‘Game of Thrones’
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Mary McNamara’s best TV shows of 2013

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

MORE: Meet the cast without their costumes (Lacey Terrell / HBO)
‘Orange Is the New Black’
Proof that Netflix can bring more than Instant Binge. Redefines drama, comedy, narrative form, possibly the universe.

MORE: Before they were on ‘Orange is the New Black’ (Paul Shiraldi / Netflix)
‘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.

MORE: Photos of every season, every episode | Vince Gilligan shares alternate endings (Ursula Coyote / AMC)
‘The Good Wife’
This miraculous hybrid of character-driven drama and canny procedural proves that “prestige” is not limited to cable.

MORE: Q&A with lead actress Julianna Margulies (David Giesbrecht / CBS Entertainment)
‘Rectify’
The story of a death row prisoner suddenly released is a mind-altering experience. Utterly different, completely hypnotic.

MORE: Video chat with lead actor Aden Young (Annette Brown / Sundance Channel)
‘Enlightened’
In this fearless look at the magnificence and absurdity of real change, obsession never seemed so real, so hilarious or so important.

MORE: Q&A with lead actress Laura Dern (Lacey Terrell / HBO)
‘Borgen’
I usually hate it when critics go goopy over foreign TV, but “Borgen” is terrific. Strong women, strong men, realpolitik indeed.

MORE: Read the review (Mike Kolloffel / KCET)
‘Last Tango in Halifax’
Derek Jacobi and Anne Reid play Yorkshire pensioners who reunite, to the consternation of their families. Sublime.

MORE: Read the review (Matt Squire / PBS)
‘Homeland’
Hard to match a perfect first season but still admirably ambitious and continually provocative.

MORE: Q&A with ‘Homeland’s’ Mandy Patinkin (Kent Smith / Showtime)
‘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. (Patrick Redmond / PBS)
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