2 Broke Girls: B
Oddly enough, despite the producers obviously trying to show the power-of-women aspect, the male characters and their less flamboyant personalities are actually the funny half of the ensemble. But I still have an uber crush on Miss Sarcastic, @OfficialKat.
30 Rock: B+
666 Park Avenue: B
It was just getting good when ABC pulled the plug.
1600 Penn: B+
I thought it spent too much time on Josh Gad’s character, but it definitely should have avoided the Freshman Firesale NBC put on in mid-May.
American Dad: B
Not as good as seasons past, but it always has 1 or 2 dynamite episodes each year.
Animal Practice: B+
No, I’m not smoking crack a monkey gave me. This was genuinely a funny show–mostly because of the hilarious actors working on the show, not because of the plot lines. Viewers probably thought any show that needed a monkey wasn’t able to stand on its own two feet, but it was. I even watched the unaired episodes online, I liked it so much.
Superhero + sidekicks + lore + backstory = more please.
Beauty and the Beast: D
The most inexplicable renewal of the season. I couldn’t watch past episode 2.
Ben and Kate: A
This was the best comedic ensemble on TV this year, and the show won my Best New Comedy of the Year award. The main five characters meshed extremely well, and we’d just been introduced to @Brittanysnow’s recurring character, so that made me even more annoyed that Fox cancelled it.
The Big Bang Theory: A-
Back when 10 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter ruled the airwaves, @Amy_Davidson ruled my heart. Now it’s @KaleyCuoco’s turn: she just keeps getting sexier the funnier she gets.
Bob’s Burgers: B+
Body of Proof: C-
What had been one of my 2 or 3 favorite procedurals its first two years plummeted to the bottom in season 3 after it jettisoned key characters and changed the entire feel of the show. Throughout its second season I was hopeful it would be renewed; throughout its third, I was hopeful it would be cancelled. I went 2-for-2, but I–and viewers–lost.
Easily it’s weakest season to date, despite the recurring presence of the coolest Big Bad the show has seen since season 3 and the Gravedigger. The puzzle-solving seems more deus-ex-machina than it should.
It’s still my favorite crime-solving, dysfunctional family, and it was interesting to see the change in dynamic around the workplace once–what are they called, Beckle? Caskett? (Help me out here, @NathanFillion)–became an item. I wonder if the exec producers have the moxie to make the two switches they hinted at in the S5 finale–both of which make creative sense, but each of which could end up ruining the show’s chemistry.
The Cleveland Show: B+
The first handful of episodes of the abbreviated 4th season were disastrous, and most of the rest had good beginnings… but were ruined by schmaltzy endings. The season finale and the puppet adventure were the two episodes most worthy of the brand name.
Cougar Town: B-
Same characters, same actors, probably the same writing team… but not as much fun as the ABC years, for some reason that I can’t put a name to. With the exception of a few lines here and there throughout the shortened season, the only laugh-out-loud parts were the title cards.
Another solid year with Ted Danson and Elisabeth Shue at the controls. Not the most thrilling year in terms of super-villian, but it had a great 1st episode and a great last one, too.
Don’t Trust the B in Apt 23: B+
Not as consistent as in its freshman season, this one likely suffered from a bunch of time-slot changes during its short run. It featured not only a fantastic lead duet in @Krystenritter and future-wife-fingers-crossed @PrimaDreama, but it also had the Beekster playing up his Dawson’s Creek-lebrity in a gently self-deprecating manner.
Winner of my Best New Drama of the Year award. The main trio is beyond incredible, especially Lucy, and the twists in the Holmesian mythology were delightful. Did anyone else realize that the show was about the become super awesome as soon as they saw the title of the January 10th episode: “M”?
Emily Owens, M.D.: F
How this was ever allowed on the schedule in the first place was bewildering. The writing was squeam-inducingly awful. And, in a drama, that’s more than any actor can overcome in that short a time span, even with Meryl’s pedigree.
Family Guy: B-
How many seasons does this have left in the tank? I’d be bummed to see it go… but mediocrity may be setting in.
The Following: B+
t moved at a quick pace, had some sharp plot twists, and ended with the good guys …winning, maybe? But the first 10 episodes or so just made me worried about how sick and twisted the human race has become.
I loved the first four seasons. But, as I’ve said before with shortened seasons, the storyline just couldn’t develop enough to where the abbreviated S5 lived up to the original story lines. More of a coda than a new section of music, I felt the show could’ve left on a higher note ending after the fourth season.
The split/shift to New York brought both positives (new story lines and fresh secondary characters and settings) and negatives (having to rely on unproven characters in the main McKinley storyline). As more and more original characters graduate, can it satisfy old-school Gleeks while continuing to develop new characters we’ll love?
Go On: B+
It wasn’t laugh-out-loud funny for most of the season, and the theme of therapy was a downer, but I’m still stunned it didn’t get a second season. One of the best ensembles on TV.
Grey’s Anatomy: B+
The show got a boost of creative adrenaline (and a return to ‘fun’) when SG was bought by its own doctors, and the two-part season finale was awesome (you know finales are going to be cool when they feature weather as a character).
Even though I abhorred the mid-season break, it’s second season probably improved on the first by letting even more characters into the circle of “knowing” and giving the good guys a bigger team.
Guys with Kids: C+
Anthony Anderson and Templestt Beldsoe are comedic masterminds, but the only roles that kept the show around as long as it stayed were the husband-and-wife team of Nick and Emily (Zack Cregger and Jamie-Lynn Sigler). And Jimmy Fallon’s creator/executive producer status surely helped. The third couple (Chris and Sheila) was the downfall of the show.
Watched the first two episodes and didn’t understand what the point was. Where were they going with it? I didn’t see enough enjoyable characters or interesting plot lines to find out.
Hawaii Five-O: C-
The only reason I even watch any more is to find out more information about the McGarrett/Shelburne backstory.
Happy Endings: B
I didn’t enjoy this show as much as a lot of people did (and wasn’t super thrilled about the first 2 seasons), but I definitely found the latter half of its final season hilarious. Especially the episodes that focused on Max’s wackadaisicalness and Alex’s dimwiticalness. Surprised TBS didn’t dip its toe into this one after doing so with Cougar Town. Seemed like it would make for a great back-to-back fit.
How I Met Your Mother: A-
You’d think that after all these seasons, it’d be the ‘old’ jokes (like The Playbook) that’d be wearing thin, but those were the best kind in the show’s penultimate season.
Last Man Standing: B-
@ofctimallen, Nancy Travis, and @MollyEphraim helped make this my favorite sitcom in the 2011-2012 season, but it imploded before it even started S2 by making three disastrous decisions: bringing in a new Kristin, adding the obnoxious Ryan, and aging Boyd by about 5 years. But the season–and the show–may have been saved when producers decided to put Mandy and Kyle together.
Last Resort: B+
Oh, the potential it had. Not really sure what ABC was thinking letting it sink so fast. The acting, the plot, the premise…the network just does not seem to have much faith in these edgier-idea shows (Flashforward, Zero Hour, Invasion, V) as it’s pulled each of them well before their expiration dates. If you’re not gonna be gutsy enough to stick with the niche show, leave them to land on a more suitable network like Fox or SyFy.
Made in Jersey: D+
…Cancelled in September.
Malibu Country: C-
Much as Lily Tomlin was great to watch, the rest of the characters on the show were pretty obnoxious. I’m still surprised I was able to get through as many episodes as I was (6, I think?).
The Mentalist: A-
At least a third of the season’s episodes dealt with Red John or Tommy Volker, and those were obviously the cream-of-the-crop, but the rest of the mysteries were still plenty of fun, as always, due to the presence of Patrick Jane.
The Middle: A-
Another great ensemble sitcom: the adults are the Abbotts and the kids are the Costellos.
Mike & Molly: B
Mike’s half of the family is a downer, but the workplace & diner humor is dynamite.
The Mindy Project: B+
I wasn’t thrilled with the first half of the season, and I didn’t like the character shake-up midway, but the writing definitely found its groove after the Christmas episode. Typical of this type of comedy, where the humor is in the situations the characters find themselves in–because you have to know the characters before you can find what they’re doing funny. Definitely a bright spot looking forward (and I’m not just saying that because @mindykaling is a fellow Dartmouth alum–like she needs my help).
Modern Family: A
I don’t know how it became popular–the characters were all fairly unsavory as far as I was concerned, and so I couldn’t stomach more than 3 or 4 episodes.
There’s a reason it’s TV’s favorite drama, ratings-wise. It’s good. Though the ‘cliffhanger’ wasn’t really much of one for anyone who’s been watching since the beginning (or at least for a while). I’m hoping Alan Dale starts making regular appearances next season.
NCIS Los Angeles: B-
The stories aren’t as good as those from the D.C. office, but the acting’s still top-notch. One of only a few shows that even ended its season on a cliffhanger (though, as with the D.C. branch’s, it’s a fairly obvious outcome for next season’s 1st episode).
The Neighbors: A-
Brilliantly insightful into the absurdities of everyday human life. I’m über-glad ABC stuck with this one. Hopefully, viewers will pick it up in September when they see the network had enough faith to renew it.
New Girl: A-
Major sophomore slump for the first six episodes or so, but it rebounded well enough to end up being my favorite sitcom for the 2012-2013 season. If it hadn’t peaked so well during its first season, the slump wouldn’t likely have been noticeable. Not sure about the Nick/Jess mashup, but relieved the season-long plot with Cece resolved itself correctly (and hilariously).
The New Normal: B
It was funny at times… but the Nana character was a big turn off early on. And it just didn’t get me excited to watch–or satisfied enough if I did watch.
The loss of the traditional Big Bad–Division–brought about a lot of creative uncertainty this season, and the show suffered for it until it figured out where it wanted to eventually go. Once it had, the run to the end was pretty exciting… but then The CW only decided to bring it back for 6 episodes next year. Given how the last ten minutes of the finale could have tied the series up with a bow (or as much of one as a serial spy show can have), what was their thinking adding a miniseries as a coda?
Several of the plot lines were emotional downers, which doesn’t make it any easier to watch a show I’m not super-excited to tell my TiVo to Play anyway, but, by the end of the hour, it’s usually worth it. Plus, any time @thelaurengraham or @ERIKAjaneC is on the screen is a good time. Um, well, the way I wrote it, it kinda sounds dirty….
Parks and Recreation: A
An almost-perfect season filled with recurring characters and story lines–and who will ever forget where they were when they watched the episode heretofore known as “The Oswald Filibuster”?
Person of Interest: A
The 2012-2013 seasons’ best drama. Loved the addition of Sarah Shahi. So many critical episodes that my TiVo had 7 previously-watched episodes still on it by the time I’d finished the fantastic season finale. Your TV’s watching you–you should be watching it.
Raising Hope: A
More insightful than a casual observer might realize, this show has become one of the most consistently humorous and enjoyable on network TV. Which makes it un-understandable why it’s consistently on-the-bubble for renewal. Fox isn’t even starting it up until late fall next season, which puts its intelligence level on par with the Chances’, ironically.
Red Widow: C
It just seemed doomed when they introduced it mid-season after ABC had been axing freshman dramas left-and-right all season long.
The brilliance continued following a stellar first season. I’m not thrilled with the direction the cliffhanger left us thinking things might be going in season 3, though.
I don’t like where the split season schedule is taking us, but at least this show survived (where Flashforward, which I actually liked more, didn’t) intact. Endgames are of paramount importance in shows like this one, and it looks like we’ll be given a second one (and perhaps a non-Western one) this fall.
Entertaining though it certainly was, season 2 seemed to be a departure from the basic premise of the show–a crisis-of-the-week procedural-esque drama. Season 2 focused almost entirely on one scandal, and, although it was certainly a fun ride, I’m hoping season 3 returns to what S1 showed us, as I’m a bit tired of Defiance and its consequences.
The second season was worse than the first, but it still wasn’t horrible. The creative turn with the ouster of the original show runner threw things off in my mind, and by the time I’d actually watched the first two episodes, it didn’t appear like there was any chance of it coming back for season 3, so I stopped watching.
Really took a downturn the last handful of the episodes–it started turning into a half-hour CW drama. Word to the wise: bring back the funny of the first 1.8 seasons, and spend less time on the adults.
The revamping completely took it out of its zone and tried to make it the new 24. Yes, 24 is a number… but that’s about all the connection there should have been.
Two and a Half Men: C+
Angus got out just in time. Let it be known that this show officially jumped the shark with its musical episode halfway through the season. At which point I made like a tree and considered myself poison-sumac-ed (and calamine-lotioned myself by no longer watching).
Up All Night: C
The Vampire Diaries: B+
I thought it was the most inconsistent season thus far (1st half was really good; 2nd half… had bits of awesomeness, but also a lot of …standing around, plot-wise), possibly because the executive producers were conjuring up The Originals and had to continue developing TVD’s story line while at the same time providing a suitable jumping-off point for some of the characters.
This was the year’s biggest mistake in terms of cancellations. A unique procedural with fun characters and good actors. It’s Nielsen numbers would have been envied on any other network.
Better than most people gave it credit for, it still boasted two very funny leads in Whitney and Chris–and those two were probably the only reasons why it lasted as long as it did.