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September 26, 2013

TV’s best season ever?

I didn’t watch the Emmy’s, but I still didn’t like ’em. It’s not that I disagree with who got the Emmys (although I do). Rather, this TV year is a disproof of the Emmy’s premise. It has been arguably TV’s greatest year, too big for picking single favorites.

Much of this has to do with the flowering of the “100-hour narrative,” as Steven Johnson calls it. Stir in the way the Internet and the rise of DVRs and on-demand TV have returned control of our interest to us, and you have an amazing year of TV. I’m not even going to be able to list all the obviously great shows: Breaking Bad, Mad Men, Game of Thrones. Even flawed shows had their perfections: the plummy acting on House of Cards, the delicious noir-ness of Justified, the incredible acting turns on Dexter. Yes, Dexter. Jennifer Carpenter was consistently amazing on that show as Dexter’s sister, and Michael C. Hall did a great job with a character who at heart was 85% gimmick. So You Think You Can Dance had an astounding year. (Try to ignore the audience sounds, and the Jenna Elfman sounds, for that matter. BTW, I’m also quite fond of this…and it’s not even his best work.) Even The Office had a great last season.

Now you’re going to want to be annoyed with me because I left out shows you thought were great. Good! You’re making my point. This was an amazing year for TV.

And from this set — much larger than these examples — you’re going to pick one best actor or one best drama? Give it up, Emmys. Give it up.

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