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The Fien Print's TV Top 10 for 2013 - 'Breaking Bad,' Sundance's big year and more

The Fien Print's TV Top 10 for 2013 - 'Breaking Bad,' Sundance's big year and more

Which animated series, documentary and Netflix original made the cut?
I keep meeting fewer and fewer people who use that dreadfully snooty line, "Oh, I don't really watch TV."
 
Yes, my perception on these matters is skewed. 
 
I also feel like we get fewer and fewer comments on the site lamenting that there's nothing on TV but "reality crap."
 
Again, my perception may be skewed.
 
Our definitions of "great TV" may differ, but I think there was more "very good TV" airing in 2013 than ever before and that there were more types of very good TV airing than ever before and they're airing in more places.
 
My Top 10 list includes an animated series, a documentary, a zombie show, a fantasy series, three or four things that are kinda comedies, period shows and contemporary. They're shows from cable, network, PBS and an online platform.
 
Seven of the shows in my Top 10 were no-brainers for me. Another was a no-brainer on quality, but its brevity and format left me briefly contemplating its place. And two of the shows on my list could have been replaced by six or seven other shows and I'd have felt *almost* exactly the same satisfaction. 
 
So that means that when I do my Second 10 in a couple weeks, I think that's a list of very good shows as well and some of them really hurt to exclude from this list. And if that list only includes 10-ish shows (I usually allow some cheating once I get out of the Top 10), I'll probably feel bad about another six or seven shows that I left out.
 
That's how this goes. 
 
Check out my Top 10 in video form above. It'll be in list form on Tuesday morning as part of HitFix's Now-Annual TV Critics Poll.
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Beyonce's new 'XO' video is a thrill ride: Watch
Credit: Columbia Records

Beyonce's new 'XO' video is a thrill ride: Watch

She's on a rollercoaster of love

Beyonce’s “XO” video, her second in a few days following “Drunk in Love,” compares love to a carnival.

Shot at Astroland at Coney Island, the clip features a sultry, slightly euphoric looking Beyonce walking on the boardwalk and dancing her way through the midway alone and with friends, intercut with other folks at the theme park and the rides. It also includes brief footage of her on stage.

It’s an interesting clip, almost as if we’re seeing her in some state of heightened reality enhanced by some mood-altering substance-- or maybe that’s just what love does to Beyonce.  "XO" will go to top 40 radio at the beginning of year.

In the meantime, “Beyonce,” the album she dropped at midnight on Friday, continues to sell well. It set a iTunes record for best U.S. sales in a week at 617,000.
 

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<p>Shia LaBeouf may have shot his own directorial ambitions in the foot today. At least he's in a Lars Von Trier film. Maybe they can compare notes on career suicide.</p>

Shia LaBeouf may have shot his own directorial ambitions in the foot today. At least he's in a Lars Von Trier film. Maybe they can compare notes on career suicide.

Credit: Magnolia Pictures

Shia LaBeouf pulls short film from Internet after charges of plagiarism emerge

The sad thing is he may have had a point

What was he thinking?

That is the one question I'm going to want answered with Shia LaBeouf finally makes some sort of comment on the bizarre story that's been unfolding today. If you haven't been following it, the day began with people linking to a short film that originally played at the Cannes Film Festival this past May. I guess no one who was at Cannes is a Daniel Clowes fan, though, because there was nary a whisper afterwards about any sort of issues that there might be with the film that Shia made.

Now, though, thanks to the fact that plagiarism is nearly impossible to get away with in the age of the Internet, in less than 24 hours, LaBeouf has had to lock the film behind a password because the connection was instantly made between his film, "HowardCantour.com," and a comic by Clowes, best known as the creator of "Ghost World," called "Justin M. Damiano." I really like Clowes, but I'm no authority on his work. Still, when BuzzFeed ran the short film past Clowes today, they did it because they were surprised he wasn't credited on the film. What seemed like an odd oversight at first became something more when Clowes replied.

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Eminem strolls down memory lane in 'Monster' clip with Rihanna: Watch

Eminem strolls down memory lane in 'Monster' clip with Rihanna: Watch

It's not a pleasant trip

Rihanna wears more clothes than we’ve seen her wear in years in the video for Eminem’s “Monster” clip.

The "Marshall Mathers LP 2"  tune, which hit No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 last week, features Rihanna as a therapist who is helping treat Eminem, who revisits his much-used theme of going insane.

The video starts with the good doctor showing Em a tape of his life flashing before him. The tape is comprised largely from events in his life and from his past videos.

From there, it alternates between Eminem reliving the scenes from the tape, such as the rapper in an asylum, along with Dr. Dre;  shots of Rihanna singing her refrain, and Eminem standing in front a hotel on 8 Mile Road, in concert, and performing with Elton John at the 2006 Grammys. The images mirror the lyrics of the song, which take a trip back in time by referencing many of Eminem’s past hits.

He ends up on rooftop with a SWAT Team recalling a time when he was encaged... either in reality or in his own head... with the monster that lives there.

The clip doesn’t have the impact of their previous collaboration, “Love The Way You Lie,”  but that’s also because the song doesn’t have the same heft to it. However, it’s beautifully shot and both Rihanna and Eminem make the most of their parts. Plus, it’s a nice way to revisit much of Eminem’s career without doing a standard flashback video.

 

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"Oprah: Where Are They Now?"

 "Oprah: Where Are They Now?"

Credit: OWN

Exclusive clip: Get personal with 'Project Runway' winner Christian Siriano

Meet his boyfriend, too

Ever wonder what happens after you win a reality TV competition like "Project Runway"? Is it just a slow descent into obscurity and depression with a nice pile of parting gifts? Sometimes, sure, but that hasn't been the case for Christian Siriano.

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<p>Jay&nbsp;Z attends the New York premiere of &quot;The&nbsp;Great Gatsby.&quot;</p>

Jay Z attends the New York premiere of "The Great Gatsby."

Credit: AP Photo

Jay Z, Coldplay and U2 make the Oscar eligibility cut for Best Original Song

'Kamasutra 3D,' this is your moment

On the heels of our piece detailing the unfortunate ineligibility of "Please Mr. Kennedy" from "Inside Llewyn Davis," the Academy has announced 75 original songs in competition for the Best Original Song Oscar at the 86th annual Academy Awards.

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<p>Tom Hanks</p>

Tom Hanks

Credit: AP Photo

Tom Hanks joins Palm Springs fest's starry list of honorees

The 'Captain Phillips' and 'Saving Mr. Banks' star gets the Chairman's Award

It's funny having Tom Hanks back in the awards hunt this year. He's such a dab hand at the whole campaign spiel, and has been such a quietly familiar presence in the season thus far, that it hardly feels like 13 years since he was last nominated for an Oscar. (Meanwhile, kids born around the time he tearfully accepted his second Oscar for "Forrest Gump" are now legal adults. Where do the years go?)

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<p>Seen here in 'Hesher,' Gordon-Levitt seems pretty much ideal to bring Gaiman's iconic lead character to life.</p>

Seen here in 'Hesher,' Gordon-Levitt seems pretty much ideal to bring Gaiman's iconic lead character to life.

Credit: Newmarket Films

Joseph Gordon-Levitt set to dream up Neil Gaiman's 'Sandman' with David Goyer

This just got reeeeeeeeeeally interesting

"Sandman" is heading to theaters with Joseph Gordon-Levitt producing, directing and starring in the film, and with David Goyer co-producing, in a story that was first reported in November and then seemingly confirmed according to a report just published, and if that actually happens, it's going to be a really interesting ending to a long and difficult development process for Neil Gaiman's landmark comic series.

The first time I met Neil Gaiman was to discuss his work writing the English-language script for "Princess Mononoke," but most of our conversation was about "Sandman" and the long, ugly string of near-misses that happened on the film. When I was at Ain't It Cool, I wrote a piece about Bill Farmer's adaptation that was in development at that point, and I consider it a bullet dodged that the studio didn't end up making it. That piece got Neil's attention, and he told me how skeptical he was that anyone was going to be able to crack it as a movie.

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'Homeland' boss: 'It was time'


"Homeland" boss: "It was time"

"We spent a lot of hours in the story room figuring out what we could do with his character," says exec producer Alex Gansa, "and a lot of the emotional landscape had been crossed. We didn't want to repeat ourselves." PLUS: There was pushback from Showtime this season over Brody, where were Jessica and Dana Brody?, Gansa says it got "surreal" when the real-life Iranian developments happened, the ending was too little, too late, why "Homeland" can never recapture its past glory.


"The Sing-Off" is going on tour
"The Sing-Off Live Tour!" will kick off a 32-night trip around the U.S. on Feb. 19 in Verona, NY.


Regis Philbin is now on Twitter
Check out his first selfie.


Will "SNL" suffer from "token syndrome" with new black female cast member?

Shows like "Girls" and "Friends" had to deal with some awkwardness when, under pressure, they added a black character.


Simon Cowell: "I might have a different kind of role" on "The X Factor" next season

Cowell didn't say he was stepping down as judge, but he did say the show has "got to be more different next year than it was this year."


Why "Survivor" should call it quits

After 27 seasons, "Survivor" has run out of ideas to attract new viewers. PLUS: Tina Wesson talks about her son's death.


Joel McHale: There's a "really good, really funny reason" behind Troy's "Community" exit
Gillian Jacobs adds that it's "a nice departure that doesn’t make you feel sad about the character; it feels right." PLUS: Watch the Greendale reunion.


Why did "SNL" waste John Goodman?

The 13-time host was treated as if he'd never done comedy before?


Kudos to "Two and a Half Men" for its transsexual portrayal

Paula Marshall's character is, shockingly, not horrible.


"Bachelor" Juan Pablo: My Latino background will be a big part of my season

"I am the bachelor and I am a Latino," he says. "There's going to be a lot of Latino things on the show, a lot of food, a lot of dancing, a lot of stuff. It's going to be so different, you're going to love it."


"Downton Abbey" has a smelly cast: Washing of period clothes is banned

According to Sophie McShera, who plays cook's assistant Daisy, there is a "no wash" policy on all the clothes worn on set in order to preserve their authentic historic look.


"Gossip Girl" alum Kevin Zegers joins Fox's "Broadchurch" remake
He'll take on the young/handsome reporter role on "Gracepoint."


Will Khloe Kardashian get her own dating reality show?

Kris Jenner is said to want the newly single Khloe to star in "Single and Searching for Love."


"Revenge" wedding church once hosted an "O.C." wedding

Caleb and Julie got married in the same church in Season 1 of "The O.C."


"Men at Work" books Jane Seymour and Ed Asner
Both will guest on the TBS comedy, along with Danny Masterson's sister.


See the poster for "Sirens"

The USA EMT drama is from producer Denis Leary.


Watch "Being Human" promos
The Syfy series returns for a 4th season on Jan. 13.

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<p>Are you ready for &quot;Shakespeare in Love 2: Cruise Control?&quot;</p>

Are you ready for "Shakespeare in Love 2: Cruise Control?"

Credit: Miramax

90s nostalgia as Weinsteins and Miramax reunite for 'Shakespeare in Love' sequel

And if you've been waiting for 'Rounders 2,' it's your lucky day

New Year's Eve is rapidly approaching, and over at Harvey Weinstein's, people are getting ready to party like it's 199-- well, 1998 actually, with all due to respect to Prince. In what is surely the oddest film news of the day, The Weinstein Company appears to have entered a realm of pure Nineties nostalgia: not only have the Weinstein brothers built new bridges with their former company, Miramax, but they're using that alliance to develop sequels to Best Picture Oscar winner "Shakespeare in Love" and, er, "Rounders."

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<p>Oscar Isaac,&nbsp;Justin&nbsp;Timberlake and Adam&nbsp;Driver sing &quot;Please&nbsp;Mr.&nbsp;Kennedy&quot;&nbsp;in a scene from &quot;Inside Llewyn&nbsp;Davis&quot;</p>

Oscar Isaac, Justin Timberlake and Adam Driver sing "Please Mr. Kennedy" in a scene from "Inside Llewyn Davis"

Credit: CBS Films

How 'Please Mr. Kennedy' was born and why it's not eligible for Oscar consideration

T Bone Burnett talks the novelty song and his thoughts on the branch's strict rules

LOS ANGELES — With nominations from the Hollywood Foreign Press Association and the Broadcast Film Critics Association in the span of a week, not to mention being a stand-out track on the year's prestige "musical," produced by recent Academy Award winner T Bone Burnett with pop superstar Justin Timberlake on the mic, you would think "Please Mr. Kennedy" from the Coen brothers' "Inside Llewyn Davis" was on a collision course with Oscar. But due to stricter AMPAS rules, the tune will not be on the list of songs eligible to compete in the Best Original Song category at this year's Academy Awards.

That's no skin off Burnett's back.

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'New Girl' casts Linda Cardellini as Jess' sister


"New Girl" casts Linda Cardellini as Jess' sister
The "Freaks and Geeks" and "Mad Men" alum will recur as Abby, Jess' wild-child older sister.

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