best tv of 2013

2

Rectify (2013-2016), 4 seasons, 30 episodes

“I’m not sure what to make of this drastic change of course in my life. I’m certainly not against it”

Rectify has consistently been one of the best shows on TV since it began airing in April 2013. It is also a show with ratings so small that finding other people who watch is always a struggle. Yet those who have given their time to seek out this series know how special it is. This is not a show based on big action scenes or twists intended to lure in audiences. This is a story about one man, one night 19 years previously and the ongoing repercussions. It is about moving on and finding purpose. It is about faith, forgiveness, justice, humanity, the very nature of who we are.  It is truly an unique show. I am going to miss it so much.

anonymous asked:

OMG, just reread the NY Times review of NG from May of 2013. What a beautiful review of what this show is at its best! Can't believe the NY times spent that much space on it. So wonderful to remember when the show was about the best on television.

Go read, roomfriends!: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/14/arts/television/new-girl-season-finale-with-zooey-deschanel.html

It is indeed a beautiful review. My favorite part was the line, “At root, these changes sprang from the recognition that Ms. Deschanel’s charms lie not in her quirk but in her empathy and warmth.” S2 Jess was definitely my favorite version of Jess and that line exactly encapsulates why. I think the writers forget that a lot of the time in the later seasons, just like they forget that we fell in love with Nick because of his internal struggle and not because he was some dumb jokester who says a bunch of funny lines. Nick without the internal struggle isn’t Nick just like Jess without her empathy and warmth, her humanity, isn’t Jess.

5


White Wedding

Featured: US , New York Times, Latina, People’s, Diva, TV magazines etc.

Headlined (On Home Page for more than a month): Eonline, EW, TVLine, TVguide, TVFanatic, After Ellen etc.

Ranking : Best TV Weddings : Rolling Stone (2011, 2013), EW, TVLine, Telegraph UK, IMDB, GLAAD etc.

Sandra Oh - (Calzona has always been one of her most favorite Grey’s Anatomy relationships)“We see two characters getting married and you know and love them. The more we see the characters and the people that we really love and respect expressing their story lines, however that unfolds, I think the easier it is for a society at whole or who ever is watching to metabolize relationships. These are characters you hang out with every week. You know them, you see them and good golly, after you see the musical episode and what they go through, why would you not want them to get married?”

US Magazine

Here comes the brides! On Grey’s Anatomy May 5th, Sara Ramirez and Jessica Capshaw- as new mom Callie Torres and love Arizona Robbins- tie the knot in an elaborate garden ceremony. And US had a first-row seat! ‘They look like beautiful cake-toppers,’ said costars Chyler Leigh from La Canada Flintridge, California, set.
Yet Ramirez and Capshaw, clad in designer gowns, treated the vent like any other day at the office: They even sipped cocoa and wore Ugg-type boots beneath their finery!

As 13 million devoted fans know, the happy ending didn’t come easy: ‘We’ve seen Callie and Arizona ebb and flow, get together, break up,’ Ramirez told Us. And baby Sofia had just arrived prematurely after Callie was injured in a car accident. But for this March shoot, joy reigned.
The same-sex wedding ‘sends a great message’ cast mate Kevin McKidd told Us. ‘It’s not forcing the agenda. It’s about two people who love each other’.
The evidence was a kiss that elicited shouts and applause on set for all for takes- a departure for Ramirez.
‘I personally always cry at weddings!’

AE - Part 1

Hot off the news that Callie and Arizona will say “I do” on Grey’s Anatomy, ABC has released the first photo from the May 5 wedding episode.

“[Grey’s creator] Shonda Rhimes loves nothing more than to plan a wedding,” episode writer Stacy McKee told AfterEllen.com between takes of the wedding scene. “We had a very big elaborate wedding planning meeting for this episode to make sure it would be the wedding of both our brides’ dreams. We wanted gowns, flowers; we wanted it to feel like the most traditional wedding you could think of and the fact that it happens to have two brides is ‘so what?’”

Both Sara Ramirez (Callie) and Jessica Capshaw (Arizona) are wearing in Amsale gowns specially designed for the scene, which was filmed on location at the woody and beautiful Descanso Gardens in La Canada Flintridge, Calif.

“The great thing about Shonda is that she puts so much heart and soul into every single detail,” Capshaw told AfterEllen.com between takes. “I knew the wedding was coming and we did it backwards: We did the wedding dress fittings then we got the script.”

“On the story level, it’s super exciting,” Capshaw said. “But as actors, you always wish you can get let out of school and we get to go on a field trip and come to a beautiful place and put on clothes that aren’t scrubs and have fun.”

“It’s been a long journey and I know the fans have been — starting last year at this time with the whole Arizona doesn’t want to have a baby thing — but look where we’ve ended up,” Capshaw said. “I think that this is sort of a nice place for them to have come to.”

As if surviving the car crash that triggered the musical episode wasn’t enough, Calzona’s journey to the altar also comes with complications: Arizona and Callie’s parents come to Seattle for the wedding, but not all make it to the ceremony.
“I think it’s wonderful that two people who are choosing to spend a life together are going forward with it and embracing the people who chose to show up and support them,” Ramirez told AfterEllen.com. “I feel like it says a lot about these two women.”

AE - Part 2

“It’s sort of a princess wedding with two brides in big white dresses and pink and white flowers everywhere. We wanted to infuse a little magic, happy and romance,” McKee told AfterEllen.com during filming of the wedding episode.

We meet Arizona’s parents Barbara (Judith Ivey) and Colonel Robbins (Denis Arndt) and Callie’s father Carlos (Hector Elizondo), who originally struggled with his daughter’s sexual orientation, returns with her mother Lucia (Gina Gallego).

“Her father and her mother aren’t here for the wedding itself,” McKee noted. “Her father wants to be and her mother can’t be, and it’s for religious reasons that she can’t be here for Callie. We felt that it was a very true story.”

It’s a story that McKee noted was influenced by events her gay friends have had to contend with and what she notes is a very timely subject.

For Ramirez, the episode is about Callie learning to interpret her faith in a way that best serves her — which may not be in line with everyone in her family.

“Callie looks to her mother in this episode for some sense of encouragement, support, approval, acceptance and ultimately her mother — who has always been a particularly religious Catholic woman who very much knows who she is — is kind of surprised Callie is looking to her for some kind of acceptance,” Ramirez told AfterEllen.

“At the end of the day she says, ‘I can’t be that for you and I don’t want to keep getting pressured to be something for you that I’m not. In fact, I don’t think any of this is real, I don’t really accept this, my God doesn’t believe in this,’ ” Ramirez added. “As a result of that, along with a really beautiful scene between Callie and Bailey, Callie starts to understand and embrace the notion that God is everywhere and that you don’t have to be in a church to share God’s presence of love and acceptance and to have a union with someone and a wedding and a ceremony that means everything to you.”

At the end of the day, Mark (Eric Dane) gives Callie away, the brides say “I do” and walk down a pink aisle after sharing a kiss that took a few takes to capture because of imperfect makeup issues.

Joked Capshaw after a bad take: “No wife would let another wife walk down the aisle with f—ed up lips!”

OTHERS -

Lesbian visibility will take a center stage May 5 when Callie Torres (Sara Ramirez) and Arizona Robbins (Jessica Capshaw) walk down a pink-and-white decorated aisle and say their “I do’s” on ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy.

During a recent set visit on location at the woody and beautiful Descanso Gardens in La Canada Flitridge, Calif., Ramirez and Capshaw were joined by cast and crew to film the couple’s elaborate wedding, in which both actresses spent the cold and windy day in Amsale gowns specially designed for the scene.

“It seems like absolutely a natural next step [for Callie and Arizona], especially after everything they’ve been through this season,” said Grey’s writer Stacy McKee, who has penned several episodes of the medical drama, including the May 5 wedding. “They split apart, they got back together. Then in the musical episode, Callie has a near-death experience and it really solidifies Arizona’s feelings for Callie.

“By the end of [the music event] is when Callie says yes,” McKee said. “After that journey that they’ve been on — which has been magical and musical, we couldn’t not have an amazing wedding for them.”

Ramirez, who has long been a champion of LGBT rights, hopes the lesbian wedding gets people talking about gay marriage, whether they support it or not.

“Obviously the visibility is incredible,” Ramirez said between takes. “You can’t make everybody happy and I’m aware of that. But if people are passionate and [the episode] triggers civic dialogue and communication and compassion for one another, I’m thrilled. Not everyone is going to agree on everything all the time, and that’s OK. That’s what makes our world interesting and challenging and gives us the opportunity to grow with each other and alongside each other if we chose to.”

Capshaw hopes the equality message comes through in her work. “I feel like if you went about it another way — ‘I’m going to break that door down and make a difference’ — that would be great and all but you might get your eyes off the prize in doing the work the way that it should be done,” she said, joking that her only trepidation about the marriage was wearing a wedding dress “before I was ready after having a baby.” “I feel like if you focus on the work and it’s really great, it will gets work done in another way.”

Co-star Sandra Oh, who plays Cristina Yang and is among the wedding guests with Owen Hunt (Kevin McKidd)and Chief Richard Weber (James Pickens Jr.) feels the “Calzona” wedding will make it easier for society as a whole to accept gay marriage.

For McKee, the politics of gay marriage — it’s not legal in Washington, where Grey’s is set — was a “large factor.”

“We felt it was very important on a show that will reach many, many viewers that we have for what all purposes for our characters is a very real marriage because we feel very strongly that that’s an important thing,” she said. “We didn’t want this to be a little affair, we wanted it to feel like a big grand wedding. The fact that it’s not legal is a story point in the episode to a certain degree in that a very important person in Callie’s life isn’t here.”

McKee noted that the episode will be a romantic and formal Catholic wedding and will feature both Callie and Arizona’s parents, who may struggle with acceptance for religious reasons — a story line that was inspired by a friend of hers.
“That’s part of why I wanted to write this episode — it just felt like it was a very timely and very important story to tell.”

Callie’s Catholic upbringing does take a toll her in the episode as she struggles to find a balance between her love life and religion. “Callie was raised Catholic and she loves her church and she loves her God, and that’s OK,” Capshaw said.

After consulting with Bailey (episode director Chandra Wilson) — who officiates the nuptials — Callie turns the corner and winds up getting the traditional wedding she’s always dreamed of. “Arizona in the beginning of the episode has been an empowered woman who knows exactly who she is and has known all her life,” Ramirez said. “Callie has been on a different journey; she’s investigating it and experiencing it and figuring it out as she goes, especially with her parents who are very Catholic — her mother in particular.

“Callie starts to understand and embrace the notion that God is everywhere and that you don’t have to be in a church to share God’s presence of love and acceptance and to have a union with someone and a wedding and ceremony that means everything to you,” Ramirez said.

Added Capshaw: “That’s what’s interesting: Arizona coming from a military family where the military isn’t exactly friendly with Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell and you have a father and a mother and there’s never a question of if they’re OK with it; it’s
literally a non-issue, which is really what we’re aiming for, right?”

As for the vows themselves — Bailey says, “I now pronounce you wife and wife” — McKee researched the language used in traditional Catholic weddings and incorporated the way the character would go about officiating.
“It’s a very traditional, classic way of pronouncing two people as a married couple,” McKee says.

“In the writers’ room, [that they’re gay] is such an afterthought. To us, they’re just our favorite romantic couple right now so they needed the most romantic wedding. … I don’t think of them in a gay or straight fashion; they’re the ones who are in love so they’re the ones who get married this season.”

As for what comes next for primetime’s leading lesbians, she has been pitching Arizona treating a patient with sexuality issues. “I got a letter from a young woman who came out to her parents when she was 19 and they decided that she was not going to be part of their family any longer,” Capshaw said. “Then 10 years later her mom, being an avid fan of the show, had watched the episode where Arizona has the ‘Good Man in a Storm’ speech where she says to Callie’s father, ‘I love your daughter and my parents raised me to be a good man in a storm.’ It’s a wonderful speech. The mother called her after 10 years. It wasn’t happy-go-lucky and she didn’t tell her to come home, but it was the opening of a dialogue.”

Capshaw ultimately hopes the Grey’s wedding has an impact similar to Portia and Ellen DeGeneres. “I feel like Portia and Ellen’s marriage must have done so much,” she said. “This has the potential to as well.”

For Ramirez, portraying Callie is the ultimate wedding gift. “This character has helped me so much,” she said. “Playing this character has really opened me up to understand the world and human condition a lot better. It’s been a real gift.”
McKee, meanwhile, hopes the fact that it’s a gay wedding is just a passing thought.
“I hope that people who are fans of the show and fans of these characters enjoy the magic and romance and shed a tear at a beautiful wedding,” McKee said. “And that it becomes an afterthought that it happens to be a wedding with two women. It’s just a beautiful love story at the end of the day.”

The Grey’s Anatomy wedding episode airs Thursday, May 5 at 9 p.m. Are you excited to see Callie and Arizona march down the aisle together to Cyndi Lauper’s “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” after saying their vows?

Wedding Scrapbook

24 photos of this iconic and ground breaking wedding ceremony of Callie (Sara Ramirez) and Arizona (Jessica Capshaw) along with the rest of the Grey’s Antaomy has been released.

ABC has released a slew of photos from the big wedding between Dr. Calliope Torres and Dr. Arizona Robbins on Grey’s Anatomy. And when I say, “a slew of photos” I mean a whole scrapbook full from “I do” to “kiss the bride” and first dance.

Well,  while things may not turn out as they envisioned, Sara Ramirez and Jessica Capshaw look like visions in their white wedding dresses. Seriously, could they look more beautiful? And, bonus, no silly Friends hats. Oh, how the lesbian wedding has evolved.

When people say a bride is glowing, I’m sometimes skeptical. But in this case I think it’s safe to say Callie and Arizona are glowing so much they’re visible from space.

I know. I had something in my eye right about then, too. Damn dust, always making you look all emotional.

At this point I feel we should take a small break from all this Calzona cuteness overload so as not to tax ourselves. Would you like to see some wedding guests? They’re not as glowy, but they’re still clean up nicely.
OK, but I’ve stalled enough. Who wants to see the first dance? I know, I know. Something’s in your eye again.

Stock up on dusters for May 5. And by “dusters,” I mean “Kleenex.”

Stacy McKee (@stacysmckee16), Writer, Grey’s Anatomy 07x20|

The day we filmed Callie and Arizona’s wedding was an amazingly beautiful day.  Beautiful for so many reasons.

First, after a week of forecasters predicting rain rain rain– the day was sunny. And breezy (which was fine for those of us bundled up under coats and hoodies watching from the side. Not so fine for, say, our cast members dressed in strapless gowns and floaty formal wear.) Still – things were beautiful.

We were shooting outdoors (already a bonus, since usually we’re on stage, in hospital rooms) at Descanso Gardens (if you are ever in the area, you should visit. Largest camellia forest in Southern California!) – There were roses and cherry blossom trees and lilacs everywhere – a feast for the senses.

There were a lot of reporters conducting interviews the day we filmed the ceremony, talking to Sara, Jessica, Chandra (she directed the episode!) – and even me. We were all so aglow with this beautiful setting, with these beautiful brides, with this beautiful wedding –- that it stopped me cold when the first question one of the reporters asked me was:

“So, a lesbian wedding.  Are you worried at all about making such a bold statement?”

I had absolutely no idea how to begin answering that question. 

Was I worried? Are you kidding me? NO. I wasn’t worried – About what?  About a wedding between two characters we’ve watched fall in love over the course of several seasons? Nothing bold about that.  If anything, it’s right out of Romance Storytelling 101 – They meet, they fall in love, they hit a few road blocks, one of them almost dies – all of which makes it so much sweeter when these two characters can finally ride off into the sunset and live happily ever after. Not exactly re-inventing the wheel here, people.  But, I guess, to some people, it is.

So I’ll say to you what I said to that reporter. This is not a bold statement. This is a love story.

Callie and Arizona have been our biggest, most sweeping romance all season. They are romance. Sweet, epic, fairy tale romance. Pure and simple.

It just makes sense that after everything they’ve been through this season – living together, breaking up, coming back together, starting a family, life and near death –  their story would culminate in a wedding. A big, beautiful wedding.

The fact that Callie and Arizona are both women is, frankly, irrelevant.

(Although, if you’re like me and you love weddings, then the fact that they are both women is actually a bonus ‘cause  – hello. Two stunning wedding dresses, people. TWO. WEDDING. DRESSES. Heaven.)

It goes right back to what Bailey says to Callie in the episode. These are two people willing to stand up and commit themselves to one another, forever. In good times and bad. For the rest of their lives.  THAT is the bold statement, legal or not.

Bolder, to me, is the fact that Meredith and Derek actually make their marriage legal.

We’ve also been on a journey with Meredith this season.  She and Derek have tried and tried and tried to start a family. When Meredith broke down in the elevator a couple of episodes ago, Derek reassured her. He promised her that they would have a baby.  Somehow, someday – it would happen.

And today, it has.  Or, at least, they hope it has.  As Derek says, he and Meredith have been trying so hard to start a family – and this baby needs one.  If making their Post-It vows legal will make it easier for them to adopt baby Zola, then they are willing to do what it takes.

And finally, I just have to say – there are few things I have ever enjoyed more than the Father/ Daughter dance sequence at the end of this episode. Seeing Callie’s dad come back to dance with her at her wedding.  Seeing Derek swaying back and forth with baby Zola… Maybe it’s from watching my own husband with our little girl, or maybe it’s because my dad was still alive for a dance at my own wedding…  But something about that final sequence gets me every time I watch the episode. And trust me, I’ve watched it a LOT of times by now. I just find it really, really beautiful.

rollingstone.com
'Orphan Black' (2013-Present) - 40 Best Science Fiction TV Shows of All Time
This genre-spanning thriller about human cloning is so committed to its out-there premise that it employs a science advisor to keep its fringe

11) Orphan Black (2013-Present)

This genre-spanning thriller about human cloning is so committed to its out-there premise that it employs a science advisor to keep its fringe genetics on the up and up. Like all great science fiction, the BBC America show spins out from an all-too-real premise: the commodification of women’s bodies by those in power. But Orphan Black’s true secret weapon is virtuoso actor Tatiana Maslany, who’s slipped into the skin of 11 different characters and counting, from a cockney con artist to a tightly wound soccer mom to a fanatical serial killer. A show that could get bogged down in its million conspiracies remains compulsively engaging thanks to whip-smart dialogue and that mesmerizing central performance. JS 

“Orphan Black,” BBC America: Tatiana Maslany’s performance as several different women has justifiably earned a lot of praise for this taut, techno-grime thriller, but the most impressive aspect of what she’s accomplished? She made you forget she was doing it. By the third episode of “Orphan Black,” you weren’t thinking about the brilliant directing and performing that made the clones’ interactions appear seamless, you were just dying for another one of Felix’s bon mots or another sly example of Allison’s soccer-mom obsessiveness. This series, made on the cheap in Canada, serves as an overwhelming rebuke to every crappy, expensive show made in the U.S. this year or any other: The frugal and smart “Orphan Black” combined relevant ideas about biotechnology and body-modification (that tail!), suspenseful storytelling and brilliant lead performances to create a stylish and enjoyable mystery that was the talk of social media for months.

As important as a series lead always is for a show’s long-term success, it’s rare to find one person—especially an unknown—who so completely defines their show that to remove them would take away everything that makes that series special. Breaking Bad without Bryan Cranston is still a good series. Orphan Black without Tatiana Maslany is nothing.

Her performance—performances—as an ever-expanding number of clones is easily the most astonishing bit of high-wire acting this year. Each clone is a stock character, from street punk Sarah to high-strung soccer mom Alison to damaged psychopath Helena, but Maslany invests them with a life all their own—even when she’s playing one close posing as another. If Maslany faltered for a moment you’d second guess the plot, but because she’s so confident in her portrayal it’s easy (and fun) to go along with the sci-fi wackiness.

Orphan Black was the most entertaining series of the year, and Maslany the greatest television discovery since James Gandolfini.

Matthew Guerruckey, Editor-in-Chief, Drunk Monkeys

The 25 Best Horror TV Shows of All Time

3. Hannibal (2013-2015)

How the hell did a show as visually audacious, narratively perverse, and mind-bogglingly gory as Hannibal wind up on the Peacock Network? Before its unceremonious and unfortunate third-season cancellation, Bryan Fuller’s adaptation of Thomas Harris’s series of serial-killer novels — starring cannibalistic psychiatrist Hannibal Lecter and his arch-frienemy, FBI profiler Will Graham — was nothing short of a horror lover’s fever dream. It treated murder as performance art, peeling away the flesh and gristle of the human body in sensuous, spectacular slow motion to expose the heart of darkness within. In the process it made pretty much every other Prestige Drama look like a student film. As the Phantom of the Opera once said: Feast your eyes, glut your soul.

I counted down the Top 25 horror tv shows of all time for Rolling Stone. Who’s number one?

Cody's Top 10 Returning Shows of 2013

10. Eastbound & Down/Enlightened


Last year, HBO ended two little talked about series that focused on very flawed people who were at times impossible to like. Eastbound & Down had all but wrapped up it’s story at the end of a funny, yet slightly underwhelming third season. However, creators Jody Hill & Danny McBride wanted a bit more time to show what happens when Kenny Powers (McBride) settles down into normal life with his wife, April (Katy Mixon) and two kids. The result was darkly hilarious, with Kenny reaching new lows of despicable behavior. Hill & McBride (along with frequent director David Gordon Green) paint a cringeworthy portrait of a man who believes fame is the ultimate sign of success in America, and who will  destroy everything around him to get what he feels he is owed. There were times when it was hard to even classify the show as a comedy, as we were exposed again & again to Kenny’s ugly behavior. Yet, there were always laughs, mostly at disbelief that somebody was willing to tell a story about someone this blatantly awful, yet still captivating. It all culminated in surprising, and oddly heartwarming fashion, including a weird, hysterical closing montage that could only exist in the world of Kenny Powers. Meanwhile, Enlightened presented somebody who actually was trying to do good and had a good cause, but went about it in the most annoying way possible. Amy Jellicoe (given so much spirit by Laura Dern) is the type of person who is constantly pestering you in the office about her pet cause, and…it’s a good cause and all, but it’s delivered in the most needy, offputting way possible. Yet, writer/creator/director/co-star Mike White never judges Amy. Instead, he digs in to the humanity behind her, and shows how important fighting for what you believe in can really be.

Best Episodes:
-Eastbound & Down-“Chapter 28”, in which Kenny celebrates Christmas.
-Enlightened-“The Ghost Is Seen”, in which we get a painfully true picture of loneliness via Mike White’s Tyler.

9. Boardwalk Empire

Boardwalk Empire is kind of the underdog drama of HBO. It doesn’t get the same amount of attention that it’s more popular dramas receive, yet the quality is there, and it’s fourth season is probably it’s best. Steve Buscemi’s Nucky Thompson becomes more of a side character this year, as the focus is shifted more to Michael Kenneth Williams’ Chalky White, and his escalating war with Dr. Valentin Narcisse (masterfully played by Jeffrey Wright), a man from the Caribbean invested in the rights of black people, who looks down on the uneducated Chalky and uses club singer Daughter Maitland (Margot Bingham) as a potential downfall for him. More screentime is also given to characters such as Nucky’s faithful servant, Eddie (Anthony Laciura), from whom we finally get to learn what it would be like to work for a man like Nucky, and Richard Harrow (Jack Huston), the masked assassin, who tries to give us his old life for family, in an arc that even further cements him as one of the best television characters of all time. Boardwalk Empire excels at making their seasons a slow burn, with several seemingly loose threads eventually clashing together in tragic, brilliant fashion, and Season Four took things to a whole new level of excellence.

Best Episode:
“Farewell Daddy Blues”, in which everything ends in heartbreak.

8. Justified

The Southern pulp series about U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens (Timothy Olyphant) and the crime infested world of Harlan, Kentucky changed it’s usual format of Raylan facing off a big bad in Justified’s fourth season, in favor of a season long mystery, spurred by a body falling from the sky with a big bag of money. The result is a fun, fast-paced season nearly on par with he show’s perfect second season. Justified lives and dies by it’s characters, and aside from the usual great performances by Olyphant and Walton Goggins as criminal mastermind, Boyd Crowder, Season 4 offers plenty of new exciting to actors we thought we already knew, like Mike O'Malley shedding his goofy sitcom persona to play the cold, brutal Nicky Augustine, Patton Oswalt as what appears to be a bumbling Constable turned true badass, and most notably Jim Beaver, who provides the true heart of the season and proves why he is one of TV’s best (and most underappreciated) character actors.

Best Episode:
“Decoy”, in which we receive a ridiculously fun, action packed story good enough to be a full length movie in just over 40 minutes.

7. New Girl

I talked a bit last year about how New Girl slowly shed it’s cutesy early premise and really started to find the voices of it’s ensemble. In 2013, it took things to a whole new level, turning into the very best hang-out comedy on TV. On a storytelling level, the show took things up a notch by acting on the will they/won’t they dynamic of Jess (Zooey Deschanel) and Nick (Jake Johnson) full force, instead of drawing things out. More importantly, the show is just flat-out funny. Deschanel toned down Jess’ eccentricities and gave her more of an endearing awkwardness, instead of an alienating tweeness. Jake Johnson continues to make Nick Miller my favorite sitcom character with his grumpy, befuddled observations on the modern world never failing to make me burst out in laughter. Max Greenfield continues to play Schmidt with the perfect mix of douchiness and charm, while Lamorne Morris finally found a character for Winston. Granted, that character is “crazy” and “dumb”, and still needs some work, but Morris gives it his all and gets laughs. The third season got off to a bit of rocky start, as it had to make a new status quo, but it didn’t take long for it to fit into this new groove and continue it’s winning streak.

Best Episode:
“Cooler”, in which Nick and Jess finally kiss.

6. Bob’s Burgers

Shame on me for being so late to the game on Bob’s Burgers. I remember watching the first episode and being unimpressed, so I kind of just stopped thinking about it. Then I read how it was getting better and better, and jumped back in. I’m so glad I did, because after a brief amount of time finding it’s voice, Bob’s Burgers quickly turned into the best animated sitcom since golden-era The Simpsons. The thing that makes the Belcher family stand out is that they like each other. So many sitcoms get traction from everyone fighting with each other, and while the Belchers occasionally get into yelling bouts, and Louise (voiced by Kristen Schaal) tries to sabotage her family’s plans now & then, they genuinely care about each other. More often than not, the situations the family gets into are a result of them trying to help each other out. Sure, Bob (H. Jon Benjamin, doing what he does best) can get exasperated with his wife, Linda (John Roberts), but then we’ll have the sweet, funny moments where she improvises a song that makes Bob laugh and we see why they’re a perfect fit. Then there’s the Belcher kids, who break the mold of typical sitcom kids. Instead of the oldest daughter who is obsessed with boys and fashion, we have Tina (Dan Mintz), who’s also obsessed with boys, but in a very odd way, and instead of being into makeup and chasing after the school jock, she’s into horses and in love with a weirdo who loves spontaneous dancing. Middle child, Gene (Eugene Mirman) is fixated on bodily functions and spouting off bizarre non-sequiters. Then there’s Louise, who takes the trope of little kid that’s smarter than the adults around them, and twists her into a maniacal genius, who treats a normal thing like getting a crush on a member of a boy band into a horrific event. Bob’s Burgers is a show filled with laughs, heart and happiness. Nearly every episode ends with an original song over the credits, leaving you with a smile and the knowledge that everybody on the show is having as much fun as you.

Best Episode:
“O.T.: The Outside Toilet”, in which Gene befriends a talking toilet voiced by Jon Hamm.

5. Girls

Ahh, Girls. The show that inspires many an online debate whenever it airs about female body images and that endlessly tiring complaint of “white people problems”. The knives came out even more in Season 2, as Lena Dunham took things down a darker, more experimental path. People chose to ignore the fact that a woman in her mid 20’s was running, writing, directing and starring in her own show, and instead focused on trivial things, like the fact that Dunham has an unconventional body type, and that the characters act selfishly (nevermind the fact that this is intentional, which is somehow easy to understand with male characters, but not with female). The thing is, Girls doesn’t have much interest in tackling big social issues. Dunham is more interested in character, and Season 2 is packed with great character stories. She (along with writer, Jenni Konner) are able to perfectly capture the feeling of aimlessness one feels in their 20’s, where it feels like you’re going to be broke and alone for the rest of your life. Everyone’s story shines, whether it’s Marnie (Allison Williams) struggling to find a new path in life, Shoshanna (Zosia Mamet) having a serious relationship with the older, misanthropic Ray (Alex Karpovsky), Hannah (Dunham) refacing old issues with OCD as she attempts to write an e-book, and Adam (the endlessly fascinating Adam Driver), handling his breakup with Hannah in a very unsettling manner and trying to move on. People likely won’t stop arguing about Girls, but the goal of the show is to represent one girl’s experience of becoming a real adult, and that portrayal is nothing if heartfelt and honest.

Best Episode:
This one’s split for me, between “One Man’s Trash”, which caused so many fights online (over something as gross and disrespectful as whether or not a handsome doctor would be attracted to a woman who doesn’t look like a supermodel), but at it’s core played like a beautiful indie short film, and “On All Fours”, which really makes me want to see Lena Dunham make a horror movie.

4. Mad Men

Season Six of Mad Men may have not reached the heights of excellence in previous years, but the downfall of Don Draper was still fascinating to watch. Creator Matthew Weiner shows that after a lifetime and career of lies, Don Draper’s deeds are catching up to him. While his ideas and pitches were once things of poetry, they know come out lazy. Even in his personal life, Don yet again sinks into boredom and feeling unfulfilled, to the point of bringing his affairs even closer to home, when he begins seeing a woman who lives in his building (played by Linda Cardellini). Everything that once seemed charming and suave about Don is now decayed and sad. On the opposite end of things, we see Peggy (Elisabeth Moss) continue her escalating domination of the advertising world. Moss plays Peggy wonderfully, making her completely unrecognizable from the mousey receptionist of Season 1. Pete witnesses the falling apart of his marriage and meets a new professional challenge in the consistently intriguing Bob Benson (James Wolk). The rest of the cast continues to shine, whether it’s Joan (Christina Hendricks) still struggling to gain respect in the workplace, Roger (John Slattery) continuing to feel important with age, Stan (Jay R. Ferguson) showing a softer, more likeable side, Betty (January Jones) finally beginning to resemble a decent human being again, and Ted Chaough (Kevin Rahm) learning to work with people like Don and Peggy. After six seasons, even when it’s not at the very top of it’s game, Mad Men is still Mad Men, and that’s something exceptional.

Best Episode:
“The Crash”, in which everyone takes speed to get some work done and Ken (Aaron Staton) shows off his dance moves.

3. Game of Thrones

After a still extremely enjoyable, but heavily piece-moving second season, Game of Thrones put all of it’s cards on the table for Season 3. The personal battles that have been building up are finally coming to a head, and the results are glorious. Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage) continues to try and run things at King’s Landing, while his entire family tries to thwart his efforts. The sisters Stark, Arya (Maisie Williams) and Sansa (Sophie Turner) continue to have their childhoods ripped away from them as they witness more death and violence every day. Jon Snow (Kit Harington) infiltrates the Wildlings, and learns more about the enemy. We finally see a more human side of Kingslayer Jaime Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau), thanks to the stoic bravery and devotion of Brienne of Tarth (Gwendoline Christie). Robb Stark (Richard Madden) continues to show his power as King of the North. Then there’s Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke), who gains more and more power as her dragons grow bigger and more fierce. There’s so many different threads in the world of Westeros, and seeing them begin to be pulled together is exhilarating. An epic story presented on the small screen gives us a chance to really get to know the people that are fighting for what they want, and that extra time lets us get a lost in a world full of greed, endless bloodshed, and despicable tyrants, yet also a world of hope, love and terrific drama.

Best Episode:
“The Rains of Castamere”, in which there is a Red Wedding.

2. Breaking Bad

It’s all over. After 5 seasons of breathtaking, heart-stopping tension, Breaking Bad has ended it’s reign as one of the finest dramas ever, and it’s last 8 episodes provided one of the most enthralling final chapters of a story ever. The battle between Walter White (Bryan Cranston) and his brother-in-law, Hank (Dean Norris) split sides and destroyed relationships forever, while the ever-suffering Jesse (Aaron Paul) continued to have every bit of his hope and humanity pulverized. The show made a smart choice by blowing everything up and showing the grim fallout that follows. As ruthlessly breakneck as Breaking Bad could be, it was always about consequences, and you couldn’t tell the story of Walter White without showing the effects of his choices. While the last episode, “Felina”, caused some controversy by leaving many thinking that the show let Walt win at the end, but you have to think about what it cost his soul and his self to gain that, as well as what he really achieved at the end. No matter your feelings on the ending, Breaking Bad was all about the ride, and it never let up on the gas once, no matter how close the crash was approaching.

Best Episode:
“Ozymandias”, in which Walt loses everything.

1. The Chris Gethard Show

I know what you’re thinking. “What show? You’re telling me that a show that aired on public access and the internet, is better than the juggernaut that is Breaking Bad?” Yes, that’s what I’m saying. Sure, it didn’t have the production values or rigid storytelling structure of some of our great TV dramas, or the precise writing & editing of the comedies, but it featured more surprises, honest, heart, and laughs then all of them. Comedian Chris Gethard built something really special on MNN. Every week, he gathers a group of misfits (both real and fictional) together and tries to show you something you’ve never seen. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. Either way, the goal is to make you feel like you’ve seen something amazing. That’s the general mission statement of The Chris Gethard Show, and that ambition and creativity is why it’s at the top of my list. Chris and his team will give anything a try, from reading a teen magazine out loud on the air, to writing a book in an hour, to predicting the future of callers; anything is game. That’s enough to make the show worthwhile, but it’s the sense of community and family that Gethard has formed that make the show something special. There’s the panel, filled with endlessly entertaining interesting people, like Shannon O'Neill, Bethany Hall, Murf and The Human Fish. There’s the audience members who show up every week, always ready to have the time of their life. There’s the endless supply of ficitional characters, like The Hintmaster, or The Guy Who Likes Cream, But Not Too Much Cream. There’s the regular callers, like Alyssa, or Stellan from Sweden, or Calstead. There’s Bananaman. There’s Rob Malone, the World’s Greatest Dancer and Beef-Off champion. There’s Evil Director, J.D. Amato. There’s Horse and Bee. The list goes on and on. Gethard has created something truly unique and groundbreaking. I’m sad I came in to it so late and wasn’t able to call in and become a part of the community. But the future is nothing but bright for the show, as they are preparing a pilot for Comedy Central, hopefully to share their weird, brilliant universe with the world at large.

Best Episode:
I don’t even know where to start. 2013 had so many highlights, including “First Times”, which features one of the most joyous episode endings of the year, “HUNDO”, a perfect summary of what The Chris Gethard Show is all about and why it matters, “The Villain’s Journey” and “We Got Nothing 2”, which shows how pain and anger can be just as important to showcase as laughter and happiness, “Mike In The Library”, which makes new strides forward in connecting television and audience, and the epic “The Cream Wedding”, which ends things wonderfully for 2013, with a great hook for 2014. You can check out every episode right now at …, and I highly recommend doing so.

Readers' Choice: What was the Best TV Show of 2013?

It’s time to start preparing for the last day of Pop GO’s Best of 2013 by unveiling the Best TV Shows of 2013. And to do that, we need your help crowning YOUR choice for best TV show!

So, to all the TV fans out there…

What was the Best TV Show of 2013?

To help crown the official readers’ choice for Best TV Show of 2013, you can personally make your pick by writing the name of the show in our comments section!