And now I give you my favorite television episodes of the year. These also happen to be a few of my favorite shows on the air right now. Are there any episodes you think I missed? Please let me know in the comments section below!
Friday Night Lights "Always"
I was incredibly sad to see this phenomenal series come to an end. However, the finale was one of the best series finales I have ever seen. They wrapped everything up perfectly and you got to see where each of the main characters was heading in their future lives. The East Dillon Lions win the Texas State Championship, Vince is the captain of the new Dillon Panthers super-team, Coach and Tami move to Philadelphia for Tami's new job, Julie moves to Chicago to be with Matt, Luke heads off to the Army and Billy and Tim start building Tim's house. Over five seasons this show gave us a lot of heart and it will definitely go down as one of my favorite series ever. Clear Eyes, Full Hearts, Can't Lose.
Sons of Anarchy "Hands"
The entire fourth season of Sons of Anarchy was awesome, but this was my favorite because it was the biggest game-changer. The club does not know that Piney is dead let alone that Clay killed him, ATF has Juice in custody and Sheriff Roosevelt is starting to question their methods. By the end of the episode, Tara has lost her career and the only thing that kept her from becoming completely immersed in Old Lady-life, Jax is more determined to take his family and leave Charming and Gemma has lost faith in her husband and knows he must be killed because he cannot be saved. This show is so well-written and even better acted. It has become about so much more than a motorcycle club and every season it just keeps getting better and better. Kurt Sutter might be crazy, but he is a crazy genius.
Happy Endings "Spooky Endings"
It took me a couple episodes to get used to the humor of this show, but now I love it. In this particular episode, Jane and Brad spend Halloween in the suburbs house-sitting for friends and end up having to defend the house against mischievous teenagers. The rest of the gang go to a warehouse costume party where Penny and Max dress as a mother wearing a baby bjorn, Dave dresses as Austin Powers but keeps getting mistaken for Elton John and Alex dresses as Marilyn but is sick and gets mistaken for a man. This show is pretty awesome and I find it even more awesome after each episode.
The Vampire Diaries "The Sun Also Rises"
It has been another great year from The Vampire Diaries. The end of season two was phenomenal and season three is already off to a great start. The penultimate episode from season two was by far my favorite episode of the series thus far. A ritual to release an original vampire's dormant werewolf half that requires the deaths of a werewolf, a vampire and the doppelganger. That in itself is a great plot, but add to that two parents giving up their lives in order to save their child, a vengeful brother whose loyalties you are unsure of and the potential sacrifice of a boyfriend for the woman he loves and you have yourself an episode that keeps you on the edge of your seat. Every time I watch this episode I need to keep a box of tissues next to me at all times. If you have not started watching this show yet, you need to get on that right now before you miss too much else!
New Girl "Thanksgiving"
This show is absolutely hilarious and every single episode is fantastic. However, the Thanksgiving episode has been my favorite so far this season. The gang tries to make Thanksgiving dinner so that Jess can impress a guy who is just is as quirky as her. The guys give her date a hard time at first, but soon start to grow fond of him. Of course, nothing ever goes as planned on a sit-com and they end up destroying the dryer while using it to thaw out the turkey and finding their neighbor dead after relocating into her apartment. What could be more hilarious than that?! :o)
Prime Suspect "Bitch"
I am a little sad that more people did not watch this show because it really was great. I picked this as my favorite episode because of one scene in particular. Detectives Timoney, Calderon and Blando are trying to figure out if a suspect could have run from a restaurant to the location of a murder in the amount of time that he was absent from his date. Timoney tries running first, but she is a smoker and barely makes it down the block before doubling over to catch her breath. Calderon tries next but he runs way too fast, the other two comparing him to a Kenyan. Finally, Blando starts running and actually goes at a regular pace. It may not sound that fantastic when I describe it, but was definitely a very funny scene. In general, this show was gritty, well acted and very well written. I am sorry that we will not get a chance to see more of it next year.
Community "Remedial Chaos Theory"
Troy and Abed throw and housewarming party and when the pizza arrives Jeff decides to roll the dice to see who has to go meet the delivery guy. This leaves Abed to ponder six different alternate realities. It was the most creative episode of the year from any TV show and, in general, this is the most creative show on right now. I blows my mind that more people are not watching it because it is so funny and so well written. For your enjoyment, here are all seven time-lines at once:
Honorable Mentions: Justified "Bloody Harlan," The Vampire Diaries "Ghost World," New Girl "Bells," The Good Wife "Closing Arguments" and Shameless "Casey Casden."
I have seen Game of Thrones and, while I thought that the whole season was fantastic, I did not include any of the episodes in my list. I read the book before I watched the series so during the first viewing I mostly just compared the two. I feel like I need to watch it again in order to fully appreciate the series separate from the book. I also have not had the chance to watch the most recent season of Breaking Bad, so that has not been included in my list either.
I wish you all a very Happy New Year and look forward to writing for you and hearing from you in 2012!