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‘Please Like Me’ on Time’s 10 Best List

The Best New TV Shows of 2013

In a banner year for both new and returning series, some love for the next generation of great TV.
By James Poniewozik

I’ve been a broken record lately about what a bumper crop of good TV we’ve had in 2013, something the process of winnowing down my annual Top 10 TV Shows list really drove home.

So I decided to do something I haven’t done in several years: a list of the year’s 10 best new shows. In any year, no matter how good the new talent is, it’s hard for brand-new shows to find space among all the returning shows that are at their peak. This year, I had only four new shows on my 10 Best list. (Before 2007, TIME’s TV best lists included only new shows, which allowed more variety but didn’t really offer a true picture of the year in TV either.)

This list recognizes the banner year we had for premiering series and miniseries–and even at that, I had to leave plenty off. Brooklyn Nine-Nine and Trophy Wife are my favorite new fall sitcoms, and they may make my overall best lists some year if they stick around and grow–but they didn’t make the cut this time out. NBC’s Hannibal was a stylistically gorgeous adaptation (and I expect to see it on plenty of other lists), but it also left me cold, in a year already overloaded with stories about wicked criminal masterminds. Inside Amy Schumer was a fun surprise with voice to spare, but I don’t have room to spare. See also Broadchurch, The Bridge…

(Why keep this list to 10, then? Because I think that if a “best” list is to mean anything, it has to acknowledge that not everything can be best; that is, it has to involve tough omissions. That, and the HitFix critic’s poll asked me for my top 10 new shows, and I wasn’t about to come up with yet one more list.)

Anyway, to repeat myself from my earlier lists, there’s only one real answer to the question, “Why isn’t ______ on the list?”: Because I couldn’t bring myself to take any of the other 10 shows off to make room for it. In other words, it’s not about what was wrong with everything else, but what was right with these 10–in a year when there was a hell of a lot that was right with TV.

Now, in alphabetical order, The 10 Best New TV Shows of 2013:

Please Like Me (Pivot)
Australian comic Josh Thomas’ endearingly funny story of coming out and living out gave voice to a brand-new channel

See the full list here