10. Blue Bloods (Season 4 - RENEWED) on CBS
2012-2013 Rank: 8 (-2)
As I mentioned in the post about Danny, I have lost some interest in Blue Bloods. It's not that I don't like it anymore or that the show has gotten worse. In fact, I think the show is as strong as ever. What gets me is the same thing that I struggle with regarding shows like Law & Order and CSI...I'm just not that into procedurals. I mostly enjoy shows (especially dramas) with long-term story arcs as opposed to one off stories each week. They can work well together, like with a couple shows higher up on this list (Justified, White Collar, Person of Interest). Those shows generally have weekly "cases" but woven into a bigger story. That's my only real complaint with Blue Bloods at this point. I'm just not sucked in to see what happens next week at any given point.
9. Orange is the New Black (Seasons 1 and 2 - RENEWED) on Netflix
2012-2013 Rank: New Show
Netflix has really made waves with original series Orange is the New Black and House of Cards lately. Both shows received Emmy nominations this past year, breaking the mold for standard television. I haven't watched House of Cards yet, but I do enjoy Orange. The show is based on a real woman who turned herself in to do prison time for dating a smuggler several years prior. Orange walks the line between drama and comedy, which made it difficult to categorize, but I ended up with drama. Though the array of characters often are quite entertaining and amusing.
8. Parenthood (Season 5 - RENEWED) on NBC
2012-2013 Rank: 7 (-1)
Everybody's (well at least my) favorite family continues to make me happy, sad and every other emotion as if they were my own family. The Braverman's are such an interesting family and it's difficult to not be sucked into their lives. There is only one more season coming up and then we must say goodbye for good.
7. Breaking Bad (Season 5.2 - COMPLETED) on AMC
2012-2013 Rank: 2 (-5)
The only show on this list to not be returning, Breaking Bad ended it's exciting 5+ season run. The last season was good, though I think I found it more frustrating at times (hence the drop in the rankings). I did generally enjoyed how it ended, which was what I had expected. I will still miss the adrenaline rush and anxiety I get when watching Walt, Jesse and the rest of the compelling characters. At least the universe will continue to exist in the form of spin-off Better Call Saul. I need my Albuquerque fix!
6. Boardwalk Empire (Season 4 - RENEWED) on HBO
2012-2013 Rank: 5 (-1)
I feel like Boardwalk hasn't changed a whole lot since it began. Aside from characters dying and new characters arriving, the pace is always the same. The show can sometimes be slow, but the characters are interesting enough to keep me wanting more. Of course when the show picks up the pace it is some of the best television out there. There is only one more season left of Boardwalk. Get used to hearing that, as four shows in my top ten announced their upcoming seasons will be their last.
5. White Collar (Season 5 - RENEWED) on USA
2012-2013 Rank: 4 (-1)
Speaking of last upcoming last seasons, Neal Caffrey will only be on our TVs for one more season as well. White Collar has been around a while now and though I tend to forget about it in the offseason, I can't get enough when it's on. The show is much lighter than many of the shows on this list, but I really enjoy the quality it brings. The changes that Neal and Mozzie (criminals turned almost not-criminals) have been obvious while they're still charmingly good at being criminals. Of course, my OG crush Kelly Kapowski is there too, so that only adds to the greatness. The final season should answer questions like will Neal escape back to criminal life or will he settle down and completely change his ways? Also, will there be a final showdown between Neal and his father? What about the big cliffhanger from the end of last season? Can't wait!
4. Fargo (Season 1 - RENEWED) on FX
2012-2013 Rank: New Show
I read somewhere that the Coen Brothers never had any intention of reimagining or adding sequels to any of their films. Then they were approached with a concept for a Fargo TV show. The show would take place in the same universe and maintain the style of the film, yet really have nothing to do with the film. It turns out they were impressed and the show Fargo was born! The style, as already mentioned, is much like the film and that's a good thing. The cast was absolutely stellar, with famous faces like Billy Bob Thorton, Martin Freeman, Colin Hanks, Bob Odenkirk, Keith Carradine, Adam Goldberg, Oliver Platt and Glenn Howerton as well as a great unknown in Allison Tolman. The story, which was completed at the end of the season, was dark and compelling. It was announced that there would be another season, so it looks like Fargo will follow in the footsteps of fellow FX show American Horror Story with one-season stories with different characters each season.
3. Justified (Season 5 - RENEWED) on FX
2012-2013 Rank: 1 (-2)
After the previous season focused on a season-long mystery, season 5 went back to Justified's roots. Raylan continued to try to keep the peace around Harlan County while Boyd continued to jostle for position among the criminal ranks. Of course, Boyd really is looking to get out at this point but was not able to because his fiancée Ava was imprisoned. She was released at the end of the season by making a deal with Raylan to turn against her man. The final season should pit Raylan and Boyd against each other for one final time.
2. Person of Interest (Season 3 - RENEWED) on CBS
2012-2013 Rank: 3 (+1)
Person of Interest continued to pique my interest (see what I did there?) by developing and advancing some great storylines. This past season did a good job of wrapping up one long-term conflict and creating a new one. A major character what killed while a couple formerly supporting characters were given the opportunity to step forward. This is one of the more action-packed shows that I watch and it was another exciting season. Season 3 ended with the main characters being compromised and now they will have to go into hiding under aliases. I somehow doubt it'll take them too long to get back into the action.
1. Hell on Wheels (Season 3 - RENEWED) on AMC
2012-2013 Rank: 6 (+5)
After the death of Lily Bell at the end of season 2, I wasn't sure how strong the show would continue to be. It seemed to be on the bubble for being renewed but managed to come back. It is possibly thanks to the fact that two long-time AMC hits were ending (Mad Men and Breaking Bad). It turned out however that season 3 was probably the show's strongest yet (in my opinion of course). Cullen was able to break away from the "will they, won't they" and focus more on leading the railroad and kicking some butt. He unfortunately made some mistakes along the way, and is not being held against his will at a Mormon camp waiting for his supposed unborn child to be born. I'm not sure how he'll get out of this situation. Part of me believes it's not really his baby and that will eventually come to light, but who knows.