2013 was a gratifying year for couch potatoes. Sure, Showtime famously bungled the final season of “Dexter,” turning a once great antihero into a farcical, widely mocked lumberjack. There was also the usual big network chaff, like “The Mob Doctor,” “Guys With Kids,” and “The Family Tools,” which were rolled out and mercifully chucked into the sitcom boneyard. But those proved the exception as three innovative stalwarts took their final bows: “The Office,” “30 Rock,” and “Breaking Bad.” Netflix CEO Reed Hastings took binge-watching tendencies to new heights with groundbreaking shows like “Orange Is the New Black” and “House of Cards,” released in season-long blocks. HBO indulged zealots of Mike White’s “Enlightened” in one last unforgettable season. The dysfunctional Bluth family returned for the first time since “Arrested Development’s” much-opined cancellation in 2006. And showrunners threw loyalty out the door, executing beloved characters for the sheer joy of inciting fiery, water-cooler screeds.
There’s plenty to look forward to in 2014 as “Community’s” original creator, Dan Harmon, is welcomed back to the show he made a beacon of cult meta-humor, Mike Judge (“Beavis and Butthead,””King of the Hill”) returns to television with his new HBO series, “Silicon Valley,” and Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey team up in the highly anticipated new drama, “True Detective.” But before we move on to a promising docket of new programming, we wanted to take a minute to reflect on the massacres, musicals, and animated parodies that had us buzzing. Here are our 13 most memorable moments from an eventful year on the small screen.
— Christopher Hughes, Boston.com correspondent