1. Person of Interest (CBS)
To me, there is no better show on network TV, right now. That doesn't mean this is the best show on TV or the best show on network TV. It just means that nothing else on network TV beats this show for me, right now. It has been an unforgettable third season, as the universe continues to expand in bigger, better, and worse ways (a major character death in the series definitely stings). Without question, this show is THE best hybrid-serialization on TV. Every future successful hybrid-serialization would do well to copy every basic storytelling stylistic decision this show makes. Its first true "clone", NBC's, The Blacklist, has followed its "template" very well, and it's already been renewed for a second season. BRING ON THE CLONES!
2. Breaking Bad (AMC)
I wouldn't have felt guilty, at all, if I had made this show number 1. However, just about everyone has this show as their number 1 show of the year. It was a great final half of the season and series (as of last year's list I had not watched the show), but the more I thought about it, I just enjoyed watching Person of Interest more. If you have a problem with that, f.u. ; )
3. Veep (HBO)
I thought season 1 was fantastic, but season 2 really stepped it up. I LOVE this show, and unequivocally think it's the best comedy I watch right now. If you don't agree, I hope you like sex, and I hope you like travel, because if you do, you can...
4. Hannibal (NBC)
This show was amazing. I was really disappointed that it didn't get any EMMY notice. I wouldn't expect POI to get notice, because the Academy looks down its collective nose at shows like that, but the other two shows above this were nominated (in Breaking Bad's case it won) in their respective categories for Best Series. This show WAS in the Academy's wheelhouse, and they completely ignored it, despite it being EMMY caliber in a bunch of categories. I sincerely hope you watch the upcoming season, because this show was a true treat on network TV. No show has ever gone further than this one on network TV, and that alone makes it worth watching. Don't miss it.
5. The Bridge (FX)
Those top 4 shows are absolutely top tier shows, in my opinion, and could almost be interchanged on any list of favorites. Once we hit number 5, the shows aren't on that elite level anymore, but these shows are my favorites of the rest. Last year, all anyone talked about was a dumb show on FX called The Americans. I personally enjoyed The Americans as something to watch, but the story was so pat and told from the "winners' perspective" that it robbed true enjoyment from the show. I hope they'll fix that in season 2, but I shouldn't even be talking about that show right now. I should be talking about the show that you SHOULD be talking about, The Bridge. This show is very close to being a top 4 show, and how next season unfolds could easily put it in the top 3. I recently watched the show as a marathon with my mom and otra madre, and came away with an even better perception than I originally had. This show is a success everywhere The Americans failed. If The Americans took drama tips from this show, that show would very likely make this list next year. If you didn't watch The Bridge, you should, before it comes back next Summer. If you don't find it a great dramatic watch, there's probably something wrong with you. It's not on Breaking Bad's level, but it could get there if it lasts more than two seasons.
6. House of Cards (Netflix)
This very easily *could* have been the number 1 show on this list for me. Unfortunately, after about 8 episodes, it completely ran out of steam, and only became the 6th best show for me. I don't know what season 2 will be (season 1 had the most uneventful ending in TV, err, uh, whatever this show is, history), but I am confident the show can move up the list next year. Nearly all of the performances were outstanding, and its look and sound make it worth a watch on those merits, alone. It certainly would be a reason to get Netflix Instant Streaming.
7. Brooklyn Nine-Nine (FOX)
I LOVE THIS SHOW! And it's not even as good as it's going to be yet. Any network comedy that beats Parks and Recreation on my list has to be unbelievably funny or filled with potential. This one wins on both counts. I hear lots of people rag on Chelsea Peretti, but Chelsea, I'm down. I think you're a consistently funny character in the right doses, and I'd miss you not being on the show. I also like every character on the show. My personal favorite is Charles, but I really like them all. This show could end up being one of the top comedies of the last 10 years, if it continues on its current potential trajectory. It might be a nail biter, but this show absolutely should get a second season.
8. Justified (FX)
This is another show that was not on my radar the last list I made. I can confidently say that this is a top 15 of all time TV show, even with the quality drop off in season 4. I personally like this show better overall than Breaking Bad, but it's pretty close. I just love the writing, the characters, the casting, the chemistry, the good and evil blurring lines, and really just about everything about it (minus a few things I won't mention). I fully expect this show to return to its initial first three seasons' greatness, next season, and it's still quite deserving of a spot on this list.
9. Parks and Recreation (NBC)
I still love this show, and it will not exit this list until it's canceled (which will probably be at the end of this season). I'm greatly looking forward to the Rob Lowe exit, which can't happen soon enough. If you're looking for an "adult oriented" version of this show, check out Veep.
10. Rectify (Sundance Channel)
This was a beautifully shot show, that was very artistically done. It took its own time with the storytelling, something it could never get away with anywhere else other than indie films you've never heard of. Most people who watched this show really loved it, and thought it was great right off the bat. I'm not one of those. I thought it was really well done (certainly deserving of the last spot on this list), but it's really here because of its potential. The lead character is largely untapped, and I'm looking forward to seeing him come out of whatever shell he's been hiding in since he entered prison. There's a whole lot to mine with this show, and if the next season is done well, it may leap up much higher on this list. If it doesn't deliver, it will probably fall out of the list, and might even end up on the lumps of coal list next year (as will The Americans, if it doesn't improve). If you're a patient viewer, this is well worth a watch. If you're not, this show definitely will not be for you.