One of the surprises of the year was Netflix stepping up and creating an all new show. Not to mention the fact that viewers could watch the show on their own terms. Viewers had to option to bindge watching the episodes all at once or take in it slowly. But there were no commercials, no long breaks between new episodes, and no fear of being canceled two episodes in to the season. The change in format was not the only thing that made this show great, the acting and the story was good, if not better than the dramas on network TV. Kevin Spacey was amazing as Frank Underwood a politician with his eyes on the big seat in Washington, and Kate Mera as the reporter trying to make a name for herself in the old boys club that is DC. With season 2 just around the corner it may be time for a refresher.
I love history and time travel, so when I heard there would be a show that was a mix of the two I was sold. They show has proven week after week that it can be quirky and still be fun. There are glaring plot holes and some questionable dialogue, but it does not matter because there is growth in the show. The chemesty between the main characters Crane and Mills, played by Tom Mison and Nicole Beharie, is what makes this show work so well. Add in great prermorances by Orlando Jones and John Cho and this is one show you should not miss. Fox is also doing it right and adopting the cable formula, with a 13 hour season ending in two weeks and then returning in the fall. Not since X-Files has a show given a spooky and fun cop drama on Fox, let’s just hope the network does not get over ambitious with the series in season 2.
FX continues to proved some of the best shows on TV, and Sons of Anarchy is one of those shows. The show about bikers and crime is one of the most compelling dramas in the networks history. Every year I am amazed that creator Kurt Sutter is able to up the ante, creating situations that make the main character Jax, played by Chralie Hunnum, one of the most tragic characters in TV history. He is a mix of Vic Mackey and Michael Corleone all wrapped in one. We have lost a few main characters this year, in some rather brutal ways, but they did not feel like cheap deaths done for shock factor alone. Sutter and crew are able to weave these stories with some of the most fascinating and complex characters on TV today. I can’t wait to see what Sutter has planned for 2014 and the show’s final season.
When I first heard that the follow up to Smallville was going to be a show about the Green Arrow I was not excited. He was the less interesting version of Batman, and the WB let fans down for 10 years with Smallville, so what hope did this show have? Well I was wrong, in fact wrong does not even begin to describe what I was when it comes to this show. I caught up over the summer on season 1 and have been hooked. The WB has given the creators so much room to play in the DC universe creaintg a show that is not only full of action and great characters, but also incudes so many comic book references that pay off for the fans. Arrow has been so popular that it is even of spinning off 2 other heroes, Hourman and Flash, from the story lines buit in the show. With a super powered Roy Harper, and more and more characters popping up in the show it should be an amazing second half of season 2 in 2013.
The men who run the Secret Stash in Redbank New Jersey may not be the reality stars people are used to, but they are pretty damn entertaining. There is no doubt that their leader Kevin Smith can talk ( want proof check him out on our podcast) but this show gives fans a look at the people who have had an influence on the Smith universe of entertainment. Week after week we get to watch Walt talk people of money for their stuff, Brian hang out cracking wise, Ming be the butt of all the jokes, and show Mike is the normal one of the bunch. With a shorter format this year on AMC the CMB go back to their old time slot of midnight after new episodes of the Walking Dead, and show no signs of ending. The show feels real even though you can tell some of it is set up, but the guys are who they are and that is what makes this a great show.
I know Chuck was not new in 2013, so how can it make the list for best of the year? Well for me it was all new for about 2 weeks in November. I never saw the show when it was airing on NBC, but when all 91 episodes came to Netflix in 2013 I added it to my queue. Once I started I could not stop and 91 hours flew by over about two weeks. I fell in love with the show, for me it was a mix of the Greatest American Hero and every geek reference from my life. Sure it was goofy and made no sense at times, like the over abundance of Subway references, but there was a simple charm to the show. So even though the show was canceled an no longer on the air, Netflix introduced it to me in 2013 and will be on my list of best shows of the year.
So a werewolf, vampire, and a ghost/zombie get a house in boston….. stop me if you heard this one before. The show’s third season gave viewers a look at what the ideal life could be for each of the main characters before ripping it all away. It was a roller caster ride all season, but it was not the gore and drama that got the show my list, it was the relationship between the main characters that made the show compelling. All the actors on the show have a good relationship off the screen, which translates to their on screen personas. And when you see them working together to protect one another you might get some warm and fuzzy feelings inside. The forth season is about to start, and not to be missed because if the first two episodes are any indication it will be just as good if not better than the third.
One of the best shows on TV for the past few years has been Warehouse 13. It has been one of the few shows on TV that families can watch, and learn a little something about history. This season has seen a few Buffy references, Artie go evil, and Mika deal with cancer. Even with all those issues, and a new threat trying to take over the Warehouse the team stuck together. This has been one of the best seasons so far, with the cast falling into their roles so well. There were such emotional moments when Artie and Mika faced death, and it is the balance between those emotions and action that make it one of the best shows out there today. When the season ended it was announced that the show was canceled but there would be a final 6 episodes to wrap up the show in 2014.
Comic fans may not like all the soap opera moments in the show, but it has elevated the Walking Dead to one of the best drama’s on TV today. The winter season of the show saw the final show down with Woodbury, increasing the population of the prison, but it was the fall season that lead to the final show down between Rick and the Governor. In 2013 we finally and thankfully saw the last of Andrea’s whining, the man under the eye patch, and Carl grow into a leader. The show continues to balance the gore and drama with each episode, capturing the human side of this zombie apocalypse. For the first half of season 4 it was Hershel that store every scene he was a part of. While Dale’s continued push to remain civil felt more annoying than genuine, it was Hershel that was the moral compass of the show. It has been the shows counting look at how people live in this new world that is the most compelling aspect.
It is hard to say this was only the the best show of the year, when it could go down as one of the best shows of all time. When TV shows announce they will end there are times when episodes don’t seem to move things along in anyway. The creators behind Breaking Bad made sure that even the littlest part of the show would wrap the entire series in a nice bow. When the first episode of this last season was over there was no down this would not be a walk to the end it would be a sprint. And with each episode the action and suspense built until the last moments of the show. Walter White did not change from his core from episode one to the final one this year. He was a smart man who did not do things just because, he played one of the best chess players in TV history, able to plan for almost everything. This is one show that if you have not started you should watch them all back to back to back until the end. You won’t be sorry, in fact you might start adding fat stacks and bitch your vocabulary thanks Aaron Paul’s Jesse Pinkman.