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The 25 TV Shows We Are Most Thankful For in 2012

By The Pajiba TV Writers | Seriously Random Lists | November 25, 2012 | Comments ()


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25.We are thankful for Shameless, and to Emmy Rossum for making below-the-poverty line look so sexy.

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24. We are thankful to The Rachel Maddow Show for giving us a strong female news anchor, a reasonable liberal voice on the left, and someone who will fight for our right to alcohol.

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23. We are thankful for The Newsroom, because even though Aaron Sorkin is mawkish and self-righteous and recycles his plots, he still knows how to knock down a straw man and deliver a satisfying sermon. Also, drunk Waterston.

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22. We are thankful to The Good Wife for the best casting on television, and because Kalinda plays dirty.

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21. We are thankful for Downton Abbey because of HATS and CORSETS and because Maggie Smith is a GODDAMN INTERNATIONAL TREASURE.

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20. We are thankful to Veep because, fuckity-doo-dah, the Vice President knows the score.

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19. We are thankful to American Horror Story because GOOD GOD, PEOPLE. NIPPLE LAMPS.

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18. We are thankful for The League because of Rafi Bombs.

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17. We are thankful to Boardwalk Empire because they are not afraid to kill off a beloved character damn near weekly. STOP IT, YOU'RE KILLING ME.

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16. We are thankful for HBO's Girls because the sidewalk scenes are THE BEST.

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15. We are thankful to Community for so many timelines.

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14. We are eternally grateful to Doctor Who for all the wibbly wobbly timey-wimey.

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13. We are thankful to Parenthood for weekly heart smushies.

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12. We are thankful to The Walking Dead for a much improved Season Three. However, if Daryl dies, we riot.

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11. We are thankful to The Daily Show and The Colbert Report for making this election year bearable.

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10. We are thankful to Homeland because that bitch is crazy, but she's also right.

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9. We are thankful to Justified because, if you have to ask, you're f*cking blind.

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8. We are thankful to New Girl because Nick never fails to make us happy.

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7. We are thankful to Louie because it has originated the truly depressing, heartbreaking, and reflective television comedy.

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6. We are thankful to Happy Endings because it's the only ensemble sitcom where it's impossible to pick a favorite character (although, we can rule out Dave).

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5. We are thankful to Sherlock for making wearing a scarf look so bad ass.

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4. We are thankful to Mad Men for giving us Hamm for Thanksgiving.

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3. We are thankful to Parks & Recreation for Ron Swanson quotes, and for being the sweetest show on television.

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2. We are thankful to Game of Thrones because Battle of Blackwater lived up to our expectations.

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1. We are thankful to Breaking Bad because it is the best goddamn show on television.

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Comments Are Welcome, Bigots and Trolls Are Not


  • Mary

    Only missing show is DEXTER

  • Heisenberg

    Loved the list. And Breaking Bad IS the best goddamn show on television.

  • Devin McMusters

    Nope. Gotta have Mob Doctor, Amazing Race, The Middle, and even if it's in a downward spiral, The Good Wife is still head and shoulders above the rest. OMG, Kalinda....

  • Was there anything below #5, because Cumberbatch scarf action renders me unable to go on every time.

  • James

    Poor Dave...but I could agree...Although I really laughed when he made fun of Alex's store in the kickball episode

  • Spender

    I seldom post here anymore but... yeah. Every pick is perfect.

  • Imma

    I'm thankful for Supernatural and Castiel being on my tele.

  • Rooks

    Personally, I'm thankful for Suits because Gabriel Macht and Gina Torres and Sarah Rafferty and at times even Rick Hoffman. Is it time for the next season yet?? Hurry hurry, Suitsmakers!

    And I'm thankful for Merlin because it has become darker and sadder, in a good way. I realize no one else here watches this show, but let me tell you that, in the course of three seasons, Colin Morgan has learned how to act. Like a grown up. I hadn't thought it possible. Also, gag reels. Anthony Head might actually be the most side-splittingly hilarious person on this planet.

    Also, I'm thankful for Person of Interest. I know this is another show no one really watches, and for good reasons (one of them being its premise). But it has Jim Caviezel and I'm thankful for seeing him in a suit if nothing else.

    And finally, I'm thankful for the internet. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.

  • Clay

    Rachel Maddow fucking sucks. Calling her reasonable is fucking dumb. I apologize for the crass language, but seriously enlighten yourselves.

  • Maguita NYC

    Hey! You leave that cute boy alone!

    Rachel Maddow rocks. Yeah, she got a bit extreme there at the end of election season, but at least she got intelligent bite to ward-off those nasty Fox "News" bullshit-mountain bombs they kept throwing at the (some-dull-witted) population.

  • DominaNefret

    I'm going to thank The Vampire Diaries, for being a vampire show aimed at teenagers that actually assumes the viewer is intelligent, and has some of my favorite characters on TV right now (Damon and Caroline).
    It also afforded me the opportunity earlier this week to have a conversation with two 32 year old guys about how much they love a vampire show for teenagers that airs on the CW; I am thankful for that as well.

  • Maguita NYC

    Everyone is rooting for Damon, I am still however rooting for Paul Wesley. That kid can really act! Too bad his talent is not being considered as much this season. Guess Damon's hairless chest has finally payed off...

  • apsutter

    Happy Endings is so freakin amazing. Second best ensemble on tv right behind Parks and Rec.

  • becks

    For best TV ensembles I would probably go:

    1. Mad Men

    2. Parenthood

    3. Community

    4. Homeland

    5. Happy Endings

    Parks and Rec would definitely be in my top ten too, though. We're spoiled with great TV right now.

  • apsutter

    I haven't watched Homeland yet and while I LOVE Mad Men there are some characters on that show that I just can't stand. Community's cast is great but I don't love all of them. I give P&R number 1 because there are quite a few characters but they are all delightful in their own ways. I love Happy Endings because each member of the core cast are just so amazing. Even stupid Dave. Plus they always have great cameos(my fav was Megan Mulally as Penny's mom.) Oh also, I havent watched Parenthood yet but I've heard good things.

  • Maguita NYC

    I must admit that it took me a while to get passed the show's title and actually tune in. For whenever I checked my listings and saw "Happy Endings", I shook my head and thought with absolute disdain " there it is finally, the lowest of the lowest in TV reality: Massage parlors!"

    Quelle surprise when I finally gave in to peer pressure, and truly watched the show!

  • Also for "Ru Paul's Drag Race" for being so educational in the ways of Charisma, Uniqueness, Nerve and Talent.

  • I am thankful for how much Parks and Rec made me cry from happiness this year. That sounds ridiculous but WHATEVS.

    I AM GRATEFUL FOR LESLIE FUCKING KNOPE AND HER ADORABLE BOYFRIEND.

  • lowercase_ryan

    Don't Trust the B yo! Quit fighting it.

  • JuB

    I feel kinda left out as I have yet to see Downton Abbey and Homeland. I want to be in on the fuss.

    I'll probably wait till it ends to see it so I dont have to wait months for the next series.

    Ron Yummy Swanson rocking a MOvember since before it became a cancer solidarity.

  • Slash

    Whenever I think TV is an endless tundra of suck, I need just to scroll down this list. It would be more awesome with an Archer gif, though.

  • Damnit, I don't have time to be thankful for all of this, but that Good Wife gif may inspire me to invent a time creating App, cuz there simply has to be an App for that. To the bunk!

  • ClaireB

    Ok ok I'll watch Breaking Bad, even if my first attempt was a disaster. My heart is weak.

  • THAT GODDAMN GOOD WIFE GIF! STOP IT WOULD YA?!

    Or do you want to FedEx me the money to cover all the soiled underwear you're now responsible for as a site?

  • TheBoringIdentity

    I am thankful for Sons of Anarchy because Tig loves Walton Goggins as Venus Van Dam-- and the rest of the club didn't mind a bit!

  • lillie

    Yes to this times infinity. That was the best cameo ever.

  • Boo_Radley

    Good list - I'm also thankful for Boss, for keeping my jaw firmly on my chest through two seasons.

  • annie

    I am thankful for this post because I will never not watch that Sherlock gif 1093253 times.

  • I didn't get the Cumberbatch thing until I saw that gif...

  • Brooke the Replicant

    These make me want to do things, horrible things, to Mr. Cumberbatch. http://www.tumblr.com/tagged/c...

  • annie

    There's something, I don't know, kind of Harrison Fordy about him in that?

  • Brooke the Replicant

    There are entire Sherlock tumblrs that will vacuum the time right out of you.

  • annie

    I had to stop looking at those. It was becoming a sickness.

  • BobbFrapples

    I'd also like to thank Mythbusters for wonderful reruns that I can watch all day long while I recover from my dinner table anaconda imitation. (My jaw unhinges and I try to stuff a whole turkey in my mouth.)

  • Maguita NYC

    Best analogy ever for pigging out!

  • I'm thankful for many of these, and also thankful for Loiuse on Bob's Burgers, Burt Chance on Raising Hope, and all of Archer.

  • Tinkerville

    I'm thankful for all the shows listed above, as well as Once Upon a Time (shut up, I KNOW) for continuing to deliver the campiest and most delightfully over the top hour of television each week.

    And for Legend of Korra for not disappointing me and kicking all kinds of animated ass.

  • Frak yes Once Upon a Time. Best ABC show ever.

  • KatSings

    I'm thankful that Dexter recovered from a TERRIBLE sixth season to kick all kinds of ass this season. Also, for Dominique Nique Nique...

  • Uriah_Creep

    Also, for Dominique Nique Nique...
    NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!

    /runs screaming for relief of prefontal lobotomy

    * I love the show, but that song WILL make me claw my alleged brain out of my skull.

  • Maguita NYC

    Would you like a spoon for that?

  • Uriah_Creep

    No thank you. Apparently an ice pick inserted firmly up one's nose works quite well. Also, they did not subject us to that "song" this week, so I've dodged the bullet for one more week.

  • Nicole_OCTV

    I agree with everything on this list that I watch, but I would like to add:

    I'm thankful to Ben & Kate for being the best new show of the season and for making me realize that I heart Nat Faxon something fierce.

    I'm also thankful to Dexter for coming back from the brink of failure with the best season since the first one and for the fact that it looks like they're going to 'go there'. No spoilers, but damn - I can't wait for it get real weird, real quick up in Miami Metro.

  • Donna SHerman

    As good as season 1? I'm almost tempted to watch it again now, I've heard so many great things. I loved season 1, enjoyed season 2, and quickly lost patience with the show while watching 3 and 4. I haven't seen beyond that, and by all accounts I'm not missing much, but I'm intrigued...Plus, I love Yvonne Strahovski. Even if I can't be bothered to check if that's the proper spelling of her name.

  • Nicole_OCTV

    I honestly would say that yes, it's as good as season 1. Whereas I watched seasons 3-6 with decreasing interest (and season 6 was pretty much straight-up hate watching), this season has brought back all of the excitement of season 1 for me. People at work are back to jumping all over each other on Monday mornings to discuss the newest episode, and freaking out about spoilers...it's kind of fun. And there is a slowly simmering arc that is loved by some and not so much by others, but I happen to love it, so I'm totally on board. I would say that if you plan on jumping back in now, you definitely need to watch the season 6 finale first. Other than that, you should be fine piecing the rest together yourself. And Strahovski (I think you spelled it right!) is really good. And Jennifer Carpenter is absolutely NAILING it this year - season 7 is all hers.

  • Donna SHerman

    Awesome. I've always liked her, even way back at the beginning when everyone was loathing her acting choices. Thanks for the write-up!

  • lillie

    When will season 7 be available to those of us who don't have Showtime?? I can't find the episodes anywhere.

  • Nicole_OCTV

    Are they on iTunes maybe? I'm in Canada, so I know that our iTunes and Netflix either don't have it, or they stop after season 3 for some reason. But the US versions of both usually have much more content.

  • lillie

    Our iTunes here only has up to Season 6. And all the other places where I usually watch 18 episodes of a certain show in one weekend (VUDU, Amazon Instant, Netflix, CinemaNow) also only have up to Season 6. Same thing with Homeland, they only have Season 1. I wonder if it's just a Showtime exclusivity thing because other shows (like Walking Dead) have the current season available online.

  • TheOriginalMRod

    NICK and Daryl on one list!!! For that I am truly thankful.

  • Blake

    This list is an instant fail for not including Archer!

    And WTF! No Misfits, Childrens Hospital, Bobs Burgers, Skins, Cougartown, Southland or Suburgatory?

  • Blake

    Also no Awkward? And while the Daily Show is listed no Colbert Report?

  • Lana! LANA! LANAAAAAAAAA!

  • Bryan

    WWWWHHHAAAAAAAAAAATTT?!?!?

  • Brian

    (danger zone!)

  • Boothy K

    ARCHER! ARCHER! ARCHER! "The Danger Zone" is enough to love Archer, but when Ricky from Trailer Park Boys made an appearance as a Nova Scotian terrorist, there's no going back for me now...

  • FrayedMachine

    Whoa whoa whoa. To be grateful for Misfits in 2012 would mean that this season doesn't blow hard and though I haven't seen it yet, after seeing the end of last season I find it hard to think that they bounced back so effectively.

  • Blake

    Yes, I agree Series 1 and 2 are terrific... Series 3 not so much. But Series 4 has been great so far (now that Simon, Alisha, and especially Kelly are gone) and I like the new cast additions.

  • FrayedMachine

    Yeeaah... I don't understand the point in following a show so closely when their original cast is falling apart so quickly and so intensely and their resolves of their story lines are so shoddy.

  • The first two seasons of the Misfits were great. This one not so much.

  • Green Lantern

    Gonna chime in here...I also REALLY liked seasons one and two...season three a little less so, and season for less than that.

    This still, of course, makes it better than most shows on American television, but I'm kinda hoping season four is the last. It's really turned in to "The Rudy Show".

  • competitivenonfiction

    Honestly (and tearfully) this season simply hasn't been as awesome as the previous ones. I might stop watching and pretend that the end of last season was the end of the show.

  • FrayedMachine

    That's exactly what I've been doing.

  • BendinIntheWind

    To be fair, Archer wrapped in the spring, so maybe we should view the upcoming season as more of a "Christmas miracle!"

  • BendinIntheWind

    My love for Jason Mantzoukas knows no bounds. Anytime he giggles on "How Did This Get Made?" my life feels like it suddenly all makes sense.

  • Maguita NYC

    Just wanted to chime-in on all of the Mantzoukas love above, and simply add: Repeating MANT-ZOU-KAS out loud 3 times in a row, in front of a mirror in the dark, always makes me feel like I have happy Candy in my mouth, man!

  • Bodhi

    All of this & more. No one says "dumb dumb" the way he does

  • Nicole_OCTV

    I literally cannot get enough Mantzoukas in my life. He is amazingly entertaining, and also seems like a great person, even though I've heard about his deathly egg allergy about 50 times at this point. But that's my fault for being a massive podcast whore.

  • Bodhi

    His episode of Who Charted is one of the best things I have ever heard. And I'm glad you mentioned his deathly egg allergy because I was going to do it too, but didn't want to sound like I stalk him via podcasts

  • Nicole_OCTV

    I freely admit to podcast stalking him. I'll just type his name into the iTunes search bar so I can make sure that I didn't miss any of his appearances. I think he's the perfect combination of genuinely hilarious and really likeable. He's probably the quickest podcast guest I can think of - his interjections are almost always gold.

  • BendinIntheWind

    I can only deal with Pete Holmes in measured doses (except for the "88 Minutes" ep, which I could listen to every day ), but his You Made It Weird with Mantzoukas was absolutely delightful. I wish he knew Aisha Tyler so he could do a Girl On Guy. My life would be complete.

  • Nicole_OCTV

    So, I just googled him because I was sure he had guested on Archer (he didn't), but I found out something much more mindblowing: did you guys know that he was and possibly still is, with Connie Britton???

    Although, speaking of stalking him via podcast, I feel like I heard him talking on some podcast or another about recently breaking up with someone. So, I'm guessing they're no longer together, but holy shit, what an awesome pairing.

  • Bodhi

    WHAT? Wow. I know its an over used phrase, but that blew my mind

  • BendinIntheWind
  • Nicole_OCTV

    I know, right?? Here's the quote (the article says she was 42 and still on FNL, so that's about two or three years ago I think?):

    If you had to pick one of the best things that's happened to you since you turned 40, what would it be?
    I don't know.... I have a great man in my life — he's a comedy writer [Jason Mantzoukas], but I probably shouldn't say much more than that! — but that's awesome. And that happened after I turned 40.

    http://www.redbookmag.com/fun-...

  • Helder

    He also mentions that every futuristic movie was filmed on the same sets as "Adventures of Pluto Nash" and I love him for that.

  • John W

    Great list.

    #17 is my favorite scene of the entire TV season thus far.

    Second favorite: the explosion on Blackwater

    Third favorite: Clare Danes telling that marine "Unless it's not clear enough, Cease and F*ck*ng desist."

    #6 Very true.

  • starkers

    Aw, Dave is my favourite.

  • Drake

    He's not my favourite character, but Zachary Knighton is smoking hot, so it all evens out.

  • 724wd

    Dave? dave is no ones favorite...

  • neonseattle

    he's hilariously pathetic

  • starkersinyeg

    I like him because he's kind of sad and pathetic.

  • Marcela

    Aw. This was sweet.

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