Blog Archives

A Year in Review: My Top Ten TV Shows of 2012

Since starting this blog way back in January (it seems so long ago now), I’ve learned three things. One, blogging takes a hell of a lot more work than I had previously thought. Two, I actually don’t watch enough TV – critical darlings such as Homeland, Louie, Parenthood are still not a part of my weekly viewing schedule. And three, blogging – although frustratingly time-consuming – is a whole lot of fun.

Although there were few breakthrough hits in 2012, some of television’s old stand-bys saw their best seasons yet. Even though a good amount of time was put into this list, I unfortunately – as hard as I try – cannot watch everything on television, so below is my list of the best that television had to offer us this past year. And I encourage anyone who reads it to argue my placement, and exclusion (or inclusion), of these shows.

Note: Although the accompanying video clips highlight some of the best moments these shows had to offer in 2012, they also contain a good amount of spoilers, so watch them at your discretion.

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All I Want for Christmas – My Top Ten Christmas Episodes

Holiday break is finally upon us. A wonderful time when all shows take their winter hiatus, giving TV addicts like myself some much needed downtime to play catch-up. But perhaps you don’t have anything to catch up on, and simply want to cozy up to a warm blanket, some hot chocolate, and a stocking full of heartwarming television. Then my allow my 10 favorite Christmas-themed episodes to provide you with some holiday cheer.

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Happy Endings – “Cazsh Dummy Spillionaires”

Happy Endings - "Cazsh Dummy Spillionaires" [S03E01]

Damon Wayans Jr.

Rating: B

There is little doubt that Happy Endings is the funniest show on television, with each member of the talented cast capable of delivering perfectly timed zingers and each willing to make the sacrifice of performing hilarious physical. But there was always the fear that the show doesn’t really have direction. Early on in the show’s run we saw the characters encounter wacky situations, but there was never a moment where they experienced any sort of growth, nor was there ever a time there actions seemed to have any consequences, with their actions seemingly forgotten in the next episode. And although this episodic approach may have worked in the past, the 21st century audience demands a bit more from their comedies than one-liners, however well written they may be.

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Happy Endings – “The St. Valentine’s Day Maxssacre”

Happy Endings [S02E13] - The St. Valentine's Day Maxssacre

From left: Damon Wayans Jr., Eliza Coupe

Rating: B+

Although holidays episodes are fun, Valentine’s Day has always been a difficult one for comedies to get right. While Halloween, Christmas, and even Thanksgiving allow for endless creativity, it’s tough to craft a Valentine’s Day episode that isn’t centered around broken plans and unfulfilled expectations. And unfortunately The St. Valentine’s Day Maxxascre fell into this too often visited trap. Dave (Zachary Knighton) misreads his girlfriends intentions and has it blow up in his face, Brad’s (Damon Wayans Jr.)  plan are ruined due to unforeseen circumstances, Penny (Casey Wilson) tries to avoid breaking someone’s heart only to be the one who gets dumped, and Alex’s (Elisha Cuthbert) faith in one of her favorite holidays is shaken as this all crumble around her, only to have it restored by Max’s (Adam Pally) Valentine’s Day redemption.

So yes, on the surface the stories were incredibly predictable and overdone. Especially Dave’s sideplot wherein he misses out on something he’s wanted for a long time (if his first email address in middle school is any indication) thanks to Penny’s “break-up window” concept. The resolution could have been seen a mile away and Dave’s behavior during his scene with his girlfriend was cringeworthy. Understandably the show had to do something with Dave, but I just wish it wasn’t such a tired out trope.

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Happy Endings – “Meat the Parrots”

Happy Endings (S2E11) - "Meat the Parrots"

From left: Elisha Cuthbert, Damon Wayans, Jr., Adam Pally

Rating: B+

Let’s start these reviews off with a show that has surprisingly captured my heart. Happy Endings – now in its second season – premiered in April 2011 , a time late in the television season that is usually reserved for shows that broadcast television networks have little faith in. And as such, I went into this show very apprehensively, fully expecting a generic comedy that tries to capitilze on the Friends craze almost a decade too late. However, despite a shaky start, this little comedy that could has quickly become one of my favorite comedies. Whether this was intentional or not, Happy Endings seems to be the modern day successor to Friends. The cast has superb chemistry, and every joke one ups the last one. And the jokes that do fall flat are quickly forgotten as another one-liner is rapidly fired at the audience. But that’s enough of me fanboying about Happy Endings, onto Wednesday’s episode.

“Meet the Parrots” opens with what this show does best: a group scene. The gang of friends are gathered at Alex’s (Elisha Cuthbert) apartment to play a rousing and hilarious game of Celebrity. You know the characters are great when you find yourself wishing that you were actually a part of this quirky group’s game nights.

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