Something You Said’s best TV shows of 2013

breaking bad

Remember when television was terrible? Nothing but Godawful Big Brother and soaps? Not any more. With countless outstanding productions hitting our screens again in 2013, we’ve been truly spoilt for choice. Here are’s Top 20 shows of the year, as voted for by our team of contributors.


For the second year running, Breaking Bad absolutely romped to the title of Something You Said’s TV show of the year. And the show – which recently concluded with an epic final series – thoroughly deserves the accolade. We’re conscious not to give away any spoilers, as there are a bunch of you still making your way through previous series, but suffice to say season five was INTENSE. The episodes were unbelievably stressful as these characters that we’ve lived with for years hung over the precipice. Walt and Jesse, we salute you. This was one of the greatest TV shows not just of the year, but of all time, bitch. Bobby Townsend

As a self-confessed latecomer to Game of Thrones, I finally blitzed the first two seasons in anticipation of season three. Once the initial hoopla about gratuitous sex and violence had died down, by series three the show revealed depth and storytelling unparalleled anywhere else on the small screen. The penultimate episode of the season three is the greatest episode of television I have personally witnessed and the only time I’ve stared blankly at the rolling of end credits in complete shock. Gary Page

orange new black3. ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK
A black comedy-drama based in a prison complex, featuring an eclectic mix of women, these ladies are social outcasts. Who would’ve thought Donna (Laura Prepon) from ‘That 70’s Show’ would make a comeback as a chill, sociopathic, inmate? And boy, did she come (back). What spiced this show up was the lesbian relationship she had with her drug mule, who just so happens to end up in that same prison with her. A must see, many a lesbian sex and laugh-out-loud moment. What more could one want out of a television series? Tammy Potakh

– My favorite…. to me Mad Men is like The Sopranos… when I don’t know what to watch I just watch any episode of Mad Men because I have seen them all so many times. I love the furniture and set design. Madeline Kragh
– Mad Men will be my favorite as long as it exists. Tenley Nordstrom
– Don Draper started the season on Waikiki Beach relaxing and reading Dante’s Inferno. By the end of the season he’d descended into his own virtual hell. Inferno was one of Matt Weiner’s ‘Easter Eggs’ for his fans, a hint of things to come. Knowing his penchant for clues, critics like NYT’s The Vulture began reading something into everything, from hotel room numbers to Megan’s ‘Sharon Tate’ t-shirt with people assuming the second Mrs Draper was doomed, or as one online fan believed she was already dead, and was now a figment of Don’s downward spiral. It hasn’t proved to be the case, but what happens to jobless Don in California, we’ll wait and see. Colin Delaney

It seems a long time ago now to think back to February this year when Charlie Brooker returned with series two of Black Mirror, his dark reflection on the society in which we live. All of the episodes were well written, acted and presented a very realistic alternative potential future for us if we carry on going in the way we have been. I’m not going to disclose the details of it as it needs to be seen blind to have the most effect, but episode two “White Bear” is haunting, hard-hitting and will remain with you long after you have finished watching. It is probably the cleverest and most intelligent piece of drama I have seen for a long time. 25ThC

The family finally returned for a fourth season which was as intricate and laugh-out-loud funny as the rest. The show is so self-referencing and clever that there are punchlines to gags that will only make sense when you see the set-up a few episodes later. Magnificent writing and a welcome return for the Bluths. Not seeing this season would be a huge mistake. Bobby Townsend

I’m still rooting for Ruby. Carol Bowditch

True Blood season 3 let me down a little with bizarre ‘rabbit out of the hat’ plot tangents and by the end of season 4 I had almost given up completely. Season 5 proved to be the comeback of the century as it tied in all of these loose ends and proved why it stands alone from its contemporaries. Yes it’s edgy and sexy and has Alexander Skarsgarrd but it also tries to seriously convey how the human world would cope with a supernatural presence in a believable and complex way. Sophie Metcalfe

This series racked up an impressive 17 Emmy Award nominations, so I’m sure the producers won’t be cracking open the champagne at making the top ten in our end of year review, but still… good job, guys. Bobby Townsend

Top of the Lake is the best in terms of art in TV shows. It starts out slowly, but by the end you’re gripping your seat. It is very grey and dark but in a quiet way. Madeline Kragh

Boardwalk Empire seems to have been ignored by critics and the cool kids and, whilst everyone rushes to spew hyperbole all over this year’s badge of cool show, Boardwalk Empire continues to twist and turn with morally complex characters, storylines and stunning performances. Boardwalk Empire breaks badder than all. Neil Martin

homeland12. HOMELAND 
The US political thriller had us all hooked in seasons one and two thanks to the compelling performances of Claire Danes and Damian Lewis, as well as twisty storylines and great writing. This season, all fans could talk about was how much it, well, sucked (Cue Carrie Mathison ugly cry). But it picked up at the end and still received enough votes to make it into our top 20. So there’s hope that season four won’t blow quite so hard. Josephine Rozenberg-Clarke

The show follows an unusual group of individuals that grouped online over a similar fascination about an old graphic novel manuscript. When it comes into their possession they must keep its contents secret in order to survive in this wicked, brilliantly colour-saturated world. Carol Bowditch

GIRLS in lots of ways presents an eccentric, yet perhaps honest take on what it is to be a Gen Y. In arguably the same way Sex and The City broke down a lot of barriers during the 90s, bringing orgasm, blowjobs and promiscuous sex into our living rooms, we never really quite saw that outrageous Tumblr, #yolo, crazy late night sexting and texting lifestyle that has filtered and become common amongst todays generation. Jack Colwell
– GIRLS continues to deliver an often hilarious, sometimes heartbreakingly truthful portrayal of relationships in your 20s. I have a tendency to cry as frequently as I laugh when watching it. Isidore Tillers

The walkers stopped being scary about two seasons ago, so the writers have had to find increasingly inventive ways to keep the narrative rolling along. Last season it was warring townships, this season it’s illness and the return of The Governor. The last episode was absolutely EPIC and its shocking denouement left fans desperate for the show’s return in February. Bobby Townsend

This cycle (20) had men and women competing together in a series first and yes it delivered it all in true reality television fashion. Cat fights, bro fights, cat/bro fights, crying, whining, jealousy, attractive people, Tyra being weird, Bryan Boy not really doing anything and Johnny Wujek’s amazing hat collection. Kaya Strehler

educating yorkshire17. EDUCATING YORKSHIRE 
A brilliant insight into life behind the scenes of a northern English high school and just how hard teachers work/care. Seeing kids’ journeys from don’t-give-a-shit stroppy teens to conscientious young adults was life-affirming and inspiring. Bobby Townsend

The main character, Chloe, played by Krysten Ritter (the girl who overdoses in Breaking Bad), is a 24hr party girl who pretty much torments her new roommate while at the same time helping her grow but not intentionally. Now if more girls followed in the footsteps of Chloe maybe we wouldn’t have to hear all the insecurities of girls and their boyfriend problems on a daily basis. Amen to that. Sara Potter

Well then, a spin-off of one of those Vampire shows that IS in fact insufferable. The reason why this spin-off doesn’t actually suck eggs is because it takes the insufferable and sappy part of Vampire Diaries (i.e…. the star cast) and focuses on the series stronger elements. It’s also set in New Orleans which is rad. Sophie Metcalfe

I totally nerded out over Redesign my Brain with Todd Sampson. The potential within each of us is insane and the tips and techniques to enhance and unlock creativity were really inspiring. With continued research, there is really no guessing the amazing things that will be possible in a decade or so. Harriet Cheney

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