Best of the Year Awards, Round 2: The Winners

Hey guys, welcome to the 2012 AV Club Awards Week! Today we continue with the final round of the best of the year. Sorry for the delay and now back to our regularly scheduled awards.


5: Building Stories – Chris Ware

4: Telegraph Avenue – Michael Chabon

3: America Again – Stephen Colbert

2: The Signal and the Noise: Why So Many Predictions Fail… – Nate Silver


20: Vision – Grimes

19: Shrines – Purity Ring

18: Reign of Terror – Sleigh Bells

17: The Seer – Swans

16: Tempest – Bob Dylan

15: Lonerism – Tame Impala

14: Heaven – The Walkmen

13: Swing Lo Magellen – Dirty Projectors

12: Allelujah! Don’t Bend! Ascend! – Godspeed You! Black Emperor

11: I Bet on Sky – Dinosaur Jr.

10: Transcendental Youth – The Mountain Goats

9: Gossamer – Passion Pit

8: Love This Giant – David Byrne & St. Vincent

7: Coexist – The xx

6: Shields – Grizzly Bear

5: Good Kid M.A.A.D. City – Kendrick Lamar

4: Bloom – Beach House

3: Celebration Rock – Japandroids

2: Blunderbuss – Jack White

What’s that? You don’t know any of these bands? Well, good news, I’ve made a Spotify playlist of the winners for you.


10: Max Payne 3

9: Sleeping Dogs

8: Halo 4

7: Assassin’s Creed III

6: Journey

5: XCOM: Enemy Unknown

4: Borderlands 2

3: Dishonored

2: The Walking Dead


15: “Digital Estate Planning” – Community

14: “Lo Scandalo” – Archer

13: “Basic Lupine Urology” – Community

12: “Pillows and Blankets” – Community

11: “Curriculum Unavailable” – Community

10: “Far Away Places” – Mad Men

9: “The Other Woman” – Mad Men

8: “Signal 30” – Mad Men

7: “Win, Lose or Draw” – Parks & Rec

6: “Fifty-One” – Breaking Bad

5: “The Debate” – Parks & Rec

4: “Late Show, Part 3” – Louie

3: “Gliding Over All” – Breaking Bad

2: “Dead Freight” – Breaking Bad


15: Girls

14: Veep

13: Boardwalk Empire

12: It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia

11: Happy Endings

10: Adventure Time

9: Justified

8: Homeland

7: Archer

6: Game of Thrones

5: Louie

4: Mad Men

3: Community

2: Parks & Rec


20: Cloud Atlas

19: The Raid: Redemption

18: Holy Motors

17: Jiro Dreams of Sushi

16: Seven Psychopaths

15: Safety Not Guaranteed

14: 21 Jump Street

13: Prometheus (Editor’s note: BOO)

12: Beasts of the Southern Wild

11: Brave

10: Wreck-It Ralph

9: Lincoln

8: Argo

7: The Master

6: Skyfall

5: Looper

4: The Dark Knight Rises

3: The Cabin in the Woods

2: Moonrise Kingdom

Love the winners? Hate the winners? Sound off below, complain to me on The AV Club or whine on me at twitter @guyneiljames.

Tomorrow: we end the whole thing with the Commentariat Awards.

  • reckoner

    Whoah, kind of surprised that Community didn’t crack the Top 10 for episodes. Then again that top 10 is giving me a nerd-boner just looking at it. Goddamn that’s some good television right there.

    • LoveWaffle

      I’d say it was the Spoiler effect, but Mad Men, Breaking Bad dominate the top 10.

      • reckoner

        As well they should.

      • Renaton

        I’m not a hater, I’m really not, but the moment I saw all of those Community episodes there, I put them all the lowest on my rankings, and I think many did too. That’s just what happens when many take preference in optimizing “Breaking Bad” and “Mad Men” chances. And the Parks & Rec fans were basically just saying fuck you to Community posters. My #1? Louie!

        • Fyodor Douchetoevsky

          I think if you didn’t even rank the community episodes it would have lowered them more than putting them near the bottom. (that’s what I did. I’d be pissed if some episode of community was ranked higher than Breaking Bad.)

          • Renaton

            You’re saying that like it makes sense, but consider this: I’m not smart.

          • Fyodor Douchetoevsky

            Yeah, I wasn’t sure either, but I saw that Gary X said that would be more effective in a comment somewhere, so I went and changed my votes.

    • HBO CEO of Tits

      More of you fucks need to watch Adventure Time and Legend of Korra. Its a Travesty “I Remember You” did not crack the nominations. Although a top ten spot is a nice surprise, especially considering the stiff competition. And I should really see Seven Psychopaths since In Bruges is one of my favorite movies ever.

      • LoveWaffle

        Go read one of the comment sections on any episode of Korra and tell me Reckoner still needs to see that show.

        • HBO CEO of Tits

          More of you fucks was clearly a general Avclub address, and not reckoner in particular.

        • reckoner

          Hell, you can just look at my avatar. I mean, it’s a screen cap of Toph from LoK.

      • HighlyFunctioningTimTebow

        If it is any consolation, I nominated Sam Rockwell to best actor in SP, that’s how good he is in it. His tragic, sad sidekick to Colin Farrell allows for that sweet spot between tragic and comic. I won’t say SP is Top Ten, but its definitely worth seeing based on Sam’s role alone.

      • DrFlimFlam

        I’d love to, but I don’t know that I can watch those without an overpriced cable subscription.

      • double_hawk

        I agree with “i remember you”. if a cartoon makes me cry it should at least be on the list

      • Fyodor Douchetoevsky

        I voted for Adventure Time for best show, and several episodes for best episode. It is an actually great show that I think a lot of people are missing out on.

        Also, The Avengers? Seriously? I can only assume that this is because the votes were split among other things or something.

        • TwoHands

          Avengers probably accumulated a ton of a points just because of how many people saw it (vs. less widely released stuff like Holy Motors) and how the voting system worked. I don’t know how many individuals actually ranked it as their number one pick. However, Joss Whedon.

      • Multialias

        Korra sucks.

    • Czar

      I actively voted against Community because I knew it would walk for reviews of the year. Blackwater needed to win.

    • Persia

      I wonder if some of it is that there’s more good Community episodes to choose from, which makes it spread out more.

      • Czar


  • Cloks

    Mass Effect 3, GOTY? Are we going off of the number of outraged fans a game caused?

    • DrFlimFlam

      I didn’t play the game until I could get it on the cheap, so mid-summer, but people expected far too much from the game, namely some kind of choose your adventure ending. The point of the choices you made were scattered throughout the entire game, not in the last five minutes. The DLC didn’t bother me. Someday it’ll be on sale. Then I’ll get it.

    • Girard

      NEWSFLASH! Superheroes and space ships dominate pop-culture survey of website commentariat largely populated by white, male adolescent(-minded) dorks.

    • Czar

      The other 99% of the game was jaw droppingly excellent though, and definitely GOTY worthy.

      I still voted for TWD though

      • SarChris Castro

        Same here.

  • LoveWaffle

    You know what, Mass Effect 3 may not be the best game of the year, but it definitely is the game of the year. The one thing I’m going to remember about video gaming in 2012 is going to be the absolutely scathing fan reactions. Be it the reaction to Bethesda’s inability to get the Skyrim DLC to work on the PS3 or something as simple as Crash Bandicoot being left off the Playstation All-Stars roster, 2012 saw some of the angriest fan reactions to being disappointed by games, and Mass Effect 3 is at the center of that. BioWare had to deal with a lot of harsh criticism this year, from Day 1 DLC, to the controversial ending, to Tali’s face, to the DLC having “the stuff fans wanted to play.” Hell, there was even the controversy over all the problems with a tie-in book at the beginning of the year. And then BioWare stalls production on traditional DLC packs like Leviathan and Omega so they can put all their efforts on the Extended Cut DLC so it could be out as expediently as possible and for free. DLC’s usually considered to be a way for developers to milk their consumers by forcing them to pay extra for a complete game, but this is the complete opposite of that.

    So Mass Effect 3 may not be the bast game of the year, but it’s definitely the game that defines 2012.

    • GaryX

      The DLC with Mass Effect 3 is pretty crazy. The Javik or whatever really should’ve been apart of your squad due to his race’s ties to the series, but it’s Leviathan that blows my mind. I can’t believe that was DLC. As Giant Bomb pointed out, it’s like the most profound info-dump/thing Shepard has encountered aside from the Reapers and drastically contextualizes (or retcons, depending on your cynicism) the universe. Whoever decided that storyline could have an adequate impact through optional DLC is an idiot.

      • LoveWaffle

        I could actually defend each.

        If Javik were a part of the squad, added through the regular game, we would have gotten a completely different game. Since he is a Prothean, he would need to be an incredibly important character, even among other squadmates. Maybe something similar to Liara and Miranda in the previous two games respectively – even if you don’t use him a lot, he always seems to be around. What I think happened is that someone at BioWare came up with the idea of a Prothean squadmate using a fully rendered model of the holographic Prothean we see in the game very late during ME3’s production. Being far too late in production for him to be added to the game and done justice, they decide to release him as DLC.

        As for Leviathan, I think it was only made due to the criticism over the ending, particularly the bullshit logic the Catalyst works under. There’s no other reason for that DLC to exist, other than to provide the player with a reason for why the Catalyst does what it does.

        The one that really boggles me is Omega. BioWare even built up to it with a four-issue comics series called “Mass Effect: Invasion”, depicting the Cerberus takeover of Omega. Why thought that should be optional DLC is an idiot. Or not, since we buy this stuff anyway.

  • neurozach

    Signal 30 isn’t a top five?! The Avengers?! I loved it, but it is hardly the best.

    • LoveWaffle

      Honestly, I’m more surprised that The Dark Knight Rises beat out Looper.

      • Renaton

        TDKR at fourth is terrible.

      • DrFlimFlam

        I saw TDKR twice in theatres. Haven’t even seen Looper yet. Maybe next year I’ll put Looper higher.

    • nowimnothing

      Even the AV Club is not immune to popularity over substance, but I would like think we do a lot better than most.

  • HighlyFunctioningTimTebow

    What the hell? Were the Film Of The Year noms taken from Nickelodeon’s Teen Choice Awards or something? Fucking, Whedon Wankers. Which is the closest they’ll ever get to Fucking.

    • LoveWaffle

      Says guy with a Regular Show profile pic.

      • HighlyFunctioningTimTebow

        Whatever you say, Racist South Park Caricature.

        • SarChris Castro

          It’s Christmas-y, dummy.

    •,114326/ leave_the_silver_city

      Well, I do agree that The Avengers isn’t “best movie of the year” material. As far as I can tell, though, all the movies on that list were generally well received by critics and audiences alike, so I guess I wasn’t too surprised at the best film nominees (well, except maybe Prometheus).

  • Alien Jesus

    This list makes me Very Happy. Well done everyone.

  • Renaton

    Yep, that top 5 of films of the year is the reason why I prefer TV Club sections.

    • Girard

      The film and game rankings are making me lose faith in democracy as a concept.

      • HobbesMkii

        “No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed, it has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.”

        -Winny Churchill, 1947

    • SarChris Castro

      I dunno. Aside from TDKR being in it, that Top 5 is pretty damn good.

  • ComradeQuestions

    What were the nominating guidelines for Book of the Year? A Dance with Dragons came out in mid-2011.

    • DrFlimFlam

      Did seem kind of strange.

    • GaryX

      Yeah, I realize. A few things lead to this:

      1) It received, overwhelmingly, the most votes in both nominations and final voting of any book which at least means it’s still a part of the zeitgeist/Martin fans can’t count.

      2) The books frankly didn’t have enough nominees for me to feel like it could be cut.

      3) I didn’t check the publication date, absent mindedly until after nominations,

      I think it’s partially because books in particular are even harder to quantify in terms of yearly breakdown. I’ve got to figure out a way to make it more inclusive next year or just cut it all together.

      • nowimnothing

        To defend Martin fans, book awards are usually a year behind publication dates. A Dance with Dragons was nominated for a 2012 Hugo and a 2012 Locus award.

      • ComradeQuestions

        For books it almost makes more sense for a given year’s awards to actually be for books from the previous year. I know I pretty much never read books when they come out, and I’m sure that’s particularly true for books that come out in, say, December.

      • HobbesMkii

        I guess this isn’t surprising, though it does disappoint me a little. I mean, while other magazine sites had Top 10 lists of books, literature does seem slightly outside the realm of a site titled “The A.V. Club”

        • ChicaneryTheYounger

          Books aren’t visual?

      • mratfink

        honestly ADWD was the only book i had read of the nominees. I generally read books that came out in previous years, so i had no choice but to vote for what i had read

      • GaryX

        @nowimnothing:disqus Right, that was something else I meant to add (sort of meant it up there with the zeitgeist thing; the Martin’s fan was just a joke). Maybe next year we’ll make it current year but also officially include the previous year too that way we can get a bit more.

        @HobbesMkii:disqus I think some people had the same problem I did: I’ve read at least ten novels this year, but the most recently published one was 2666.

  • Renaton

    Frank ocean! Kendrick at #5! But Fiona Apple and Miguel should’ve at least been nominated, and Grimes being this low is kinda sad. But that’s a great music list.

    • Festivus Yee Yee

      I dont need gloves, cause I’m Homer Simp-

    • SarChris Castro

      I’m pretty sure Fiona Apple was my top pick so, you can’t blame me.

    • RepostedAvengedSevenfoldFan

      I search best rock band ever, I click here and… a7x is not in the first place, what is wrong with everybody. Ok of caurse Metallica is really good too, but a7x are the best, all of their songs are awesome and they sound so awesome live. My opinion? They should be first.

      -zak laslett, 4 hours ago

  • Festivus Yee Yee

    avengers? really??

  • DrFlimFlam

    I like the Community’s lists better than the actual AV Club Editors, but I suspect it’s because it’s people who are not paid to watch film/TV/etc.

    That being said, I still think that Blackwater wasn’t even the best GOT episode this year – “What Is Dead May Never Die” was. And “Digital Estate Planning” should have been #1.

    But Mass Effect 3 YAY.

    Overall, commentariat, you did a good job. Bro hugs for everyone except the ladies. They get polite stammering.

    • ComradeQuestions

      I think it’s just a much more mainstream selection of movies, which is fine by me. I’d only seen 5 of the movies on AVC’s top 20, but have seen 12 of these. (No one is going to talk me into seeing Holy Motors, though. NO ONE.)

      I also have to agree with the “Boo” on Prometheus. I sure hope someone got fired for that blunder.

      • GaryX

        (No one is going to talk me into seeing Holy Motors, though. NO ONE.)

        It’s going to suck missing out on the best film this year.

        • ComradeQuestions

          I dunno, everything I’ve read about it reminds me of the meta-filmmaking of Synechdoche, NY, which I hated. Coupled with the fact that I don’t know what a “Leos Carax” is… maybe I’ll seek out a trailer.

          • GaryX

            It’s way different from Synechdoche, New York, I think, It has much more of a plot even if it’s episodic in nature (think of it as a bunch of little short films interlinked by one actor). Personally, I thought it was a brilliant, funny and at times touching reflection on cinema. It never takes itself anywhere near as seriously as Synechdoche, New York did at all. It has much, much more fun.

            Still think it should’ve been called French Quantum Leap though.

          • ComradeQuestions

            “…French Quantum Leap…”

            See, now if they had put THAT on the posters, I’d’ve been all over that.

        • Girard

          I missed seeing it BY ONE DAY during my stopover in Philly on the way home (saw Anna Karenina instead, which was…okay). Now it’s not playing anywhere. At least I’ll get to Redbox the Moonrise Kingdom and see what all the fuss was about there.

        • Fyodor Douchetoevsky

          Holy Motors is one of the movies I most want to see, but never had a chance to. I didn’t even think to compare it to Synecdoche, New York, but I love Synecdoche anyway, so that only would have made me more excited.

          I guess I’ll catch it when it’s on DVD.

      • mratfink

        i’m almost positive that Prometheus is where it is because people who haven’t seen everything, but did see Promotheus put Promotheus at the bottom of their list and NA’d the ones they hadn’t seen. But that still meant that Promotheus was receiving 10th place votes.

    • Czar

      Digital Estate Planning had no business being #1.

  • Girard

    This is the part where I re-read the top ten games list until Hotline Miami magically appears on it, or I have an aneurysm.

    Assassin’s Creed III made it, but HLM didn’t? Seriously?

    • GaryX

      :( I know, buddy, I know.

      •,114326/ leave_the_silver_city

        I would have agreed with Girard until a couple of nights ago when I ragequit Hotline Miami and uninstalled it after dying and replaying the same part of a level dozens of times, after realizing that I’d spent 15 minutes on that part, at least.

        It’s a cool game but holy shit I died so many times trying to get past that section that I almost punched a wall.

    • Fyodor Douchetoevsky

      We should start our own end of the year awards.

      With murder… and stylish graphics… and catchy as fuck tunes.

      And less Avengers.

  • mratfink

    Am i the only upset that XCOM didn’t do better? because XCOM fucking rocks.

    • Fyodor Douchetoevsky

      I haven’t had a chance to try the new XCOM yet. I don’t think I voted for it because ~~ethics~~

  • Certified Asian

    @GaryX:disqus why does the list for TV Show of the Year stop at 15? It’d be nice to see how the rest of the
    list rounded up

  • Colin “Fitz” Biggs

    The top 20 of films are an eclectic bunch. I like it.

Best of the Year Awards, Round 2: The Winners
Commies 2013 – Nominations
Polls Now Open