From "Game of Thrones" to "Mad Men," here are the 10 best television shows Newsday critic Verne Gay watched this year.
1. 'GAME OF THRONES'
The fourth season of this classic was one of the most gorgeous, exciting, challenging, cinematic and interesting -- yes, interesting -- season of any TV series, ever. Now that I've finished hyperventilating . . . seriously, it was great. But why? "GoT" has moved on to new places, or -- like a brilliant and adventurous daughter (or son, too) who wishes to break free of her parent's own expectations for her -- it's begun to explore new worlds, ideas and stories beyond the great source material provided by George R.R. Martin. "GoT" is no longer merely an "adaptation," but a parallel and separate TV universe.
2. 'OLIVE KITTERIDGE'
Frances McDormand and Richard Jenkins star as Olive and Henry Kitteridge in the HBO mini-series "Olive Kitteridge."
3. 'MAD MEN'
Jon Hamm as Don Draper and John Slattery as Roger Sterling in "Mad Men."
Mandy Patinkin as Saul Berenson in "Homeland."
5. 'THE ROOSEVELTS: AN INTIMATE HISTORY'
The seven-night, 14-hour special, "The Roosevelts: An Intimate History," by documentary filmmaker Ken Burns, aired on PBS from Sept. 14-20.
Billy Bob Thornton as Lorne Malvo in FX's "Fargo."
Amy Landecker and Jeffrey Tambor in the Amazon Digital series, "Transparent."
8. 'TRUE DETECTIVE'
Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey star in the HBO series "True Detective."
9. 'THE GOOD WIFE'
Julianna Margulies as Alicia in the sixth season of "The Good Wife."
10. 'MASTERS OF SEX'
Michael Sheen as Dr. William Masters and Lizzy Caplan as Virginia Johnson in Showtime's "Masters of Sex."