The Iris’ 13 Best TV Shows of 2013


We asked the contributors of The Iris to tell us their favourite shows of 2013, and here now are the top thirteen they voted! Only three new series make the list, with the other ten proving that the best only get better as the seasons continue…

13. Person of Interest – CBS, USA

This continues to amaze me and make me cringe at the same time. James Caviezel’s disengaged whispering voice is finally endearing as the Batman parellels remain subtle and cleverly weaved throughout the main story arc. There is so much going here with Shaw and Root turning the group dynamic on it’s head that every episode this season has been 10/10 for me. – Chris Singh

12. Doctor Who – BBC, UK

The final season starring Matt Smith as the Doctor was a strong one, with excellent arcs from well known actors like Richard E. Grant as well as a fine companion in “The Impossible Girl”, Clara. The 50th Anniversary episode, screened in 3D in cinemas around the world, went to prove just how ingrained into pop culture this series is – not to mention successful – and Steven Moffat showed that even after 8 seasons since its rebirth, he still has plenty of tricks up his sleeve. Now, all we can say is: bring on the 12th doctor, Peter Capaldi! – Larry Heath

11. Black Mirror – Channel 4, UK

No show is more relevant to the media and technology we consume than Black Mirror. Season 2, if a hair short of season 1’s brilliance, had some of the most acute criticisms and touching moments of television’s past decade. No matter how weird or wild the show gets, it eyes are always on us.

10. Hannibal – NBC, USA

A surprisingly interesting take on a well established character. The frank honesty with which Hannibal is shown as a psychopath is beautiful, and makes the manipulative ‘friendship’ with Will Graham all the more interesting and compelling

9. Homeland – Showtime, USA

Homeland continues to be one of the most thrilling series on TV, anchored by strong performances by Claire Danes and Mandy Patinkin. The final episode of the season was shocking and bold.

8. The Feed – SBS2, Australia

It’s the show Australia always needed… All the latest news, tech, politics, current affairs, and entertainment things you need to know about right now crammed into 15 minutes on SBS2 and hosted by the always charming Marc Fennel with a team of fabulous journos. We’re thrilled that this is expanding to a full half hour in 2014! – Carina Nilma

7. Sleepy Hollow – Fox, USA

There are so many reasons why we love this show! It has an equally balanced delivery of creepy scary things as well as genuinely honest comedic or dramatic moments. Our two leads Tom Mison and Nikki Beharie have such a brilliant dynamic, and the supporting cast are also interesting to watch. The show has created a new universe based on the classic Washington Irving story and incorporates supernatural elements from different cultures to give it a more worldly feel than leaving it stuck in American mythology. It’s hands down our favourite new show of 2013! – Carina Nilma

6. Mad Men – AMC, USA

The show continues its dominance as the most thoughtful and intelligent drama on TV. Existential woe bubbled to the surface before finally popping in the finale. Brilliance performances and subtle, well planned direction hold each script together.

5. Fresh Meat – Channel 4, UK

This show, which is unfortunately little known in Australia (for now) and is already in its third season, is the funniest show coming out of the UK right now. Every episode is full of so many brilliant lines that it requires multiple viewings just to take it all in.

4. The Walking Dead – AMC, USA

AMC’s other cash cow is now front and centre on the growing cable channel. Season 4 has been burning slow but burning very bright and speaking highly for the close attention to character development the writers show. Though, it’s the acting which steadies this show and balances out any weaknesses. I’d hate to sound like a meathead, but we need more action in the second half. – Chris Singh

3. Parks and Recreation – NBC, USA

The funniest show out of the USA looks to be in its last season, but unlike some other US comedies, it’s not resting on its laurels as the head towards the finish line. The writing remains stronger than ever and the cast is on form. If you didn’t give the show much of a chance after a lackluster first season, you’ve since missed out on a series which came into its own in the second season and has never let up since. Season four is possibly the most entertaining story arc television has seen in some time. As for the remaining episodes, we can’t wait for the sixth season to return in the new year! – Larry Heath

2. Breaking Bad – AMC, USA

One of the greatest television finales in history. Breaking Bad went out with a bang and the surprises didn’t stop until the last 30 seconds. The final set of 8 episodes gained so much momentum that the week long wait between episodes became agonising. Aaron Paul has proven to be one of the most convincing actors in the business time and time again, and the final season was no exception. – Jayden Wilson

1. Game of Thrones – HBO, USA

Three words: The. Red. Wedding.

Never has there been a story so unpredictable as that of George RR Martin’s A Song Of Ice And Fire. Adapted from the book series, Game Of Thrones has some of the most intensely shocking plot twists around which gives is a refreshing turn from some of the predictable shows out today. Brilliantly acted and scripted, Game Of Thrones offers the best story in the best format. – Jayden Wilson


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