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Tube Talk's Top 25 Shows of 2012: 20-16
A mixture of sci-fi, fantasy, sitcoms, police procedural and Nordic Noir, there really is something for everyone in the latest part of our countdown.
20. Happy Endings
This charming sitcom just gets better and better - and to think it was once about Alex and Dave's failed relationship. Many will compare Happy Endings to Friends, which is not completely off-base, but Happy Endings is a brilliantly funny show on its own merit.
Where the show nails it is in its loveable group of characters and the chemistry they share - from Adam Pally's non-stereotypically gay Max to Eliza Coupe's control freak Jane. They laugh at each other's expense; they're not afraid to point out each other's endearing flaws and mock them; they love their inside jokes - we kinda want to be part of their close-knit circle of friends. [BL]
This latest run of BBC One's top-notch fantasy drama was initially promoted as simply the fifth series, before the channel confirmed the heartbreaking news that we wouldn't be returning to Camelot in 2013. But the show's cast and crew argued that it was important for Merlin to go out on a high and, for the most part, they've pulled it off...
This concluding run has been home to a number of fantastic episodes, the regular cast remained as impressive as ever and newcomer Alexander Vlahos delivered a fantastic performance as the conflicted Mordred. So long, Merlin, and thanks for the magic - we'll miss you. [MJ]
In 2012, Fox's perennially under-appreciated sci-fi drama aired the latter half of its superb fourth season, which saw Fringe back on form following a shaky return in late 2011. A strong run of episodes was capped by the fantastic two-parter 'Brave New World' - action, emotion and Leonard Nimoy... what more could you need from a season finale?
While the final 13-part season that followed hasn't quite matched the brilliance of some of the best Fringe episodes, we've still been treated to an emotional rollercoaster courtesy of the show's rock-solid cast - Joshua Jackson, Anna Torv, John Noble and more - and its showrunner Joel Wyman. Here's hoping that the final three episodes - due to air in early 2013 - will give Fringe the epic send-off that it so deserves. [MJ]
17. Good Cop
Unfortunately what many people will remember about Good Cop was that its final episode was pulled from BBC One's schedules due to tragic, real-life circumstances. But beyond the unavoidable controversy, there was much to admire in this visceral four-part drama.
Series lead Warren Brown delivered a powerhouse performance - his unlikely-named John Paul Rocksavage was a world away from Luther's loveable Ripley. Brutal and uncompromising, the dark Good Cop was not for everyone, but those who did follow the show to the end were treated to some of the best UK drama in years. [MJ]
We love a bit of Danish drama here at Tube Talk but it's not all murders and jumpers, you know. We love The Killing and The Bridge, but Borgen was a revelation - and actually made Danish politics exciting. Who knew?
Birgitte Nyborg was a loveable lead who got slowly corrupted and worn-down, while ethically-dubious media adviser Kasper was one of our characters of the year (plus we have a real soft spot for Birgitte's hapless secretary Sanne, who proved her worth just as she got fired.) Lightly funny and fascinating, Borgen ended with our hero basically breaking down, her marriage in tatters and her political values shot to pieces. Bring on series two! [CW]
[Additional reporting from Morgan Jeffery and Ben Lee]
> Tube Talk's Top 25 Shows of 2012: 25-21
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