We hope you had a Merry Christmas or whatever other wintery holiday you celebrate! We hope you've been enjoying your egg nog or whatever alcoholic medicine you traditionally suck down during your festivities! We hope you got the presents you wanted or had fun celebrating other strange customs after spending $500 to fly back to your parents' house! May God/Lucifer/George Clooney/Harpitrax the Lord of the Salamander Kingdom/Larry bless us, everyone! What we're trying to say is, we hope you had a happy holiday, friend. But now it's time to get down to business: Here is the next installment of our Top 100 Everything of 2013.
40. Congratulations to Caskett
Another wedding—or at least a wedding-to-be? There really were a lot of those on TV this year, weren't there? But we couldn't do a Top 100 Everything list and not include the betrothal of one of our favorite couples. After a season-finale cliffhanger that left Beckett with a big question to answer, Season 6 opened with some charming confusion (delivered in true Nathan Fillion fashion) that eventually yielded a heartwarming yes. We can't but look forward to Caskett's future nuptials, not to mention whatever comes afterward ("Senator Beckett" and three children, perhaps?).
39. Veronica Mars gets Kickstarted
Well if the studios won't do it, then the people will. That was Veronica Mars creator Rob Thomas's reasoning when he launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund a Veronica Mars feature film. The idea, which EASILY reached its goal and then some, roused hardcore fans' interest and brought up questions of the project's integrity: Was it a way for fans to prepay for a film that wouldn't get made otherwise, or was it a way for a movie studio to avoid risking investment dollars? Crowd-funding could be the future of media production. Or it could be a huge mistake. Either way, it was worth talking about for weeks. (Also, we can't wait to see the result!)
38. Deb is no downer for a disappointing Dexter
The final season of Dexter was TERRIBLE, but often still very watchable thanks to Jennifer Carpenter's wonderful performance as the ever-troubled sister of the series' titular killer-turned-lumberjack. The actress had already been carrying the show for a few years, but her work in the first quarter of the final season was particularly strong, as Deb struggled to find herself after shooting LaGuerta to protect her murderous sibling. As Deb stumbled through life—doing drugs, killing dudes just because, and legitimately trying to take her brother out with a nice car ride off a bridge—Carpenter hit all the proper notes for a character that was always saddled with lame writing and stupid sub-plots. The second half of the season didn't do her (or anyone else) any favors, and Deb didn't go out as she should have, but she still deserved some kind of awards love in 2013.
37. Juliette Barnes, Nashville's town drunk
When ABC's countrified soap opera was first announced, all the attention was on Connie Britton's casting as music superstar Rayna Jaymes. But by the end of Season 1, former indestructible cheerleader Hayden Panettiere had become the main reason to watch, for her portrayal of spoiled 'tween-country sensation Juliette Barnes, a vindictive viper in a tight skirt. And the most fun moment of Barnes' run on the series came at one of her low points, when she washed down her troubles with a few cases of vodka and champagne in "Why Don't You Love Me?" Girl got her swerve on 'til she was jelly-legged and it was glorious.
36. Futurama says goodbye with wedding bells
stranger to series finales, Futurama mined both
its cynical and sentimental streaks for what was definitely (probably)
its final swan song. “Meanwhile” indulged in plenty of black comedy, as
only a sitcom willing to violently kill its protagonist several dozen
times in a single act can. But then the focus honed in on Fry and Leela,
whose relationship has anchored many of the show’s strongest episodes,
wrapping up Futurama’s 10-season run gracefully and
PREVIOUSLY: Futurama Series Finale Review: A Glitch in Time
35. Spartacus says goodbye with a slaughter
Spartacus spilled plenty of blood in its finale, too, but without the help of any
science-y doohickeys to reverse the carnage. Yet despite the deaths of
most of the show’s main characters, including its eponymous hero,
“Victory” earned its title. For three full seasons and one miniseries, Spartacus thoughtfully and unflinchingly examined
power, freedom, loyalty, honor, courage, and death. And War of
the Damned made for a uniformly excellent final season,
driven by the contest of will, wits, and weaponry between the
gladiator’s rebel army and the force of the Roman Republic behind Marcus
Crassus and Julius Caesar. “Victory” offered a fitting crescendo,
viscerally and emotionally satisfying and jerking more than a few
tears—even before the brief final tribute to the series' deceased
original star, Andy Whitfield.
34. Klaus the vampire slayer
The Originals struggled at first. After two seasons of the Mikaelson's presence on The Vampire Diaries, we'd grown accustomed to the devious, insanely powerful, and surprisingly tender-hearted siblings, but it appeared that The Originals was hobbling the characters' crowd-pleasing strengths in order to increase dramatic conflict and/or make them [shudder] relatable. But even though the show took a few episodes to regain some of that balance, everything clicked into place immediately when Klaus single-handedly brawled with 100 vampires AND WON. Because THAT was what we wanted out of his character: an unstoppable force who will require MUCH smarter planning to bring down. His rage and imperviousness make him even more compelling during his quiet moments. Plus that extreme power is just more in line with the 1,000 years of revenge and horror we knew he'd wrought beforehand. And most of all, the brawl was just 100 percent A+ entertaining. Like its title characters, The Originals is finally at full-strength, and we couldn't be happier.
33. That look on Skyler and Walt Jr.'s faces in Breaking Bad's "Ozymandias"
We knew exactly what kind of monster Walter White had become by the time the incredibly brutal "Ozymandias" rolled around, but Walt himself did not (and neither did Walter Jr., for that matter). As the walls collapsed in on him, Walt made a last-ditch effort to protect his family, only to see his worst fears realized: They were scared to death of him. That was arguably the moment when Walter White—family man and loving father—truly died, and arguably the most difficult scene to watch in the entire series.
PREVIOUSLY: Breaking Bad: "Ozymandias" Review: Family Feud
32. Sundance rises
For the last several years, AMC has been critics' main darling and the home of lots of great television, with Mad Men and Breaking Bad and The Walking Dead. But in 2013, its kid sister Sundance Channel announced its presence in a huge way and wowed us with a new wave of art-house television: Rectify was a great first original program, Top of the Lake earned a spot on many year-end lists, and excellent French series The Returned might never have haunted America if the network hadn't imported it. Sundance's next project is The Red Road, and it automatically gets a season pass based on the channel's now-solid reputation.
31. Switched at Birth makes a bold move
The coolest thing done by an episode of television this year happened on ABC Family's Switched at Birth. Yep, Switched at Birth. The series, a youth-oriented drama featuring several deaf characters and actors, produced "Uprising," an episode that was done almost completely in American Sign Language. Sounds were muted and vocal dialogue was absent in an effort to show non-deaf viewers the daily experience of a deaf person. Yet it never felt like a gimmick, and never compromised story for what could have been merely a stunt. Outstanding stuff.