1. Breaking Bad, AMC
This season, Breaking Bad was more than a good thing; it was a great thing where performance, direction, concept, and hallucinatory New Mexico location photography all came together with the power of a bomb wired to a wheelchair. Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul turned in the best performances I've seen in years, and Giancarlo Esposito (as Gus Fring) is simply the best villain ever on a continuing TV show. The ultimate showdown between Gus and Walter is mythic, the outcome simultaneously satisfying and completely surprising. Breaking Bad has now surpassed The Sopranos, and, although I love Steve Buscemi, HBO's Boardwalk Empire isn't even in the running. Breaking Bad is an American classic.