Tag Archive: tina fey


“Argo,” “Les Miserables,” “Girls,” “Homeland” and “Game Change” are among the night’s big winners.

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Winners for the 70th annual Golden Globe Awards are being announced live on NBC in a ceremony taking place at the Beverly HiltonTina Fey and Amy Poehler are hosting.
The complete list of nominees and winners at the 2013 Golden Globes (winners’ names are in bold and denoted with an asterisk):

Best Motion Picture, Comedy or Musical
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
*Les Miserables
Moonrise Kingdom
Salmon Fishing in the Yemen
Silver Linings Playbook

Best Motion Picture, Drama
*Argo
Django Unchained
Life of Pi
Lincoln
Zero Dark Thirty

Best Director, Motion Picture
*Ben Affleck, Argo
Kathryn Bigelow, Zero Dark Thirty
Ang Lee, Life of Pi
Steven Spielberg, Lincoln
Quentin Tarantino, Django Unchained

Best Actor in a Motion Picture, Drama
*Daniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln
Richard Gere, Arbitrage
John Hawkes, The Sessions
Joaquin Phoenix, The Master
Denzel Washington, Flight

Best Actress in a Motion Picture, Drama

*Jessica Chastain, Zero Dark Thirty
Marion Cotillard, Rust and Bone
Helen Mirren, Hitchcock
Naomi Watts, The Impossible
Rachel Weisz, The Deep Blue Sea

Best Actor in a Motion Picture, Comedy or Musical
Jack Black, Bernie
Bradley Cooper, Silver Linings Playbook
*Hugh Jackman, Les Miserables
Ewan McGregor, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen
Bill Murray, Hyde Park on Hudson

Best Actress in a Motion Picture, Comedy or Musical
Emily Blunt, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen
Judi Dench, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
*Jennifer Lawrence, Silver Linings Playbook
Maggie Smith, Quartet
Meryl Streep, Hope Springs

Best Foreign Language Film
*Amour (Austria)
A Royal Affair (Denmark)
The Intouchables (France)
Kon-Tiki (Norway/U.K./Denmark)
Rust and Bone (France)

Best Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture

Amy Adams, The Master
Sally Field, Lincoln
*Anne Hathaway, Les Miserables
Helen Hunt, The Sessions
Nicole Kidman, The Paperboy

Best Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture
Alan Arkin, Argo
Leonardo DiCaprio, Django Unchained
Philip Seymour Hoffman, The Master
Tommy Lee Jones, Lincoln
*Christoph Waltz, Django Unchained

Best TV Series, Comedy or Musical
The Big Bang Theory
Episodes
*Girls
Modern Family
Smash

Best TV Series, Drama
Breaking Bad
Boardwalk Empire
Downton Abbey
*Homeland
The Newsroom

Best TV Movie or Miniseries

*Game Change
The Girl
Hatfields and McCoys
The Hour
Political Animals

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Best Performance by an Actress in a TV series, Drama
Connie Britton, Nashville
Glenn Close, Damages
*Claire Danes, Homeland
Michelle Dockery, Downton Abbey
Julianna Margulies, The Good Wife

Best Performance by an Actor in a TV Series, Drama
Steve Buscemi, Boardwalk Empire
Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad
Jeff Daniels, The Newsroom
Jon Hamm, Mad Men
*Damian Lewis, Homeland

Best Performance by an Actress in a TV Series, Comedy or Musical
Zooey Deschanel, New Girl
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep
*Lena Dunham, Girls
Tina Fey, 30 Rock
Amy Poehler, Parks and Recreation

Best Performance by an Actor in a TV Series, Comedy or Musical

Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock
*Don Cheadle, House of Lies
Matt LeBlanc, Episodes
Louis CK, Louie
Jim Parsons, The Big Bang Theory

Best Performance by an Actor in a Miniseries or TV Movie
*Kevin Costner, Hatfields and McCoys
Benedict Cumberbatch, Sherlock
Woody Harrleson, Game Change
Toby Jones, The Girl
Clive Owen, Hemingway and Gellhorn

Best Performance by an Actress in a Miniseries or TV Movie
Nicole Kidman, Hemingway and Gellhorn
Jessica Lange, American Horror Story
Sienna Miller, The Girl
*Julianne Moore, Game Change
Sigourney Weaver, Political Animals

Best Supporting Actress in a Series, Miniseries or TV Movie
Hayden Panettiere, Nashville
Archie Panjabi, The Good Wife
Sarah Paulson, Game Change
*Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey
Sofia Vergara, Modern Family

Best Supporting Actor in a Series, Miniseries or TV Movie

Max Greenfield, New Girl
*Ed Harris, Game Change
Danny Huston, Magic City
Mandy Patinkin, Homeland
Eric Stonestreet, Modern Family

Best Animated Film
*Brave
Frankenweenie
Hotel Transylvania
Rise of the Guardians
Wreck-It Ralph

Best Screenplay for a Motion Picture
Zero Dark Thirty (Mark Boal)
Lincoln (Tony Kushner)
Silver Linings Playbook (David O. Russell)
*Django Unchained (Quentin Tarantino)
Argo (Chris Terrio)

Best Score for a Motion Picture
*Life of Pi (Mychael Danna)
Argo (Alexandre Desplat)
Anna Karenina (Dario Marianelli)
Cloud Atlas (Tom Tykwer, Johnny Klimek, Reinhold Heil)
Lincoln (John Williams)

Best Original Song, Motion Picture

“For You” – Act of Valor
“Not Running Anymore” – Stand Up Guys
“Safe & Sound” – The Hunger Games
*”Skyfall” – Skyfall
“Suddenly” – Les Miserables

 

–source: hollywoodreporter.com

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The Golden Globe Award is an accolade bestowed by the 93 members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) recognizing excellence in film and television, both domestic and foreign. The annual formal ceremony and dinner at which the awards are presented is a major part of the film industry’s awards season, which culminates each year with the Academy Awards.[1]

NBC originally had exclusive broadcast rights to the ceremonies, but on January 11, HFPA President Jorge Camara announced there would be no restrictions placed on media outlets covering the January 13 press conference, announcing the winners at 6:00pm PST.[10]As a result, E!CNN, the TV Guide Network and KNBC-TV, the network’s Los Angeles owned-and-operated affiliate, aired the 31-minute event, emanating from the Grand Ballroom of the Beverly Hilton Hotel live, leaving NBC to fill the hour from 9:00–10:00pm ET with announcements, made after-the-fact by Access Hollywood hosts Billy Bush and Nancy O’Dell.[11] The remaining hours of programming, set aside for the ceremonies by the network, were filled with a special two-hour edition of Dateline, hosted by Matt Lauer, that included film clips, interviews with some of the nominees and commentary from comedienne Kathy Griffin and the panelists from Football Night in America.

 

— image taken from hollywood.com words from wikipedia.org

TOP 10 BEST CHARACTER OF 2012

Paste’s Best of 2012 series continues through Dec. 31 and is made possible by our friends at Tretorn.

Nothing makes for better television than an original, deeply developed character, and TV is full of them right now. Limiting ourselves to two per show (and being judicious even when adding that second character), we’ve rounded up our favorites. Here are the 20 Best TV Characters of 2012.

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20. Kenny Powers (Danny McBride)
Eastbound & Down, HBO
Kenny Powers is an unrepentant sexist, racist, and drug-addicted asshole whose every action and utterance should make any right-thinking individual cringe, but Eastboundisn’t a complete moral vacuum like the equally dark It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. Kenny’s codependence on people like his worshipful assistant Stevie and his off-again, on-again high-school love April (Katy Mixon) is the only thing that ever humanizes him. Reconnecting with his dad (Don Johnson) had a similar effect in season two, and Kenny’s relationship with his son Toby promises more of the same. These glimpses of the insecure person within Kenny’s cartoonishly outsized persona add a bit of much-needed depth. They make us care about Kenny beyond the laughs, but also make that comedy even darker.—Garrett Martin

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19. Cameron Tucker (Eric Stonestreet)
Modern Family, ABC
It’s safe to say that Cam is the first TV character to be both a starting collegiate football player and a classically trained Auguste clown. But Fizbo is only one of the many lovable quirks of the larger-than-life stay-at-home dad, whose talents also include drumming and Japanese flower arrangement. His love for the dramatic was apparent in the pilot episode when he introduced his and Mitchell’s adopted daughter Lilly to the rest of the family to the theme from The Lion King, and it hasn’t waned since.—Josh Jackson

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18. Bel Rowley (Romola Garai)
The Hour, BBC
What if Peggy was the boss on Mad Men? We may get a taste of that next season now that she’s moving onto bigger and better things, but she’s had to spend years working her way up from scared secretary to strong career woman. Not so with The Hour‘s Bel Rowley (Romola Garai). From the series’ very first episode, she’s served as executive producer of the titular BBC news program—and not once has she seemed in over her head. She’s smart, stylish and confident; it seems like, so far at least, her only flaw is her failure to realize that she and her best friend/right-hand man Freddie are perfect for each other. Their flirtation is one of the best aspects of the show, and it’s adorable when Freddie playfully calls her “Moneypenny,” but as viewers, we all know the truth—Bel’s the Bond.—Bonnie Stiernberg

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17. Nelson Van Alden (Michael Shannon)
Boardwalk Empire, HBO
Michael Shannon’s disgraced Prohi almost got lost amidBoardwalk’s oversized cast, but his continued and reluctant fall from Prohibition Agent to mob muscle (lovingly encouraged by his almost stranger of a wife) reinforces the show’s central theme of corruption. Plus Van Alden’s season-long slow burn over one indignity after another finally erupted into a cathartic moment that was frightening, darkly hilarious and one of the season’s best. I could watch an entire show that’s nothing but Shannon visibly struggling to contain his bug-eyed rage.—Garrett Martin

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16. Tessa Altman (Jane Levy)
Suburgatory, ABC
Welcome to the 21st Century’s newest sweetheart. She’s smart, independent and would rather spoon her IPad than the captain of the football team. Actress Jane Levy grounds the chaotic antics of Suburgatory through Tessa Altman, a teenage Manhattanite hijacked by her single father to the stucco oasis of Chatswin. Acting alongside small-screen veterans like Alan Tudyk, Cheryl Hines, Chris Parnell and Ana Gasteyer, Levy brings her caustic A-Game to temper the McMansion delusions of her titular ’burb. Despite all of the sarcastic bite, Tessa still earns Disney points as a caring daughter with a strong moral core. (This is an ABCshow after all). A relatable female lead in a post-Gossip Girlworld, Tessa hands Tinay Fey’s feminist baton to Generation Y with style and substance. Deadpan has never looked so good.—Sean Edgar

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15. Liz (Parker Posey)
Louie, FX
In just two episodes, Louie shows the dark reality of the manic pixie dream girl delusion. Played with neurotic complexity by Parker Posey, bookseller Liz is uninhibited, spontaneous, and beautiful. Such a creature is too good to be true in the cynical universe of Louie CK. And she is. The first warning sign comes when she agrees to go out on a date with Louie. The second when her bartender utters the words “honey, I’m not gonna serve you two Jagers. Not after the last time you were here.” We’re never exposed to the damage behind the girl, but that’s the magic behind Louie’s show-don’t-tell brilliance. Louie waits another eight episodes till he sees Liz again in the season finale, but her presence haunts the entire season, both for its promise to end Louie’s misery and its time-bomb potential. The latter eventually detonates in a moment of devastation and shock, a perfect climax to one of the most unpredictable shows on television.—Sean Edgar

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14. Rayna James (Connie Britton)
Nashville, ABC
Britton’s Southern-accented Rayna Jaymes is the best thing about ABC’s freshman show. While boasting Hayden Panettiere as a co-lead, Nashville will only work as far as Britton carries it. And carry it she will. Rayna isn’t just a fading superstar who wants to hold onto fame; she’s the artist who wants to continue to make good music. Her personal life gets in the way, and she struggles to find a balance between resurrecting her career and running her family, but nothing is very clear cut. Her relationship with Deacon (Charles Esten), a former lover/co-songwriter and current band member, continues to cause fiery passion to spark up. Their relationship is a great way to introduce the roundness of Rayna’s character in the pilot, and by the season finale, we’ve seen Rayna range from a confident women to an industry vet re-learning to “play the game” to, well, a desperate housewife just trying to make sure her man isn’t a cheater. In every situation, she’s a powerhouse.—Adam Vitcavage

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13. Richard Harrow (Jack Huston)
Boardwalk Empire, HBO
Mask-sporting World War I vet Richard Harrow is pretty much the only acceptable answer to “who’s your favoriteBoardwalk Empire character” (sorry, Eddie.) Jack Huston is a fantastically subtle actor, displaying a full range of emotion with one eye, half a mouth and a halting monotone. Between his relationship with Jimmy and Angela Darmody’s orphaned son and his romance with a fellow veteran’s daughter, Harrow is the emotional heart of Boardwalk Empire. That he’s also its most talented and prolific killer tells you what kind of show this is.—Garrett Martin

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12. The Governor (David Morrissey)
The Walking Dead, AMC
I’m pretty sure he’s the only entry on this list who keeps fish-tanks full of zombie heads. The Governor is pure villain in the comic books but a more complex kind of crazy on the TV version. Charming the citizens of Woodbury one moment and brushing the hair of his undead daughter in the next, his calmness is hard for those around him to read. The smooth-talking psychopathic murderer has built an oasis in zombieland, but he’s eight kinds of crazy and as frightening as the monsters who just want to eat your flesh.—Josh Jackson

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11. Don Draper
Mad Men, AMC
Don Draper is no longer the ace ad man on the rise but the grown up in a rapidly changing world surrounded by younger colleagues, a much younger wife and social shifts he doesn’t always grasp. But he’s alternately energized and exhausted by that wife, inspired and threatened by those co-workers and mostly ambivalent to the cultural avalanche of the ‘60s. In other words, he’s a fascinating lens through which to view one of the most important eras of American history.—Josh Jackson

Nothing makes for better television than an original, deeply developed character, and TV is full of them right now. Limiting ourselves to two per show (and being judicious even when adding that second character), we’ve rounded up our favorites. Here are the 20 Best TV Characters of 2012.sherlock.jpg
10. Sherlock Holmes (Benedict Cumberbatch)
Sherlock, PBS
Benedict Cumberbatch dumps the tweed jacket and academic monologues for his enigmatic take on the modern Sherlock Holmes. A cerebral adrenaline junky who cares more about filling the void with mysteries then helping their entwined victims, Sherlock is the most likable sociopath on television. The second season even debated whether Dr. John Watson (Martin Freeman) was a valued partner or an oblivious pawn under Sherlock’s suspected subterfuge. In a series filled with underground military hallucinogens and information-trading dominatrices, Sherlock still remains the greatest mystery of all. And don’t even get him started on that deerstalker hat.—Sean Edgarschmidt.jpg
9. Schmidt (Max Greenfield)
New Girl, Fox
On New Girl, no one has garnered more laughs than Schmidt. He’s a cocky, organized, control freak who is prone to making himself more so with every episode and unusual Schmidt witticism. Out of all the characters, including Jess, Schmidt has probably become the most complex and fleshed-out—something that seemed entirely unlikely after watching him put money in the “deuche jar” when he was first introduced. We now know more about his past, his job, why he is who he is and his romantic life than any of the other characters. It almost seems like Schmidt is becoming the lead, and we’re okay with that.—Ross Bonaimepeggy-olson.jpg
8. Peggy Olson
Mad Men, AMC
Peggy Olson has come a long way since that awkward first day as a secretary at Sterling Cooper—too long, in fact, to remain shackled in an office where she never gets the credit. But it’s impossible to imagine Mad Men without its best character, an icon of feminism in a show filled with chauvinism. Please, Matthew Weiner, more Peggy.—Josh Jackson

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7. Tom Haverford (Aziz Ansari)
Parks & Recreation, NBC
Parks & Recreation, the sitcom with the deepest, most consistent cast this side of Modern Family, is breaking the Seinfeld rule: Characters are growing. They are learning. Aziz Ansari’s starry-eyed Tom Haverford joins Nick Offerman’s Ron Swanson this season in showing a nearly shocking new maturity. Where Swanson is tolerating children to get the girl, Haverford’s new let’s-do-this-right approach to life and business is more comprehensive. Ansari, transcending his typical Haverford puppy dog demeanor with some real soul, is adding surprising range to a character we thought we had pegged.—Nick Purdy

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6. Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage)
Game of Thrones, HBO
Tyrion has always been the most accessible entry into the epic world of Game of Thrones, and while we enjoyed watching him own his nickname (The Imp) causing trouble wherever he went, he became even more interesting as he decided to both use his cunning to rise in power and use his that power to bring some much-needed mercy and justice to the realm. What he lacks in size he makes up for in intelligence, but he’s as surprised as anyone to learn that he’s a natural leader. It was Tyrion who found the courage of the lions on his family’s crest after a season of self-discovery.—Josh Jackson

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5. Ron Swanson (Nick Offerman)
Parks and Recreation, NBC
Already a favorite, the meat-loving, wood-working, government-loathing, friend-tolerating mustache that is Ron Swanson grew a little in complexity this past season by falling for a single mom. While his idea for a fresh-pork barbecue to thank city park employees might not have been without its drawbacks, the solid rock of Pawnee allowed himself to be the slightest bit vulnerable, even letting his new girlfriend in on the secret of Duke Silver. Ron Swanson is on our Pyramid of Greatness.—Josh Jackson

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4. Violet Crawley, Dowager Countess of Grantham (Maggie Smith)
Downton Abbey, PBS
It’s often hard to pin down the best character in shows featuring massive ensembles. Not so with Downton Abbey. As Britain’s upper-class faces the shifting sands of societal change spurred on by a World War, Maggie Smith’s Dowager Countess serves as a reminder of the rigidness that came even earlier. But those times when her saucy air of unapproachable superiority cracks to show the humanity beneath are just as much a joy to watch as when she casually delivers her trademark piercing barbs.—Josh Jackson

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3. Abed Nadir (Danny Pudi)
Community, NBC
We didn’t get to see enough of Abed in 2012, but he made his appearances count. It would have been easy for creator Dan Harmon to make the socially awkward Middle Eastern guy the target of his easiest jokes, but Abed is the emotional center of Community. His undiagnosed Asperger’s is a real challenge for him, and Season 3 explored the darker side of his issues. But much of what’s great about the show stems from his uniqueness—there’s no one else remotely like him on television. His pop culture obsessions, his friendship with Troy and his dry wit are now so well established that I have hope the show can excel even without Harmon at the helm.—Josh Jackson

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2. Walter White (Bryan Cranston)
Breaking Bad, AMC
From the very beginning, Breaking Bad has been about one man, slowly losing his soul. When we first met Walter White, he was the underdog anti-hero, a chemistry teacher beaten down by life, trying to find a way to end his life with a win by providing for his family. Halfway through the final season, motives have changed, and the journey from anti-hero to the show’s villain near complete. Leaving nothing but destruction in his wake, the only thing with a victory is hubris.—Josh Jackson

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1. Liz Lemon (Tina Fey)
30 Rock, NBC
At this point, we don’t need to tell you why Liz Lemon is great. Over the course of seven seasons, she’s become one of the most beloved TV characters of all time—the kind who will live on forever in syndication and inspire a new generation of hilarious, smart female voices. It’s sad to think we’ll have to say goodbye for good to 30 Rock in just over a month, but part of Tina Fey’s genius lies in knowing the perfect time to wrap up her character’s story. Liz tied the knot this year, and it could have been hokey or, worse, a step backward, but she stayed true to herself and did it her way—Princess Leia costume and all.—Bonnie Stiernberg

–made by josh jackson for paste magazine

 

Even with the rise of reality TV, none of the four major networks have totally given up on the sitcom. And with cable channels like Adult Swim and HBO getting into the game, there’s no night during the week you can’t find something that’s at least trying to be funny. The only problem is that trying and succeeding are two different things. Some of the worst new sitcoms were quickly put out of their misery (CBS’ Partners, NBC’sAnimal Practice); others sadly remain on the on the air. But we’re here to celebrate good sitcoms, not lament terrible ones. So here are the 10 Best Sitcoms of 2012:

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10. Go On
Creator:
Stars: Matthew Perry
Network: NBC
Go On is the freshman comedy we’re rooting for most this season. Does it have the staying power Matthew Perry’s breakout show had? Is it as edgy and current as Community, the show it’s most often compared to? No, but it doesn’t need to be. For half a season now, the comedy has brought a sense of humor to people in dark times, and as it slowly builds and builds, it moves away from being driven by the grieving process and has shifted its focus to what any good comedy is about: the people. After 11 episodes, we’ve already become invested in most of these characters’ lives.—Adam Vitcavage

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9. Veep
Creator: Armando Iannucci
Stars: Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Anna Chlumsky, Tony Hale
Network: HBO
Armando Iannucci first took on British politics in The Thick of It, then UK/USA relations with In the Loop. Now Iannucci has tackled the second most important seat in D.C., the Vice President in Veep. His hilarious and witty scripts, along with an entire cabinet of not entirely reliable aides has, along with Girls, made HBO a strong comedy network once again. But it’s Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ return to TV as the VP herself, Selina Meyer, that elevates Veep, as she deals with varying problems, such as yogurt flavors, obesity and pregnancy scares, with grace and humor every week.— Ross Bonaime

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8. Modern Family
Creator: Steven Levitan, Christopher Lloyd
Stars: Ed O’Neill, Sofía Vergara, Julie Bowen, Ty Burrell, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Eric Stonestreet
Network: ABC
We don’t share the same unbridled devotion to Modern Family that the Emmys apparently do (get a room already, judges) since the show entered into a bit of slump during the third season earlier this year. But it finished strong with Cam and Mitchell looking to adopt a baby boy and settling for a demonic cat. And the fourth season got off to a strong start this fall, bringing Haley back from college and preparing for the newest member of the Dunphy clan. Modern Family manages to simultaneously be broad and smart with easily identifiable characters, tight storytelling and well-executed jokes. When Matthew Broderick guest-starred as a gay friend of Cam’s who thinks Phil is hitting on him at the gym, we know exactly where it’s going, but we’re still happy to follow along and laugh.—Josh Jackson

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7. Delocated
Creator: Jon Glaser
Stars: Jon Glaser, Jacob Kogan, Nadia Dajani, Eugene Mirman, Kevin Dorff, Zoe Lister-Jones
Network: Adult Swim
Absurdity is Adult Swim’s brand, and yes, Delocated is extremely absurd. It’s also one of the most powerful dramas on TV, when it wants to be. The third season of Jon Glaser’s cult hit once again combined cringe-inducing anti-comedy built around Glaser’s delusions of stereotypical masculinity (similar to the also excellent Eastbound & Down) with a shockingly violent mob revenge drama. It couldn’t work without pitch-perfect acting from Glaser and the bone-dry Steve Cirbus and Yung-I Chang, who play Russian and Chinese criminals as seriously as if they were on an HBO drama. The contrast of serious characters and life-threatening situations with the patently ridiculous results in savagely effective comedy.—Garrett Martin

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6. 30 Rock
Creator: Tina Fey
Stars: Tina Fey, Tracy Morgan, Jane Krakowski, Jack McBrayer, Scott Adsit, Judah Friedlander, Alec Baldwin
Network: NBC
Of all the strong Thursday night sitcoms that NBC may or may not be laying to rest at the end of this season, 30 Rock is the only one whose exit seems just right. The Office hung on too long, while if the suits decide to axe Community after its fourth season, it’ll be an unjust cancellation of Arrested Development proportions. 30 Rock, however, is leaving us at the perfect moment: Liz Lemon and friends have been around the block long enough to show us all they’re capable of, but they’re bowing out while still on top of their game. The show has always been at its finest when it’s self-aware and biting the hand that feeds it, and there’s been plenty of that this year with the usual in-jokes and NBC spoofs (like Jack producing and starring in God Cop). However, 2012 has seen the show head into unfamiliar territory as Liz Lemon finally gets her happy ending, marrying Chriss so they can adopt a child. Last week’s episode expertly handled the wedding—with Liz doing it her way, at a courthouse in a Princess Leia outfit, and emphasizing that while it’s a special day for her, it’s not the be-all end-all. It’ll be sad to see this show go, but it’s refreshing to see a sitcom end on a high note for a change.—Bonnie Stiernberg

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5. Children’s Hospital
Creator: Rob Corddry
Stars: Rob Corddry, Malin Åkerman, Lake Bell, Erinn Hayes, Rob Huebel, Ken Marino, Megan Mullally, Henry Winkler
Network: Adult Swim
Funnier than NTSF: SD SUV, less grotesque than Eagleheart and more consistent than The Eric Andre ShowChildren’s Hospital remains the most absurd and (probably) the best of Adult Swim’s 12-minute live-action genre parodies. Of course it broadened its scope past the medical soap long ago, and this season the show riffed on Goodfellas, British dramas and a coked-up Law & OrderChildren’s Hospitalcontinues to weave surreal magic with one of the best casts on TV and talent that’s just as impressive behind the camera.—Garrett Martin

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4. Louie
Creator: Louis C.K.
Stars: Louis C.K., Hadley Delany, Pamela Adlon
Network: FX
Louie’s third season places the now-beloved standup in situations that are just as unbearably human as ever, whether it’s discovering a quickly fading love in new character Liz or trying his hand (and disappointingly striking out) as a late-night host. Louie’s laughs are always cringe-worthy, but more often than not, it’s because C.K. makes it easy for the audience to step into his shoes. Mix the tough moments in with incredible guest stars—Jerry Seinfeld, David Lynch, Sarah Silverman, to name a few—and you’ve got a season that mixes laughs with true life lessons. The comedian also gets bonus points for putting the show on hold until 2014 to make sure he’s fresh for a stellar fourth run.—Tyler Kane

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3. New Girl
Creator: Elizabeth Meriwether
Stars: Zooey Deschanel, Jake Johnson, Max Greenfield, Lamorne Morris, Hannah Simone
Network: FOX
In 2012, New Girl went from adorkable show led by quirky Zooey Deschanel to one of the current great ensemble comedies on television. This year, it found its voice, making the guys of New Girl—Max Greenfield, Jake Johnson and Lamorne Morris—as much a focal point as Deschanel’s Jess, with great success. Finding humor in late-20s uncertainty, New Girl breathes new life into the sitcom in a way that hasn’t been seen since How I Met Your Mother, but without the romantic entanglement between friends that so many sitcoms before it have forced onto its stars. It’s also helped usher in a new brand of modern sitcoms, like The Mindy Project and Ben and Kate that have followed, taking the typical ensemble sitcom back by telling relatable stories, all with its own uniquely bizarre, yet hilarious voice.—Ross Bonaime

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2. Community
Creator: Dan Harmon
Stars: Joel McHale, Donald Glover, Danny Pudi, Alison Brie, Gillian Jacobs, Yvette Nicole Brown, Ken Jeong, Chevy Chase
Network: NBC
When Community began, it revolved around the story of a shallow, cynical lawyer who made it through life on looks and the ability to talk his way out of anything. But the show quickly grew a big ol’ heart as Jeff Winger opened his life to the random cross-section of humanity in his study group. A big part of that shift was an increased focus on Abed, one of the most original characters on television. His particular slice of the autism spectrum and sincere love of great pop culture isn’t just a cure for Winger’s cynicism, it’s a cure for us all. Sadly, this past season was the last with creator Dan Harmon at the helm. Here’s hoping the wonderful characters he left us with can continue to flourish when Season Four finally arrives in the spring.—Josh Jackson

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1. Parks and Recreation
Creator: Greg Daniels, Michael Schur
Stars: Amy Poehler, Nick Offerman, Aziz Ansari, Adam Scott, Rob Lowe, Chris Pratt, Aubrey Plaza, Rashida Jones
Network: NBC
Every season of Parks and Recreation seems to be more ambitious than the last, which makes it a rarity amongst sitcoms. Like its protagonist Leslie Knope, the show constantly yearns for progress and thrives on momentum and change rather than familiarity. But the strongest aspect of the show remains its deep characterization of Pawnee, Indiana, which goes beyond its core cast and into a Simpsons-esque repertory company of recurring characters. While their small town ideas are frequently the butt of Parks’ jokes, they’re also the heart of the show, and everyone who makes an appearance is there for more than just a cheap laugh. The show’s mixture of intelligence and affection remains unique in the normally cynical television landscape, a voice of cautious optimism that makes Parks not just the funniest show on television, it’s also the most heartfelt.—Sean Gandert

by josh jackson for paste magazine and treton. paste’s best of 2012 series continues through dec. 31 and is made possible by Tretorn.

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