The Best Television of 2012

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I have had more time than ever before to fall in love with my television.  And fall in love, I did.  Let’s see – there was my brief, wondrous affair with Jesse Pinkman – we drank each other in like a delicious tonic, glued together in my bedroom for two straight weeks, the approximate duration that it took me to watch five entire seasons of Breaking Bad.   Then Jesse went on a year-long hiatus, promising to come back for one last fling.  I was heartbroken, and didn’t know where to go next.  

Until Jax Teller came along in his Harley.    My relationship with Jax was more of a May-December romance.   I drank in five seasons of the motorcycle club/Hamlet drama, and I have to say that season 5 has left me on the edge of my seat for the entire hour and left me desperately wanting more. 

Whenever I need to laugh, I have my boyfriend Charlie Kelly to call on.  It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia is still having a fantastic season 8 – I don’t think that critics give them all the credit they deserve.   Charlie Day is one of the best comedic actors on the planet, and he writes, produces and acts in Always Sunny.   This is the one show that can never fail to make me cry laughing, and I truly believe that it has been aging like a fine wine, only getting better with age. 

When I want someone who can sing for me and lift my spirits, I look no further than Corey Monteith’s Finn Hudson on Glee.  I’m surprised that I actually really enjoy the fourth season, where they have managed to still integrate a cast that is assembled to live all over the country. I enjoy the newcomers, and I love Darren Criss.  Their sharp writing has only gotten better with age. 

When it comes to the physical male body, I have fallen for Oliver Queen of Arrow, played by Stephen Arnell.  I thought that it would be just a Smallville wannabe, by Arrow is intelligent and well-shot and not cheesy at all.  

I have to give a shout-out to my brand new favorite show, and my favorite TV cop – Nick Burkhardt from NBC’s Grimm.   I am obsessed with all things German and Bavarian, and I absolutely love everything about this show.   Picture Buffy but instead having a superhero armed with lots of medieval weapons and a dog-earned copy of the Brothers Grimm fairytales.  I also love the format of the show, and I love the sly humor underneath the fantastic storylines.  I’m just bummed that the midseason finale already happened last month and now we have to wait until MARCH for new episodes.

Another Midseason Finale that happened way too soon was the Walking Dead.  There are only 12 or 13 fantastic episodes.  At least give them to us all at once.   And Jesus Christ, Breaking Bad – did we REALLY have to divide the last season into two?  However, if Walking Dead returns arm in arm with Breaking Bad, I won’t complain – that will be the best night in televison. 

What else?     I started watching Boardwalk Empire and got hooked for the first two seasons.   Then they went ahead and killed everyone I liked by the end of season 2 (RIP, Michael Pitt), and I don’t really feel emotionally invested enough to watch season 3.  Modern Family used to be such an excellent show that gave me a warm feeling in my heart and prayed that they were my family.  Sadly, this year, they seem to be catty and they seem to spend too much time trying to change one another rather than being truly happy as a family.  I still watch, but it doesn’t give me that great feeling.

Then there’s all the reality TV.      I do still watch Jersey Shore, yet it is so bad that I continue to ask myself why I continue to watch it after every single episode.   Jersey Shore was groundbreaking television when you took 7 volatile hotheads and plied them with booze and put them in a house together.  Sadly, it’s not as interesting when the two most fascinating drunks of all have become sober.    My favorite new reality show is Catfish the TV Show.   I love the refreshing way in which it’s shot, and I truly believe the Nev is genuine.  However, Rob brought up questions of authenticity five minutes in – we are no longer in teh 1990’s.  These situations are entirely not plausible now, in this era of iphones and Skype.   Of course, I still love MTV’s True Life franchise.  Another fantastic show was the Vice Guide to Everything.  I truly hope that they continue it for another season.      Another guilty pleasure of mine has become Teen Mom 2. They’re all trainwrecks in their way, but I have become emotionally invested in the lives of these girls.    Finally, there’s the Real Housewives of Atlanta – the only seasons I watch are the Jersey Housewives and the Atlanta ones.   The Atlanta ones are likeable and charming and they really bring the drama.  It’s great mindlless TV.    More fantastic reality TV is the ever reliable Top Chef.

Finally, aside from Always Sunny, the only other show to make me literally cry laughing has been New Girl.   The new season has been a bit hit or miss – some episodes are some of my all time favorite comedy ever (the episode where Jess tried to become a car model – priceless!) and others annoy me because she seems a bit overconfident.   However, the show has way too much potential for me to give up, and it is also one of the best ensemble casts on TV.

Wow – this post was insanely long.   I’m going to take a break before composing my next post, which is going to be the Best Of Books, and I know that’s going to be a scroll because I’ve read so many fantastic things this past year!     What are your favorite TV shows?  I’d love some new suggestions, as well as to hear your favorite TV moments from the past year!

The Best Entertainment of 2012

We are nearing the close of yet another year.       How did you feel about 2012?

Personally, I feel ambivalent towards the year.    Looking back, I had a God-awful 2010.  I had lost my job, gotten unemployment for two weeks, stupidly taken another horrible job where I loathed being there so much that I had to quit for my own sanity, I lost unemployment, was forced to get one of the crappiest jobs I have ever worked, earning $12 an hour and being verbally abused all day long.    In 2010, I developed acne, I broke up with my best friend, and I became depressed.

By 2011, things finally started looking up.  I finally made a group of good friends, I finally got another job that I loved and that paid a great salary and eliminated all of the work-related stress in my life, things with my boyfriend were going, and I began to even act carefree and start partying and going to clubs and just losing myself in fits of laughter.  I came full circle.  I loved 2011.

In 2012, I have to say that pendulum swung back towards the opposite end a bit.   I had some health concerns, and I was entirely too stressed at the job where I was so happy a year ago, albeit I had scored a considerable promotion and a great deal more responsibility.   Towards the end of the year, I was laid off because it was quite evident that I was pretty miserable there.   I still retained my circle of friends, and the relationship that I hold dearly and prize above all else, the relationship with my boyfriend, was horribly tested towards the beginning of the year.   However, I can tell that I am ending the year on a good note.   I have finally become comfortable with being unemployed, I had begun to receive unemployment checks, and I am no longer broke.   As a result of not having such an incredibly stressful 12 hour workday job, I am home more and able to enjoy more time with Rob.  We are in a great place in our relationship and I honestly think that this time was crucial in order for our relationship to succeed.   I am no longer so testy and angry, and we never fight now.   I have also begun to dedicate a majority of my time to writing, and the rest of it to voraciously taking in all other kinds of media so as to constantly get new ideas.

Although I went through a rough few months in 2012, one of the main things that sustained me throughout that time was all of the fantastic entertainment.     I am going to create posts to share my top picks in 2012’s Television, Movies, Books, and Music.    We may not realize it, but we are all junkies for some sort of entertainment, and entertainment makes our lives richer and more enjoyable.   I am going to be watching these artists for years to come, and I hope that you like my suggestions and discover some amazing new entertainment for yourselves!

I’d also absolutely love to hear your own picks – I love to broaden my horizons as well!      Stay tuned – my Best Of 2012 Television post is next!