Other Ten Percent Year End TV Guide

Dec 27 2012

So as usual when I start off with “I’m not feeling this” I wrote waaaay too many words yesterday. Judging by experience today I will expect to write even more words and therefore top out at like 700 words or something. Anyway today we talk television and I’m not entirely certain what exactly I’m judging here. This isn’t strictly a top 10 list for TV this year because that’d be boring. It’s also not a list of shows you’ve never heard of because…you’ve read OTP before. Instead I guess this is a list of the TV shows I’ve spent the most time thinking about this year? Nine of them, along with the top TV list I’d suggest you guys look toward if you hate my opinions.

Adventure Time
Adventure Time has finally broken into year end best show lists despite being an utterly bizarre animated comedy show for kids. Of course it’s still being criminally underrated because, well, it’s an utterly bizarre animated comedy show for kids. It’s also developed into a show that can do one of the most emotionally touching episodes of anything I’ve seen all year in 11 minutes.

Comedy Bang! Bang!
The most popular show at TV Club this year weirdly enough. Comedy Bang! Bang! is such a weird show, a parody of talk shows that’s actually more of a sketch show of the absurd based on a Podcast it resembles but doesn’t reproduce. For a show that can’t keep to a premise for more than 3 minutes though it was amazingly consistent. There wasn’t a show this year that didn’t have an off episode the way Comedy Bang! Bang! managed. Sure it only had 10 episodes but they were 10 AMAZING episodes.

Key & Peele
So I was clearly a bit behind the times only coming around to this show in the middle of the second season but I’m mostly just thrilled that there’s a truly great American sketch show on the air again. The show got famous for their Obama parody, and it’s easy to see why since it’s the first impression of the guy that actually managed to tap into all the stuff that’s clearly going on beneath the president’s cool exterior, but even they seemed sick of those sketches by the election. Thankfully, there’s more than enough other great sketches going on.

Archer
I love Adventure Time but Archer is the best animated show on TV. What seemed like a clever but thin conceit about how much James Bond’s life of constant boozing and womanizing would result in a totally wrecked man-child has evolved into an ensemble show with the best interrelated backstories outside of Pawnee, Indiana.

30 Rock
30 Rock’s last season is probably it’s strongest since its golden age of seasons 2 and 3. It’s like having just 13 episodes forced their writers room to stuff in every joke they can think of. Perhaps the most impressive thing that the new season has managed however is making progress on Liz Lemon’s story without resulting it boring recapitulations of the same story beats 30 Rock has been running over for years.

Game of Thrones
Peter Drinklage is fucking amazing and that’s why you should watch this show. Seriously, there are a lot of arguments for Game of Thrones but there are also quite a few counter arguments like “I’m not actually a big fan of these books or Fantasy in general” or “boy that SNL parody about the consulting 12 year old boy that puts tits in every scene is…not really a joke” or “boy, this Daenerys plotline sucks.” But Drinklage is awesome enough to counteract all those arguments and more so War of the Roses as an Apocalypse narrative gets to be one of the best shows on TV.

Parks and Recreation
The best sitcom on TV, (Sorry Community!) continues to pick up more amazing cast members including Lucy Lawless as the perfect love interest for Ron Swanson. Like a lot of shows I really love however I’m not really sure what to say about it. Hey, Parks and Rec is fantastic…start or keep watching it.

Mad Men
Still the best show on television in my opinion and still getting better each season. Not a whole lot to say about this season besides how good it is. A lot of criticism centered on how on the nose the symbolism got this season and while that isn’t wrong I can’t say I was ever bothered by it, the show still did the work to set up all of those on the nose symbols.

Doctor Who
To be honest this was kind of a wildcard slot. While Doctor Who is still the best sci-fi show on television right now this season’s been a little hit and miss since it decided to go for a more episodic structure than the last few seasons. It’s best moments are still pretty fantastic however and this year’s Christmas special introducing (or, reintroducing) the new companion pulled it ahead of a few other shows I enjoyed quite a bit to make the list.

David, I Hate Your Opinions
Listen that’s fair enough so here’s the fairly bulletproof AV Club list. So bulletproof and unsurprising in fact that I think my plan for next year is to write a spec script for each of these shows in order. I like this plan because it’s utterly pointless for about 5 of these shows (Louie and Adventure Time don’t take spec scripts, Breaking Bad, 30 Rock and probably Community will be over before I write one) I’ll do a terrible job with another 5 I’m not a huge fan of (hey, Girls) and I haven’t even watched another 5. I feel like writing for shows I don’t actually like will keep me from overthinking it too much. More later on where I’m going to be writing this stuff. Also, I hope you enjoyed that one actual link since I wasn’t sure what streaming services to go with for most of these.

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