Faves of 2012: The Definitive Television List

Dec 27, 2012 by

Faves of 2012: The Definitive Television List

What is it about humankind that makes us gravitate to list-making at the end of every year? Are we, as readers of these lists, looking for validation of some sort, i.e. “Ooh, I thought that was the best too, so I’m glad others have thought so as well”? Are we, as makers of these lists, wanting to establish our expertise in all the things we watch, read, and ponder? Darn right that’s why I’m doing it. I’ll try to post a bunch of these on different topics over the next few days, but since so much of my exciting life is spent in front of the television, it seems appropriate that I should start there. So without further ado, my list of my favorite things from 2012:

Favorite TV Comedy: Louie

This comedy is often not really all that laugh-out-loud ha-ha funny. What makes this show so great, though, is Louie CK’s absolute fearlessness in pursuing ideas he thinks are interesting. Some of the episodes are primarily character studies, such as the one guest-starring Parker Posey. The last episode of this season, “New Year’s Eve” had an extended hilarious dialogue-free sequence of Louie trying to repair a doll for his daughter’s Christmas present and just mangling it further and further. It was worthy of Chaplin or Keaton.

Favorite TV Drama: Game of Thrones

The sheer scope and magnitude of this show boggles the brain. Seriously, how do they manage to produce a show that takes place in the ice and snow, the sandy desert AND a handful of other breathtakingly beautiful locales? How to they manage to juggle the storylines of the five clans (so far) competing for the Iron Throne? And obviously, the main kudos goes to George R.R. Martin for creating so many characters that command our devotion to the point that he’d just really better NOT think of killing off Tyrion and Arya.

Favorite New TV Show: Nashville

Aside from coveting Connie Britton’s hair and wanting all of the cowboy boots they wear on the show, I seriously LOVE the music. And hear me out – I am NOT a dyed-in-the-wool country fan. But between the writing, with its theme of women workin’ it out in all the ways they can, and the music (God bless T. Bone Burnett, is all I’m sayin’) – this is one bodaciously good show. It FEELS like it should be a guilty pleasure show, but it’s just too well done to be called that. And one thing ABC has done right by this show is highlighting the music AND the songwriters. Go to the show’s website and click on the music tab. You can get details of the songs, the songwriting process BY the songwriters, and all sorts of good trivia. My one nitpick – when you’ve got artists like Gillian Welch writing songs for the show, why can’t SHE record her songs for the show’s soundtrack?

Favorite Guilty Pleasure Show: Dancing With the Stars

Now THIS is a guilty pleasure show. Every season I tell myself I’m not getting sucked in, and yet… The combo of the gorgeous dancing, the rippling chestal regions of the male pro dancers, and Tom Bergeron’s cheeky-but-affectionate banter pulls me in every time. Almost as much fun as watching the show is reading EW‘s DWTS recapper and Fringe Fairy Annie Barrett after each episode. My only critique: we need more Tristan.