Now we come to it, our favourite television show of the year, and the answer really should have been obvious by its absence so far.
Homeland takes our prize with absolute ease, beating of the best attentions of Walter White, Sherlock Holmes and the entirety of Westeros to be the best show to have come on to our screens over the last year.
Heck, the second series alone would have sealed that, but that we UK viewers got both doses of Homeland so close to one another just made the complex lives of Brody and Carrie all the more gripping.
While most shows excel in one or two departments, Homeland is a show without a weak spot.
The scripts are dynamite, the pacing is breathless and hectic yet never rushed, it looks gorgeous throughout and it’s plot moves so suddenly, dramatically and smartly that we’re constantly kept guessing on the edge of our seats.
Its characters are also incredibly deep, with everyone flawed, damaged and broken in the ways that life can break a person down. Never has being a part of the CIA looked more convoluted and emotionally draining, and never have we formed an emotional bond as strong with a set of spooks as we do here.
Then we finally get to the best thing about Homeland; the performances.
The entire ensemble is on absolutely amazing form. Damian Lewis somehow makes the despicable and slimy Brody magnetic and Mandy Patinkin is amazingly understated as Saul. Even the smaller players bring their A-game, with Morena Baccarin, David Harewood, Morgan Saylor and in particular Navid Negabhan, who oozes menace as the show’s big bad Abu Nazir.
All of them are blown out of the water by Claire Danes though, who’s pulling out the best performance of her life with Carrie. Emotionally brittle, psychologically bruised and battered and always on the edge, Carrie may be a tough task, but Claire Danes pulls her off with great aplomb.
We could go on for hours about Homeland (it’s always the first thing brought up on Monday mornings in the offices here), but to put it simply, it’s the best show of 2012 and the best thriller we can remember for quite some time.
So congratulations to Homeland for being so blooming brilliant over the last year, but do agree with our choice? Let us know in the comments section below and make sure to look back through the best of the rest.
FemaleFirst Cameron Smith