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10 Best TV Shows of 2012

Updated on January 23, 2012

I'm a film and TV addict. There, now you know. Having said that, however, it's not very easy to impress me. In order for me to lurve what I'm watching, it's got to have good writing, good acting - and those actors have to look like real people, not those creepy, photoshopped people who spend too much time in the Botox chair. I'm not fussy about genre, as long as the show is good. So if you're like me, and just enjoy being drawn into a good TV program, take a look at my personal list of the best TV shows of 2012. Note that there are some shows that would have made this list in their earlier seasons, but they simply not longer make the cut, IMO. (Sorry House and Curb Your Enthusiasm!) So here we go, and in no particular order:



This is a great show. I've never been big on rednecks, but this show almost makes me want to live in Harlan county. The writing is fantastic, the plots are impossible to stay ahead of for more than a few minutes (which is great if you hate predictability, like I do), and the actors are attractive but not in a Hollywoodish way. They look like normal people, which makes it more believable. Drama, a bit of comedy, and just enough action to keep you hooked. Love it. Season 3 just started. Watch it.

The Vampire Diaries

I normally loathe teen-oriented shows, but this one is fantastic. Loads and loads of hot guys, most of them vampires, some of them not, but all of them great actors. Nina Dobrev was somewhat annoying in the first season, but they've toughened her up a bit and given way more screen time to the other actresses, which makes the show so much better than before. The show was good when it started, but now it's great, because it's become more of an ensemble cast than just focusing on nauseating on/off relationship between the two leads. Note that the teenagers are portrayed by 20somethings, so it's not *really* teeny-bopper TV.

The Secret Circle

Ok, another teen-oriented show, this one being about witches. First few episodes weren't the best, but now it's developing into something great. It's basically about a teenager who discovers she's a witch and is trying to figure out the extent of her abilities. Meanwhile, evil witch hunters are trying to do away with her and her circle. All of the actors and actresses are very good (and again, at least in their 20s, so not *really* teeny boppers) and story lines are quick paced and interesting. The teasing is sometimes over the top in terms of not giving enough info to the viewer but I reckon they'll ease up on that when they realize the viewership is steady. The lead actress is quite good, though it's a shame they are putting her in a tug of war with 2 guys in manner of The Vampire Diaries... but I guess they figure that model is already known to work.

Modern Family

Has there ever been a funnier sitcom? I don't think so. This one outdoes even Seinfeld, in my opinion. It's very hard to make me laugh out loud and that's all I do while this show is on. It's a mockumentary, like The Office, but so much funnier. (Sorry, Office... you were pretty great for a few years...) Based around one big extended family, whose patriarch is basically a respectable version of Al Bundy. Loads of jokes that will entertain you, no matter the type of comedy you prefer. The actors are BRILLIANT and even the kiddie actors are funny in their own right. I love this show, and my only complaint is that it's only half an hour long.


This show got scaled down a bit and I'm not sure why. It's full of fabulous acting and great, realistic story plots. If you've ever lived in L.A., this will bring back memories. Well, depending on what sort of life you lived whilst there! Lots and lots of action, some big twists and turns and frankly I'm disappointed that some of the original actors got knocked off, because it was a great cast. The rookie cop is no longer a rookie but he's still gorgeous, so please watch this show so they don't get rid of it before next season!

Prime Suspect

Great cop show with a female lead. She's believable, complicated, has loads of personal baggage and gets the job done. Maria Bello is a great actress, and everyone else on the show is great as well. It's not too Hollywood, which makes it easy to get sucked into the plot. The stories are realistic and you can cheer for the good guy at the end. Based on a UK show, but this one is better.

Game of Thrones

I started watching this because I love Sean Bean. Now I watch it because I'm addicted. It's pure fantasy but you can still relate to it somehow. People who like Arthurian type stories will enjoy it, and so will anyone who likes old school fantasy stories. It's so complicated I can't even really give you a synopsis -- just know that basically there's a lot of vying for who gets to rule everyone, and lots of people getting the axe. There does seem to be a bit of gratuitous nekkidness in some episodes, but I think that's actually becoming less common now. It's a very interesting show that you will not be able to predict while watching, so have a look if you like to be entertained.

Hell On Wheels

Oooh is this a good show. Which surprised me, because I'm not really big on cowboy shows. Sometimes it's a bit hard to swallow some of what the writers wanted to pull off, but in general it's great. An ex-rebel soldier looking to avenge his dead wife and son? One who happens to be too yummy not to watch it on a regular basis? Plus, he's a fantastic actor who just owns the screen whenever he's on it. Most of the actors are great, some better than others, but in general it's a show well worth watching every week.

New Girl

Another sitcom that is top class. This show is hysterically funny, just like Modern Family, but in another way entirely. Zooey Deschanel is unbelievably funny, and the other actors are brilliant too. It's clearly her show, but she's funny enough to pull it off, whereas as few people are truly funny enough to have their own show in this way. She's basically a young woman who's broken up with a jerk and is now living with 3 guy roommates. She's socially awkward and slightly bizarre at times, but very likable and too funny not to watch.

The Good Wife

The concept of this show came from all the women standing by their low-down cheating husbands who had jobs in high places. It's actually so well-written that you end up being able to see life from the wife's perspective and you can even kind of start to understand why they do stand by their loser husbands for as long as they do. It's a legal drama that is often funny and dramatic and clever and witty. All of the actors are great, and I particularly adore -- ADORE -- Alan Cumming and would probably even watch a crappy show if he were on it.


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