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?
Robin Thicke admits he didn't write 'Blurred Lines'music
Review: Cilla, ITV TV
To mark Tolstoy's 186th birthdaybooks
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Scottish independence: Ireland since 1919 is a lesson for Scotland in what a Yes vote means
- 2 A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
- 3 Grandmas keep accidentally tagging themselves as Grandmaster Flash on Facebook
- 4 Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
- 5 Kanye West stops concert after two fans don't stand up - doesn't realise one is in wheelchair and the other disabled
Fifty Shades of Grey movie: New picture of Anastasia Steele unveiled
Star Trek 3 to begin shooting within six months
Lego breaks out of the toy box and heads for the gallery
The Walking Dead season 5 air date, trailer and season 4 recap
Robin Thicke’s hit 'Blurred Lines' lands him in court, and he had 'almost no part' in writing it
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
The political class is doing what Hitler couldn’t – destroying Britain
Scottish independence: Nationalist leader Jim Sillars threatens pro-union companies with 'day of reckoning' after independence
Scottish independence: Yes campaign feels the heat as Alex Salmond's NHS claims come under furious attack
Portuguese academic says British are 'filthy, violent and drunk'
£23m Birmingham cycle scheme is attacked by Tory councillor for not catering to the elderly