2012 wasn’t just a spectacular year for films, it was an equally great year for television series. Of course, you’ve got Breaking Bad and Mad Men, which people just can’t seem to stop talking about, but there were a bunch of other great shows that didn’t quite make it onto the awards’ shortlists. Maybe it’s a matter of a malfunctioning Tivo, maybe it’s a difference in taste, who knows? Regardless, here’s are what I would consider the top five shows that weren’t quite good enough for the Golden Globes:

5. The League

The premise of a show being almost entirely about football is enough to turn people away from it, no matter how great the show may be. Don’t believe me? Just ask Friday Night Lights (well, you know, if a show could talk), another series that never quite hit its peak ratings despite being a quality show with a little bit of football in the script. Just like FNL, The League is a show that has some of the best cast chemistry on television, arguably even better than It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia, which airs in the time-slot before it on FX. The show doesn’t deal with football as much as deals with the effects football has on peoples’ relationships with each other: the hilarious, ridiculously over the top effects of being in a fantasy football league with friends. It’s been such a critical success that the cast even guest-commentates NFL games every now and then, but it’s still a long way away from being successful at any award ceremonies. Regardless, it’s quite possibly the funniest show on television, awards or no awards.


4. Southland

Every year, Southland weasels its way onto the top 10 lists of critics around the country. Every year, it receives a load of praise, especially after it moved from NBC to TNT and was allowed more liberties, provided by a somewhat bigger budget. As far as cop procedurals go, Southland has the best ensemble cast, is the best written, and–according to police officers I’ve spoken to who have seen the show–is the most accurate depiction of police work. It doesn’t glamorize the job; other shows have the officers chasing drug lords and going on car chases that wouldn’t happen in even the most extravagant of Tom Cruise films; Southland keeps it grounded in reality by making even the most trivial of tasks, such as breaking up a fight on Hollywood Boulevard, enticing to the viewer. It’s gritty, it’s fun, it’s the best drama that TNT “knows.” Entering its fifth season next month, it really is wondrous how this show has only won one Emmy to date.

3. House

House has received its fair share of love from the Golden Globes and Emmy’s, with lead Hugh Laurie having picked up a nomination in either ceremony every year and a few Globes himself, but this last season just didn’t seem to receive the attention previous seasons garnered. Despite being snubbed of any nominations, the eighth and final season of House was–at least in my opinion–one of its best seasons since the original team departed in season three. It’s a sad thought that after eight years, Hugh Laurie never once won an Emmy for his role as the Sherlock Holmes inspired doctor and never will–almost as bad as Steve Carell never winning one for being Michael Scott. Thankfully, the show has seen a fair share of success at the Golden Globes, so House won’t lose too much by missing out on being present at award ceremonies in its last year of eligibility.


2. Community

Year in and year out, Community has been the smartest, funniest show on television. There really isn’t any competition, as far as creativity goes, even though Modern Family rakes in all the awards. This past season of Community, especially, pushed the boundaries of creativity by doing something different for almost every episode that aired. One episode spoofed Law and Order, another was almost entirely an 8-bit episode, the next was a documentary that could very well have been directed by Michael Moore himself, and so on and so forth. Just like Arrested Development, it’s a show that is highly underrated and, as such, is in danger of being cancelled. The show just barely got renewed for a fourth season, having to beg for a spot in a line-up that includes Whitney and Up All Night. 


The only thing keeping me from ranking Community as the best non-Globes show of 2012 is that it was overzealous in nature. I’d love to see the show return to its semi-normal roots of being a zany sitcom that does the occasional “special” episode, as it was in the first two seasons, as opposed to being a season full of “special” episodes with a few of “regular” ones. The  new season starts on October 19th, less than a month away; tune in then to find out what the show will be like without show runner Dan Harmon.


1. Justified

Justified is the greatest show that nobody watches. Starring Timothy Olyphant as Deputy U.S. Marshall Raylan Givens (the most badass law enforcement official on television), I would say Justified is FX’s prized possession, just slightly edging out Wilfred and The League. Olyphant has been nominated for his work on the show in the past, but the show itself never seems to garner the recognition it deserves.


In 2011, it received a record four nominations at the Emmy’s, but each and every single nomination recognized a particular actor as opposed to the overall quality of the series. In fact, these actors have gotten so much recognition for their work that Walton Goggins (who plays Boyd Crowder on the show) featured in two of the nominated Best Pictures this year: Lincoln and Django Unchained. Each individual actor and actress on Justified is phenomenal, there’s no denying that, but there’s even less denial in the sum being greater than the parts. The new season, which premiered yesterday, looks to be stellar; maybe this’ll be its year? Check out Justified, Thursdays at 10pm on FX.