Best of lists tend to be pretty simple for me... I take a list of what came out this year, highlight everything I saw, and rank them. As I said last week when discussing my favorite music of 2013, I picked with the songs and albums that stuck with me throughout the year, that I played over and over again. But how do you approach the gargantuan and ever changing medium of TV? I'm admittedly more of a watch-at-my-own-pace television subscriber, which made Netflix and HBO Go my new best friends, and I'm sadly behind on some of the most talked about television of the year, (Breaking Bad is perpetually on my I'll catch up soon list.)
With all that in mind, I decided to approach this list a bit differently... identifying not only my favorite shows, but moments, episodes, and even skits. I'd love to hear what were your favorites of the year as well, (so that I can add them to my giant Netflix cue of course!) xoxo Fearsy
Best Comedy... Orange Is the New Black
Everything about this comedy speaks to what I love. Strong women, complex relationships, and the ability to binge watching it for 10 hours straight without stopping But the real draw of OITNB is in the storytelling. We start off with these notions of the women making up the prison population as being one thing, yet as we learn more of their past, experience them in their present, you begin to see each individual character in a new light. Did Alex really rat Piper out? Is Larry that great a guy to begin with? Why the hell is Red in prison anyway? One thing is for sure, I can't wait to find out more.
Best Drama... Sons of Anarchy
If you'd have asked me at the end of last season whether I'd be watching SOA this season I would have been doubtful. I've been cult-watching it since the very beginning, but with an increasingly violent (and dare I say fucked up,) storyline, I wasn't sure I could handle more of what Kurt Sutter was putting out there. (I'm still reeling from Opie's final episode. I love you Opie.) But I stuck with it. And it was still violent. Like holy shit I'll never look at washing dishes the same way... but I loved it. So often we see shows surrounding a male antihero (Breaking Bad, The Sopranos, etc,) with women merely filling in the complicated background, but this season of SOA dares to suggest that these formerly "background" women may be actually playing the most complex and influential roles of all. With the understanding that this isn't a show for the kiddies... I highly suggest you start watching.
Outstanding Performance... Ricky Gervais in Derek
It would have been easy for Gervais to go his usual biting and hilarious way in his new series Derek. The show follows Derek, an kind yet socially awkward man working at an eldercare facility in the UK. Gervais plays Derek to the very edge, with his ticks, gait, and simple nature bringing out questions of autism or even a mental disability to mind at first. But the answer, (while Gervais has staunchly denied any disabilities,) is that it doesn't matter. Derek is a character that in his sweetness, his simplicity, and his sentimentality, simply melts your heart. In Derek, Gervais explores our treatment of the elderly, what it means to grow old, be lonely, and be different. It's loveliness will simply break your heart, and I truly believe it's one of Gervais' greater achievements.
I Know Its Coming and I'm Still Upset... The Red Wedding in Game of Thrones (SPOILER ALERT)
Like many of my fellow GoT addicts, watching the penultimate episode of Season 3 of GoT was an exercise in agony. In a series/show that spares no character, I found myself holding my breath in anticipation of the betrayal and murder of a whole slue of our favorite characters. George R.R. Martin knows just how to break my heart.
Best TV Romance... Nick & Jess in New Girl
I just started watching New Girl this year, and I can't believe what I was missing. This show makes me laugh every time, contributed to my friends and I having a new drinking game (helloooo True Americans,) influences me to dress like a Disney character, and has made me a fanatic lover of Jake Johnson. He is my cats meow y'all. I'm obsessed with Nick and Jess' relationship in all of it's quirky goodness and FOX, I will send a bag of dog poop to you if you break them up. A lot of dog poop. Don't test me.
Favorite Guilty Pleasure... Sharknado
Because. C'mon. It's a tornado. Made of sharks.
Best Skit... Moet & Chandon Champagne
If you want to know the one piece of pop culture that universally affected my friend group, it was definitely former porn stars trying to sell stuff on SNL. Thanks Champagne! was the catchphrase that we never tired of saying. Because other champagnes are too 'spensive.