's Top 100 Everything of 2012, Vol. 6: Items 50-41

By Staff

Dec 28, 2012

Remember all that stuff we said about the last five installments of our Top 100 being good and all that? Those were lies! No one cares about the bottom 50, it's all about the TOP 50. Who can honestly tell number 57 from number 89? We sure can't, and we're the bozos who made this list! So now let's get to the REAL good stuff:'s Top 50 Everything of Television 2012!

We'll trot out our picks 10 at a time, continuing through the end of the year, so check back regularly to see what else made the cut or to learn how to count down from 100.

50. Jonny Lee Miller's native accent

Miller has been poised to break out in America for a long time now, but he wasn't going to do it without the right role and the right accent. Miller is British, and his Americanese on Eli Stone just didn't work for audiences. But on CBS's new drama Elementary, the man's New-York-by-way-of-London Sherlock Holmes can go full-on "Jolly Ho!" and "Crumpets" all he wants, and it works.

49. Liz Lemon and Criss Chross tie the knot

Despite some critics' complaints that 30 Rock has gotten too cartoonish in its old age, we think it's been as strong and as sharp as ever this year, and we love that the series is pulling out all all the stops in its final season. "Mazel Tov, Dummies!" took Liz and Criss from living together to engaged to married in 22 minutes thanks to their hastily planned, out-of-nowhere nuptials—which were inspired by the Beeper King's ability to easily adopt a child just because he was hitched. The pair exchanged their "I Dos" in a City Hall ceremony only 30 Rock could pull off, one that was perfectly matched to both the show and the happy couple. Plus the whole ordeal executed a pretty spot-on send-up of the wedding industry and "women want to be princesses" culture.

48. The Good Wife goes whole ham

The excellent "Another Ham Sandwich" was was rife with confrontation not to mention such delights as Wendy Scott Carr completely losing control of her grand jury ("I have the emails right here..."), Will and Diane dancing in victory, and Alicia doing what she could to prevent her affair with Will from becoming public record and known to her kids. And that slap, hoo boy, that slap—leave it to The Good Wife to pull off something as soapy as a public face-smacking in a shockingly believable way.

Previously: The Good Wife "Another Ham Sandwich" Review: Slap Happy

47. Dr. House is out

The series finale of Fox's medical drama put a lid on eight seasons' worth of odd diseases and vicious putdowns in sappy but appropriate fashion when we saw the good doctor in the window of a burning build which collapsed and then, just for good measure, exploded. OMG House died! And we legitimately believed it! Until he texted his dying BFF Wilson in the middle of Wilson's snarky eulogy. Then the pair rode off to live the rest of their lives, one of them soon to be dead and one of them presumed to be dead.

Previously: House's Series Finale: Cancer's Boring

46. NBC airs the pilot of Mockingbird Lane

Whether or not Bryan Fuller's Munsters remake ever becomes a series is beside the point. We're just thrilled that a network decided to air something that it had already paid for that we all wanted to see. Will other networks follow? We hope so. And we especially hope NBC will eventually show us that damn Wonder Woman pilot that got away. As for Mockingbird Lane itself, it was surprisingly good! And it featured a kid in a yellow sleeping bag exploding!

Previously: Mockingbird Lane "Halloween Special" Review: Corny on the Macabre

45. Brett Gelman

You've seen him in Go On as Mr. K. And possibly on The Office as a magician. You maybe saw him on Eagleheart as Brett Mobley. It's unlikely you noticed him as the principal in MTV's The Inbetweeners. You probably missed that episode of Comedy Bang Bang where he played a dog lawyer (a lawyer for dogs, not a dog who is a lawyer). But this is the year you learned his name: Brett Gelman.

Previously: Poll: Who Are the Best New Characters of the Fall 2012 TV Season?

44. Parenthood lands on Planet Cancer

NBC's consistently underrated family drama makes us cry like no other show on television, and while there've been plenty of big "events" this year—including Crosby and Jasmine getting married and Ray Romano's Hank showing up and exploding Sarah and Mark—Kristina's breast cancer arc rules them all. Before this season, we probably hated on Adam and Kristina more than anyone else on the show, but the gravity of Planet Cancer has pulled us off that course for good. We not only have new sympathy for those two characters, we're rooting for an underdog Emmy nomination for Monica Potter, because her performance has been flat-out awesome.

Previously: Parenthood "I'll Be Right Here" Review: All the Cuts Are the Deepest

43. Nashville's duets

Integrating music as a vital component of a scripted television series is tough to pull off without entering cheeseball territory, but ABC's new country soap excels at it by thematically connecting the music and the narrative in a way that seems natural. And nothing is working better than the show's duets, like Rayna and Deacon's at the Bluebird (above) or Scarlett and Gunnar's impromptu mutual serenade.

42. New Girl's "True American" drinking game

New Girl really hit its stride in 2012, with the end of Season 1 and the start of Season 2 transforming the young Fox comedy from an "adorkable" freshman to a seriously funny (and sweet) sophomore sitcom. The show has given us so many good moments as of late—that ridiculous Russian cracker commercial, Winston's dramatic reading of Nick's zombie novel, Schmidt's "va-genius" description of how to pleasure a woman—but for us, the gang's True American drinking game, from Season 1's "Normal," still tops them all. Not only was the game hilarious, the episode itself was one of last season's best. JFK!

Previously: New Girl "Normal" Review: Trouble in Paradise

41. Owen's death on Boardwalk Empire

Based on its reputation, you wouldn't expect Boardwalk Empire to be the show that delivered one of the most shocking moments on TV this year. However, when Steve Buscemi's Nucky opened a mysterious package in the middle of the night to find the dead body of his number-two Owen stuffed inside, it blindsided both Nuck and the audience. Buscemi and Kelly MacDonald's performances nailed the perfect mix of fear, shock, and regret as Boardwalk reminded us once again that no character is safe, no matter how much we want them to be.

Previously: Boardwalk Empire "A Man, a Plan" Review: Special Delivery

  • Comments (31)
Add a Comment
In reply to :
  • deemac Jan 03, 2013

    i think new girl is the only show that is making me laugh out loud these days... whoever writes schmit is a genius. I'm also a huge fan of drunk Nick, he kills me every time.

  • YiWernYoong Jan 01, 2013

    nashville duets! owen's death! and Mr K all definite highlights in my 2012 TV viewing :)

  • juan137946 Dec 30, 2012

    Monica Potter deserves her emmy after this increadible season, also all the music on Nashville has been great, even if I don't love most country music. True American was great as well

  • Gold_Ruby Dec 29, 2012

    Yes on Owen's death! Nobody in the show gets a happy ending ever, but to go out dead in a box is still pretty shocking. It was not like Jimmy's death since they kept throwing out Oedipus hints at the last half of the season.

  • shootingstar609 Dec 29, 2012

    So many good things in this part of the list: the House series finale is by far my favorite. I wondered how the writers would write the end of the show and didn't really know what to expect. But I think this was the best possible way to end the show.
    Jonny Lee Miller! I really like him as an actor.

  • JT_Kirk Dec 28, 2012

    Hey, alright, a dig at my criticisms in #49 while the picture shows Liz Lemon getting married in a PRINCESS LEIA COSTUME with REAL HAIR HAIRBUNS. Not cartoony at all, nooooo.

    Oh man, that Good Wife episode was so good! Great job calling out an 11-month-back episode, that one was very much worth it, some great acting and lots of story action without feeling like a soap opera.

    Hmm, House's mediocre finale ranks this high, I found it a shallow episode lacking emotional impact a finale should warrant.

    That Wonder Woman pilot sound intriguing until you actually see pieces of it, then you realize NBC definitely should be barred by law from airing a single frame of it. Syfy on the other hand might be able to use it for Saturday shlockfest, same corporate parent too.

  • Sbriseno07 Dec 28, 2012

    I have known about 1 spot on the list and it was #66 Drugs in general. This list is not for me this year.

  • smithinjapan Dec 28, 2012

    Yeah, Owen's death was a COMPLETE shock. Thought for sure it was going to be the Italian in the box, but it was perfect, and MacDonald's reaction is the perfect example of how no exposition is truly needed. Brilliant.

  • ElisaDiaz Dec 28, 2012

    At least this time I knew 6 of the listed shows... looking forward to next installments of the list!

  • mochadude Dec 28, 2012

    whats with the unevenness of posting times of these volumes?

  • smithinjapan Dec 28, 2012

    My guess is that it takes time, especially over the holidays. It also takes time to read, and to read them all at once would eliminate the ability to enjoy them little by little until year's end.

  • Gislef Dec 28, 2012

    The holidays...? Technically, staff isn't even supposed to be back at work until next week.

  • TVcom_editorial Staff Dec 28, 2012

    The holidays for sure! Technically we're on vacation, and these things take a while to put together. Plus we had some technical difficulties earlier in the week that set us back a bit. But don't worry, we are pressing on! Vol. 7 will be up a little later today.

  • smithinjapan Dec 31, 2012

    Dude, I'm on holidays, and here I am. The shitty part is I'm not being paid like they are (or may be).

  • See More Comments (13)