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Josie’s Best of 2012 (Yep)

I’ve been wracking my brain for weeks now, trying to come up with an interesting Best of 2011 post. I can’t. 2011 wasn’t a good year for me, and whenever I glance over the lists of shows that aired, particularly in the first half of the year, I just remember how sad, stressed, and exhausted I was when I watched them. I couldn’t even do a real Best of 2011 book list, since (for the first time in a decade) I didn’t keep track of the book I read for most of the year.

Instead, I want to make a pre-emptive strike against the possible whimpery apocalypse of 2012. This is what I want to feel, 12 months from now, when I look back on 2012 and smile. This is what I want next year’s list to look like, FlashForward-style.

10. Hooray! I have a job that I’m actually qualified for, and that does not require numerous other part-time, low-paying, no-insurance jobs to raise my income above the poverty line. I’m having a great time doing good, important work—and I have plenty of free time, too! I am surrounded by interesting co-workers. I look forward to continuing to settle in to my new town, where houses are affordable and the traffic is never bad. What a wonderful life!

9. I never thought I would say this, or even that I could, but Doctor Who has gotten even better. After the sixth season’s epic tale of love and death in the time vortex, I didn’t think Moffat and Co. could possibly top the delightful convolutions that had come before—and I certainly didn’t expect a new set of villains even scarier than the Stone Angels! And wasn’t the Gamma Forest beautiful?

8. I was heartbroken when I heard that Fringe was going to be canceled (although I can’t say it was a surprise). But Fox’s decision to give the writers enough time to wrap up all the alternaverses and the love affairs (so glad Lincoln Lee is finally happy!) made the super-powered 2-hour season finale in May 2012 one of the best episodes of the year, if not the decade.

7. The epic moral ambiguity of Game of Thrones has gotten even saucier, even zanier, and even bloodier than Season One. The drastic budget increase meant more battles, more blood, and more Dothraki sea—and I, for one—think the show is even more mindblowing than the books. After all, how often do you see dragons these days?

6. Person of Interest, meanwhile, has finally come into its own. Executive producer and creator Jonathan Nolan finally won a victory in the battle with CBS’s insistence on standalone procedurals, and JC’s and Ben Linus’s ongoing and epic struggle against crime lord Mark Sheppard has been appointment viewing for weeks now. At first, I was wary about the decision to set the second season in the midst of the zombie apocalypse, but the inclusion of the undead only emphasizes the political post-9/11 undertones of the show. We are all zombies now.

5. While there aren’t zombies on Once Upon a Time, the writers finally decided to let their imaginations run wild in establishing inventive and exciting mythology. After a delightful start and a slow, slow buildup of the actual plot of the show in the first half of season one, January 2012 brought complications, double-crosses, and nuanced villains into the foreground. Snow White’s death (if she is dead…on this show, who knows?) is probably the highlight of this game-changing fantasy show—at least so far!

4. Supernatural deserves a big shout-out for concluding after seven great seasons. I know the last episode hit Billie hard: she’d devoted quite a lot of energy to reviewing each of the 148 episodes, but even she agrees that the ending was perfect for both Dean and Sam; all the heartache of the past seven seasons has finally paid off. I’ll miss you, Winchester boys!

3. Who knew that Community would come back from a scary mid-season hiatus even stronger than before? It’s hard to believe now that we were all so worried, back in 2011, about the fate of the little program that brought us such perfect episodes as “Remedial Chaos Theory.” I must admit, I got a little nervous when I realized they were doing yet another paintball episode for the third-season finale, but their decision to do a vampires-in-zero-gravity theme proved their willingness to sacrifice all dignity for the cause of ironic punch-drunk laughs. Thanks for the three-more-seasons renewal, NBC!

2. Speaking of vampires: how is any list about the best of 2012 complete without mention of the Vampire Diaries? From the alternate-reality Alaric/Damon hook-up to the real Elena, Damon, and Stefan mass orgy to Caroline’s even better superpowers (not to mention Bonnie’s tragic but welcome death), VD in 2012 has had more OMG moments than a Bible Belt tent revival.

1. Best of the 2012 has to go to one show—you know you’ve been waiting for me to mention it! Insert Show Name Here has finally given us the complicated storytelling, great characters, and exciting genre-bending action that we’ve all been waiting for since we realized Lost was ending. So far, ISNH has lived entirely up to its promise of compelling and fascinating mysteries with real, relevant answers. Finally, all that clue-hunting is paying off! What a treat it is to take part in internet theorization while safe in the comfort of knowing that it’s worth my time and energy.

And that's all, folks! 2012 gets a four out of four billiedouxes from me. Here's hoping for a great 2013!


  1. Fantastic Best of, Josie. I agree with you 100% about Insert Show Name Here, absolutely brilliant television.

  2. Josie, one of my favourite things of 2012 was how I was able to employ you in well paid, meaningful work, and then watch you blossom as a human being. Also, thank you for saving the world from aliens with that wooden spatula. I know modesty forbids you from acknowledging publicly your part in the fight for earth, but I want you to know that you'll always have a place working for my mil... er... billion pound empire (which sprang into existence circa Jan 2012).

    Oh, and let's hope all your TV wishes come true. Especially concerning ISNH. Best show I've seen all year! Much better than Insert Worst Show Imaginable Here. I'm not sure what those idiots were thinking.

  3. Paul, having the opportunity to join your highly profitable (How? I don't know.) evil-fighting company was one of the highlights of my year. Finally, I am the elegant ass-kicker I've always wanted to be. Not only do I look great in leather pants, but I also have dental insurance.

    All thanks to you.

    (And if the aliens attack me again while I'm making pasta, they'd better watch out: I upgraded to a plastic spatula that's 24% more deadly.)

  4. ISNH sounds great, I can't wait. :) Yes Bonnie should die, Supernatural should end, Fringe and Community shouldn't be canceled. Six seasons and a movie! :)

  5. 2012 sounds like a great year! I can't wait for it to get here! :o)

    But I'm surprised you didn't mention John Noble's fabulous Emmy speech!

  6. Great list, great comments. Hopefully the crime fighting gig leaves you time to make pasta and continuing reviewing your favorites! The final season of Fringe wouldn't be the same without you!

  7. What a terrific post, Josie. Here's hoping that 2012 turns out exactly as you have hope-theorized. I'm really looking forward to INSH.

  8. Great post, Josie! Here is hoping your predictions come true, especially the one about finding fulfilling, yet well-paying work! You deserve it.

  9. I meant to say, rather than choosing to read your post title in a purely functional way (i.e boring), I've chosen to interpret the apostrophe as marking the omission of the letter "i", and thus being a proclamation of your own greatness throughout the whole of 2012. (Followed by a positive affirmation.) That was your true intention right? ;o)

  10. Oh, hey. I knew that when the six o'clock news showed that woman defeating our would-be alien overlords with a wooden spatula while simultaneously protecting a bus full of orphan nun puppies, she looked familiar. Your icon doesn't do you justice, Josie. (And those leather pants you paired with sensible crime-fighting boots were fabulous -- where did you get them?)

    Excellent review, and who would have thought back in 2011 that the CW would be daring enough to create TV's first canonical incestuous OT3? I remember being dubious when the news first got leaked, but they made it work.

    I also have to say, I'm glad that they finally got around to giving Caroline a love interest that isn't bland and boring. That Guy is now one of my favorite characters.

  11. How could I have forgotten That Guy? So yummy.


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