The Best of Bio Break 2013 is a series of “end of the year” lists that talk about various forms of entertainment that I enjoyed this year. They’re not awards, but they are ranked. Each entry doesn’t have to be something that came out this year, but merely something I encountered this year.
TV and me have a strange relationship these days. There’s a lot of hour-long series I’d love to watch, but I really don’t have the spare time to do so unless it’s something my wife wants to view with me. Plus, we don’t have cable, so what we see is either on DVD or Netflix, leaving us behind the curve with the rest of the viewing community.
That said, here’s what tickled my fancy this year:
1. Doctor Who series 7
Out of the three newer Doctors, I’m very partial to Matt Smith. Tennant was fine but eventually got too much of a God complex for me to enjoy, and I relished Smith’s somewhat more alien quirkiness. He’s a total geek and he’s cool with that. His final season had us saying goodbye to Rory and Amy (best companions ever) and provided many fine hours of viewing — but the best was the 50th anniversary special that we saw in the theaters. Just great stuff all around, making me happy with the past and looking forward to the future. It’s so odd that Doctor Who has gone from a very much fringe cult series to this mainstream phenomenon, almost taking the place that Star Trek used to have.
2. The Office season 9
Again, I don’t see shows until they come out on DVD, so I only recently wrapped up my experiences with the crew of Dunder Mifflin. Even without Michael Scott, I liked the show a lot this year, much better than season 8, and I was definitely feeling that mixture of morose and exalted when it all came to a close. It’s one of my favorite series to watch from start to end, and I’m sure I’ll be doing so again in the near future.
3. Arrested Development season 4
Whew, was this a mixed bag in so many ways. I was extremely excited about my all-time favorite sitcom coming back, but how it did so was definitely different than the first three seasons. Maybe it was a little too long in spots, too convoluted overall, and too disjointed as the main cast couldn’t be together much, but it was also pretty funny and just awesome to see them back. I really hope they get a fifth season sometime soon. I’m also pleased that the Arrested Development soundtrack finally released this year as well.
4. Community season 4
I don’t care that much that this was the season without Dan Harmon and got cut down to 13 episodes — it was more Community and it was still pretty funny, so I took it with a smile. I dearly love this show and am so incredibly glad it’s coming back for a fifth season. #sixseasonsandamovie
5. New Girl seasons 1-2
Yeah, so, I am unashamed of this — it’s a really funny show, and “adorkable” or not, the cast and writing made me and my wife laugh constantly. I like how messed up and weird everyone is, not to mention how it’s not just about one girl but all four roommates.
6. Parks and Recreation season 5
Simply hilarious. Love this show. Ron Swanson is a hero to me.
7. Game of Thrones season 2
Yeah, season 2. Again, a year behind. But despite the gore and very excessive nudity, there’s a great show here and one that my wife’s been captivated with despite showing no interest in the books. I thought the season went pretty well, especially the climactic battle, although some of the aspects (Daenarys) came off weaker than they should’ve.
8. The Simpsons seasons 3-15
It’s been many, many, many years since I watched the Simpsons, so long that I can’t remember what year I stopped viewing them. So I embarked on a marathon to catch up on episodes old and new, and have made it through season 15 (which is where I think I stopped viewing regularly). I’m pleasantly surprised to see that the newer stuff is still pretty entertaining.
9. The Mindy Project season 1
Mindy Kaling had great writing and acting chops in The Office, so I gave her sitcom a try. I kind of like it, even if it is pretty uneven at times.
10. Happy Endings seasons 1-2
Another under-my-radar show that I’m glad I found due to its memorable characters, barrage of jokes, lack of a laugh track, and general weirdness. It’s like a better version of Friends.
11. Raising Hope season 2
Another oddball sitcom that I hope lasts for a good decade. Liked the second season a little less than the first, but it’s still willing to have fun with the pluck of the lower class and its dim-witted lead.
12. Warehouse 13 seasons 1-3
We’ve been working our way through this Syfy show. It’s good in small quantities, kind of a less-intense Fringe. While the plots and acting can get a little hammy, I genuinely like the humor and the fact that the leads have this brother-sister relationship instead of an unrequited love thing.