Top Ten Shows of 2012

Last year, Megan, Kyle, and I put together our Top and Bottom 10 shows for the year 2011. This year, we decided to do that once again, and this time, we suckered asked JJ to do it with us. There was some great stuff on, but there were also some…lemons, so for this post, let’s take a look back at 2012 and see what we loved the most. And as always, thank you to everyone who has commented, emailed in, entered contests, and helped spread the word about the site. We appreciate each and every one of you! Without you, there would be no site. We hope you had a great holiday season and have a terrific new year!

Top 10

Jenny's Choice: Raising Hope
raisinghopetop10smallLast year, I wrote that Raising Hope is so wrong sometimes, it's terrible (but in a good way), and this show has so much heart. And that same holds true for 2012. There were so many great episodes, but the biggest news at the end of last season and beginning of this season was Jimmy growing a pair and admitting to Sabrina how he felt, and then the two of them began a relationship. Now, mid-way through the season, they, along with not-so-baby Hope, are turning into a real family. It's been great to see the evolution of that relationship while still enjoying all the great antics of the rest of the Chance family.
Megan's Choice: MasterChef
This may seem like a strange choice, but this season had me enthralled from the moment it started. The contestants this season were all very interesting but also incredibly talented. I also enjoy seeing a softer side of Gordon Ramsay, as you can really see the love he has for each contestant. It would be amazing if one season, we could see the contestants on Hell's Kitchen against the contestants on MasterChef. For the most part, I'd place my money on the MasterChef people 9 out of 10 times.
Kyle's Choice: Emily Owens, M.D.
This year, a few canceled shows made my list—which is a shame, as it means we won't be getting more episodes. Emily Owens, M.D. is/was a charming, light series that falls somewhere in between Scrubs and Grey's Anatomy on the medical TV show spectrum. I really enjoyed its unique blend of comedy and drama and found the characters to be a lot of fun. I thought it used the voice-over well to add another level of humor.
JJ's Choice: Revolution
revolutionsmallI had promised myself not to start any new hour-long shows this season because too many tend to get canceled, and I don't have the time for it. But I couldn't pass on Revolution with all the attention it was getting. I caught up in one weekend around episode 7, and I was hooked from the moment I started. The premise is interesting and current, the visuals are stunning, and the cast is good. And I love how they are not afraid to kill people...which keeps the suspense up. I'm very curious to see the second half of the season. The show is tenth on my list because it could go either way next year.

Jump with us to see numbers nine through one!

Top 9

Jenny's Choice: Dancing with the Stars
dwtstop10smallI haven't watched Dancing with the Stars in years, but the All-Stars season was really good and made me enjoy it once again. A lot of my favorites were on this past season, and I loved seeing Melissa Rycroft win. I learned to enjoy watching Kirstie Alley simply for the entertainment value, but how Bristol Palin got so far, I'll never know. She was flat, boring, and kind of irritating, and I felt bad for Mark, having to partner with her again. But other than Bristol, it was a great season, really, and became a must-watch for me for the first time in a long time.
Megan's Choice: Bunheads
bunheadssmallBunheads is such a small show but one that has left a lasting impression on me. I love Amy Sherman-Palladino's writing and creative side, especially since I was a huge fan of Gilmore Girls, and her witty yet offside humor shines brilliantly in this new series. Michelle is one of the best flawed heroine characters I've seen in a bit, and I cannot wait to see what this season has to bring.
Kyle's Choice: Jane by Design
I thought Jane by Design was the best of ABC Family's recent crop of new shows, which of course is usually the death warrant. It was fun to see Jane try to balance both her worlds and keep her double-life a secret. While the will they/won't they between Jane and Billy wasn't a huge concern of mine, it would have been nice to finally get to see them as a couple. If they could give 5 seasons to The Secret Life of an American Teenager, they could have at least given Jane a second!
JJ's Choice: The Newsroom
thenewsroomsmallThe Newsroom has its...faults... The writing, dialogue, and cast are amazing. But the women are portrayed too clumsily. It's interesting to see how media like Twitter and e-mail are used and some of the links to victims and such are made way too easily. But I still can't help but getting excited for every single episode, even knowing what will happen. So I wanted to put it on the list, but not too high.

Top 8

Jenny's Choice: Leverage
leveragetop10smallI was so sad when I found out Leverage had been canceled by TNT. It had some really great stuff going on within the team this season. Parker and Hardison are too cute together, Nate and Sophie are also still a couple—although the team now knows about them—and Elliott finally found a woman I thought he might be able to have a future with (the woman from the "mom & pop" grocery store). One of my favorite episodes of 2012 was when Parker was laid up with a problem with her leg and the rest of the team was out of town. I adore Parker, so seeing her kind of in charge and coming into her own was fantastic.
Megan's Choice: Hart of Dixie
I promise you that I have not been eating glue by putting a CW show on my top 10, but it is true when I say this show deserves it. It's one of those underrated, overlooked shows that everyone should watch but they don't. The comedic timing, adorable cast, and the romantic triangles are all reasons to tune in. Rachel Bilson delivers a great performance week after week, making it a must see for me.
Kyle's Choice: Misfits
misfitstop10smallMisfits, a UK series currently in it's fourth season, aired on Hulu in the US the same day episodes aired in the UK. The show follows a group of juvenile delinquents who obtained various super-powers after being hit by lightning during a freak storm. It's hard to classify this show, as it's part drama part comedy and part sci-fi, but all of that adds up to an odd but entertaining show that always keeps you guessing where it will go next. At the beginning of season 3, much of the original cast left the series. However, for the past two seasons, the new characters, like Rudy and Finn, have really kept the show as fun and entertaining as ever. I'm always shocked by the creativity of the plot lines and willingness of the writers to go anywhere and everywhere. This show certainly could not have aired on a US broadcast network!
JJ's Choice: Cougar Town
cougartowntop10small2012 was the year that we almost saw the series finale of Cougar Town, but fortunately, TBS picked up the show, and this means we are getting new episodes in January. It might be one of the most frantic comedies out there, but ever since the show forgot the title and became an ensemble comedy, it has been great!

Top 7

Jenny's Choice: Rizzoli & Isles
rizzoliandislestop10smallRizzoli & Isles is a damn good show and one I would watch multiple times per episode if I had the time. The chemistry between Jane & Maura is so real, you can imagine them being unlikely friends for real. And one of my favorite parts of the show has been watching Detective Frost "grow up," so to speak. He's no longer content to stay in the background as much as possible, getting sick in the lab or at a crime scene at the drop of a hat. He still does that, but not as often and not as quickly. LOL And I love that he's not afraid to stick up for himself or speak up to Jane and Korsak. The other characters are just as great as they have always been, which makes this such a fun show to watch for cop-show fans like myself.
Megan's Choice: 2 Broke Girls
2brokegirls2011smallSuch deliciously naughty and offside humor make 2 Broke Girls one of the best parts of my Monday nights. I love the way Max and Caroline interact, and the characters on the show in general all have some incredibly epic part of the humor. There are a lot of stereotypes on this show, and yes, I get that people think it's wrong to stereotype, but lets be honest...90% of them are true at some point. (I'm Scottish and can admit to both being able to drink like a fish and being super frugal...and yes, I eat haggis.) The way they approach the jokes that could be misconstrued as wrong is why they get away with it—any other cast wouldn't pull it off as well. If you aren't watching, it's time to try.
Kyle's Choice: Missing
missingtop10smallI thought Missing was great, and I was so disappointed that it was not picked up for a second season (especially with the cliffhanger it left us with). It had action, adventure, exotic locales—what more did people want?! I thought the premise was great and the short length allowed them to properly tell a whole story. Ashley Judd was a great action hero, and unlike most shows, I thought they did a great job in making the kidnapped son not a useless idiot. He was intelligent and used his knowledge and skills to assess his situation and come up with his own plan of escape.
JJ's Choice: The Voice
Season 3 introduced some much needed changes in the format of The Voice that worked out perfectly. The steal made the battles so much more interesting, and with the changes in the live shows, it's nice to see that good teams can be in the finals as a whole, unlike previous years. But I do have to say I'm glad Xtina is not present for season 4, because she was getting on my nerves (during the live shows).

Top 6

Jenny's Choice: Cajun Pawn Stars
cajunpawnstarstop10smallHehehe I laugh whenever I think about Cajun Pawn Stars. Most people know I love the original series in Las Vegas, so I was happy when this show started in January of 2012. It quickly became one of my favorites. My son hates it because of their accents and how stupid some of the customers are, but I love it because the family & other people that work there know their stuff, and everyone is friendly and seems to know everyone else. I come from a small town in Oklahoma, and my dad's family are from rural Missouri, so maybe it's the little bit of southern I have in me? Regardless, I love it.
Megan's Choice: Grimm
I almost didn't put Grimm on my list this year because there have been a few story lines that have made me lose interest for an episode or two, but looking at all of 2012, this show still kept my interest more than others. It's the story with Juliette and the captain that made me annoyed... It just kept dragging on. I did enjoy the story line of Nick and his mother, though. It was a great twist.
Kyle's Choice: Parenthood
parenthoodtop10smallParenthood has been amazing this season—primarily due to Monica Potter and her stellar performance as Kristina and what she is going through with her cancer diagnosis and treatments. Although, the whole Twittersphere must have some kind of allergic reaction to this season, as I have heard an overwhelming number of reports of this series causing the viewer's eyes to water.
JJ's Choice: Castle
I might be a little biased on Castle because I watched the first seasons over the summer and started following the show as it was broadcast in September, but I love it. The balance between weird and gruesome cases is just right, the cast is amazing, and Becket and Castle are finally together!! The only issue I have with the show is the tendency to introduce the murderer in the final scene, and that is why it ended a little lower on this list.

Top 5

Jenny's Choice: NCIS: LA
ncislatop10smallDeeks! That's what I always seem to shout when my favorite character first appears on NCIS: LA. This show is a lot of fun because they bring a great mix of drama and light-hearted moments to every episode. Kensi & Deeks are getting closer and closer to admitting they have feelings for one another (we've now seen each of them jealous about someone/something the other person is seeing/doing, and on the fall finale, when Kensi rushed to free Deeks after he was tied up and kidnapped, I may have sighed happily). And how cute are Nell & Eric? They finally kissed (albeit, under the mistletoe) in the fall finale, and I can't wait to see where their relationship goes. The rest of the cast is just as fantastic as always, and it is one of my must-watch-as-soon-as-I-can shows.
Megan's Choice: Hawaii Five-0
hawaiifive0top10smallThere have been some very well written and intriguing story lines on Hawaii Five-0 during 2012, and I am still just as hooked, if not more, to this smart, funny police drama as I always have been. Alex O'Loughlin as Steve McGarrett easily makes my living room the sexiest place to be when he's on screen. Sexy cast aside, I've been really loving the way they have managed to include the whole team in mysteries and crisis, because it adds a nice balance to the show.
Kyle's Choice: Happy Endings
happyendingstop10smallThis is truly the Year of Penny. We got so many hilarious episodes of Happy Endings. Every episode manages to give us two or three well-crafted stories that always lead to loads of laughs. I love how the series constantly mixes up the pairings of this group of friends, giving them all a chance to work with one another. Although, whichever story involves Penny is usually my favorite one of the week—Casey Wilson is a master at physical comedy!
JJ's Choice: Revenge
Revenge is a show I only discovered late (like Castle) because I had to choose to watch Ringer. Where Ringer was on the side of soap-y badness, Revenge was the right amount of soap-y goodness. Emily VanCamp is amazing in the title role, and Madeleine Stowe as Victoria is the right choice for the evil bitch next door! Season 2 has been a little less-focused (time to get back to the list), so the show ended lower than it would have.

Top 4

Jenny's Choice: The Big Bang Theory
The Big Bang Theory moved up from number ten to number four from last year to this one for several reasons. One, NO PRIYA! YAY! Two, Penny & Leonard are back together, and even though Penny is somewhat hesitant about their future, she realized recently (& told him so accidentally) that she loves him. And three, and certainly not least, Amy & Sheldon are too freakin adorable together. I just love them. This show makes me laugh harder than almost any other show on television, and I adore it.
Megan's Choice: The Walking Dead
thewalkingdead2011bsmallWho doesn't love zombies? The Walking Dead is a show that keeps me regularly on the edge of my seat. I can't help but jump when I watch. The emotional, spiritual, and ethical questions this show poses makes it a fabulous choice for anyone over the age of 18. I wouldn't call this a family show, but it's an excellent choice to sit back and relax to at any time.
Kyle's Choice: Bob's Burgers
bobsburgerstop10smallI don't know how they do it, but Bob's Burgers just seems to get more and more hilarious with each episode. I can't believe I almost quit watching this show after the pilot aired last year, but I'm so glad I stuck with it, as it is possibly my favorite animated show right now! The new season set the bar pretty high by starting off with Cyndi Lauper singing "Taffy Butt" to the tune of her "Goonies R Good Enough" song, but it somehow managed to get even better from there! I can't get enough of these Belcher kids—especially Gene!
JJ's Choice: Doctor Who
This year, we had to say goodbye to another companion on Doctor Who, and it was heart-wrenching! The way the episode was structured, even knowing that Amy and Rory would not travel with the Doctor anymore, was amazing, and the suspense killed me! The rest of the season felt off, but this all ties into what happens when the Doctor travels without a companion.

Top 3

Jenny's Choice: The Neighbors
When news about The Neighbors first broke, almost everyone was sure it was going to suck...that it would be ultra-cheesy, have terrible special effects, whatever. I thought the previews were funny, and I hoped the show would be just as amusing. Fortunately for my family and me, it's even better than I'd hoped. We love how sweet the show can be while still being laugh-out-loud funny. Larry Bird is absolutely bonkers, but he's one of my favorite characters on TV right now, and I love the rest of the characters, as well. This show is a must-watch for my family to sit down and watch together.
Megan's Choice: Flashpoint
Again, I have not been eating glue. I love Flashpoint, and this past season, (which has already aired the series finale here in Canada), has been fantastic in my opinion. I love what they've done with the team, and I really like how they have even allowed my favorite couples to be together. This show balances the emergency of the week with our need to see happy moments really well, making it easily one of my favorites.
Kyle's Choice: Dexter
Dexter made a really great comeback this season. Last year, I didn't even consider it for my top ten, but this year, it easily makes the list. We got an exciting new dynamic as Deb learned the truth about Dexter and was forced to help her brother keep his secret. Meanwhile, Dexter found love with another killer (the great guest star Yvonne Strahovski, Chuck) and started to question his code. Add to that several tense cat-and-mouse match-ups throughout the season—Dexter vs Isaak, Louis, and LaGuerta—and it was pretty exciting. If Jennifer Carpenter doesn't get an Emmy nomination for her work this season, I will be really disappointed!
JJ's Choice: Community
communitytop10small2012 was the year where Community resumed and even upped the antics of the earlier years. The comedy is balanced so nicely that I could even handle Chevy Chase. The out-there episodes, of which we got some over the final half of season 3, are amazing and funny. And the continuity between the shows and the throwbacks to and continuation of earlier episodes are so rewarding.

Top 2

Jenny's Choice: Bones
Ahh, Bones... I debated back and forth for quite a while about which of my top two shows should take first and which should take second. Honestly, it came down to a coin toss (or...well, I guess it was eeny meeny miny moe. I hated watching Bones drive away with baby Christine in the finale last season, but I understood why she felt she had to leave. As for her return at the beginning of this season, it was fantastic and worth the wait through the summer. And now, with Booth and Bones together, living with a growing, adorable Christine in their dream house, we get to see the "couple" stuff I've wanted for 8 seasons and still get to enjoy all the great case/lab story lines we've come to expect from this amazing show.
Megan's Choice: Grey's Anatomy
greysanatomytop10smallI am as shocked as you all are that after a year of disappearing off my radar, Grey's Anatomy managed to sneak its way up to second show of the year! Shonda Rhimes redeemed herself with some intense stories, including the last season finale, where we watched Lexie die with Mark there with her. It was tragic. The first two episodes of this season were equally as emotional, especially watching Mark die. I sobbed. Congrats to Shonda Rhimes for reeling me back in again, and congrats to Kleenex for taking my money as I wipe my streaming tears and dripping nose.
Kyle's Choice: The Walking Dead
thewalkingdeadtop10smallIn 2012, we saw the second half season 2 as well as the first half of season 3 of The Walking Dead. While the second season started off a bit slow, it really built up the energy for an explosive season finale. Once the barn was revealed, we got the showdown between Shane and Rick, the shocking death of Dale, and the zombies overrunning the farm. In the third season, we were introduced to new locations and characters, while also losing more of the original characters we had been following since the beginning. The third season has been running at full speed with constant excitement, surprises, and gore, and I can't wait for it to return in February.
JJ's Choice: Parks and Recreation
parksandrec2011smallRon "F-ing" Swanson, Leslie and Ben engaged, Lucy Lawless as a love interest for Ron, April and Ben off to Washington. Everything worked, it was fun, and Amy Poehler is amazing.
And our picks for our FAVORITE shows of the year 2012 are…

Top 1

Jenny's Choice: Castle
castletop10smallCastle comes out on top for me this year...and for a lot of reasons. From the two-part episodes "Pandora/Linchpin," which were amazing, to the guest starring role of Ethan Slaughter by Adam Baldwin, to zombies, and then the amazingly brilliant season finale last this season's coupledom, the "Comic-Con" episode, and much more, the last year for Castle has been an amazing ride. If I had to pick to shows to never miss a single episode of, it would be Bones & Castle. They both keep getting better and better, so topping out the list with the two of them makes sense to me!
Megan's Choice: Bones
Of all the shows on all the networks, Bones had to wander into my top spot...and it did so with pride. I am so impressed with the writing on this show for the past year that to deny it my top spot would be a tragedy. The way they handled the Brennan-on-the-run story, as well as making Brennan and Booth a believable couple, was fabulous. I have also loved all the back stories with the squints, and I cannot wait to see where it goes the rest of this season. My television world would not be complete without this show in it.
Kyle's Choice: Breaking Bad
breakingbadtop10smallOnce again, Breaking Bad tops my list. So far, season 5 is another stellar, nail-biting set of episodes. In this first half of the final season, we saw a train robbery, a showdown between Walt and Mike, the unpredictable Todd joining the crew, and Hank's shocking realization. I can't wait to see how the series ends next year!
JJ's Choice: Game of Thrones
gameofthronestop10smallGame of Thrones... Dragons, fantasy, storytelling, amazing cast, exciting, suspense, visually stunning, and never disappointed for a single second! Couldn't be more excited for season 3, and I'm so glad that they're only tackling half a book.

The following shows might not have made our Top 10, but check out our picks for Honorable Mentions!

Top Honorable Mentions

Jenny's Picks
Here is my (LONG) list of shows that I feel deserve mentioned—with some of them barely missing a spot in the Top 10:
Elementary, Ben & Kate, The New Normal, & Longmire—four of my favorite new series of 2012
2 Broke Girls—for being so wrong, but so damn funny every episode
Eureka—I cried for the series finale, and I'll always love and miss this show...
Blue Bloods—This is the family that I wish I had, and while I hate that we are missing Jackie right now, I still love it.
Person of Interest—Such a great concept and every episode gets more and more fun.
Flashpoint, Grimm, & NCIS—Must-see shows that I can't help but want more of.
Warehouse 13—This is one of my family's favorites to watch together. And while I hope they wrap the bad/crazy Artie story line up soon, I love that Steve is back & they found a way to get him off the metronome, and the cast is phenomenal.
Megan's Picks
The Big Bang Theory, NCIS: LA, Blue Bloods, Criminal Minds, American Horror Story, Breaking Bad, Sons of Anarchy, Drop Dead Diva, Emily Owens M.D., Arrow, and The Voice all had a special place on my television screen this past year.
Kyle's Picks
I chose to highlight some of the shows that won't be with us next year on my Top 10 list, so my Honorable Mentions include many other deserving comedies from this past year that didn't make it on my list due to space, like The Middle, The League, Parks and Recreation, The Neighbors, and Spy (another UK show airing day-and-date on Hulu), as well as dramas American Horror Story and Elementary.
JJ's Picks
My honorable mentions include these great shows: Bunheads, Partners, Eureka, Warehouse 13, Whitney, House of Lies, and Happy Endings.

What do you think? Did we hit the high points? Did we miss something you think we definitely should have included? Let us know by commenting below! Stay tuned tomorrow for our Bottom Ten Shows of 2012! Trust me, we have some incredibly strong opinions on what we think the worst 10 shows of the year were!

– Jenny, Megan, Kyle, & JJ

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One Response to Top Ten Shows of 2012

  1. […] you saw yesterday, we posted our Top Ten Shows of 2012 list. We had a good number of shows in common, and our top picks were Castle, Bones, Breaking Bad, […]