Biff Bam Pop’s Best of 2011 – Television: American Horror Story, Breaking Bad and More

All this week, Biff Bam Pop’s various writers will drop by with their thoughts on the best of the year when it comes to tv, music, movies, comics and more. Today, here’s a list of what topped our list of tv favourites. As you’ll see, one show in particular seemed to resonate with many of our illustrious contributors:

Corina Hitchcock:

Whenever I try to describe this show to someone who hasn’t heard of American Horror Story, it comes across as something insane -and it kind of is. AHS is a sprawling, David lynch type nightmare involving a haunted house in Los Angeles, a family torn apart by infidelity, dead starlets, teen killers, a monster-baby hybrid, a guy in a rubber suit…and so much more. I sometimes wonder how the writers are going to keep the momentum going with this one, but I look forward to following along.

Jason Shayer:

American Horror Story – Smart, clever, and damn twisted. Turned off by a really weak second season of The Walking Dead, I was looking for something with bite and this show delivered. A great, compelling drama with a jaw-dropping surprises which is rare these days.

Andrew Burns:

I have a hard time believing that American Horror Story came from the same mind that gave us Glee. I love the fact that the show is on FX, as it means Ryan Murphy can take off the gloves and let loose with some of the most twisted horror ever created for television. Sure, Dylan McDermott may cry a little too much on the show, but somebody better polish off an Emmy with Jessica Lange’s name on it, as she’s doing great work as the next door neighbour you’d never want to mess with.

Shannon Watkins:

Episodes on Showtime: A TV show about making a TV show. More specifically, a TV show about an American studio ruining an adaptation of a successful British comedy. Playing himself playing the leading man, Matt Leblanc does a fantastic job of both roles. His willingness to have a major plot point hang on the fact he isn’t a particularly funny or talented actor shows that he is, actually, quite hilarious and capable of range in his portrayal of characters.

JW Ward:

Best: Community on NBC/CityTV – NBC might have decided to put the show on hiatus mid-way through its current season, but the adventures of the study group at the fictional Greendale Community College continue to be the most inventive half-hour of television you’ll find on any of the big networks.

Joel McHale, Allison Brie, Danny Pudi and Donald Glover  form the best parts of an ensemble cast that delivers comedy gold week after week.  From making an entire episode about role-playing games, to an exploration of western film tropes via paintball, to even the more recent homage to Heart of Darkness (because it was way better than Apocalypse Now), Community came into its own in 2011 and deserves six seasons and a movie, even if it’s now nearer to the fate of shows like Arrested Development and Firefly.

Worst – Smallville finale on The CW – Filled with more plot holes than a Michael Bay film, the culmination of Superman’s ten-year coming-of-age journey made it feel like the Boy of Steel would never man up.

When it finally came time for Tom Welling’s emo-tending Clark Kent to put on the tights, all viewers got to see was a flying animation at a great distance – not even one shot in the full super-suit.  Starting out with a Clark & Lois wedding that never finishes, the epilogue skipped ahead seven years to find Lois (Erica Durance) and Clark still unmarried. And what was with Chloe, her kid and that comic book?  Does that mean everyone in their universe knows Clark Kent is Superman, working away at the Daily Planet?

An angry fan could go on.  Thankfully, the show didn’t.

Corina Newby:

South Park: always relevant with a little as 6 days to air, fearless satire and a stand alone animated series
Parks n’ Recreation: hilarious and bold character development, and a great alternative to the office which had yet to recover from the loss of steve carrell
American Dad: jumped ahead of the Seth MacFarlane pack long ago, Roger is a beacon of comic genius, and continues to cement itself as best franchise of all three.
Children’s Hospital: always edgy, riddled with an obscene number of comedy cameos, and heading in to its 4th season for 2012. Thank god for Rob Corddry.
Dark Matters (doc): great documentary released round halloween about dark, twisted and true tales from scientific history.
– and although I just started watching and only in 2nd season, Breaking Bad: Bryan Cranston’s ongoing lead is nothing short of spectacular and continues to impress even after 4 incredibly high intensity seasons (heading into its fifth in 2012)

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