If you know me, you know I love TV. Choosing my Top Five favourite shows of 2012 was an impossible task for me and it was a list that has been changed and edited countless times. I have finally chosen the five shows that stood out for me the most in 2012. These five shows were the ones that consumed my life and kept me up at night. Please be careful when you read on as there may be some spoilers for those shows you have yet to watch. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!!
Sons Of Anarchy
In a series that has built a loyal fan base and a reputation for its gritty, violent, and sexual content, Season Five of Sons Of Anarchy did not disappoint. The first episode started off with a club members daughter being burned alive, and by episode three we lost one of if not the most beloved character on the series. A lot of people were mad and upset about this and although I did shed a tear or two for the clubs fallen soldier, I couldn’t help but look forward to the aftermath all of this would cause for the Sons of Anarchy. What followed was an endless battle for power and revenge outside of and also within the club. Every episode left the viewer with worry, anger, sadness, and guilt. Any series that can have a lasting effect on you for days after an episode is one that deserve accolades and Sons Of Anarchy’s fifth season managed to do that to me after every single episode. The writers and actors had me confused as to why I am now feeling sorry for characters I have hated since Season One and why I am beginning to question and dislike the series main (former?) protagonist. How did they do that?
Lena Dunham is 26 years old and has created a masterpiece of television with HBO’s Girls. This highly relatable, honest, hilarious and raw show about a group of twentysomething girls living in New York City is my favourite new series of 2012. Dunham has created a character who is stuck in the dark abyss between adolescence and adulthood which everyone is all too familiar with. Hannah Horvath (played by Dunham) is a train wreck of bad decisions when it comes to her work, social and love life, but the refreshingly honest portrayal of relationships and female sexuality makes us relate to Hannah more than we want to chastise her. The uncomfortable sex scenes, epic girl fights, and monologues are fearless and defy any expectations that one may have about a show with this premise.
Magnets, bitch! With only eight episodes in part one of season five, the writers of Breaking Bad managed to always stay one step ahead of its audience leaving us confused and questioning just how this series is going to end when it returns in 2013. The season started off right away with a flash forward to Walter White (Bryan Cranston) with a different name in a different place, a year later. Viewers were left to always keep that scene in the back of their minds since that was the only taste of the future we got in those eight episodes. What was Walt doing? Who is the gun for? Why is he in hiding? Some of those questions may have been answered in the season finale with Hank’s “holy shit” (hah) moment, but with the way the series has played out thus far, I would beg to differ. What these eight episodes taught us is that Walt is going down. There is no way he can ever reach redemption with the choices he made throughout the series and particularly in Season Five. I don’t know how we’re going to move on after the show concludes its run in 2013!
I’ll admit I was a little upset when Damian Lewis took down Walter White (Cranston) to win the Emmy for Best Actor in September, but that was before I blew through Season One in a weekend of Homeland and started watching Season Two. Damian Lewis is absolutely brilliant in his portrayal of former Al Qaeda prisoner Nicholas Brody and although I will always be a fan of Bryan Cranston I believe the award was well deserved. Now 10 episodes into season two, Lewis has shown us an even more broken and conflicted man in Brody. His relationship with bi-polar CIA agent, Carrie Mathison (Claire Danes) is one that we know is so wrong on many levels, but can’t help to route for thanks to their magnetic chemistry. Homeland is one of those shows where you will find yourself sitting completely upright on the sofa and with less fingernails than when you started watching the episode. The storylines continue to be compelling and complex leaving us with the belief that no one can be trusted.
Game Of Thrones
How can Game of Thrones not be on this list? I am one of those lazy people who is just watching the show and hasn’t read the books so I never know what to expect. The underlying tension of each episode is between what I want to happen, what I expect to happen and what will actually happen. These three things never add up and that is why I love this show so much. Who would have thought that Theon Greyjoy would overtake my most hated character position from that little punk Joffrey? And it’s interesting that in a series full of dragons, zombie horses, direwolves and other mythical creatures, the ones that terrorize Westeros the most are the humans that rule it. No matter if there are characters you hate or ones you love, they are all compelling and portrayed perfectly. Season Two of the fantasy series left us with many jaw dropping and unexpected moments but the highlight was Episode 9, “Blackwater”. The movie like battle at King’s Landing was an epic war of land and sea with ships exploding into green flames, perfectly choreographed fight scenes, and a rally speech from Tyrion that would make even Coach Taylor envious. Blackwater was easily the most magnificent hour of television in 2012.
What about you? What were your favourite shows of 2012?