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The 5 Best TV shows of 2012

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It was 12 months of viewing heaven, but here's where the real gold was found

1. Homeland

A quirk of scheduling meant we got not one but two series of the superior conspiracy thriller in 2012, neatly bookending the year. It remains the most mesmerising drama on TV, with Damian Lewis and Claire Danes’ Emmy-winning performances pulling off even the more outlandish of Homeland’s plot twists.

2. Sherlock

A thrilling three-part run started with villainous dominatrix Irene Adler stripping off to throw Holmes off-guard. It ended with both our hero and arch nemesis Moriarty dying… Or did it?

3. Game Of Thrones

We came for the majestic Sean Bean and the (true) rumours of at-least-once-an-episode nudity. We stayed for epic scope and Peter Dinklage’s scheming, quick-witted “imp” Tyrion.

4. Fresh Meat

The student-com came into its own, combining proper storylines with plentiful one-liners, while its all-star cast of culty characters was led by Zawe Ashton’s Vod and Jack Whitehall’s JP. Ledge.

5. The Bridge

In the wake of The Killing, the trend for Nordic noir continued with this stylish homicide series, a Swedish-Danish co-production about a vengeful serial killer pursued by an amusingly mismatched cop duo.

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