Breaking Bad (AMC)
What more can I say about one of the best final seasons of a television series than it was an epic way to close a show. From the beginning of this shows run to the end, there was this feeling of being on a roller coaster. Every episode zigged and zagged, there was build-up and a point where you just fell. Within this season specifically every episode made you feel this way, and fans would cry on twitter, there is no way each week this show could possibly top itself, but it did. I am going miss every character in the ensemble because Vince Gilligan and his team gave each person great purpose.
Best episodes: "Ozymandias" and "Felina"
Game of Thrones (HBO)
In season four this show has not lost any steam, most of the season's focus was on wrapping up the drama in King's Landing, and boy were there numerous deaths there, from "the purple wedding" to some good ole fashioned patricide. Dinlage, Headey, and Dance were the MVPs of this season each giving some of the most memorable performances you can imagine. There was also the episode entitled "The Watchers on the Wall" which was one of their best directed episodes focusing only on one area. Game of Throne's is always a game changer, and treats this journey as a perfect epic treat every time it airs on television.
Best Episodes "The Lion and the Rose" and "The Watchers on the Wall"
The Good Wife (CBS)
Few network television shows can live up to the hype of cable, pay cable, and netflix these days, The Good Wife has proven that a show that last 22 or 23 episodes can still play with the big boys and girls. From Alicia and Carey leaving the firm and their bitter battles with former mentors Will and Diane, to the death of Will and the aftermath of the events on Lockhart/Gardener (LG) this show had one great episode after the other. I think one of the best story arcs involved the aftermath of Will's death on Alicia. Alicia dug into her grief and cried, while finally realizing her marriage wasn't what it once was and making it more about convenience for both of their careers and children. Wife also has the best guest stars on the planet, who weave into the show without pulling focus from the central characters.
Best Episodes: "Hitting the Fan" and "Dramatics, Your Honor"
House of Cards (Netflix)
Political drama taken an interesting level. Cards looks at the darker shadowy aspects to the behind the scenes manipulation that exists within Washington DC. Has a politicians pushed a girl onto the train tracks before, probably not, but the nature of Frank and his wife Claire seems to play into the general system of modern politics. In this show you have two leads who are so commanding, so fantastic, that the rest of the cast bows down to their every whim, and they steal every aspect of the show. Watching someone con a man out of the Presidency is a true art form, that takes a clever duo, and these two are up to the task. Politics is all about playing the game, and this is one of the best chess games in town.
Best Episodes: "Chapter 14" and "Chapter 26"
Masters of Sex (Showtime)
One of two shows in their first year to make the list. Masters explores humanity mixed with sexuality better than any show I have encountered. You get the clinical, and the emotional need for sex at the turning point in American history. From the moment Masters and Johnson meet there is a spark on all levels intellectually and physically. I think the show explores all aspects of male sexuality, female sexuality, and from every angle. There are stories that also focus on love and the connection between the physical and mental aspects. I am proud of this show because it is tackling one of the most taboo subject matters and shining a light on the taboos that should have gone away from the 1950s but still exist. Throw in great performances from every regular cast member, and Allison Janney, Beau Bridges and Julianne Nicholson and the show is one of the best of the year.
Best Episodes: "Catherine" and "Phallic Victories"
Orange is the New Black (Netflix)
Orange is the Black is another game changing series. Orange takes a look at women from all walks of life who end up in minimum security prison. The focus of the show or lens you view the show through is Piper Chapman, the typical pretty blonde, yet as spends more and more time in her position you get to see Piper is complicated lady, with a complicated back story, much like the rest of the inmates. At each moment you get to interact with women, see their back stories who are transgender, of different races, have different beliefs, and are confined because, well life is more complicated than you were told. In the other sense you see the systematic problems within the system through the incompetent administrators, cops, and that there back story is not without its pain, and mistakes. This show is absolute perfection.
Best Episodes: "Can't Fix Crazy" and "I Wasn't Ready"