This was a good year for TV. Since I don't get cable, I end up watching shows on Netflix. A good show will provoke a marathon, so I have to time it around work and time availabitity.
Some shows I enjoyed this past year, or plan to watch eventually this year:
Mad Men was postponed this year, but that gave me time to marathon all the previous seaons. It lives up to all the hype. I watched all four seasons on Netflix, WITH all the commentary! and just loved it. It brings up all kinds of memories of when I was under ten years old, which is when the show is set, and I know that my parents lived through many of the types of situations that the show portrays. Watching the show with my daughter has lead to many interesting conversations
I really, really liked Homeland. Claire Danes, Morena Baccarin, Damian Lewis, Mandy Patinkin: what an amazing cast! SO suspenseful, so well-written and directed. I was wary of anything that might have been like the disgusting 24, but I'm completely hooked. Claire Danes is utterly gripping in her complete surrender to this complex role.
The first year of Treme was outstanding, and I need to watch the next season, but I want to set aside enough time to do it justice. The music is so wonderful, the food world, the characters. I think I'll re-watch season 1; the music, the portrait of New Orleans, the loving attention to the magnitude of the events that were the aftermath of Katrina: all are equal to the quality of The Wire.
BBC's show The Hour, about a group of news reporters who want to make a new kind of TV news show. The actors--Dominic West (from the Wire) Romola Garai and Ben Wishaw--are terrific, especially Wishaw. It was only a six-episode first season, but apparently a second will be forthcoming.. Marvelous costumes and set design, intelligent dialogue, and attractive men, yay! Another entertaining BBC show was Downton Abbey ("literary soap-opera fantasy") which made me re-watch Gosford Park. Such fun! I'm looking forward to the second season, which will start while I"m away, but should be easy to catch up on. I LOVE Kate Atkinson's novels, so the news that there is a BBC show, called Case Histories, based on them was great. I was able to watch a few episodes, and it makes me want to go back and reread all her books.
Another period piece I watched was about half of Boardwalk Empire (HBO) because it was on just before True Blood, and I'd often find a streaming channel on Tumblr where I could watch both shows. Coming in midway, I wasn't up on all the characters, but it was compelling and a great period piece.This one will have to wait until the summer for a marathon.
Dexter was very good for the first few seasons, a real exploration on a character, but this fifth year it has not been so great.I hated the season ending.
In comedies: we still love The Big Bang Theory AND Community, and I hate that they are on at the same time! Community still has some episodes in the can, but is on hiatus for a few months, which has the fans in an uproar. I have not yet watched any episodes of Louie, but I'm really intrigued by how he produces it, how many risks he is willing to take. I am not as big a fan of Parks and Rec as some, but only because I've just seen a smattering of episodes; I have to go back to the beginning and watch the whole thing. Same for Modern Family.
United States of Tara was good in its first year but I wasn't able to follow it the following season and now it has been cancelled after its third season. But I adore Toni Colette, so I'll put it in my queue.
Shows I have not seen yet, but want to watch:
Justified on FX gets a lot of love from the critics, and since it's based on Elmore Leonard stories, I'm sure it's good. My mother loves The Good Wife; that's another one I'll have to make time for. Apparently Breaking Bad is everyone's FAVORITE show, but I haven't wanted to watch a show about meth, and it's already had four seasons.
I only saw the pilot of Game of Thrones, but I'll catch up with it next. One show a lot of people like that I haven't seen yet is The Vampire Diaries, but I'm not sure about that one. I have never had any interest in Friday Night Lights (Texas, football, ugh).
That's a lot of TV! But the quality of some of these shows has been better than so much TV in the past. I'll probably watch SYTYCD again, but the show has lost its charm for me, alas.