2013 has been a grand year for television. As we’ll soon see from my list – perhaps the definitive on the subject – this year has been a rare treat in terms of televisual treats. It was the year that Mr. Chips went full Scarface, a scarred dwarf captured the hearts of millions around the world, and that TV On Demand went stratospheric. Netflix reached peak levels of saturation this year, buoyed by an increasing focus on original content alongside its impressive roster of shows. This, combined with jaw-dropping levels of global piracy, meant that many of the shows you simply had to see weren’t actually being broadcast on traditional network television. More on that later.
So, this is my list of the top ten TV shows of this year. As I go into in nauseating detail in the New Girl entry (spoiler!), I differentiate between this list and that of my “favourites”. There’s a lot of overlap between the two lists, but the orderings are slightly different, as discussed throughout. Suffice to say, this is an unnecessary distinction but I make it nonetheless. Accept it at your peril.
Every decade is the golden age of television, if you think about it, but 2013 was a truly a vintage year. Social media makes TV a global event, meaning that as media becomes increasingly fractured – with water cooler talk being mostly a thing of the past – it becomes much bigger in its potential reach. I suppose we can thank House for paving the way globally for mainstream, intelligent, worldwide televisual fare, and its a trend that will only continue into 2014.
On with the list! In reverse order…