With contenders like Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, and Homeland, televised entertainment had a lot to live up to this year. Despite this, 2013 brought in some fantastic new series that may just overthrow these powerhouses.
Here are the top 5 new series of 2013!
5. Brooklyn Nine-Nine
In all honesty, I did not have very high hopes for this one, but against all odds, it found a place in my heart. Andy Samberg and Andre Braugher make for a surprisingly charming pair, using their comedic talents to bring this workplace comedy to life. On that point, Brooklyn Nine-Nine’s workplace comedy approach provides a refreshing step away from the typical cop show format that is bogging most networks down. Although the series occasionally relies on the ability of its actors to make anything sound funny, overall, the series recognizes what it is and plays to its strengths.
4. Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
This one had a lot of hype prior to its release, which is not surprising given all that it represented. In addition to it being a live-action spin off of the successful Marvel Cinematic Universe, it was also Joss Whedon’s return to television (something Firefly fans had been demanding for years). While it never quite lives up to the epic proportions of its cinematic counterparts, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. provides a new slew of engaging characters and complex storylines that keeps its viewers on edge.
3. Masters of Sex
To be honest, I didn’t expect much from this show when I first heard about it. With a name like “Masters of Sex,” I couldn’t help but think it was one of those late night trash series with paper-thin plots and similarly paired acting. Although the title could use some work, the episodes are smartly written, aptly performed, and skillfully directed, giving a unique look at human sexuality, gender roles, and taboos.
2. House of Cards
After the subpar additions of Hemlock Grove and Arrested Development, I admit that I was a bit reluctant to give a Netflix Original another shot. But when I saw that Kevin Spacey was at the helm, I decided to take a shot. I’m glad I did, as House of Cards is a welcome addition to episodic entertainment that will leave major networks quivering in their boots. Although the dialogue can sometimes seem a bit lazily thrown together, the cast more than makes up for this with subtle, yet effective performances that gives the series some gut-wrenching moments. It almost makes me want to watch Orange is the New Black (almost…).
James Spader continues to surprise me with how creepy he can be by just staring. There are certain actors out there that seem to be made for television dramas (in a good way). Spader is certainly one of them, as he gives The Blacklist a depth and genuine quality that everything else on the shows centers around. Although it occasionally falls into the monotonous formula of every other crime drama, the pointed dialogue and intriguing characters keep things fresh and worthwhile.