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Who made the cut for the Best TV Shows of 2013? ScreenCrave’s writers hashed it out and decided on five series that went above and beyond this year. We were looking for interesting story arcs, great performances and solid writing. A lot of shows stood out but the following group were in a league of their own.

5. House of Cards

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After watching just one episode of House of Cards it was clear that director David Fincher’s hand not only helped create two of the most powerful episodes, but also set the tone for the season. The reality of its political world is darker and more dangerous than any broadcast drama would allow. There’s also the phenomenal cast led by Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright with supporting roles by Corey Stoll and Kate Mara. Trust us, after the first hour you’ll be hooked, and after the last you’ll be itching for Season 2. – Jordan Thompson

4. Arrested Development

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Fans rarely have their most desired dream realized: To see a beloved, yet canceled show resurrected in a blaze of glory. We’ll admit Arrested Development‘s constantly moving timeline and piecemeal story arcs gave us pause in the beginning. But by the fourth episode, it was clear the writers had created something magical. The intelligent comedy we fell in love with was back. There were hidden jokes and nods to former glories, trapping viewers in a dizzying world of comedy.  – Jordan Thompson

3. Hannibal

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I’ve always been a fan of showrunner Bryan Fuller for his unique visual style and the stories he told on shows like Pushing Daisies and the surprisingly great pilot Mockingbird Lane. Then came Hannibal, transforming the tale of the fictional murderer into an amazing TV series. Hugh Dancy and Mads Mikkelsen stand out in their respective roles as the special agent and the cannibalistic killer. Everything about the show tickles my fancy, from Fuller’s sharp writing to its aesthetic feel. I’m glad to have Hannibal as a permanent fixture in my TV rotation. – Melissa Molina

2. Orange Is the New Black

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Orange Is the New Black is a win for women everywhere. It’s mainly led by a female cast, and isn’t about women obsessing over men, shoes or babies. Jenji Kohan’s engrossing drama took us inside a federal prison, where the latest fashion trend is always an orange jumpsuit. The first season was filled with magnificent performances (from the entire cast) and vivid storytelling. There’s no doubt that 2013 was a big year for Netflix, and that was largely due to the unexpected success of this compelling series. – Laura Frances

1. Breaking Bad

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Between the explosive showdowns in the New Mexico desert and Badger’s Star Trek spec script, Season 5b of Breaking Bad was almost too correct. Walter White didn’t necessarily get all he wanted or deserved, but damn if the series didn’t go out at its strongest and most satisfying peak. – Sarah Shachat

Breaking Bad gets my nod for the Best TV Show of 2013. The build-up to the final episode was intense and enjoyable all at once. The series was great for all five seasons, but that final collection of eight episodes (that ran from August 11 to September 29) were simply terrific. Breaking Bad went out on a high note, cementing its place on the list of Best TV Shows Ever! – Jeffrey Hyatt

What was your favorite TV show of 2013?