10. Grey's Anatomy - This one probably is surprising, as well as eye-roll inducing, for most people. I'll admit, that I am a hardcore Grey's Anatomy fan, and I'm not ashamed of it. I have stuck by through the bad times, and celebrated the good ones. And since the terrible shooting in the hospital a couple of seasons ago, Grey's has rebounded in terms of both its storylines and particularly its characters. And in the end, that is why we, as its fans, love this show. It is about the characters, and so far in this season, (and in the second half of last season), Grey's has once again turned its focus to the characters that we love. It has regained its humor, found its footing, and has remained one of the most entertaining shows on broadcast television. I know that most people have jumped off the bandwagon, and at any moment, the creators and actors could decide to end it, but until that day, I will always be along for the ride.
9. Bunheads - I know absolutely nothing about ballet. But I have so much respect for Amy Sherman, and think that Sutton Foster and Kelly Bishop are two talented and awesome presences on screen. So this summer I tuned into their project, Bunheads, about a dancer who gets married and ends up living in the small town of Paradise with her dance instructer mother-in-law. If the premise sounds ridiculous at first, it eventually settles into a nice rhythm. Like Gilmore Girls before it, it is a fast-paced, wildly intelligent comedy, populated with quirky characters and awkward situations. While I still maintain that it needs to correct a few things (seem my eariler review for that list), Bunheads will no doubt remain one of my favorite new shows of the season, and one of the most highly anticipated in the coming new year.
8. Nashville - In a year for mostly duds for new broadcast shows, Nashville stands out as a bright spot. It is a highly entertaining, well-made primetime soap opera that deftly combines its varying characters, and its intertwining storylines about love, sex, music, and politics. It doesn't hurt that its two leads, Connie Britton and Hayden Panettiere are both rockstars, not only in their surprising vocal abilities, but in their respective performances. They both bring a brilliant mix of power, sexuality, talent, and vulnerability to their roles, and hopefully, as the second half of its seasons kicks up next month, they will continue to explore their feisty and entertaining relationship. But its not just the actors that get credit, as a lot also goes to the guys and gals behind the camera that keep the interesting plotlines moving at a nice pace. While some may not see this as a high compliment considering the plethora of bad new shows this season, I still maintain that this is the best new show on broadcast television, and hopefully will continue to shine well into 2013 and beyond.
7. Breaking Bad - I am so sad that Breaking Bad will no longer be a part of the television culture after this summer, because for so many years it was an important show that broke new ground in terms of the quality of televison on cable, and in the graphic and disturbing way it presented itself, and I mean that in a good way. Breaking Bad is a high-octane drug thriller, featuring stunning performances from its whole cast, taut writing and directing, and a mentality by all involved to create something that is real, disturbing, as well as highly entertaining. There are a lot of great shows on telelvison, but few have maintained the intensity like Breaking Bad. It was such a vital addition to television, bringing an almost cinematic quality to the small screen. But at least we all have half a season left, and with that midseason cliff hanger, we all should be rejoicing for the gift.
6. Modern Family - So many people get mad year in and year out when Modern Family cleans up at the various awards shows, particularly the Emmys. Now I understand the argument that there are so many great shows on television that it is time to spread the love around. But the argument that it is not worthy of recognition is completely wrong. Modern Family, week in and week out, is laugh-out-loud funny. It is populated with wacky characters and ridiculous storylines. But despite the silliness, there is also real emotion and love that is exchanged between the characters, and this is why we keep coming back week after week. Beneath the surface, Modern Family is really about love and the ties that bind us. And the warmth that is exuded from the screen is enough to heat the whole house.
5. New Girl - I liked this show last year, but after recently revisiting the first season, and catching up on my recorded episodes of Season 2, I have grown to really love this show. Zooey Deschanel is absolutely amazing as Jess, and the cast as a whole has a great vibe and chemistry which seems natural and easy. Plus with all of its quirky madness, it is geninuely funny, indefinitely charming and clever, and usually has me rolling on the floor with laughter. Finally, like Modern Family, there is true love and, in this case, friendship, exhibited between the different characters that is so obvious and is so welcomed on television. I think that New Girl fills a nice niche in television and is one of the best comedies on TV today.
4. Homeland - Homeland may be a fictional show, but its storylines might as well have been ripped from today's headlines. It is by far one of the most tense and taut shows on television. It gets your pulse going, and between its realisitic and intricate plotlines, and its fantastic performances, it is one of the few shows that week after week leaves you breathless and on the edge of your seat. It has the quality of a cinematic experience, and never fails to surprise its audience, throwing out soem plot twist that literally makes you drop your jaw. Finally, and most impressively, despite its heavy material, its screenwriters' agility and skill and its actors incredible grasp of the material helps it remain an incredibly entertaining experience.
3. Parks & Recreation - It is no surprise that year in and year out Parks and Recreation is my favorite television comedy, despite some incredibly stiff competition. It nails it mockumentary style the way The Office did (up until last season), and it is filled with some of the funniest and most talented actors working on television today, led by the incredibly funny and talented Amy Poehler. Most importantly, Parks and Recreation is a show that continuely grows and continuely gets better. After the first season, I was almost done with the show, but every new season makes me happier that I did stick around, because the evolution from an almost goner to one of the best shows on television has been one hell of a ride.
2. The Good Wife - I have written so much about The Good Wife, that I am not going to keep reinterating the same points. It will suffice it to say that despite the recent Kalinda plotline, The Good Wife remains one of the most entertaining and well-made shows on the air today.
1. Parenthood - Once again, I have been here so many times, I have to be repetitive. While the show still has some trouble balancing all of its characters (all shows with this large of a cast have the same problem), the emotion exuded from the screen is always genuine, and the performances, particularly Monica Potter and Peter Krause, this season are simply out of this world.