

    Hodor Targaryen:
    Ozymandias,

    I find it interesting that Sepinwell didn’t have Game of Thrones in his top 10, but did have it in his “If I Had an Emmy Ballot” list of shows he thought should be nominated for best Drama series. http://www.hitfix.com/whats-alan-watching/if-i-had-an-emmy-ballot-2013-outstanding-drama-series

    Maybe there are several shows that are personal favorites of his…that he doesn’t think should be nominated at the Emmys?

    Thanks for finding this link, somehow I recalled there was more to what comments
    above, were alluding to. I’m not in complete agreement of Sepinwall’s list, either way,
    but at least it’s reasonable.

    As I’m not that well versed as some here, with respects to watched television sitcoms
    or drama series, I am surprised nonetheless, that most are US networks ( the BBC
    was posthumously mentioned , and only by a few).

    Without a long list of assessments to make, I’m still quite impressed with AMC’s
    ” Breaking Bad “, and ” The Walking Dead ” . HBO’s ” In Treatment ” , ” Game of
    Thrones” and ” VEEP ” ( which makes me laugh ).

    There are stellar BBC related programmes ; ” Broadchurch, The Hours , Orphan
    Black, Doctor Who “, all competing for my undivided attention. Yet other local
    programming elsewhere, that some of us may never get to view or non English
    language shows.

  95. WildSeed
    Posted December 10, 2013 at 9:00 pm | Permalink

    Sareeta,

    Liking show came as a surprise to me. I viewed the debut show out of curiosity, then
    found myself impressed with Maslany’s re-invention of herself, acting quite effectively
    for each character she personifies . Her sibling is a riot, as are the interconnecting
    relationships. I believe Maslany was surprised as any of us, of the show’s success.

    I’m bummed that ” Being Human” ended on such a poor note, but after Annie went,
    so did the ratings ( or the show creator’s creativity ). Thank goodness for ” Doctor
    Who “, I never tire of timey-whimey physics.

  96. WildSeed
    Posted December 10, 2013 at 9:04 pm | Permalink

    Hodor’s Bastard,

    Have you caught HBO’s, ” Oz “, yet ? Vintage and pre-” Wire “. It’s a prison based
    dramatic series, major Brit players on board.

  97. Hodor's Bastard
    Posted December 10, 2013 at 9:08 pm | Permalink

    WildSeed:
    Hodor’s Bastard,
    Have you caught HBO’s, ” Oz “, yet ? Vintage and pre-” Wire “. It’s a prison based
    dramatic series, major Brit players on board.

    I’m always up for good recommendation! I follow the various conversations and indulge where I can. The Wire and BE are in queue….

  98. WildSeed
    Posted December 10, 2013 at 9:10 pm | Permalink

    Turncloak,

    I knew of a bloke that gave 5 fingers ! Of what loyalty are ye, if one’s life is so sacrosanct and denying full measure of tribute to Azor Ahai reborn. That is, unless you’ve decided against that , in your service contract ( ! LOL *>* ) !

  99. WildSeed
    Posted December 10, 2013 at 9:14 pm | Permalink

    Hodor’s Bastard,

    I’ve caught a few episodes of ” The Wire “, I’m about to order more. McNulty and his
    partner used the word ” fuck….” , throughout the focused monologue, to describe a
    murder scene. It was genius ( :

  100. OldeCrone
    Posted December 10, 2013 at 9:15 pm | Permalink

    On British TV the other day someone said they thought “Ripper Street” had been cancelled because people were getting tired of gore. The channels I mention are UK as that’s where I’m based. Some shows I have liked this year in no particular order are:- Prisoners’ Wives [miniseries BBC], Dates [miniseries Channel 4] Arne Dahl [BBC4 but Swedish with sub-titles] Orphan Black [BBC3], Game of Thrones [dependent on someone with Sky letting me warch], the Swedish version of Wallander[BBC4] Spiral (Engrenages) [BBC4] Love/Hate – but I can’t remember which channel it was on Justified aired on one of my nights for going out unfortunately. I think most of the American cop shows are good [except for The Mentalist which I loathe]. To any Australians here – is “Wentworth Prison” worth a watch? The Dumping Ground [BBC] is not bad for a kids’ show. Borgen [BBC4] looks interesting but I haven’t been able to see all the episodes. Some of the newer US shows go on the paid-for channels first and I just don’t know enough people with Sky to cadge a view of all of them and can’t afford the paid-for channels at present.

  101. Hodor Targaryen
    Posted December 10, 2013 at 9:21 pm | Permalink

    WildSeed,

    Had the link handy since I wasn’t sure it was him or not. I read a lot of his stuff surrounding the Emmy nominations, and Game of Thrones came off very favorably in those articles, so I was a little surprised, but not frustrated. Personal taste differs dramatically, so I respect his decision to put, say, Southland on his list even if it’s not the typical choice for most top tens. Personal love for a show even if, objectively, it’s not as well made as others goes a long way for lists like that. Shows like Game of Thrones and Lost definitely get a boost on any list I make in my mind due to my geeky relationship with the show. None of the picks on his list were outright stinkers that I had strong opinions on. Although I don’t watch nearly enough quality television to really judge his list.

  102. Zack
    Posted December 11, 2013 at 12:02 am | Permalink

    RedViper,

    I love how you carefully specify acceptable Dexter seasons. It’s so true. (And I agree with the ones you noted. 6 and 8 almost ruin the show for me.)

  103. DH87
    Posted December 11, 2013 at 12:39 am | Permalink

    Year’s Best
    Breaking Bad
    Spartacus (War of the Damned)
    The White Queen
    Game of Thrones
    Mad Men
    Vikings

    Biggest disappointments: DaVinci’s Demons; Masters of Sex, Homeland

  104. Arthur
    Posted December 11, 2013 at 12:52 am | Permalink

    DH87,

    Oh yes!

    GoT and then Vikings back to back… It’s almost that time of year again! Few more months…

    Speaking of Vikings they just released their first season 2 teaser… Can’t wait for GoT to release theirs. I am guessing the GoT promos start after True Detective debates. At least I get a peek at Ragnar…

    http://youtu.be/EmgF8wqT1Qc

  105. Arthur
    Posted December 11, 2013 at 1:49 am | Permalink

    Arthur,

    Now that I watched the Viking season 2 teaser the Glory and Gore song by Lorde is stuck in my head…

    It’s a song about gladiators and its pretty badass…

    http://youtu.be/K3ZZUiVWlP0

  106. WildSeed
    Posted December 11, 2013 at 1:56 am | Permalink

    Hodor Targaryen,

    I’ve never heard of ” Southland “, before the mention. As with most suggestions here,
    I di a quick Bing search engine check. Perhaps Sepinwall watched a few episodes
    and surmised a good potential, of sorts. Still, these people render perspectives based
    on the shows good merits and a bunch of other undefined if personal preferences.
    An unbiased , reasonably intelligent critic is hard to come by ,these days. So many
    buzz over the same honey pot, or kowtow to the dictates of their news organ. I’ve long
    considered their views as interesting, then fulfill my own interest to gain true insight
    based on my own careful assessment. I’ve found countless examples of films rated as
    **** stars that maybe register ** star, from my perspective. I’m particularly critical of
    most shows, because there must be a good reason for me to give up an hour sitting in
    from of the TV, rather than reading or strolling outside. Surprisingly there are a number
    of potentially good broadcasts, in recent years, so my fear of watching television has
    become amusing. Hell, I’m even sharing the experience, LOL! As the TV favourite show -playing field increased, so have the critics. Even the financial press contribute ink towards recommending a film or show. They’re everywhere ! Find a straight shooter and stick by that person, it may seem. The rest are just competing for word space like the next guy. I’m sure you’re aware of this stuff. Nerds that we are, we demand that everyone else recognize great attributes of GoT, despite the missteps. The contender list has increased, exponentially, and the good ones cause us to compare trivial points, as if it’s all about the competition. Barring complete misdirection,Game of Thrones has great potential. The peer awards will be forthcoming, should inconsistencies improve over time.

    I was hoping that the ” Writers Room ” programme , on the Sundance channel, but that offered little, overall. At the end of each segment, a TV critic presented different questions, in contrast the host, Jim Rash. Other than the Breaking Bad episode, which proved nothing short of amazing, the remainder felt formulaic. On the other hand, the invited guests are the true reasons for what gets admitted or clarified , for the record.
    I’d be satisfied for an eventful interplay among peers, with a surprise admission for icing in the cake. Could be just me. I’m looking forward to next season.

  107. WildSeed
    Posted December 11, 2013 at 2:03 am | Permalink

    DH87: The White Queen

    My omission, from earlier comments. Thanks for the shout out/ mention !

  108. Arthur
    Posted December 11, 2013 at 2:11 am | Permalink

    Arthur,

    “Delicate in every way but one (the swordplay)”

    And

    “Wide awake in bed, words in my brain. Secretly you love this, do you even wanna go free? Let me in the ring, ill show you what that big word means”

    The lyrics for this song are sick…

  109. loco73
    Posted December 11, 2013 at 3:34 am | Permalink

    I know people have mentioned this show in the past, but it is a largely forgotten gem, the show is “Brotherhood”. It is a more intimate and smaller scale study of an Irish -American family . It only ran for three seasons on Showtime before those fucktards decided to cancel it. The show could have successfully ran for another one or two seasons. When it originally started it drew immediate comparisons with “The Sopranos”. I watched both shows, and I must say that even though I might commit some kind of sacrilege, I liked “Brotherhood” more than “The Sopranos”. The cast was just amazing, with Jason Isaacs (Lucius Malfoy in the Harry Potter movies), Jason Clarke (“Zero Dark Thirty”), Annabeth Gish (“The Bridge”) and veteran actress Fionulla Flanagan, as well as other wonderful actors. If you want to see a quality drama, with compelling characters, excellent writting, great story lines I would strongly recommend “Brotherhood”. Below is the link to the show’s Wikipedia page. You can get a better sense of the show BUT BEWARE OF SPOILERS!!!

    http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brotherhood_(2006_TV_series)

    Another show that has been largely forgotten was also a really good was “Dead Like Me”. Unfortunately the numbnuts at Showtime also decided to axe the series after only two all too brief seasons, and Bryan Fuller the show’s creator made a direct to DVD release movie to give it somekind of closure. That was a nice gesture towards fans, but the movie never matched the quality of the show.

  110. loco73
    Posted December 11, 2013 at 3:44 am | Permalink

    Damn it I hate typing on my IPod, it keeps publishing the comments before they are finished … Anywho, do yourselves the favour and watch “Dead Like Me”. Mandy Patinkin (Saul in “Homeland”) is just a joy to watch. Whatever limited number of episodes there are, are like little gems each. At the time when it aired, I liked it more than HBO’s “Six Feet Under”. I still do!

    Oh and just as an aside, the pilot episode for “Brotherhood” was directed by veteran director Phillip Noyce.

    Another show I am looking forward to watch is Neil Jordan’s latest project “The Vatican”. It will be a while until it comes on air on Showtime, but it should be interesting to say the least.

  111. Joshua Atreides
    Posted December 11, 2013 at 7:04 am | Permalink

    WildSeed,

    It’s a well known fact that viewers of the Wire stick with the show once they reach that episode. “Fuckity-fuck.”

  112. Yomshlop
    Posted December 11, 2013 at 7:17 am | Permalink

    DH87,

    How was Masters of Sex disappointing??

    Best new show of the year IMO.

  113. Rygar
    Posted December 11, 2013 at 7:48 am | Permalink

    Joshua Atreides,

    I was hooked when McNulty brought out the Jameson.

  114. Ser Tahu
    Posted December 11, 2013 at 7:59 am | Permalink

    Yomshlop,
    I wouldn’t call it disappointing. In fact Masters of Sex was quite the opposite because I had incredibly low expectations going into it. But still, best new series this year is a huge stretch.

    Here are all the new shows this year that I would say are better than it:
    Broadchurch (best new show in my opinion)
    Vikings
    Rectify
    Utopia
    In the Flesh
    Orphan Black
    The Escape Artist (miniseries, so you might discount this one)

    A lot of people would also add Hannibal to that list, but I personally couldn’t get into it. Also, I haven’t seen Orange is the New Black yet, but based on its reception it will probably also make the list. I would also like Almost Human more than Masters of Sex if not for the fact that Fox is pulling a Firefly on it and airing all of the episodes out of order -_-.

    And I’ve enjoyed House of Cards, Bates Motel, The Americans, Ray Donovan, Graceland and Da Vinci’s Demons roughly as much as Masters of Sex.

  115. Rygar
    Posted December 11, 2013 at 8:52 am | Permalink

    Fuck it. Here is the extent of TV shows that I watched this year:

    GoT
    Girls
    Boardwalk Empire
    Eastbound & Down
    American Pickers
    Pawn Stars
    Top Chef
    Ripper Street (one episode)

    Hockey and Football (not American Hand Egg) take up the rest of my viewing slots. I just don’t watch all that much nor have interest to. I did rewatch Deadwood and the Wire this year as well.

    I am excited for True Detective and S3 of Girls. Say what you want about that show, but I find Dunham’s dark humor to be hysterical. And Adam Driver rules. And he is Nightwing.

  116. Hodor's Bastard
    Posted December 11, 2013 at 10:19 am | Permalink

    Rygar,

    Admit it, you watch Top Chef because of Ellaria Sand….I mean Padma Lakshmi. She’s easier on the eyes than Ramsay.

  117. Doug
    Posted December 11, 2013 at 10:42 am | Permalink

    I obviously like GOT or I wouldn’t be here, but at least in my personal opinion I liked season 1 the best. I think it’s likely I would have thought it was the greatest show of all time had I never read the books. Since I have, perhaps it’s being a book purist, I don’t know, but I don’t like the fan fiction like element to some of the changes that the TV guys have made. And I know it gets a lot of praise, and some of it justifiably so, but some of the acting is cringe worthy to me.

    But of course I will continue to watch. I’m just not on board with the ones who think it’s the greatest or one of the greatest shows of all time. I don’t see it.

  118. Pau Captain Soriano
    Posted December 11, 2013 at 10:51 am | Permalink

    I watch all those shows except Scandal, wich is not that good..the rest I’m ok with.

    My personal list in no particular order

    “The Americans”
    “Breaking Bad”
    “Game of Thrones”
    “The Good Wife”
    “Justified”
    “Masters of Sex”
    “Shameless”
    “Sons of Anarchy”
    “Veep/Louie”
    “Black Mirror/Sherlock”

  119. Rygar
    Posted December 11, 2013 at 10:53 am | Permalink

    Hodor’s Bastard,

    She makes better sausage.

  120. Jordan
    Posted December 11, 2013 at 11:31 am | Permalink

    In terms of what I watched/liked this year, here’s my list:

    Game of Thrones (obviously)

    The Bridge (great show, needs more love)

    The Blacklist (is kind of trashy, but entertaining and well-crafted; also, I’d contrast it with Homeland, which is often unintentionally trashy)

    I do watch Homeland, but this season has been on and off. One of my biggest issues is that the show seems to present Saul’s plan as brilliant, whereas it seems obviously idiotic to me.

  121. Abyss
    Posted December 11, 2013 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

    OT: Just out of curiosity: Is this the longest wait for a teaser/trailer/in-production trailer between seasons we ever had to deal with? I think it is.

  122. Doug
    Posted December 11, 2013 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

    Abyss,

    Yes, definitely is, and I think it’s a bit odd to be honest. The first 3 years they’ve given 2 or 3 videos not only by this time, but also while they were still filming the forthcoming season. This year we’ve gotten nothing, and they’ve actually been done filming for a few weeks now.

    So I don’t know, getting clips is a thing of the past now I suppose. I guess a casualty of their own success, they don’t see a need to promote it months ahead of time anymore.

  123. Abyss
    Posted December 11, 2013 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

    Doug,

    My hope at this point is that we’ll get a couple of short shots of GOT in HBO’s year ender trailer. The last one was out at around this time (can’t find the upload on HBO’s offical channel though, therefore I don’t know the exact date).

  124. Joshua Atreides
    Posted December 11, 2013 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

    Abyss,

    It is. And it’s intentional if you ask me.

    I’m so bored by the lull that I will attempt a discussion.
    Is HBO’s adaptation of ASOIAF fan fiction? For that matter where is the line between fanfiction and adaptation? If the script of The Prisoner of Azkaban drops the explanation of the names who created the Marauder’s Map or if a Dickens character is dropped from an adaptation to condense the story, is it the same as the changes made for practical and debatably “artistic” reasons for HBO?

  125. Abyss
    Posted December 11, 2013 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

    Joshua Atreides,

    Sure it’s intentional, but honestly, I don’t quite get what HBO hopes to achieve with it. I get the whole idea of not giving too much away before the season starts. It’s builds the excitement up. But so does promotion and in my opinion even more so. I don’t think it will backfire or anything, I just don’t quite get it.

    About fanfiction: Short and simple: No it is not. Fanfaction is an unprofessional adoption of a source. If a professional does it, it’s an adoption. I know, thats sounds dumped down, but trust me, in the end, that’s what every publisher will tell you. ;-)

  126. Abyss
    Posted December 11, 2013 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

    Abyss,
    *dumbed-down
    *adaptation
    (Gee…)

  127. Patchy Face
    Posted December 11, 2013 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

    Abyss,

    I know that S3 photos came out on December 2 or 3 last year

  128. Hodor's Bastard
    Posted December 11, 2013 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

    Jordan,

    I’ll give The Bridge some major love. Definitely in my top 5 last year. I thought Diane Kruger as a female cop with Asperger’s syndrome (a la “Monk” but not silly) was engaging and brilliant. Can’t wait for more reveal on her past, her sister’s dark demise and letting go. Plus, there was a neck-slicing moment that actually was better handled than the RW. Except for the oddly stiff final episode, the first season was great and FX is becoming quite a force to be reckoned with.

    Although I don’t do well comparing TV shows and I wish I had time for more (as others have discussed, like Orphan Black, The Returned, BE), the following were quite entertaining/intriguing this past year:

    1) BB (S6, don’t call it S5 pt2)
    2) GoT
    3) The Americans (perfect 70s/80s DC suburbia…amazing nostalgia)
    4) The Good Wife (Julianna Margulies and Archie Panjabi are a dream to watch)
    5) The Bridge (got a mini-BB feel to it)
    6) American Horror Story (S2, not S3…no way)
    7) BlackList (James Spader cool bad guy guilty pleasure on DVR)
    8) Person of Interest (techno-geek guilty pleasure on DVR)
    9) Anger Management (Need more shows about screwed up therapy)

    I’m in catch-up mode to most other lists…

  129. Abyss
    Posted December 11, 2013 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

    Patchy Face,
    I just realized that the thing i posted here didn’t mad any sense. :D

  130. Dutch maester
    Posted December 11, 2013 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

    Roy Dotrice (who portrays Hallyne, does all the voices for the audio books, and is a close friend from of Martin) confirmed the following in a recent interview:

    “There’s still two more to go and George tells me he’s got another one (tWoW) nearly ready, so that’ll be at least a few more years’ work.”

    Later on he states that “we should be able to RECORD IT SOON”

    I guess this is pretty strong confirmation that the Winds of Winter is not that far away, right??? (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VHo_BqKbkCM)

  131. H. Stark
    Posted December 11, 2013 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

    Dutch maester,

    It could be TWOIAF (the book with Elio and Linda) ?

  132. Family, Duty, Hodor
    Posted December 11, 2013 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

    Dutch maester,

    Thanks for showing us this. It’s potentially good news, but it really has to be taken with a pinch of salt. ‘Nearly’ can mean so many different things to different people and it’s always possible that something might have been lost in translation from GRRM to Roy.

    Btw, Roy is 90?! He looks and sounds incredible!

  133. DH87
    Posted December 11, 2013 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

    Yomshlop: How was Masters of Sex disappointing??

    Best new show of the year IMO.

    At the risk of sounding like a pompous, name-dropping jackass, I’ll say that I had a greater awareness of the actual Masters and Johnson (not part of their team or their research, however), so my expectations were high. Too high, I suppose.

  134. Abyss
    Posted December 11, 2013 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

    Family, Duty, Hodor,

    Exactly. Let’s not forget that Roy Dotrice is 90 years old by now. What’s another year or two for him? When I gifted the first season (and later the second) of GoT to my now 93 years old grandpa and told him, that unfortunately he had to wait another year between seasons, he just told me, that it was absolutely ok with him and that he would be happy to wait.
    I guess you gain another perspective on those things when you reach a certain age. ;-)

  135. Dutch maester
    Posted December 11, 2013 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

    H. Stark,

    It doesn’t sound like that, tbh. He specifically talks about recording the the next EPISODE, and early on in the interview he refers to Storm of Swords as episode 3…

  136. Family, Duty, Hodor
    Posted December 11, 2013 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

    Abyss,

    Watching GoT at 93? Your grandad is a cool guy. ;)

  137. Abyss
    Posted December 11, 2013 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

    Family, Duty, Hodor,

    He is, and he absolutely loves GoT, especially the dragons (he worked on animation films). ;-)

  138. Joshua Atreides
    Posted December 11, 2013 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

    Hodor’s Bastard,

    Person of Interest is a fabulous entertainment with powerful moments. A graphic novel come to life. Lots of Wire vets too! It’s my favourite network series after Hannibal right now.

  139. Ser Tahu
    Posted December 11, 2013 at 7:25 pm | Permalink

    On the topic of The Bridge, I also very much enjoyed it. It was very well executed.

    The weird thing about FX, though, is that I like their shows a lot but for some reason I just don’t love their shows.

  140. WildSeed
    Posted December 11, 2013 at 11:14 pm | Permalink

    A shout out for ” Wilfred “, starring Elijah Wood. Great show, great dialogue .

  141. DaenyB
    Posted December 12, 2013 at 10:13 am | Permalink

    Throwing in my $0.02. Hands down top tv shows of all time (in no particular order):
    - The Wire
    - The Sopranos
    - Game of Thrones
    - Breaking Bad

    Honourable mentions include:
    - The Bridge and The Killing (both European versions) – Series I enjoyed but probably wouldn’t watch more than once
    - Comedies such as Modern Family, HIMYM and New Girl
    - Fan of Mad Men for the first 3 series but then got bored by it
    - Loved first series of Homeland, thought the second series was getting ridiculous and not going near the third!
    - Loved loved loved 24 years ago, thought the first few series were amazing but again, it got ridiculous and silly so gave up on it.

    Started watching House of Cards last week and already hating it. Everybody is far too slick and cool and every time Spacey breaks the fourth wall I cringe. I really want to like it but don’t think it’s gonna be my cup of tea. Felt the same about Boardwalk Empire, really wanted to like it but realised halfway through the first season that I didn’t actually like a single character in it and didn’t care what happened to any of them.

    Wow reading back on this I thought I was very easy going in what I watched, turns out I’m pickier than I thought!

  142. John
    Posted December 12, 2013 at 11:32 pm | Permalink

    I have to say that, Scandal notwithstanding, AFI put out a pretty solid list. Boardwalk Empire should be on there, but that’s the only thing that really stands out.

    My top 10 (dramas only) would look like this:
    1. Breaking Bad
    2. Game of Thrones
    3. The Americans
    4. Orange is the New Black
    5. Boardwalk Empire
    6. Mad Men
    7. House of Cards
    8. Justified
    9. Masters of Sex
    10t. The Good Wife, Person of Interest, Elementary

  143. John
    Posted December 12, 2013 at 11:53 pm | Permalink

    Mr Fixit,

    Well, the other thing is that, unintended consequences or not, Walt pretty much always comes out on top (with the obvious exception of “Ozymandias”), even when facing enemies (e.g. Gus) much more formidable than what he faced at the end. The finale was perfectly in keeping with the show’s overall storytelling. I think it’s a bit disingenuous to suggest that such a fitting ending is not “honest.” Quite the contrary.

    There’s a reason why public opinion is maybe 90/10 (a disproportionate percentage of that 10 percent happen to be TV critics, so it skews opinion downward, but the episode seems to be extremely popular among the public at large) in favor of the finale being great. Because it was. That’s not to say that it’s the best episode of the series. Far from it. There are probably 30 Breaking Bad episodes I like better (though, I’d give probably half the episodes or more a perfect score). But I do think it was the best way to end the story. Like, I think The Empire Strikes Back is by far and away the best Star Wars movie. But Return of the Jedi is a better ending.

  1. […] Game of Thrones makes AFI’s Top 10 list for the third year in a row: Game of Thrones has landed on the American Film Institute’s list of Top 10 TV Shows of the year. This is the third year in a row that the show has made the list. Additionally, it joins Breaking Bad and Mad Men as the only shows to repeat from last year. Here if the full list.. […]

  2. […] impression on critics. In addition to being named one of the AFI’s Top 10 Shows for the third year in a row, the program has received these recent […]


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