As we look back on 2012, it’s clear to see that this has been a phenomenal year for television, with calls that we’re in a golden age for TV being more justified than ever before.
With dramas that have never failed to enthral to comedy shows that have made us ache with laughter, it’s never been a better time to curl up in front of the box and spend some time in TV land.
As we come to the close of the year, we’ve run down our favourite shows of the past year and outlined exactly why they just kept us coming back for more, time and time again.
Heck, that’s that many that we couldn’t even fit it into a top ten list, but we kick off our glorious dozen with a stately home, a vampiric love triangle and a slice of Nordic noir.
12 – The Vampire Diaries
While the Twilight saga finally dragged itself across the line to finish its story, The Vampire diaries goes from strength to strength.
Body swapping, sudden deaths and finally closing off its central dilemma were just a part of what made this the most eventful series yet of the refreshingly dark and nasty supernatural series.
The Vampire Diaries also manages to still be amazingly dark and grusome for an American network show, offering real chills and thrills throughout.
It's that darkness that makes the show utterly compelling for folks like me without a crush on Ian Somerhalder and keeps me coming back for more supernatural insanity in Mystic Falls.
11 – Downton Abbey
Oh how good it is for Downton to be back fighting fit again. After a poor second series last year, Dowton turned it all around for this year’s instalment, delivering the same homespun, cockle warming drama that we all fell in love with in its first year.
Filled with feel good emotional highs in the form of Bate’s return and crushing lows in the shape of Cybill’s death, Downton absolutely roared into the twenties and made it firmly into our Sunday night schedule once again.
The show’s greatest asset is its cast, and thankfully, series 3 shows them off with vigour, with Michelle Dockery and Joanne Froggatt both excelling throughout the clutch of episodes.
Once again though, it’s Dame Maggie Smith that remains the life and soul of the party, with her brilliant array of quips, put-downs and conversation stopping observations always bringing a grin to our faces.
10 – The Bridge
While The Killing introduced us to the world of Nordic Noir, it was The Bridge that gave us the best example of Scandinavian murder mysteries.
Yet again, we get another amazing female lead from the wintery north, with The Bridge’s main character Sara Noren being unlike just about anything we’ve seen in ages. In the best possible way. Saga is a character utterly without filters. Utterly without guile or subtly, she gives the show a whole different edge to it.
It’s not just her presence that makes the show utterly compelling, with its case of ‘The Truth Teller’ being one that will keep your eyes glued to the screen throughout.
The show may be dark and tough but The Bridge is definitely something worth crossing.
You can buy The Bridge on DVD here
That concludes our round up for the day, but check out the both our awards for both British and American TV and come back tomorrow to find out what makes our next trio of highlights.
FemaleFirst Cameron Smith