As we speak, my DVR is groaning under the weight of more high-quality, and only occasionally lowbrow, television programming than I ever thought possible.
The Honey Boo Boos and “Guys with Kids” of the world be damned; This was another fantastic year in television.
As the days in 2012 dwindle, I thought it best to recap the TV shows that have made the past 12 months so darn enjoyable.
5. “Mad Men” — After an 18-month hiatus, Don Draper returned to rave reviews and fans frothing with anticipation. The result was a solid, if not unremarkable, season that delivered more question than answers about the future of Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce and the show’s leading man.
4. “The Mind of a Chef” — The airwaves are saturated with cooking and food shows but none better than Momofuku chef David Chang’s new show on PBS. Part-travel show, part talk-and-stir, totally awesome.
3. “The Newsroom” — I’m a devout Sorkin fanboy and this show did not disappoint. The bin Laden episode is one of my favorite hours of television ever.
2. “Girls” — Let’s be honest, we all wanted to hate this HBO comedy about entitled, 20-something girls living in Brooklyn, but no one did. Undeniably smart and honest.
1. “Louie” — The most unflinching, thought-provoking show on television. Hilariously funny, sad and sometimes confusing, Louis CK’s semi-autobiographical comedy never ceases to impress and move me.
Honorable mentions: “Gallery Girls”; “So You Think You Can Dance?”; “Breaking Bad”; “The Inbetweeners”; “The League”; “Parks and Recreation”; and “Modern Family”