Breaking Bad concluded its remarkable run with a final season that saw Walter White meet the end that fans (and most likely, Walter) knew was coming. We had spent the past few years watching Walt’s greed and anger devour his humanity, but the final episode gave him some measure of the redemption that he had sought. The show’s writers and cast leave us with one of television’s most finely polished gems while setting a lofty new standard for episodic storytelling to which many successors will aspire, but few will reach. I expect Breaking Bad to represent a healthy portion of Netfllix’s streaming business for years to come.
Meanwhile, Game of Thrones became a truly formidable pop culture force, propelled by the strength of a particularly riveting and brutal episode. And Hannibal schooled everyone else in the art of finding beauty in the most horrible things. It was a remarkable year for TV and I’m eager to see what fills up my TiVo in 2014.