The best TV episodes of 2012: 'The Good Wife,' 'The Office' and 'Big Brother'

best-episodes-office-good-wife-big-brother.jpgFor the final Zap2it Year in Review best episodes piece, I'd like to offer up some drama, comedy and reality considerations.

Drama

There was a lot of love for "The Other Woman" episode of "Mad Men" in the Zap2it offices and I wholeheartedly agree on its brilliance. But since it has been discussed at length already, please turn your attention to "The Good Wife" episode "Blue Ribbon Panel."

This may be my favorite episode of "The Good Wife" to date. Not only was the case of the week incredibly interesting, but it also introduced Matthew Perry in an outstanding guest-starring role.

The case of the week involved Alicia Florrick ( Julianna Margulies) serving on a blue ribbon panel that is to review an officer-involved shooting. Since clearly the other panel members are blowing off the investigation, Saint Alicia decides to investigate and goes all Juror no. 8 on the panel, incurring their irritation and wrath in ever-escalating degrees.

The most dastardly of the panel members is Mike Kresteva (Perry), the leader of the panel who grows more villainous by the day as Alicia keeps poking her nose in the case. The episode showcased everything "The Good Wife" is known for and good at -- a tightly written case, Alicia at her white-hat-wearing best and the introduction of a new foil for the on-going political drama of the show.

Comedy

There were a ton of good comedy offerings, particularly from NBC's Thursday night lineup. The one I've chosen was not only funny but had a huge nostalgia factor for me -- "Dwight Christmas" from "The Office."

"The Office" has a tradition of strong holiday episodes and it was nice to see the last Christmas episode go out on a high note. Dwight ( Rainn Wilson) was in rare form as Hufflepuff Schnickelfritz Belsnickel, a traditional German Christmas gift-bringer. It was classic Dwight-ness, tempered by his very sweet tantrum that obviously stems from him feeling like Jim Halpert is abandoning him for a new job in Philadelphia. Because secretly, Dwight loves Jim.

Add in two hilarious subplots that involve drunk Darryl and "Die Hard" and you've got a classic episode of "The Office" that brought back the warm and fuzzy feelings of the early seasons of the show.

Reality

The "Big Brother 14" twist of having four former players come back as coaches was proving to be one of the most boring seasons the show has done. Hotheaded Willie Hantz got himself kicked out of the house and things settled into a rather boring summer.

Until Dan Gheesling found his back up against the wall and launched one of the cleverest plans the show has ever seen. He went into 24-hour solitary confinement and then emerged to run the game right to the end like the seemingly-innocuous puppetmaster that viewers all knew he could be.

Gheesling should have capped off his amazing season with a win, making him the only person to win the game twice. However, the jury was full of bitter Betties and awarded the money to Ian instead. But the August 29 episode of "Big Brother" launched a plan that took the season from worst to first.

I could list a whole host of honorable mention episodes, as it was a great year for TV. But one special shout-out goes to the "Downton Abbey" Christmas special, which saved a rather mediocre season of the show.
Photo/Video credit: CBS, NBC
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