As 2013 comes to a close, it’s impossible to look back on the year and not see wonderful TV left and right. In fact, the networks and cable aren’t the only place to find the best programming anymore, with the advent of shows being released exclusively online.
With the year winding down, Zap2it continues to run through each staff member’s favorite episodes of 2013. Here are the ones I think make the cut.
‘Doctor Who’ – ‘The Day of the Doctor’
It’s entirely possible this is the biggest event in the history of “Doctor Who,” as two fan-favorite Doctors (Matt Smith and David Tennant) joined forces with a new entry into the universe (John Hurt) to go on an adventure through space and time. The 50th anniversary episode was filled with special nods to various points throughout the show’s history and finally explained the end of the Time War, something fans have been curious about for quite a while. It also gave the tiniest sneak peek at the next Doctor (Peter Capaldi).
It really was just the feel-good episode everyone built it up to be in their minds, delivering on the promises that were made. It also served as a beautiful beginning of the end to Smith’s run as the Doctor.
‘Sons of Anarchy’ – ‘Salvage’
The past few seasons of “Sons of Anarchy” have been unrelenting in terms of violence, destruction and chaos. It’s hard to get a breather from the life the club has built for itself. That’s exactly what you got in “Salvage,” though. Instead of the personal drama and turmoil that has come to be associated with the show, it felt like a throwback to Season 1 with the club on a little road trip.
SAMCRO got into some hijinx with local law enforcement and met up with other charters to discuss a less violent future. Jax (Charlie Hunnam) finally reunited with Bobby (Mark Boone Junior). Plus, in the end the club got to hassle a chop shop and got a brand new Harley out of the deal. It was exactly the reprieve fans of the show needed.
‘Breaking Bad’ – ‘Ozymandias’
Picking out a single episode from the final run of “Breaking Bad” is difficult, but “Ozymandias” takes the cake for this viewer. This was the moment Walter White (Bryan Cranston) finally lost total control of the situation, with even his son discovering the man he had become.
It was also the episode that saw Jesse (Aaron Paul) locked up in his cell, which would become his home for the remainder of the series, after Walt told him about his role in Jane’s death. The episode ends with Walt making it clear Skyler (Anna Gunn) wasn’t part of his drug empire before riding off toward a new identity and, hopefully, a new life.
‘The Walking Dead’ – ‘Arrow on the Doorpost’
“Arrow on the Doorpost” was a unique episode of “The Walking Dead,” because there wasn’t a lot of action and zombie killing to be had. Instead, the majority of it consisted of a sit-down meeting between Rick (Andrew Lincoln) and The Governor (David Morrissey), as they discuss a level of coexistence.
It helped show who each of the characters truly were: Rick yearned for peace, while The Governor was driven by power and revenge. In the end, the two part ways with Rick receiving an ultimatum: Hand over Michonne (Danai Gurira) or everyone at the prison dies. We all know how that turned out.
‘The ArScheerio Paul Show’ – ‘Vanilla Ice’
This entry comes from the Internet. “The ArScheerio Paul Show” was one of the most interesting things that happened online in 2013 and deserves recognition. “The League” star Paul Scheer created word-for-word re-enactments of early ’90s interviews from “The Arsenio Hall Show,” with his celebrity friends.
The outcome showed just how good an interviewer Arsenio Hall was and how different the early ’90s looked. The episode featuring “New Girl’s” Max Greenfield as Vanilla Ice is a perfect example of both and mimics just how uncomfortable things got on the original show. Plus, you’ll never see Greenfield with hair like that anywhere else. Hopefully it’s a series Scheer continues with as long as he can, because there are more than enough groundbreaking “Arsenio Hall Show” interviews to keep things interesting for a long time to come.