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Morena Baccarin and Damien Lewis as Nicholas Brody in Homeland. (Kent Smith / SHOWTIME)
Morena Baccarin and Damien Lewis as Nicholas Brody in Homeland. (Kent Smith / SHOWTIME)

Year in review

TV's 2011 standouts, good and bad Add to ...

1. Homeland (Showtime/SuperChannel)

The year’s best series, a terrorism thriller about a U.S. hero (Damian Lewis) returned from Iraq. Is he a spy? A big plus was a startlingly brave performance from Claire Danes as a disturbed CIA agent.

2. Krista Erickson's Sun News interview with Margie Gillis

Sun News craved a defining moment and this was it – a preposterously ungracious attack by a braying TV flibbertigibbet on a distinguished Canadian artist. Complaints flooded the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council.

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3. American Horror Story (FX)

Ryan Murphy’s insanely cryptic, overdone haunted-house drama – visually thrilling and dramatically frustrating, but inspiringly original.

4. The Walking Dead (AMC)

The second season was even better than the first. Who knew a postapocalyptic zombie drama could be so smart?

5. Storage Wars (A&E)

An instant hit, one of those harebrained reality series that manage to capture a national mood – people desperate to make money from stuff in those abandoned storage units.

6. Downton Abbey (PBS/Vision TV)

The new Upstairs, Downstairs, following the lives of the aristocratic Crawley family and their servants, set in the early 20th century. Viewers were enthralled by the antics of both the 1 per cent and the 99.

7. The events in Tahrir Square

The scenes will be forever searing – a seemingly chaotic mass protest evolving live into the daily demand for the demolition of a long-standing regime. Scenes of fear, rage and sometimes terror.

8. Republic of Doyle (CBC)

Season 2 kept making St. John’s look sublimely sexy, and guest roles for leading Canadian actors were juicy.

9. Game of Thrones (HBO Canada)

An astonishingly successful, visually stunning adaptation of the tangled fantasy novels of George R. R. Martin.

10. Life with Murder (CTV)

John Kastner’s masterful doc about how a murder impacted a Chatham, Ont., family, was deservedly nominated for an International Emmy.

Follow on Twitter: @MisterJohnDoyle

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