Staff Picks: The Best TV Shows Of 2013 (So Far…)

2013 is already half over! Can you believe it? Time flies when you’re having fun sitting at home and watching TV.

But which shows this year have brought the most drama? Which characters are we most in love with? Which shows make us cry with hysterics and which make us just straight up cry? What have been the best television series of 2013?

Here are our staff picks for the best TV shows of 2013 (so far…)

Rahsheeda’s Pick:  Veep (HBO)

The bumbling incompetence that exists just a heartbeat away from the presidency is more than enough to make you laugh, if only to keep from crying.

Rahsheeda Ali

Tia’s Pick: Mad Men (AMC)

Everything about this season has been A-plus, from the Betty/Don camp canoodle to the creepy weirdness of Bob Benson (who is this guy?). So deva there’s only one season left!

Tia Williams

Stacy’s Pick: Bob’s Burgers (FOX)

This show is one that keeps on getting better and better. The third season rounded out the Belcher family (especially Tina) and brought on a slate of hilarious guest stars. Besides, this is probably the best GIF set to ever come out of a TV show.

Stacy Lambe

Sabrina’s Pick: New Girl (FOX)

This is how deep my love for New Girl has grown: I was watching it in the delivery room, an hour before my son was born. Even as a fan, I was surprised by how well they handled the Nick and Jessica story line. And Winston’s f-ed up pranks in the season finale just about made up for how little they’ve been using him lately.

Sabrina Rojas Weiss

Bene’s Pick: Scandal (ABC)

Scandal damn near gives me a hernia every Thursday night. Seriously, Shonda Rhimes’s cliffhangers will leave you sliding on the floor off of your sofa in shock. I plan my nights around Scandal because I don’t want to miss a minute of the show or the live-tweeting. If there’s a better show on TV, I must’ve missed it.

Bene Viera

Orlando’s Pick: Justified (FX)
After a lack-luster shoot-em-up 3rd season, Deputy Raylan Givens (Timothy Olyphant) returned in season 4 to tackle a suspensful 30-year-old cold case. As it turns out, Olyphant has developed into one hell of an actor and turned Justified into the best cop show on TV. Besides, it’s hard to dislike a show where Pappy Van Winkle and all of Kentucky’s great bourbons make regular cameos.

Orlando Lima

Jordan’s Pick: Mad Men (AMC)

Normally TV shows get worse as they grow older. The new characters are lame, and plot twists grow more broad and cartoonish -but this definitely isn’t the case with Mad Men! Matt Weiner and Co. keep cranking up the drama with mega-mergers, mind-blowing love connections and creepy new faces like the meme-ified and mysterious Bob Benson.

Jordan Runtagh

Emily’s Pick: House of Cards (Netflix)

Kevin Spacey’s Frank Underwood reaches Walter White-levels of evil in just one season. Even if you’re not a politics junkie, the manipulations of the majority whip, and the representation of modern media, will have you racing to finish all of the available episodes in one sitting. Netflix: a gift and a curse.

Emily Exton

Lacey’s Pick: House Hunters International (HGTV)

If you’re infected with wanderlust, this show will let your imagination roam as you live vicariously through Americans looking to fly the coop. Argentina, Thailand, Amsterdam, you name it; as future ex-pats look for their new residences in different cities around the world, you get immersed in their location and are fed some tips about the region. Is your passport up to date?

Lacey Seidman

Mark’s Pick: Top Of The Lake (Sundance Channel)

Teenage pregnancy. Incest. Battered women. Statutory rape. Child molestation. These horrible and controversial subjects are generally shied away from by television networks, but Sundance Channel’s tremendous series Top Of The Lake managed to tackle them all in seven incredibly compelling (and downright creepy) episodes earlier this year.

The logline is as follows: Elisabeth Moss (Mad Men) gives an Emmy-worthy performance as a small town policewoman who investigates the mysterious disappearance of an pregnant teenager in rural New Zealand. The show is reminiscent of Lynchian fare like Blue Velvet and Twin Peaks in the manner in which it explores the seedy underbelly of what appears to be a fairly sleepy town, albeit one chock full of memorable characters. Created by the cinematic feminist pioneer Jane Campion (The Piano), it fulfills all of the promise that AMC’s The Killing squandered during its first season … and more. (Available on Netflix.)

Mark Graham

Meghan’s Pick: Game of Thrones (HBO)

This show has everything. It has dragons, it has pretty costumes, it has subtitles, it has ice zombies, it has decapitations, it has bears, it has Peter Dinklage, it has awkward family dinners, it has magic, it has great acting, it has a lot of wine, and most of all, it had that scene with Jon Snow and Ygritte in the cave. Honorable mentions go to newbie programs Vikings and Hannibal for making carnage and cannibalism looking so damn pretty.

Meghan O’Keefe