12 For 2012

In alphabetical order, here's 12 things I enjoyed in 2012...

Ben Affleck turns in another great actor/director turn as a CIA agent heading to Iran to rescue hostages during the 1979 revolution with the flimsiest of bad cover stories: a fake Hollywood studio looking to shoot a Star Wars ripoff. Great beards, trenchcoats, 70s soundtrack - and it's all (pretty much) true. 

Breaking Bad S5
Magnetic, bitches! Can't wait for the second half. S4 was possibly tighter, but watching Walt's turn to the baaaad side was pretty compelling. 

Frank Ocean - Channel Orange
Fresh take on modern R&B, adding Sly Stone psych jams to the digital mix.

Game Of Thrones S2
Adding more families, more magic, more dastardly plots and more blood/guts/sexposition to an ever-expanding world.

Girls S1
Cue a stream of "new Sex And The City" / "they're so shocking" / "why is their NY so white?" articles - all interesting points, but it's easy to get sucked up in the phenomenon and lose sight of just how well written this is. Makes up for HBO canning How To Make It In America. Kind of.

Bill Willingham's ongoing Vertigo series is like Game Of Thrones for fairytales. A great graphic novel drama/thriller/comedy/soap opera.

The Killing III
Focused finale for Forbrydelsen, with Sarah Lund finding love in a hopeless place (another dark room in Denmark where the lights don't work but it's OK because she's got her torch. And Borch).

Total Oscar-bait, will be v surprised if anything manages to beat this when they're dishing them out. Spielberg back to his epic best, showing the mechanics of US government during the Civil War as Lincoln (Daniel Day Lewis) charms, cajoles and tricks his way to the abolition of slavery.

Tame Impala - Lonerism
Aussie psychedelia with bags of personality and tunes.

Toy - Toy
Two tracks pushing beyond the 7 min mark, tight Krautrock beats and Chameleons-style riffing - a promising, solid debut in a post-Horrors space that had multiple repeats at Chimp Towers.

The Walking Dead S3
Zombie action ramped up, more plots, more characters, less time to think "hey, what about..?"

Modern Family S4, Boardwalk Empire S3, Homeland S2, The Fear, Fresh Meat, Flying Lotus - Until The Quiet Comes, The US Office, Nurse Jackie S4 (another standout performance from Bobby Cannavale - almost as crazy as Gyp Rossetti), Skyfall.

, The Dark Knight Rises