December 31, 2012

Top 5 TV Surprises of 2012

Now that I got my top five let-downs of 2012 out of the way, it's time to end things on a high note with some pleasant surprises that occurred over the past year.

3. Lost Girl
Honestly, I had never heard of Canada's Lost Girl until I started writing for The Televixen. Once I started reading all of the positive reviews over there, my curiosity was piqued and I was determined to check it out when it finally premiered in the States. I have to admit that it didn't blow me away out of the gates because it was another run-of-the-mill supernatural procedural like... Supernatural. My interest level in that specific genre started to wane, so I stopped watching it on Syfy but got back on board thanks to Netflix, and boy am I happy that I did. It's still not a groundbreaking show by any means, but it has all of the elements that I look for from this kind of show and it pulls them off fairly well. I can't really ask for any more than that.

4. Glee
As a longtime Glee apologist, I've forgiven Ryan Murphy and Co. for all of their previous sins, but I've also been able to acknowledge that the show hasn't been as good as it used to be (or even good at times). While I've never gotten close to writing the show off completely, I have lowered my expectations to the point where I rooted for mediocrity, so I was just as surprised when the show rebounded during Season 3 and actually improved early on in Season 4. OK, so the New York stuff hasn't been all that entertaining, but I've found myself caring about what's going on in Ohio, and it's been a while since I've felt so invested. Unfortunately, I cannot say that Glee's been able to recapture its former glory, but at least I'm not as ashamed to admit that I'm still a fan like I was during Season 2. Who am I kidding; I've never been ashamed.

3. The Walking Dead
It's been well documented that the first half of The Walking Dead's second season was mostly a bust, but the show was able to get back on track during the tail-end of its sophomore run. Thankfully, Glen Mazarra was able to keep the momentum going and the first part of Season 3 has been the show's best string of episodes to date. There's a possibility that the show will once again hit a snag now that it's been renewed without its current showrunner, but at least we'll get a few more episodes of the Mazarra-era Walking Dead. Let's just hope his successor can avoid another rough patch.

2. The Finder
I wasn't all that impressed when I watched Bones episode that acted as a backdoor pilot for The Finder. From the looks of it, Hart Hanson's new show was going to be a carbon copy of his old one, so my expectations were pretty low come last January. Then I actually watched the show, and it quickly grew on me. Sure, it was still a quirky procedural, but I didn't find Walter Sherman and his crew as annoying as Brennan and her Squints, and after a few episodes it was making me laugh more than most of the other shows that I was watching. Unfortunately, less than stellar ratings and a lack of confidence from the network doomed it, and The Finder was the first new show I watched that was canceled prematurely in my eyes. Man, I really miss it.

1. Chuck's Series Finale
OK, so this last one's kind of a cheat since we all knew that Chuck was coming back for a fifth season, but I felt the need to include it because there was a time when the thought of five seasons of Chuck was nothing more than a dream. Yet the little show that could was able to survive (mostly due to NBC's misfortune) and we even got a proper finale. It may not sound like much, but so many shows and its fans do not get that kind of luxury, so I felt blessed that the show that changed my life had the chance to go out on its own terms. There's a lot to feel cynical about when it comes to the television business, but Chuck's improbable run's not one of them and it's proof that good things can happen.

And that's it. My Top Five Lists of 2012 are done. Overall, I have to say that of 2012 was a pretty decent year, and let's hope that 2013 will be too.


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