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Ie h i hThursday, January 10, 2013 - 3B
Best TV Shows of 2012
2. "Game of Thrones"
3. "Parks and Recreation"
It's not always obvious what a show will do
after taking as big a risk as "Game of Thrones"
did in its season one finale. It's now safe to say
that the HBO fantasy-drama has successfully
maintained a high level of excitement and sus-
pense after killing off the one hope that Westeros
Season two continued the battle of the Seven
Kingdoms, introducing new players Theon Grey-
joy and Stannis Baratheon to fight for control
against fan favorites like Robb Stark and Daener-
ys Targaryen. In addition to the new faces, depth
was added to existing characters Arya Stark and
Tyrion Lannister - both impossibly more badass
Though the landscape seems sprawling, "Game
of Thrones" kept us afloat among the details with
vivid storytelling and visuals.
And though it seemed impossible, season two
has made us all hate Joffrey Baratheon more than
It's the little things that make NBC's "Parks and
Recreation" quietly superb: Jean Ralphio, Bert
Macklin's (FBI) guest appearances, Ron's Tammy
It certainly takes a tremendous amount of skill,
dedication and heart for a series to so fully shake
off humble beginnings and create one of the most
expertly defined, lovable ensemble caststo grace our
TV sets in years.
And the ensemble is what "Parks" is all about.
Where would Ron be without Leslie's birthday scav-
enger hunts and not-so-subtle matchmaking? Poor
Tom would still be mourning Entertainment 720
without Ben's restrained guidance, Andy and April
would be lost (literally, in Andy's case) without each
other and Garry wouldn't be Jerry without his exas-
Seamlessly blending new characters, challenges
and campaigns, "Parks" is more than a sitcom. It's a
love letter to the idea that people can make a differ-
ence. And also, bacon.
The BBC's edgy series, "Sherlock," crafts a deftly
clever name for itself amid endless Holmes re-imag-
inations by thrusting the famed detective into con-
temporary London while still faithfully assimilating
Conan Doyle's original vision.
Marvelously witty, the series plays on classic
Holmes - with mysteries such as "A Scandal in Bel-
gravia," featuring the infamous Irene Adler, now a
dominatrix - without losing any modernity in the
process. The writing is unflinchingly smart, one could
expect nothing less from "Doctor Who" veterans Ste-
ven Moffat and Mark Gatiss.
But the invigorating mystery series reaches new
heights because of its superb cast and buckets of
chemistry. Benedict Cumberbatch spins Sherlock as
dismissively superior in both intellect and charisma.
Martin Freeman's Watson is a flawlessly on-point
blend of cynicism. affection and protectiveness. Add
Andrew Scott's blissfully demented Moriarty and the
series practically drips talent.
The insanely addictive background score and skill-
fully crafted twists and turns make "Sherlock" the
Holmes for a new millennium.
It'sbeen hailed as intuitive and honest; it'sbeen
criticized as "too young-and-female-centric." It's
been loved and hated, but HBO's "Girls," starring
writer and creator Lena Dunham, was one of the
most groundbreaking shows of 2012. The show
follows a group of twenty-somethings navigating
the awkwardness of post-grad life with the for-
mula of "Sex and the City" and the unapologetic
persona of Generation Y.
The show doesn'tshy away from HBO's now-
renowned sexual explicitness and painfully
uncomfortable social situations. Dunham's char-
acters portray a new wave of youth; a generation
prepared to struggle for identity after gradua-
tion, knowing that the prolonged journey will
teach us more about ourselves.
The show doesn't spe'ak for everyone, but it
certainly speaks to everyone. As Dunham spells
out, she isn't trying tobe the voice of our genera-
tion; she is simply the "voice of a generation."
Whatever the story, her voice is worth a listen.
-PR OMA KHOSLA
2. "Borderlands 2"
Sometimes you just need a
game that doesn't take itself too
seriously, and "Borderlands 2"
answered the calliwith flair. Want
some kick-ass stylized graphics?
Done. How about some futuris-
tic tunes to serenade you while
you empty a few hundred rounds
into an armored midget? Why
not! You like guns? Here are a few
thousand, complete with shot-
guns that shoot bullets that then
With an addicting co-op-cen-
tered gameplay and rarer loot
when more friendsjoin in the fun,
"Borderlands 2" trades realism for
fun, serious strategy in exchange
for a "Screw that, I'm going in
guns blazing" type of spontane-
ity. And the game even rewards
you by increasing the tempo of
the music while you begin your
rampage. The storyline's pretty
great too, complete with some
fantastic voice acting. What more
could you want in a game?
The sequel to Runic Games's
hugely successful "Torchlight"
came a few months after Bliz-
zard's dungeon crawling, loot
grinding journey to hell and back
"Diablo III" hit shelves world-
wide. It offers a lighter take on
the hack-and-slash genre, with
less oppressively dark shoulder-
ing of the weight of the world and
more indiscriminately bashing
through anything that moves.
"Torchlight II" provides a
more accessible and casual expe-
rience to those looking for a less
intense playthrough than "Dia-
blo" while retaining all of the
A robust endgame comes
bundled with the game, some-
thing its high-budget competi-
tor lacked sorely until recently,
and free downloadable content
from Runic Games is expected in
2013, ensuring that the game will
continue to provide new thrills
to newcomers and veterans alike.
4. "Halo 4"
5. "Guild Wars 2"
Unsurprisingly, 343 Indus-
tries's reboot of the "Halo" series
and the beginning of the Reclaim-
er saga rocked everyone's world
this year. Without a doubt one of
the most graphically impressive
BETHt5DA console games of the year, "Halo
4" provided the trademark alien
ass-kicking and sci-fi story its
possibly hardcore lore adherents adore,
he game with new settings and enemies -
ng seen and brand-spanking new ways to
sualties, litter said settings with said ene-
sfaction mies' innards. The multiplayer's
loadout system and depth puts its For those looking for the
predecessors to shame and is con- next-generation of MMDR-
stantly being updated with new PG's, look no further than
game modes and maps to keep the ArenaNet's "Guild Wars 2."
constant stringof profanities flow- Where competitors struggled
ing from the mouths of hundreds with familiar and boring
of thousands. of gamers. While gameplay mechanics, "Guild
not full of innovation, the game is Wars 2" crafted playstyles
a solid and a worthy successor to that rely on one's skill and
one of the most popular first-per- thinking ability, instead of just
son shooter series in history and a mashing the numbers on your
worthy contender for game of the keyboard.
year. And the developers, always
-JULIANAIDAN with an ear to their fans'
doors, created a stunning
environment that was graphi-
cally impressive and filled
it with voice-acted NPC's -
enough voice-acting to fill 60
feature-length films. Com-
bining that with the elimina-
tion of factions, a thrilling
and addictive PVP mode and
the option for some seriously
ambitious world vs. world bat-
ties; fans and first-timers alike
will be blown away..
2012 was a great year for
games, but few fresh releases
made their way to the top like
"Dishonored." From the imme-
diately intriguing storyline to
the palpably grim depiction of
a totalitarian government, the
game seamlessly placed players
in its mid-fantasy steampunk
Offering a multitude of ways to
approach any given scenario and
an array of spells that give the
player a massive amount of con-
trol over the world, "Dishonored"
is a stealth game that gives every-
one anything they could
want. Players can play ti
as a shadow, never bei
and never inflicting ca
or experience the sati
of freezing a group of
guards in time and thee
ing them all to ash by me
toting rat. It's good stul
honored" earns its plac
top by delivering solid g
and a top-notch story it
where successful new I
few and far between.
ans of a
e at the
n a year
THE BEST OF 2012 LISTS CONTINUE!
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