Wednesday, February 20, 2013

THE TV TALK BEST OF 2012 – RESULTS


After about a month of voting on the polls for the TV TALK BEST OF 2012, I bring to you the results. The Readers’ Choice are in bold and the TV TALK BEST OF 2012 are in blue.


These certainly were difficult choices, but eventually, I chose, and the reasons for my choices are explained below each category.

Series – Drama
BREAKING BAD
DAMAGES
DEXTER
DOWNTON ABBEY
THE GOOD WIFE
GREY’S ANATOMY
(Readers’ Choice)
HOMELAND
HOUSE MD
MAD MEN
THE NEWSROOM

The team behind DOWNTON ABBEY does an exceptionally brilliant job of putting together a period drama that portrays a shift in eras, the class distinctions and socio-cultural phenomena of the early 1900s, and a whole lot more from the past. In the last year especially, the series has beautifully reflected how Britain and Europe grew in the aftermath of World War I, telling compelling stories of people affected by the war, and how it all affected families and nobility, as they moved into the 1920s. The exceptional writing and packaging make it a well rounded TV series worthy of all the acclaim that it gets.


Series – Comedy/Musical
THE BIG BANG THEORY
(Readers’ Choice)
GLEE
HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER
MODERN FAMILY
WEB THERAPY

MODERN FAMILY has been extremely consistent since its first season, and the writers have not given anyone the opportunity to say that it’s not what it used to be, which is usually the case with most sitcoms. On the contrary, the last year has seen MODERN FAMILY evolve, with Cam and Mitch wanting to expand their family, Haley going off to college and coming back, Gloria’s pregnancy, Lily growing up into more of a character and so much more. The writers have handled it well, storylines have been fresh and exciting, and even the actors have delivered excellent performances.


Performance by an Actress in A Leading Role – Drama
Marcia Cross as Bree Van De Kamp
in DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES
Glenn Close as Patty Hewes in DAMAGES
Rose Byrne as Ellen Parsons in DAMAGES
Julianna Margulies as Alicia Florrick in THE GOOD WIFE
Ellen Pompeo as Meredith Grey in GREY’S ANATOMY
(Readers’ Choice)
Claire Danes as Carrie Matthison in HOMELAND 
Carrie Matthison’s bi-polar disorder and passionate desperation to save her country is brought to life in a compelling manner by Claire Danes. Especially in season two, when she succumbs to her illness, but gets drawn back into the game. Danes’ physical acting, her screaming and her hysterics reflect Carrie’s illness well, while Carrie’s vulnerabilities are also conveyed strongly by her.


Performance by an Actor in A Leading Role – Drama
Bryan Cranston as Walter White in BREAKING BAD
Michael C Hall as Dexter Morgan in DEXTER (Readers’ Choice)
Johnny Lee Miller as Sherlock Holmes in ELEMENTARY
Damian Lewis as Nicolas Brody in HOMELAND
Jeff Daniels as Will McAvoy in THE NEWSROOM
Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock Holmes in SHERLOCK 
While Damian Lewis did a great job as the closeted terrorist in HOMELAND’s first season, he did an even better job playing Brody in season two, bringing him to his knees, showing him in all his vulnerability and internal conflict, before Brody turns and becomes a double agent. His feelings for Carrie, his frustrations and his helplessness while not being able to do the right thing by his daughter were all portrayed brilliantly by Lewis.


Performance by an Actress in A
Leading Role – Comedy/Musical
Beth Behrs as Caroline Channing in 2 BROKE GIRLS
Kaley Cuoco as Penny in THE BIG BANG THEORY (Readers’ Choice)
Julia Louis-Dreyfus as Selina Meyer in VEEP
Lisa Kudrow as Fiona Wallace in Web THERAPY 
Lisa Kudrow is spectacular in portraying the sarcasm and condescending nature of Dr Fiona Wallice, in the therapy scenes. Her flirtation with Austen Clarke, and her frustration while interacting with Kip’s mistress are also handled excellently by Kudrow, who does a fine job of maintaining Wallice’s composure and subtlety, which makes it even more hilarious.


Performance by an Actor in A
Leading Role – Comedy/Musical
Jim Parsons as Sheldon Cooper in THE BIG BANG THEORY (Readers’ Choice)
Johnny Galecki as Leonard Hofstadter in THE BIG BANG THEORY
Breckin Meyer as Jared Franklin in FRANKLIN & BASH
Matthew Perry as Ryan King in GO ON
Michael Urie as Louis in PARTNERS 
Jim Parsons has been incredibly consistent in his portrayal of Sheldon Cooper. Especially in the last year, with Sheldon’s wisecracks towards Howard, who kept talking about being an astronaut, Sheldon’s developing relationship with Amy, and with storylines like those with his new assistant and his parking space.


Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role – Drama
Anna Gunn as Skyler White in BREAKING BAD
Jennifer Carpenter as Debra Morgan in DEXTER
Maggie Smith as Violet Crawley in DOWNTON ABBEY
Archie Panjabi as Kalinda Sharma in THE GOOD WIFE
Jessica Capshaw as Arizona Robins in GREY’S ANATOMY (Readers’ Choice)
Christina Hendricks as Joan Harris in MAD MEN 
Jennifer Carpenter had some really touchy material to work with in DEXTER this last year, with the incest angle, Debra finding out Dexter’s secret, revealing her feelings to him and then trying to protect him from getting caught…and her stellar performance gave us some shocking, heartbreaking and gut-wrenching moments in what was definitely one of the best seasons of the show.


Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role – Drama
Aaron Paul as Jesse Pinkman in BREAKING BAD
Larry Hagman as JR Ewing in DALLAS
Rob James Collier as Thomas Barrow in DOWNTON ABBEY
Peter Dinklage as Tyrion Lannister in GAME OF THRONES
John Slattery as Roger Sterling in MAD MEN
Ian Somerhalder as Damon Salvatore in THE VAMPIRE DIARIES (Readers’ Choice) 
Jesse Pinkman is impulsive, rash, arrogant, stubborn, childish, irresponsible, and yet he is vulnerable and has his own version of a moral compass, and Aaron Paul has done a tremendous job of bringing all of those dimensions to life, especially in the last year, as things went downhill for Jesse and Mr White, and with him committing a murder and then being scared for his life.


Performance by an Actress in a
Supporting Role – Comedy/Musical
Mayim Bialik as Amy Farrah Fowler in THE BIG BANG THEORY
Melissa Rauch as Bernadette Rostenkowski in THE BIG BANG THEORY
Cobie Smulders as Robin Sherbatsky in HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER (Readers’ Choice)
Julie Bowen as Claire Dunphy in MODERN FAMILY
Sofia Vergara as Gloria Pritchett in MODERN FAMILY
Ellen Barkin as Jane Forrest in THE NEW NORMAL 
Bialik gets this a second year in a row, because she has continued to be exceptional as Amy in THE BIG BANG THEORY over the last year, as Amy’s relationship with Sheldon has evolved, with Bialik doing a fantastic job of portraying intellectual stimulation, a need for attention, jealousy and even lust in an endearing and hilarious way.


Performance by an Actor in a
Supporting Role – Comedy/Musical
Kunal Nayar as Raj Koothrappalli in THE BIG BANG THEORY
Simon Helberg as Howard Walowitz in THE BIG BANG THEORY
Neil Patrick Harris as Barney Stinson in HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER (Readers’ Choice)
Eric Stonestreet as Cameron Tucker in MODERN FAMILY
Nolan Gould as Luke Dunphy in MODERN FAMILY
Ty Burrell as Phil Dunphy in MODERN FAMILY 
In the last year, Mitch and Cam’s growing concerns about parenting their daughter, and the depth of their relationship that we saw when their attempt to adopt a second child failed, was all handled exceptionally well by Stonestreet. It was a demanding year for him, and he delivered, even as he generally continued the great job that he does on the show.


Performance by a Guest Actress in a TV Series – Drama
Martha Plimpton as Patti Nyholm in THE GOOD WIFE
Zuleikha Robinson as Roya Hammad in HOMELAND
Jane Fonda as Leona Lansing in THE NEWSROOM
Alfre Woodard as Dee Bennett in PRIVATE PRACTICE
(Readers’ Choice)
Kate Burton as Sally Langston in SCANDAL
 Fonda certainly made a big impact with her short stint in THE NEWSROOM. Her subtle glances in the conference room, her demeanor and her powerful dialogue delivery, to show that Lansing was indeed the boss and powerful enough to do real harm to Will McAvoy, were all outstandingly carried out.


Performance by a Guest Actor in a TV Series – Drama
Andrew Leeds as Christopher Pelant in BONES Jason Beghe as Det Voight in CHICAGO FIRE
Michael J Fox as Louis Canning in THE GOOD WIFE (Readers’ Choice)
Rupert Friend as Peter Quinn in HOMELAND
Jason Ritter as Mark Cyr in PARENTHOOD
Ray Romano as Hank Rizzoli in PARENTHOOD 
Michael J Fox does a fantastic and a very memorable job of playing Louis Canning, the attorney who’s always up against Alicia, Will and Diane. His shenanigans in court, the games he plays, with his condition, his speech and movements are spot-on, because of the brilliant job that Fox does.


Performance by a Guest Actress in a
TV Series – Comedy/Musical
Sarah Jessica Parker as Isabelle Wright in GLEE
Kate Hudson as Cassandra July in GLEE (Readers’ Choice)
Meryl Streep as Camilla Bowner in WEB THERAPY
Julia Louis-Dreyfus as Shevaun Haig in WEB THERAPY 
Camilla Bowner was annoying and frustrating, yet funny and charming. Her naivety and bigoted beliefs were brought to life beautifully and hilariously by Meryl Streep, who just can’t seem to do anything wrong!




Performance by a Guest Actor
in a TV Series – Comedy/Musical
Iqbal Theba as Principal Figgins in GLEE (Readers’ Choice)
Matthew Broderick as Dave in MODERN FAMILY
Reid Ewing as Dylan in MODERN FAMILY
Alan Cumming as Austen Clarke in WEB THERAPY
David Schwimmer as Newell L Miller in WEB THERAPY 
From his charm while wooing Fiona Wallice, to his irritation towards Kip Wallice, and his arrogance about being rich and powerful, Austen Clarke was portrayed excellently by Alan Cumming. I certainly hope we see more of him on WEB THERAPY.


Writing
DAMAGES
DEXTER
DOWNTON ABBEY
THE GOOD WIFE
HOMELAND
MODERN FAMILY 

DOWNTON ABBEY shows us British high society in the early 1900s, as well as the working class, with all the distinctions made very clear, while also portraying how much respect even the nobility have for their servants. The finer details of the time, like the demeanor, language and actions, are beautifully highlighted, while the lifestyles are elegantly portrayed. Along with that, the dialogues are even witty and entertaining when required; and who can forget the Dowager Countess’ priceless one-liners! All of the above is only achieved through excellent writing.


Character Development
DAMAGES
DEXTER
GREY’S ANATOMY
HOMELAND
PARENTHOOD 
In a season when Debra found out Dexter’s secret, when Dexter found someone he could be himself with, when Debra revealed her secret feelings for Dexter, and when they both had to make some very tough choices, the writers handled the development of their characters with finesse, and with the subtleties that were required for it all to make sense, and to make for a brilliant season.


Art Direction
BREAKING BAD
CHICAGO FIRE
DOWNTON ABBEY
GAME OF THRONES
GREY’S ANATOMY
MAD MEN


The library, the drawing room, the bedrooms, the dining room, the servants’ dining room, the kitchen, the fairs, the cricket camp, the train stations and trains, the streets, the hospital and even the offices that we’ve seen in DOWNTON ABBEY are all put together to reflect the show’s era with perfection, down to the vintage cars and telephones.


Costume Design
DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES
DOWNTON ABBEY
GAME OF THRONES
GOSSIP GIRL
MAD MEN 
The subtleties in the socio-cultural change that we’ve seen in the years that DOWNTON ABBEY has portrayed have been reflected beautifully through costume design. Whether it’s the Dowager Countess’ traditional attire, or the more modern dresses from the flamboyant twenties that the younger women wear, DOWNTON ABBEY gets it all just right, including the menswear!


Make-Up & Hair –
Prosthetic/Non-Prosthetic
DEXTER
DOWNTON ABBEY
MAD MEN
GREY’S ANATOMY
GAME OF THRONES
HOUSE MD 
When it comes to make-up, the people behind the scenes at GREY’S ANATOMY leave no stone unturned, to show scars, wounds, injuries, growths, rashes, abrasions, skin abnormalities and all the other conditions that we see in the ER and ORs of Seattle Grace Mercy West, making them look so real. And no one else does it like they do!


Music – Background Score
CHICAGO FIRE
DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES
DEXTER
DOWNTON ABBEY
THE GOOD WIFE
HOMELAND 
Fast-paced action and chase sequences need an effective background score to give them a tone like nothing else can. While composers can go overboard with it, I feel that in DEXTER, the music lent to not just the scenes that are action packed, but also those that are more pensive, is ideal. Very few shows are scored as well as DEXTER is.


Music – Compilation
THE GOOD WIFE
GOSSIP GIRL
GREY’S ANATOMY
PRIVATE PRACTICE
THE VAMPIRE DIARIES 
The songs in THE GOOD WIFE are few and far in between, but they capture the mood of the scenes that they are featured in, with brilliance. The first few episodes of the latest seasons, especially, began with catchy tracks that did so, very well, setting the tone perfectly for the episodes.



Titles – Opening & Closing Credits
DOWNTON ABBEY
DEXTER
ELEMENTARY
GAME OF THRONES
THE NEWSROOM
PARENTHOOD 

The three-dimensional map of the Westeros and the kingdoms featured in the fictional world that GAME OF THRONES is set in, are shown in perfection in the opening credits of the show. The mechanics and gears, the landscape and climatic conditions are all reflected beautifully, with a haunting opening theme in the background, capturing the kingdoms in all their glory.


Fine Print
▪ The eligible series are those that I follow (2 BROKE GIRLS, 90210, AMERICAN IDOL, THE BIG BANG THEORY, BLUE BLOODS, BODY OF PROOF, BONES, BREAKING BAD, CASTLE, CHICAGO FIRE, DALLAS, DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES, DAMAGES, DEXTER, DOWNTON ABBEY, ELEMENTARY, FRANKLIN & BASH, GAME OF THRONES, GLEE, GO ON, THE GOOD WIFE, GOSSIP GIRL, GREY'S ANATOMY, HOMELAND, HOUSE MD, HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER, MAD MEN, MODERN FAMILY, THE NEW NORMAL, THE NEWSROOM, PARENTHOOD, PARTNERS, PRIVATE PRACTICE, REVENGE, SCANDAL, SHERLOCK, SUITS, THE VAMPIRE DIARIES, VEEP, WEB THERAPY, WHITE COLLAR) ▪ The episodes being judged are those that have aired in the year 2012 ▪ The maximum number of nominees for Best Series (Drama and Comedy/Musical) is 10 ▪ The minimum number of nominees for Best Series (Drama and Comedy/Musical) is 5 ▪ The maximum number of nominees for all other categories is 6 ▪ The minimum number for all other categories is 4 ▪ The ‘Readers’ Choice’ is based on the polls alongside ▪ The other ‘Best of…’ are according to my judgment ▪ The ‘TV TALK Best Of 2012’ is only an expression of what I considered as excellence in television in the year 2012 ▪



Who did you vote for? Did your TV favorites of 2012 win the polls?

3 comments:

  1. The TALLY:
    DOWNTON ABBEY 4
    DEXTER 3
    WEB THERAPY 3
    HOMELAND 2
    MODERN FAMILY 2
    THE BIG BANG THEORY 2
    THE GOOD WIFE 2
    BREAKING BAD 1
    GAME OF THRONES 1
    GREY’S ANATOMY 1
    THE NEWSROOM 1

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  2. I've really started enjoying Web Therapy so I'm glad it's won some awards :)

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  3. @Ruchika WEB THERAPY is a very well-written show. It's intelligent humor really and appeals to a those who can truly appreciate what sarcasm and wit can do in good comedy. And it takes some good performances to convey that, which the show has plenty of.

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