Top 10 TV Episodes of 2011

December 28, 2011 by  

Much like last year, I need to start off my list with a caveat: I’m behind (but currently catching up) on BREAKING BAD, JUSTIFIED and PARKS & RECREATION. I understand that they are all amazing shows and have had some phenomenal episodes this past year, but I haven’t seen them yet. (You may see me lamenting on Twitter my exclusion of certain episodes when I reach them, but that’s the best I can offer at this point.)

But that’s not to take anything away from the shows that are on this list. There has been some darn good television in the past 12 months.

Everyone has different definitions of what makes an episode great, so odds are you won’t 100% agree with my picks, but that’s okay. This is my admittedly biased selection of the 10 best episodes of 2011, listed in alphabetical order by series…

Top 10 TV Episodes of 2011

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Agree? Disagree? Tell me your personal top episodes of the year in the comments below and then make sure to check back later today for my top 10 shows of 2011!

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Comments

32 Responses to “Top 10 TV Episodes of 2011”

  1. Keith Viverette on December 28th, 2011 12:22 pm

    WOW, looking at your list lets me know how little stuff I watch that you do.

  2. Kath (canakatydid) on December 28th, 2011 1:38 pm

    As soon as I saw the post I thought, “If Marisa doesn’t include ‘Knockout’…” but then I knew you would. :)

    Thank you for including (and helping me remember) “Walker Down the Aisle” and, in my opinion, “Bad News” was perfection (Jason Segal-wow!) and “Good Bye Michael” was an absolutely fitting ending for Micheal Scott and his family of misfits…of course The Office continued after that but that’s a discussion for another day.

  3. Kath (canakatydid) on December 28th, 2011 1:40 pm

    Oh and btw, “Chuck vs The Santa Suit” was pretty damn good too!

  4. Kendall on December 28th, 2011 3:17 pm

    I certainly agree with both the selections of the Bones & The Office episodes but where on earth is Criminal Minds’ monumental and heart-breaking episode “Lauren”? Not only was it a tearjearker for fans & characters but one of Paget Brewster’s best performances to date!

  5. El on December 28th, 2011 3:43 pm

    Of the shows that I watched (as you do) you picked some of my favorite episodes.
    Bones episode that you listed was my very favorite of Season 6, actually the only one I considered to be really “Bones Like”. The whole cast was just right on in that episode and we had the old Brennan back.

    The Killing, Homeland, HIMYM all shone in the episodes you listed (Homeland in just about any episode).

    The office episode with Michael’s departure was great. I also loved the episode where they were all looking for him and Hollly was able to track him down. Also, the episode where Michael proposed. For a comedy, the Office writers really know how to bring it home. That was one of the sweetest scenes. I thought Steve Carrell was just awesome last season.

  6. Rachael on December 28th, 2011 10:20 pm

    I had never seen an episode of Castle (though I knew the basics of what the show was about) until “Knockout”. I saw a recap of it on this site and it was just enough to make me go “Oh that sounds dramatic, maybe I should check that out,” lol. Then I watched it and I remember not understanding pretty much anything that was going on hahaha (not having any background on it), but it still intrigued me enough to catch the season 4 premiere. Plus with Chuck moving away from Mondays, I didn’t have any Monday night shows anymore, so Castle has filled its place nicely. I’m now catching up on the backseasons through Amazon streaming (just starting season 3 now), and now I can’t wait to get back to “Knockout” so I can actually understand what’s going on. :) It’s a fun show.

    Also, Homeland has been phenomenal, and the ep you listed was definitely a standout for me too. I might have included a Chuck ep on this list if it were up to me, but I know the show is not what it used to be in the season 2 days. And most of the other shows you listed I don’t watch. ;-)

  7. Jason Spencer on December 29th, 2011 2:19 pm

    I agree with some of the list but it’s missing episodes of Game of Thrones and Breaking Bad

  8. Zepp on December 29th, 2011 2:39 pm

    I fully agree with the mention of the final episode of the 3th season of Fringe: “The Day We Died,” was the most surprising. That end, simply eliminating the existence of a character like Peter, was something never seen by me and even thought it was a surprise no equivalence. Just after this episode, everything was different in Fringe, what we had seen until then, had never happened! It was a brilliant plot twists by the writers of Fringe. Bravo!

  9. gl on December 29th, 2011 2:39 pm

    I only viewed the first 5 because this site sucks so much for ADS. It takes forever for each page to load. annoying!!!!!

  10. Switbo on December 29th, 2011 2:57 pm

    I definitely agree with the Fringe episode, it was amazing, and I bolted out of my chair as well when Peter disappeared! Fringe is one of the best show’s on network television right now, but woefully under-appreciated, so I was very happy to see it make your list. I also loved the Supernatural meta episode and the Bones episode you mentioned. But, you definitely missed one by leaving out the Criminal Minds episode “Lauren”.

  11. mileyah on December 29th, 2011 3:49 pm

    Absolutely agree! Other than falling skies and Nikita, this was the best! I’m sad to see the 9best lives of chloe king didn’t last, I liked that show and then they killed it :(I but watching peter and olivia this year was top notch! <3Peter&Olivia<3

  12. AleCrivelli on December 29th, 2011 4:00 pm

    Go Fringe!!! But, where is The Mentalist 3×24???

  13. Jennifer on December 29th, 2011 4:31 pm

    ABSOLUTELY agree on Fringe!! But what do you expect from the most unpredictable, amazingly brilliant show EVER!!!!

  14. ZiggOz on December 29th, 2011 6:11 pm

    “The Day We Died”, an episode was really unexpected, wonderful and genial. All in Fringe is unexpectedly sensational!

  15. Hemo_jr on December 29th, 2011 7:43 pm

    You have a lot of good choices here. I certainly agree with your Fringe choice. But how about Doctor Who: “A Good Man Goes to War”? Or Community: “Remedial Chaos Theory”?

  16. shane on December 29th, 2011 11:38 pm

    no ‘walking dead’, boardwalk empire’, or ‘dexter’? this list is utter garbage.

  17. Beth on December 29th, 2011 11:39 pm

    You’ve picked some great ones here, most notably the Castle and Fringe episodes. I’d add Modern Family’s “Caught in the Act” to the list.

  18. tantetrudeausbuxtehude on December 30th, 2011 3:50 am

    hi from germany.
    my english is not good enaugh for a long konservation.
    i make it short:

    dexter 6/12
    Breaking Bad 4/13
    fringe 3/22
    once upon a time 1/1

    best wishes and a happy new year

    trude

  19. ZiggOz on December 30th, 2011 10:35 am

    Despite my preference for “The Day We Died”, Fringe, can not fail to mention the episode of the Bones, “The Signs in the Silence”, as being excellent. It was a nice episode, with much human warmth and outstanding performances of the actors. I liked a lot too.

  20. Chloe on December 30th, 2011 1:13 pm

    I don’t watch all (or even most) of these shows, but I definitely agree with Fringe. Plot-twists, secrets, and a healthy dose of the audience not being able to see the overall arc made it a great episode.

    Another show I watch that totally doesn’t get enough love is a Syfy summer series, Haven. It’s a summer show, so you know right there it’s not meant to be a thriller, but the writers are talented at making you care about the characters. It’s based (extremely loosely) on a Stephen King novella and is about a small town in Maine where the inhabitants are afflicted by “The Troubles” every 30 years or so. It’s a bit like Heroes in that people have their own individual “powers” of a sort, but they are almost always bad ones. One of the main characters is a reserved, introverted man, Nathan, who can’t feel anything physically. As you would imagine has a lot of angst about it and it just makes him all the more loveable.

    In the second episode of the second season, he miraculously regains his ability to feel. His personality is completely different, and it’s plain to see how happy he is. He’s a cop, and he and his partner figure out that he lost it because someone else (an Ian Haskell) has the ability to take others’ Troubles. At the same time they meet a girl whose Trouble means that whenever anyone makes eye-contact with her, they see their worst fear. As in screaming, running, panicking, rioting people fleeing from your eyesight. In the end, Haskell is shot – whoever’s Trouble he has dies with him. And Nathan lets him take the girl’s Trouble because she wouldn’t have been able to live a normal life. Nathan comes off as incredibly noble and just so *good*, and the juggling of two Troubles without a clear connection at first made this episode brilliant.

  21. JillianLovesFood on December 30th, 2011 1:43 pm

    I agree with the Bones episode the Sign in the Silence 100% it was the only episode of the entire lame S6 that made the season worth watching. Mostly because it felt like Bones finally went back to the basic roots of the show with the cases, how characters interact with each other, and the focus being on Brennan not Booth.

    I would’ve loved to see an episode from Psych up there, like; One Maybe Two Ways Out or Last Night Gus.

  22. Donna on December 30th, 2011 2:19 pm

    Glad to see Fringe on the list BUT, the best episode of the year (2011) was “One Night in October” which can stand with the very best episodes Fringe has ever had.

  23. Zepp on December 30th, 2011 3:23 pm

    I agree with Chloe. Fringe and Haven, both of my preferences in the line of science fiction, despite being excellent series, the ratings are not compatible with the qualities of its productions. It’s something unexplainable, no doubt. But, following another view, put here, I put one of the best episodes, the last of, the third season of “The Mentalist”: “Strawberries & Cream.” This episode is in its final scenes, a moment of silence after a shooting inside a shoping, reminiscent of some of the best moments of Hitchcock. It was an amazing episode closure.

  24. Kevin on December 30th, 2011 5:00 pm

    Watch Breaking & Justified. then come back to amend your list….

  25. Kathy Dowden on December 30th, 2011 6:39 pm

    While I agree That Bones The Sign in The Silence was a good episode. Doctor in the Photo and The Hole in The Heart really trump it as the best of season 6. Not only interesting victim and criminals but both groundbreaking emotional growth episodes for Brennan. Cool to see.

  26. Melinda Holman on December 30th, 2011 9:23 pm

    I really loved that show. That is really impress me because they were talked about deaf girl. I hope they do learn how to sign language and it would be more fun to watch them communicate.

  27. EMILY LUNA on January 2nd, 2012 7:06 pm

    BOOTH AND BRENNAN FOREVER♥♥

  28. KLR1985 on January 3rd, 2012 12:14 am

    I agree with You Kathy Dowden, i was so excited to see booth and brennan finally admit in their love and the last two episodes of season 6 was groundbreaking for their relationship :)

  29. AJ on January 3rd, 2012 3:36 pm

    The positive part of your picks Ms. Roffman is Fringe, but so many other great shows were left off of your list entirely. A top “ten” for television series/shows is really unrealistic, isn’t it?

    To select a Bones episode at all for season six is just amazing to me. Signs was OK, but only in the since now to show the catastrophic failure to write ‘Brennan’ in character at all in season seven. Your selection points that out to a painful pointed fact. Any ounce of compassion that was given to the character development over the last six years to Brennan has been destroyed this season.

    If you put one of the lack luster, dumbed down episodes from season 7 (at least the first half of the season) in you top ten list next year, it will be clear to this fan you cuts your payroll check.

    As a P.S. to this post, before anyones says “well you haven’t seen all of the first half of the season to make this opinion………….SPOILER ALERT…………………………………………………………………………………………..
    As an orginal Bones fan I can tell you that Bones having a baby in a barn (stable like setting) because there is “no room at the Inn” is not viewed as great slapstick comedy. It is about as funny as Booth helping Bones up and hence giving the fans a little look as what doggy style sex with these two would be like. To get to a snicker about the upcoming birth episode, one has to understand the insluting that has to occur to the Brennan character to tickle your funny bone. Bones is agnostic, yet circumstances forces her to play out a scene from the bible???????? Seely JOSEPH Booth????????? Well……………..that’ll show her. This will be such fun to talk about at the Royal diner, ha ha ha. Bones will have to have the baby baptized now because look how she came into the world……Ohhhh , ahhhhhhhh. ha ha ha. I take no stance on religion for the masses, really so this over the top scene for a B&B baby seems just……………….like crap, antoher way to poke fun a dumbed down Brennan.

    The fans don’t seem to get it…….when the creator and executive producer of this show (HH and SN) give the fans the middle finger. You see, that is why they throw ridculous doggy style slapstick in a scene and out of the millions of possible scenes for the introduction of the Bones/Booth baby, we get episode seven of season seven.

    I embarrassed to be a fan of this show right now.

  30. AJ on January 3rd, 2012 3:44 pm

    Correction to the above post- Brennan is an atheist.

    Makes the whole birth scene even FUNNIER, doesn’t it !!??

    Not.

  31. Jasper on January 4th, 2012 10:10 am

    Modern Family and Castle could have filled this top ten list- now THAT is entertaining TV.

    Bones ???…………………. knee slapping funny that this show would make any list for 2011. It is a shadow of the former hit that I used to love. Any true fan does Bones a great dis-service to praise the writing style of the show right now. I agree the fans got the middle finger on this show.

  32. Christine on January 6th, 2012 1:29 pm

    I’m guessing that you didn’t see NCIS “Swan Song”?

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