2013 - the year in review: The best TV of the Year
Ellen E Jones
Ellen is The Independent's TV critic. She writes a daily review of Last Night's TV and a weekly 'Inside TV' column for the i paper, as well as a column on general topics for the main paper most Wednesdays. Ellen is a former Hollywood correspondent and a contributing editor to Little White Lies, she's written on TV, film, lifestyle, travel and politics for publications including the Guardian, The Times, The Sunday Times, Esquire and Total Film.
Saturday 28 December 2013
Breaking Bad, Netflix
2013 was the year internet TV went mainstream. Netflix original series such as House of Cards and Orange Is The New Black both made for addictive viewing, but it was Breaking Bad’s pitch-perfect finale that finally convinced the last stragglers to subscribe.
Gogglebox, Channel 4
It shouldn’t work, but it does. Watching other people watch telly turns out to be not only fantastic entertainment, but also a timely reminder of telly’s power to bring us together, even in the age of personal devices and multiple channels.
Toast of London, Channel 4
Toast of London is co-written by Father Ted’s Arthur Mathews and stars Matt Berry as the fruity-voiced actor Stephen Toast. We need only list a few character names to convince you of its genius: Clem Fandango, Kikini Bamalam, Yvonne Wryly, Hamilton Meathouse and Dinky Frinkbuster.
Top of the Lake, BBC2
There are a lot of TV detective shows about missing girls, but there’s nothing else like Top of the Lake. Set in rural New Zealand, it combined breathtaking scenery with eerie atmosphere and a heart-rending central performance from Mad Men’s Elisabeth Moss.
Yonderland, Sky One
In the year that Monty Python announced their reunion, we also discovered their true heirs. The team behind Horrible Histories made this supremely silly fantasy adventure in which “the chosen mum” Debbie must save the puppet-populated world of Yonderland.
Discovery of the Year
TLC, Launched 30 April
Besides sharing a name with the 90s girl group, the new freeview channel TLC provides a valuable public service. Not with prestige drama, or powerful current affairs programming, but with the kind of gloriously trashy reality TV that hangovers were made for. Highlights include Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, Mob Wives and Breaking Amish.
Turkey of the Year
The X Factor, ITV
The ratings are in terminal decline, the judges have run out of things to say and, after 10 years, it appears the country has also run out of singing talent. This series, even lovely Dermot looked like he’d rather be somewhere – anywhere – else: So why, oh why has ITV signed The X Factor up for another three years?
Broadcaster unveils Christmas scheduleTV
Jeff Fletcher found fame in 1990s
'At times I thought he was me'film
Review: One Direction, Fourmusic
Review: The World of Ice and Firebooks
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Tamir Rice: 12-year-old boy playing with fake gun dies after being shot by Ohio police
- 2 To help fuel their propaganda machine against the poor, our government has now decided to redefine the word 'welfare'
- 3 Black Friday 2014: Opening hours for John Lewis, Asda, PC World, GAME and Argos
- 4 Bill Cosby: Isn’t it obvious why his accusers have stayed silent up until now?
- 5 Jeremy Hunt: 'I took my children to A&E because I didn't want to wait for GP appointment'
Black Mirror Christmas special: Jon Hamm episode will see people 'blocked' in real life
Doctor Who Christmas Special 2014: Ominous 'Last Christmas' title could signal Jenna Coleman's departure
Zoella: YouTube sensation Zoe Sugg's debut novel expected to become overnight bestseller
Nightclubbing with Richard Young: The story behind his latest book of celebrity photographs
Naked free runner captured in breathtaking photographs above London's streets
Rochester by-election: Ukip gains second MP as Tory defector Mark Reckless holds seat
'Beast of Bolsover' Dennis Skinner takes Ukip MP Mark Reckless to task moments after he is sworn in
Rochester by-election: Labour MP Emily Thornberry resigns after posting white van and England flags tweet
The young are the new poor: Sharp increase in number of under-25s living in poverty, while over-65s are better off than ever
Revealed: How the world gets rich – from privatising British public services
Exclusive: UK approved £7m Israeli arms sales in six months before Gaza conflict