13 December 2012 11:00 AM, PST | Vulture | See recent Vulture news »

Like my comedies list, this rundown of 2012’s best drama episodes has 25 slots but could have gone to 50 or 100; that’s a testament to this amazingly fertile period of scripted TV. The list honors the best from ongoing scripted dramas, and also cites episodes from promising new shows that were cancelled this year, as well as two terrific pilots.Again, as with comedies, I’ve awarded certain shows multiple slots rather than select one episode of a particular show and call it "representative" of others from that series, because the alternative — listing  just one episode of, say, Breaking Bad or Downton Abbey or some other show that produced multiple classics — would have nagged at me all through 2013. I looked for consistent excellence throughout an episode, but I also cited several whose undeniably weak elements were overshadowed by rousing sequences, gorgeous images, and indelible moments. There are also »

- Matt Zoller Seitz

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