Another year has gone by and at this time of year, “Top 10” lists abound. Well, I do not profess to be a professional television critic, and so my lists are purely reflective of the shows that I have watched and loved over the 2012 season. In TV land, many new shows make it to air each year, but sadly many don’t survive. But for those shows that have and continue to be regular staples in our homes, we welcome you and look forward to many more seasons of goodness.
And so, here are some of my favorites for 2012. If you are interested in reading through some of my past TV reviews, you can find all the links to them on this site under “TV Reviews“.
Be sure to follow me on Twitter (@valshopaholic) and leave a comment below to share with me your favorites!
Favorite New Shows
Matthew Perry was always my favorite “friend” on the sitcom that made him famous and in the years since, he has made it clear he can master drama as well as comedy (remember his appearances in The West Wing and, more recently, The Good Wife?). Now Perry is back in the comedy world (does anyone remember Mr. Sunshine? Anyone?), playing radio sportscaster, Ryan King, who joins a community therapy group after the sudden death of his wife. The premise may be a little predictable – from Ryan’s original dismissal of group therapy as being ridiculous and full of crazy people to his growing fondness of those crazy people – but who doesn’t need a little bit of cray-cray in their lives to make them feel more “normal”? As with any story involving a death, I have to confess, the show brings the occasional tear to my eye as Ryan moves from denial to grief. The supporting cast is funny and quirky without being annoying, which makes a whole world of difference when it comes to whether a comedy works or not. I, for one, am glad that NBC have decided that the show will, indeed, go on.
As an avid fan of The West Wing, I was excited by the return of Aaron Sorkin to the small screen (after his award-winning effort on the big screen with The Social Network in 2011). Sorkin spent a couple of years researching life behind the making of news programs. With the trademark Sorkinesque rapid-fire dialog, we are introduced to Will McAvoy (Jeff Daniels), a respected TV anchor and editor of News Night as he suffers a very public breakdown. The Newsroom uses real-life news events of the past year as a backdrop to the stories covered on air by Will and his team, led by former flame, Mackenzie McHale (Emily Mortimer) as his producer and Charlie Skinner (Sam Waterston) as his boss. Throughout the season, we have seen Will face death threats, get high and confront politicians as election time neared. The supporting cast is well deserving of every award just for being able to keep up with Sorkin’s dialog, with a special shout-out to Olivia Munn who shows off her Japanese language skills brilliantly. It is exactly the dose of intelligent news reporting television audiences have been waiting for.