Opinion

Person of Interest, Grimm at top of our list

Our top pick: Person of Interest on Nine.
Our top pick: Person of Interest on Nine.

WE'VE looked back over 2012 and come up with a top 10 of new shows of the past year (or so....)

Do you agree? Or would you have included The Walking Dead, Alcatraz or even Smash and Dallas? Let us know and share your own top 10.

 

1. PERSON OF INTEREST (Nine)

YES, we've cheated ever so slightly as the first season of this crime-with-a-touch-of-sci-fi series on Nine snuck in at the end of 2011. But it really only cemented a place on the TV radar this year (and besides, it's just so good we couldn't leave it out).

Person of Interest offered some of the most dramatic and tense moments on TV this year. The finale of season one was literally a jaw dropper.

This series taps into a post-Nine 11 sense of insecurity and introduces one of TV's most fascinating recent characters in broken former special forces/CIA agent John Reese (Jim Caviezel).

Person of Interest follows billionaire Harold Finch (Michael Emerson) who has built a machine for the government that sees everything. It's meant to predict acts of terror but it also sees ordinary crimes - and that's where Mr Reese comes in.

The "irrelevant list" has been eating at Finch and he hires a specialist, a man who used to kill for the government (Reese), and gives him a purpose - saving people.

Finch is crippled and thought dead - even half way through season two we're yet to find out all that happened to him and the others who knew about the machine - Reese is broken on the inside and is hunted by the CIA and other law enforcement bodies.

This is a story as much about redemption as about crime and in that it is a multi-layered series with a strong underlying mythology, wonderful, conflicted characters and sharp, smart dialogue and scripts.

 

2. GRIMM (Seven)

CHEERS to Seven for recently picking up this monster hunting/crime series that puts an intriguing modern twist on some of the Grimm fairy tales (it did air on Foxtel earlier in 2012). The protagonist Nick Burkhardt (David Giuntoli) is a detective in Portland who discovers he's a Grimm, from a long line of monster hunters.

Season one adopts a monster of the week approach in the early episodes, but we learn more of the mythology of the series, including the complicated, structured world of the Vessin and its royal families, as the series progresses.

3. REVENGE (Seven)

SEVEN tantalised us with previews of Revenge all through last summer before putting us out of our misery in February. And what a meaty drama it turned out to be, and well worth the wait.

Based on the idea of Dumas' The Count of Monte Cristo, we were cheering for Amanda Clarke/Emily Thorne all the way as she positioned herself into Hampton society and got close to the wicked Conrad and Victoria Grayson, mostly through their son, Daniel who well and truly fell for her. After all, she and her father David, jailed for being a terrorist after being set up by the Graysons, had been wronged. And there's nothing like seeing the bad guys get what's coming to them.

The end of season one left us uncertain, though, if Amanda/Emily has got vengeance - if not maybe justice, even - for herself and her father. So we're counting down to more Revenge in 2013.

4. AMERICAN HORROR STORY (Eleven)

THIS snuck in right at the end of 2011, with the finale in January, so we're stretching it a bit to get this show that was unleashed on us by Eleven into the top 10. And unleashed is the right word for this "anthology" series because American Horror Story is a beast: It's deadly, dark, brutal at times, unrelenting, dramatic and often twisted but so absolutely fascinating and so exceptionally well written and acted you'll never be able to look away.At the centre of the first series (American Horror Story: Murder House) is a mansion with a murderous past. When the Harmon family, psychiatrist Ben (Dylan McDermott) his wife Vivien (Connie Britton) and daughter Violet (Taissa Farmiga) move in, we gradually learn the other stories of the house. American Horror Story blends these past stories brilliantly with the present.

Actress Jessica Lange is absolutely brilliant and ever-so wicked as the Harmons' neighbour Constance.

We're counting down to series two on Eleven which we hope will be just as bloody, confronting but also brilliant.

5. COPPER (Foxtel)

PUTTING Copper at number four might seem a little out of left field as this series on Foxtel won't be well known yet but it is an exciting, fascinating historical drama with many points of interest.

Set in 1860's New York, while the Civil War is still being fought, it follows Irish immigrant cop and former Union soldier Kevin Corcoran (played by relative newcomer Tom Weston-Jones) who's dealing with crime in the slum-like Five Points area while searching for his wife and trying to solve his daughter's murder.

The series is shocking at times, surprising at others, certainly never dull, and shines a light on the social divisions of the period, particularly regarding the Irish immigrant community.

6. STRIKE BACK (Seven)

STRIKE Back exploded on our screens late in the year on Seven, with exploded being a good word for this action-centred special forces delight. It combines some of the drama and intrigue of Spooks - yes Strike Back has plot! - with all-out Jason Bourne-like thrills.

It's brutal and compulsive and bring on the next season quickly please.

Strike Back is exciting but intelligent with conflicted, multi-layered characters, tricky political scenarios and vicious villians. It'll draw you in and keep you hanging on every scene.

At one stage, we had two series of Strike Back providing a feast of brilliant action, with the ABC running the first series starring the wonderful (and girls, he's gorgeous) Richard Armitage and Seven's Strike Back picking up after that series.

7. THE VOICE (Nine)

WE were all watching to see if Delta, Joel, Seal or Keith would turn their chairs for singers to build their teams on what proved Australia's biggest show for 2012, The Voice. The battle rounds shocked us, the live performance shows were darn good and finally four finalists, Sarah De Bono, Karise Eden, Darren Percival and Rachael Leahcar became one winner - Karise.

In 2013, Ricky Martin joins team Delta, Joel and Seal on Nine for the Voice 2013.

8. MISS FISHER'S MURDER MYSTERIES (ABC)

WAS it really only this year that Miss Phryne Fisher burst onto our screens via the ABC with all the fabulous costumes, drama and mystery of Australian author Kerry Greenwood's books.

The daring lady detective, armed with a pistol and her sharp wit, is a glamorous and very modern lass of the 1920s and her sleuthing took us into the back streets and seedy clubs of Melbourne as well as fashionable society.

The 13 part series on the ABC, Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries, delighted us all in 2012 with murder, a bit of romance and heaps of action. We warmed to Phryne (Essie Davis) who proved one of 2012's top heroines, and TV Tragic can't wait for season two next year.

9. ONCE UPON A TIME (Seven) 

WE'D heard the buzz about this series well before it started on Seven mid year and the buzz was right: Once Upon a Time is an intriguing fantasy series with a touch of romance and just plain fun.

It's set in the fictional town of Storybrooke where the residents are really fairytale characters. But they were transported to the town by an evil queen and have no knowledge of their former lives.

The curse, it's said, can be broken by Snow White and Prince Charming's daughter who in the Storybrooke world is the hard-bitten, tough-as-nails Emma Swan.

 

10 NEW GIRL (Ten)

NEW Girl airing on Ten is a quirky and refreshing show staring the wacky Zooey Deschanel as Jess who moves in with three blokes after her boyfriend cheats on her.

The dynamic of this four is often hilarious with Nick (Jake Johnson) the dark and angry law school dropout turned bartender, Schmidt (Max Greenfield) the vain womaniser and Winston (Lamorne Morris) the former basketball player.

 Reviews 1-9: SusanH

 Review 10- Louise O'Mara

Topics:  blog opinion revenge tv tragic



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