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Tube Talk's Top 25 Shows of 2012: 15-11

By and Catriona Wightman
We're halfway through our list of the Best TV Shows of 2012, but there are still plenty of gems to come, including our number one pick for show of the year.

Today's countdown from numbers 15 to 11 includes a Channel 4 gangster drama, the biggest sitcom in the US and a lot of vampires.

15. The Fear
Peter Mullan's tour de force as Brighton gangster Richie Beckett was one of the best performances of 2012. A powerhouse on screen, he was never anything short of electrifying as the powerful crime boss, who was losing a grip on his turf and, more importantly, his mind.

The drama didn't pull any punches (dead bodies, chopped-off heads and gory eye sockets), but it was Mullan's internal breakdown that captivated us for a whole week on Channel 4, rather than the squabbles between his sons (Paul Nicholls and Harry Lloyd) and rival gangs. A rare new successful British drama in 2012. BAFTAs should be just around the corner. [AF]



14. Modern Family
Modern Family burst onto our screens in 2009 (yes, that long ago), and though we have loved it ever since, we can't deny that it started to get a bit too settled. You can't blame it for resting on its laurels, considering that it will pick up awards no matter what.

So what a lovely surprise that season four has already contained some of the funniest moments of the whole show. The writers seem extra energised, and whether Haley's going to college in a surprisingly touching storyline, or Matthew Broderick is nervously coming on to Phil, there are plenty of laughs and heartfelt moments. Modern Family's got its mojo back! [CW]



13. Game of Thrones
While the second season may have not been quite as awesome as the first (come on, even the biggest fans must admit the Daenerys storyline dragged a bit), GoT still managed to break ground when it came to mindblowing visuals and storytelling on a gigantic scale.

We know splashing the cash and throwing around mega budgets isn't big and clever, but Thronesis still raising the bar for what can be achieved on the small screen.

Peter Dinklage's Tyrion came to the fore and remains the most bad-ass TV dwarf on the box, we were introduced to evil sextress Melisandre and the Battle of Blackwater was one of the most awe-inspiring and stunning hours of TV ever made. [AF]



12. The Vampire Diaries
The Vampire Diaries is like the little show that could; often dismissed as a stupid teen drama about vampires, it quietly continues to be really bloody good. It's kind of hard to explain to someone why it's so brilliant - and showing an episode to one of Tube Talk's cynical writers just convinced them that it's as rubbish as they thought - but if you're a fan the show continues to shock, disturb, enthrall and excite.

The characters have some surprisingly interesting and thoughtful interactions, the mythologies are consistently interesting, and you can always rely on something to go absolutely mental when you least expect it. From season three's sublime and game-changing finale to season four's stunningly tense 'Memorial', The Vampire Diaries has some serious chops. [CW]



11. Dexter
Just when we were ready to write off Dexter after the disappointing Doomsday Killer storyline, Showtime's serial killer drama bounces back with a must-see season of television. A whole new dynamic has been introduced as Debra (Jennifer Carpenter) discovers and tries to process Dexter (Michael C Hall)'s dark secret. Complicating matters is Hannah McKay (Yvonne Strahovski), Dexter's love interest with a past who threatens to come in between the siblings.

Dexter feels fresh again, a show that is no longer going through the motions (in fact, it's ending in 2013). It's also a much more personal season - each week has new twists and turns that affect these characters and question how they feel. Add to that María LaGuerta (Lauren Vélez) investigating the Bay Harbor Butcher and rapidly closing in on Dexter, and you have easily Dexter's best run since the legendary Trinity Killer. [BL]



[Additional reporting from Morgan Jeffery and Ben Lee]

> Tube Talk's Best TV Shows 25-21
> Tube Talk's Best TV Shows 20-16

What were your favourite shows from 2012? Share your picks below!

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