TV Fanatic Staff Round Table: Best New Show of 2011

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From the brilliance of Breaking Bad to the cuteness of Zooey Deschanel, from the nudity on True Blood to the tears we're still shedding over Friday Night Lights... it's been quite a 12 months in television.

Over the next couple weeks, members of the TV Fanatic staff will gather for a handful of Round Table discussions, all based on a single, year-end question and all concluding with a poll that asks readers for their opinions. Ready to debate? Let's start with...


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Matt Richenthal: Homeland. This may be the easiest Round Table question I've ever answered. 2011 Emmy Award for Best Actress in a Drama, thy name is Claire Danes.

Jim Garner: 2 Broke Girls. Max and Carolyn are the Felix and Oscar of the 21st century. What a great pairing of actresses. I adore both Kat Dennings and Beth Behrs.

Eric Hochberger: Game of Thrones. I couldn't even imagine another choice when you consider the sheer depth of George R. R. Martin's novels and what HBO has managed to do with the first one. Tyrion Lannister FTW.  Plus, it helps the only other new shows on my DVR were The Secret Circle and 2 Broke Girls and not even my crush on Kat Dennings could let me list that one with a straight face. No offense, Jim.

Leigh Raines: Revenge. Emily Van Camp has successfully brought "The Count of Monte Cristo" to the modern day Hamptons. With Madeline Stowe as the icy villain and a cast full of sexy newbies, revenge has never been more juicy.

Arlene Gonzalez: As much as I absolutely LOOOOVE American Horror Story, Once Upon A Time gets my vote. Any show that can get this Disney-hater enthused is tops in my book. The concept is a unique one, the mixing of old school fairytale characters being stuck in the present world with no idea of their history is fun to watch and Lana Parilla is a kick ass Evil Queen. Plus, the costume design and the effects are stunning. Not bad for a network show!

Christine Orlando: Once Upon a Time. Each week brings us to this fantasy of characters that are familiar yet somehow completely new. Even fairy tales I had no interest in, like Snow White, I now find completely enchanting. It's a love story, and a mystery, and a fantasy all wrapped into one captivating hour of TV.

Steve Marsi: The answer is obviously New Girl, unless there's another show in which a lingerie-clad, hilariously awkward Zooey Deschanel starts choking a mortified Justin Long in an effort to spice up foreplay. Not even sex, mind you. Just foreplay. NOTE: If there is another show featuring this exact encounter, let me know so I can cringe/laugh all over again.

Carissa Pavlica: I have to go with Game of Thrones, as well. Not only was it true to the incredible books on which it was based, but it has some of the highest production value and best casting I've ever had the pleasure of viewing. All of the characters, whether beloved or abhorrent, were so well fleshed out that you even enjoyed the most miserable of scenes. Pure brilliance.

Dan Forcella: Homeland. It was difficult to decide, but week in and week out, Homeland has delivered the most interesting and entertaining television of any new series in 2011. Claire Danes and Damian Lewis have put forth unbelievable acting performances, while the writing staff has kept the audience guessing during and after each and every episode. 

Christina Tran: American Horror Story. It confuses and scares the crap out of me and has truthfully kind of made me a little paranoid. With an amazing cast including Connie Britton, Dylan McDermott, Jessica Lange and Zachary Quinto, the creepy factor is off the charts.

Nick McHatton: I'm going to break the mold here and pimp Awkward, MTV's little comedy that could. Heart, humor, slutty punctuation, and genuinely funny moments for all ages. Everything a comedy should be and more.

Chandel Charles: I am going to have to say Suits. USA really hit the ball out of the park on that one!

Your turn: What do you think was the best new show of 2011?

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