I gave you my top ten movies of 2012, it is only right to give you my top ten TV series of 2012. This past year, I made it my goal to widen my TV horizons. I tried to go away from just watching reality TV and watch more scripted series, on network and cable channels. I think I did quite well just starting out, but 2013 has a lot of great TV on the horizon, so I will be sure to widen my horizons even more.
10) Broadway or Bust – Now here is a random option to start off the countdown. This was a 3-part documentary mini-series on PBS back in September and boy was it awesome. It followed the lives of about 30 high school students who had won awards in their respective states that got them to The National High School Musical Theater Awards. It showed the process of getting them prepared to perform two separate songs in front of the judges to possibly win a scholarship to any musical theater program in the country. Seeing these kids do what they love in THE theater environment (Broadway baby!) was extremely refreshing for the reality genre. If you love theater, definitely check this out.
9) The Neighbors – I was nervous at first. Of all of the trailers for the 2012 Fall TV Season, this looked like this year’s “Work It”. Fortunately, I was proven wrong. This incredibly witty and sarcastic comedy about a family of 5 moving into a suburb filled with aliens is a breath of fresh air in the comedy landscape which is moving towards more intellectual comedy. The acting is all outstandingly hilarious. The creator, Dan Fogelman, is best known for writing Tangled, so seeing this come from such a great writer is fantastic. I am extremely happy this show got picked up for a full season and I am hoping for a Season 2.
8) Girls – Lena Dunham is my spirit animal…yeah, I said it. Her incredibly funny look on life as a recent college grad in the Big Apple is the complete opposite of HBO’s other hit, Sex and the City, and that is a good thing. Her scripts rule, her direction is superb, and her humor (along with the rest of the incredible ensemble including my favorite, Allison Williams) is impeccable. I watch the entire first season over 2 days and I could not wait for season 2, coming this month. The show is going in the right direction, and I am along for the ride.
7) Smash – I am a musical lover (see Number 10) so when I heard Smash was coming, I was super excited. I watched the pilot, was enthralled, and then fell off by episode 3. I caught up this summer and I am in love. This show has become a big receiver of “hate-watching”, but I was “love-watching”. Katherine McPhee is fantastic and a breakout star after some away time from her time on Idol, Megan Hilty is phenomenal and getting the credit she deserves (she should have gotten a Tony for her work in 9 to 5 the musical, but I digress) and the rest of the cast does wonders. Not only is the show incredibly addictive, but the soundtrack is to die for. Check out Don’t Forget Me and Cheers (I’ll Drink To That). Also, Check out Season 2 in February with Jennifer Hudson!
6) Nashville – From one music show to the other, this show kicks butt! Connie Britton, Hayden Panettiere, Chip from Whose Line (won’t call him anything else), Lennon and Maisy from YouTube … it is an awesome cast. A ridiculously juicy plotline that makes you hate to love and love to hate multiple characters makes the show fantastic, but the wonderful Country/Folk music puts it over the top. Open up iTunes right now and buy the soundtrack, even if you don’t like country music. Then go on Hulu and catch up with this year’s best new drama.
5) Bunheads – I love Sutton Foster more than some family members, she is THAT likable. This ABC Family comedy centers around her as a Vegas showgirl who marries a stalker of sorts, moves to his town and in his mom’s house…then he dies (awkward). She then starts to have problems with her mother-in-law and starts to help out at the local dance studio. Created by the mind behind Gilmore Girls, this was just what ABC Family needed after their strict regimen of soapy teenage drama (PLL, The Lying Game, etc.). Really check it out, one of the only shows I laugh out loud at. It returns this month.
4) Dallas – I never watched the original series (I was not alive when it ended…), but I watched this reboot and became addicted right away. The evil of J.R. and his son, The overall craziness of the Ewing family, and the love, then hate, then love again, then hate again of Rebecca added up to an incredible start to a new beginning for the series. I could not be more excited for the second season coming back this month, though I know the magnificent Larry Hagman will be gone before the finale. If you were skeptical at first, you MUST watch this delicious nighttime soap over on TNT.
3) Survivor: Philippines – The best season I have ever watched of Survivor, hands down. The fantastic Blair…I mean Lisa Whelchel (#TeamFactsOfLife), the evil, yet somewhat likable (until the final Tribal Council…ugh!) Penner, the klutzy Skupin, and the warrior woman Denise were just some of the fantastic cast of this year’s Survivor season. Yes, the show has been on the air for years. Yes, you might say it has been losing steam fast…but this season brought it right back to Survivor: Outback status on quality. Next season is in Caramoan and is also a Fans vs. Favorites season (with Corinne from Gabon…this is going to rock!) so try it out again and realize how fantastic this show still is.
2) Veep – My favorite comedy I have ever watched. I have never been more anxious for a show to return than this one. The incomparable Julia Louis-Dreyfus stars as a somewhat bitter Vice President who has to put up with being in the least desirable political seat in the country. The hilarity DOES ensue and I have never laughed out loud so hard during a TV show in my life. The entire cast is so witty that it is just plain unfair. I am ordering you to buy HBO and watch this show when it comes back for a Season 2 this year. Oh…and everyone still hates Jonah.
Here we go…my number one show of 2012 is…
1) Scandal – They pack so much into one hour it is ridiculous. (SPOILERS AHEAD) The President is shot, #WhatTheHeck, he didn’t kill the President, that girlfriend is crazy, THE FAMILY IS DEAD, why is Quinn actually named Quinn again? And that was about 2 episodes. If you are not on the Scandal train, you should board immediately. This is the most addictive, seductive and scandalous drama on TV right now, headed by the fantastic Kerry Washington and supported by such wonderful players as Katie Lowes (She is Candlehead from Wreck-It Ralph!). If I could recommend one show to the entire planet, this would be the first one. Get ready for its return this month, and also for a (apparently) horrific torture scene that will leave us on the edge of our seats.
Honorable mentions include Kathy (the new late-night show on Bravo is a hilarious look on pop culture from my favorite person, maybe ever, Kathy Griffin), The Glass House (The best new reality show of the year, though it did not get the credit it deserves…and the wrong person won, but that is a different story #TeamErica), Breaking Pointe (A fascinating look at a ballet company and the inner workings of putting on a huge production) and 666 Park Avenue (Apparently, I was the only one who enjoyed this show, but I want to see Rachael Taylor in something with staying power!).
Do you agree with my choices? What would be on your Top Ten list? Let me know in the comments below. Until next time … pass the remote!