2013 is, for me, the best year in television I remember in recent years. The TV renaissance, of course, started a few years ago when HBO Originals and AMC shows started influencing pop cultures and playing with the networks in ratings and popularity. But I didn’t feel it until 2012 when, all of a sudden, I simply had no day without TV shows. Both television from the US and the UK gave me more quality stories and performances than many films released this year.
I had a hard time compiling the list because it took me a while to decide on which stuff to put in the list, seeing as there are so many of them I watched this year, including old series that have gone off air (but continue to live on home video, like Spooks). A few people might be surprised to know that I watched close to 40 titles of TV series (though not all of them complete).
Favorite TV Shows In 2013
Note: I pick TV shows based on what I see this year and all the ones I put in the favorite are the ones I followed week-by-week. The TV shows I put on the list may include the second half of last season (for fall 2012-2013 shows) or only the first half of the new season (fall 2013-2014 shows).
By far, this is the absolute best TV series I followed in 2013. Here’s why. David Tennant might be the one who’s going to the US for the remake, but Olivia Colman is the most interesting actress playing the most interesting female character on any TV show. And she killed it in the last episode. Absolutely flawless. I have no complaints. If you haven’t watched this show, please do so ASAP. You won’t regret it.
2. Sleepy Hollow
I don’t know where to begin to tell you why I love this show. Perhaps because all of the characters are great. Maybe because it’s been a long, long time that there’s a supernatural show on TV that excites me. Not to mention the series has a very filmic quality to its production, particularly the cinematography and storytelling… and naturally I have a huge crush on Tom Mison and Nicole Beharie. Sleepy Hollow is magically irresistible.
3. Game Of Thrones
The Red Wedding! Brienne/Jaime! Daenerys and her dragons freeing slaves! JON SNOW! Season 3 of HBO’s Game Of Thrones was infinitely thrilling. It’s even better than the second season because each episode was exciting. One can only imagine what kind of season the fourth one will be because, frankly, it’ll be hard to top this one!
Luther finally comes to an end, which is why this third season felt bittersweet. There’s nothing better than to see John Luther and Alice Morgan work together to kick a lot of people’s arses, but in this third season particularly, everybody kicked ass. And speaking of John and Alice, my headcanon is that Luther and Alice adventured around the world and met Sherlock Holmes at some point and they kick his ass because one. It’s Alice. She’s awesome. Two. It’s Luther. He canceled the apocalypse. Three. Lestrade made a special request to Luther.
Murderers aren’t sexy at all. Cannibalism isn’t hot at all. A psychologically disturbed profiler should not be working for the FBI and be allowed to work on cases. Which is why Hannibal is disturbing, creepy and not to be seen as an example for any kind of behavior in society. Nonetheless, it is still a wonderful piece of television that is probably wasted on network TV like NBC. So: more, please!
This remains one of my favorite supernatural shows on TV, which sadly is beaten by Hannibal to make the Top 5. The second half of the second season was flawless, while the first half of the third season is still frustratingly secretive. But I enjoy being taken for a ride into the world of Grimms, Wesens (this is probably not the correct plural) and Royals. And when a show has a character that consistently speak French and German in every episode, well… you bet your axe I’m staying put.
7. The Fall
Before Jamie Dornan went 50 Shites Of Grey, he was respectable. He played brilliantly as a serial killer who plays a game of cat and mouse with Gillian Anderson’s feminist police (and she was awesome here!) I may never watch anything else Dornan make (especially if all he makes is Shites Of Grey) but I will always have this first season of The Fall to remember.
A young Inspector Morse played by the gorgeous Shaun Evans is a mainstay on my TV throughout the year. Although there were only 4 episodes, and one pilot, of Endeavour, I managed to stretch it out for 6 months’ worth of viewing. The period details are stunning, from set to style to speech. Evans is captivating and Roger Allam is flawless. When is the second series coming?
9. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Coulson lives, there’s Marvel Cinematic Universe for every week of my life and all the cameos! True, this show is often criticized for lacking actual Marvel superheroes but it’s light, fun and entertaining. With all the major drama (and dubious acting) happening in the other superhero show that sadly didn’t make this list, Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. is a breath of fresh humorous air.
If the aim of NBC’s Dracula is to return vampires to its former horror glory, it’s succeeding. Dark, brooding and intense, this is what Dracula vampires be after the likes of Edward ruined it for Vlad the impaler and Lestat. The Victorian setting is beautifully depicted here and the ensemble cast is stunning. There is no contest: Jonathan Rhys Meyers is the best vampire I’ve seen in the last decade.
Honorable & Special Mentions
Serangoon Road – HBO Asia’s first original series. This series was a huge part of my year, seeing as I worked on the feature as well. I got to interview Chin Han because of it! It’s a great show although perhaps the story is not as intense as American or British shows. Wonderful performances by Asia’s best, though, including Indonesia’s Ario Bayu.
Almost Human – The bromance is epic. J.H. Wyman – the showrunner – is not afraid to mix humor into this gritty futuristic sci-fi cop story and for that it really deserves a wider audience. Karl Urban and Michael Ealy are mesmerizing in this show.
Atlantis – I know what you’re thinking: “didn’t she hate the show and keep complaining about it?” Well, I changed my mind. This is turning out to be a wonderful guilty pleasure. As the only Greek myth-based TV show around right now, I’ll take it! Mark Addy is superb in his role as Hercules!
The Walking Dead – This is consistently the best TV show on the planet. The only reason why this is not on the Top 10 with Game Of Thrones is because they killed off THAT MAN in the mid-season finale of season 4 a few weeks ago. I’m still too emotional to put it at the top.
Hostages – Toni Collette has always been a favorite of mine, ever since Muriel’s Wedding. She’s a great actress and she’s wonderful in this series. Her chemistry with Dylan McDermott is very strong that I can forget my frustrations about the plot in general. This is also one of my mom’s favorite shows; we watch it together every Tuesday evening!
The Blacklist – One of the edgier shows on network TV right now, The Blacklist is brutal and violent at times, but mostly gripping and intense. James Spader is always marvelous, but Megan Boone and Diego Klatenhoff are also very entertaining with their senior/junior FBI agents relationship.
Da Vinci’s Demons – Renaissance men who solve mysteries and wage war against the Vatican? Brilliant premise! Tom Riley is amazing here and the ensemble cast doesn’t disappoint either. The first season was kick-ass; I look forward to watching the second.
Richard Armitage’s Televisionography
I watched all the seasons of these shows Richard Armitage was in (except Robin Hood) before he became Heinz Kruger/Thorin Oakenshield and I loved all of them (except Robin Hood). I started with Strike Back: Origins because that was the one he played directly before The Hobbit and moved on to North & South. After that I devoured all of Spooks (from 1 to 10) and all of The Vicar Of Dibley. I recently completed The Impressionists (LOL) and, well, someday I’ll finish Robin Hood.
Um. Okay, that’s a lot of NBC shows. I swear to god, nobody paid me to pimp their shows. 🙂