Twenty Twelve: TV

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Well, I’ve certainly put the hours in this year in terms of TV. My first full calendar year of writing and recording Telly Addict every week: that’s a lot of percentage in the Sky+ tank. Because I am now duty-bound to review all the exciting new stuff – and that means stuff I wouldn’t normally watch, like Red Or Black, TOWIE and The Apprentice – I find myself watching and analysing the first episode of everything, but not always bothering to watch the second episode. There are only so many hours in the day etc.

This, if you run a finger down my final list, accounts for the fact that Secret State, which I wasn’t sure about to start with, makes the list, and The Town, which I was sure about, doesn’t. I saw the former through to the bitter end, which means something, and I found myself unable to summon up the enthusiasm to see how The Town turned out, which also means something. My enthusiasm for The Great British Bake Off was entirely sincere: I couldn’t wait for the next episode. This is how I feel about the re-runs of Friday Night Lights: can’t wait. (Although the Guardian erroneously claimed that I judged The Bake Off to be “the best TV show of 2012”, when, in fact, it was simply my favourite.)

It seems obsessive and random to put these fantastic shows in any kind of qualitative order, so I’ll leave them in the order that they occurred to me. I’m not sure whether or not I ought to apologise for the proliferation of shows on Sky Atlantic. The channel has a deal with HBO; ergo, it’s where all the best imports turn up. Sorry (There, I apologised.) Oh, and by the way, I enjoyed some of the Olympics on the BBC, and Euro 2012, on the BBC and ITV, but found Gary Lineker a bit irksome on both.

The Great British Bake Off, BBC2
Line Of Duty, BBC2
Game of Thrones, Season 2, Sky Atlantic
Boardwalk Empire, Season 3, Sky Atlantic
Hunderby, Sky Atlantic
The Fear, C4
Homefront, ITV1
Fresh Meat, Series 2, C4
Friday Night Dinner, Series 2, C4
Michael Portillo’s Great Continental Railway Journeys, BBC2
Sherlock, Series 2, BBC1
Borgen, BBC4
The Bridge, BBC4
Homeland, Seasons 1-2, c4
Twenty Twelve, Series 2, BBC2
Chatsworth, BBC2
Inside Claridge’s, BBC2
The Thick Of It, Series 4, BBC4
Eastbound and Down, Season 3, FX
The Walking Dead, Season 3, FX
American Horror Story: Asylum, FX
Noel Fielding’s Luxury Comedy, E4
Friday Night Lights, Seasons 1-3, Sky Atlantic
Girls, Sky Atlantic
Mid Morning Matters with Alan Partidge, Sky Atlantic
The Newsroom, Sky Atlantic
Veep, Sky Atlantic
Secret State, C4
Top of the Pops, 1977, BBC4
Man About The House, Series 3-5, ITV3
Horror Europa with Mark Gatiss, BBC4
Loving Miss Hatto, BBC1
Downton Abbey, Series 3/Christmas Special, ITV1
Mrs Biggs, ITV1
Celebrity MasterChef, BBC2
Modern Family, Season 4, Sky1
Exposure: The Other Side of Jimmy Savile, ITV1
The Bletchley Circle, ITV1

Feel free to nominate shows you loved. I fell out with Downton during Series 2, but was surprised to find myself back onboard with Series 3. I also thought that Gates, on Sky Living, came out very well, but since I was one of its writers, I am unable to trust my own judgement. We must try Sky Living’s judgement, though, and it won’t be returning for a second series.

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11 thoughts on “Twenty Twelve: TV

  1. Season 5 of Breaking Bad was absolute class television. One of the greatest TV shows in the history of TV. Also, Louie deserves a nod. Season 3 was excellent. Interesting and surreal.
    I wasn’t so keen on the second series of Fresh Meat. I loved the first one but the second seemed a little off beat.
    And one of my favourite shows is the animated comedy Adventure Time With Finn and Jake, I would definitely recommend this to anybody. It’s so weird and wonderful and loveable that I pity those who have never heard of it.

    • I have Season 3 of Breaking Bad on DVD in the cupboard, as yet unwatched. (So much on actual TV to watch, it’s harder to get round to DVDs on top.) I haven’t seen Louie, although it’s showing on Fox in the UK in the New Year, so will catch up then.

    • I haven’t seen the whole of Forbrydelsen III yet, and the fact that I’ve not been driven to watch it suggests, as with Forbrydelsen II, it’s not doing it for me in the same way that season 1 did. I much preferred The Bridge and Borgen this year. Not even caught up with Season 3 of Breaking Bad yet, but I do love it.

  2. Banging the drum for British TV but I thought The Syndicate and especially Last Tango in Halifax were outstanding. Borgen and Nurse Jackie were my two favourite imports.

  3. Always nice to see your year in review, agree with a few things but most I haven’t seen. I am still working my way through The Walking Dead and Game of Thrones season 2, love both. Michael Portillo’s railway journey’s are fascinating, actually starting to warm to him for the first time in about 20 years, picked up the Bradshaw guides for Christmas because of it. Guilty pleasures – great British bake off and Inside Claridge’s. Disappointed with the Thick of it, didn’t laugh out loud as in previous series. I suppose the only things I would add are the Royal Institute Christmas Lectures, always fun to sit down with my son to watch and talk science and Supersized, again son loves all the wow moments, appearing on top of the Burj Khalifa out of a trapdoor. Looking forward to more Telly Addict in 2013, much thanks!

  4. I’ve only watched four series on this list. Sherlock I really enjoyed but the rest I didn’t. I stopped watching Boardwalk Empire because I didn’t like any of the characters. It started to depress me. I heard amazing things about Game of Thrones but couldn’t really get into it. I was a sci-fi/fantasy nut when I was a kid but I think my imagination lobe is shrinking as I get older or something. And Homeland. Again, I heard the buzz, started watching it and convinced myself it was pretty good but there was a nagging doubt in the back of my mind. After a few episodes of the second series I was able to accept the embarrassing truth…it’s naff. Horrible overacting, zero chemistry between the two leads who are having a relationship that is impossible to invest or believe in. When I realised I wanted them both to die I figured it was time to leave the show. So I tried Breaking Bad and loved it….

  5. I think the BBC deserves much credit for the brilliantly acted, gutsy and morally ambiguous Line of Duty so glad to see it in your list. I would say Good Cop and Inside Men also warranted similar praise. I thought season 3 of The Good Wife managed to maintain the high standard of the previous ones and Southland continued to be quietly excellent with some more great acting from all involved.

    • Good call on Good Cop and Inside Men, which slipped through the net when I was compiling this. (I might sneakily add them in, so don’t be alarmed if they have appeared.) I love Southland, too, but I’m behind on the current run.

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