Top 10 best TV shows of 2012 [SLIDESHOW]

From “Homeland’s” insane plot twists to “The League’s” crude, disgusting and downright hilarious jokes, TheDC picks our favorite TV shows of 2012.

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  • "Archer" has some of the sharpest writing on TV since "Arrested Development" -- and as an added bonus, is even ruder and cruder since it's on cable. If you haven't yet entered the DANGER ZONE! you are missing out. There's still time to catch up with the whole ISIS gang -- season four starts in January.
  • "Happy Endings" is maybe the best large ensemble sitcom since "Friends," which is no small accomplishment considering how often that formula has been copied over the last decade. Stand-out comic actors like Damon Wayans, Jr. and Adam Pally make what could have been just an amusing trifle a real must-watch show.
  • After one-and-a-half seasons, "New Girl" has established itself as one of the best series on television due to its quick-witted writing staff and the chemistry of the leads. Whatever you think of Zooey Deschanel in the past, she has now emerged as a real talent capable of anchoring a genuinely sweet, often brilliantly funny sitcom.
  • "Parks and Recreation" is another NBC show with a relatively small but devoted following. Some of the series' best moments have come in the fifth season, particularly the Christmas episode.
  • The first season of "Downton Abbey" was debatably better than the second, but you are heartless if you didn't shed a little tear of joy when Cousin Matthew came back from the war and then the doctors told him that his junk would in fact work.
  • The first few seasons of "30 Rock" remain the best, while a few seasons lagged there in the middle. The series' final season has regained some of its earlier strength including, of course, Liz Lemon getting married in a Princess Leia costume.
  • The second season of "Homeland" was definitely more insane and less realistic than the first, but it was still undeniably addictive -- why else would we have watched in anticipation each week?
  • FX's "The League" is seriously pushing the envelope with season four. The jokes are getting more disgusting and the plot lines are becoming more outrageous. But has there ever been a more ridiculous season premiere than Jenny demanding to be able to draft her fantasy football team while giving birth?
  • "Community" has a small, but extremely loyal following and since good things come to those who wait, the series' third season was, perhaps, the comedy's strongest. For the devoted fans, the irreverent and subversive series feels like you are in on an inside joke. Fans were rewarded for sticking with the series with episodes like "Remedial Chaos Theory" and "Basic Lupine Urology."
  • Numerous TV critics hated on the fifth season of "Mad Men" and a lot of fans disliked Megan's story arc. But the last few episodes of the season were arguably the most emotional of the entire series, with Pete's sad affair, Lane's suicide and Don's did-he-or-didn't-he slip back into his old ways in the season finale.

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