Best of 2013: Mary McNamara picks ‘Game of Thrones,’ ‘Breaking Bad’

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Los Angeles Times Television Critic

In this time when news is disseminated ever more quickly, we asked our critics to list the best of culture in 2013 in tweet form:

“Game of Thrones.” Narratively, thematically, cinematically and geographically the most ambitious TV show ever.

“Orange Is the New Black.” Proof that Netflix can bring more than Instant Binge. Redefines drama, comedy, narrative form, possibly the universe.


“Breaking Bad.” A microcosm of mayhem turned the antihero on his head, emptied his pockets, stripped him naked and called it a day. Control never had it so good.

“The Good Wife.” This miraculous hybrid of character-driven drama and canny procedural proves that “prestige” is not limited to cable

GRAPHIC: Best of 2013 | Entertainment and culture

“Parks and Recreation.” Bravely optimistic in a sardonic world, Amy Poehler oversees the best ensemble in comedy in a complicated dance of joy and hilarity.

“Rectify.” The story of a death row prisoner suddenly released is a mind-altering experience. Utterly different, completely hypnotic.

“Enlightened.” In this fearless look at the magnificence and absurdity of real change, obsession never seemed so real, so hilarious or so important.


“Borgen.” I usually hate it when critics go goopy over foreign TV, but “Borgen” is terrific. Strong women, strong men, realpolitik indeed.

“Last Tango in Halifax.” Derek Jacobi and Anne Reid play Yorkshire pensioners who reunite, to the consternation of their families. Sublime.

“Homeland.” Hard to match a perfect first season but still admirably ambitious and continually provocative.

“Foyle’s War.” In a modern field of broken men and imagined apocalypses, a quiet hero deals with historically real mayhem. Never leave us, DCI Foyle.

Twitter: @marymacTV