The 5 Best New Dramas of the Last Year

By Dustin Rowles | Seriously Random Lists | May 14, 2013 |

Hannibal -- The NBC midseason drama has already won lots of love on the site, including mention as one of the most beautiful shows on television right now. I find that it lumbers a bit, and the grimness can bog it down from time to time, but I do not disagree with any of these six reasons you should be watching "Hannibal." It's a gruesome delight to watch, and outside of Silence of the Lambs, better than the all the other cinematic interpretations of these characters.

Top of the Lake -- The Elisabeth Moss New Zealand drama, which aired on the Sundance channel and is available now on Netflix, is a contemplative and engrossing mystery series from Jane Campion about the investigation of a lost girl. It was a strong, and intelligent drama with fine performances and a slew of quirky characters (in the "Twin Peaks" sense, and not the "New Girl" sense), that ended with an icky, icky what-the-hell conclusion that more people should've been talking about. It's only drawback, however, is that the seven-hour series could've easily been whittled down to four of five hours, if only Campion had wanted to give up some of the lingering vista shots.

Orphan Black -- The BBC America sci-fi drama, which follows "Doctor Who," is a recurring title on our top five episodes of the week on our podcast, "The Station Agents" , especially frequent on Joanna's list, and deservedly so. It began as a compelling Alias-like drama about a series of clones being killed off under mysterious circumstances, and lately, it's developed a playful sense of humor, which has made it not only compelling and intense television, but fun to watch, too. There are also not enough superlatives to describe Tatiana Maslany's amazing weekly performances as one of several different, completely distinct characters.

Rectify -- "Rectify," which aired the fourth episode of its six-episode season (which has already been picked up for a second season) last night, is not just the best new drama of the last year, but one of the best dramas on television.. While it's still too early to put it in the same company as "Mad Men," "Breaking Bad," and "Game of Thrones," it has that potential, and in four episodes, has developed a character better than most do with 22. It is an astoundingly soulful show, like nothing else on television, that crackles with weightiness, that seeps in to your bones, grabs and then envelopes us like few shows before it.

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