Flavorwire is celebrating Memorial Day with The Year in TV, a series of features on the 2012-13 TV season, which ends this month.
Although it’s easy to forget at a time when the flexible schedules of basic and premium cable — and now online streaming services — have pretty much destroyed the idea that television has an off-season, Memorial Day does, in fact, mark the official end of the 2012-13 TV season. So, even though many of our perennial favorites (Mad Men, Game of Thrones) haven’t even ended their seasons yet and others just dropped a new batch of 15 episodes on our head (Arrested Development), it’s time again to take stock of the past 12 months on the small screen. From standbys like Louie and Parks and Recreation to such newcomers as Bunheads and Hannibal, here are Flavorwire’s 15 favorite shows of the year.
“When I wrote the Parker Posey stuff,” Louis C.K told The New York Times last month, “it was really verbose and long, and I was like, ‘This is supposed to be one episode.’ So I wrote a card that says, ‘This can be anything you want,’ and it sat on my desk the rest of the season. Once I got to that, I was like, ‘Hey, telling longer stories, that’s fun.’” But it wasn’t just the long stories that gave the third season of television’s best comedy its extra juice — though the Posey arc was a powerful and poignant deconstruction of the Manic Pixie Dream Girl trope, and the three-part Late Show run was as good as any 90-minute comedy film in recent memory. The idea that Louie could be “anything you want” informed the storytelling even on one-offs like the evocative “Miami” episode or the wonderfully peculiar “Barney” vignette (featuring Robin Williams’s best work in years). Even as he’s become a critics’ darling, Louie is still experimenting and taking chances, and that’s what makes his work so exciting. — Jason Bailey