It’s been a big year in television so far, and it’s fair to say that by the end of the year, the landscape will change again with the Breaking Bad midseason finale, the return of Dexter, Boardwalk Empire, and Sons of Anarchy, a new network season which may or may not continue to see ratings deterioration, and the final season of Community. But before we turn the page on the first seven months of the year, I thought it’d be appropriate to look back at the seven biggest stories of the year, so far. There will be SPOILERS, but don’t worry about it, apparently television viewers LOVE spoilers.
7. Newsroom — Aaron Sorkin’s highly anticipated return to television — on cable no less — was met with almost immediate hostility by critics, starting with an early review from Alyssa Rosenberg at Think Progress that opened the floodgates for the rest of the Internet’s critics. Smug, sanctimonious, and self-righteous become the most popular terms to describe Sorkin’s show, while criticisms ranged from badly written women, to recycled dialogue, and most recently, recycled plot lines. Despite online hostility, the show has been picked up for a second season (and Aaron Sorkin has fired all of his writers), the ratings are holding well, and most viewers have managed to find enough to redeem Newsroom to not just stick with it, but occasionally — in defiance of critics — enjoy it.
6. The Walking Dead — After a lackluster opening half to the second season of The Walking Dead and a scrapped opening episode that would’ve blown a whole in the Internet, the new showrunner Glen Mazzara more or less wiped Frank Darabount’s slate clean earlier this year and finally began moving his characters forward. The last six episodes saw Dale die, Rick kill Shane, and a zombie invasion on the farm that forced the survivors toward a prison. Then Michonne showed up and knocked us on our asses. Unfortunately, there was nothing Mazzara could do to save Lori: She and her son Carl remain two of the most hated and insufferable characters on television.