<p>Holly Earl and Matt Smith in the latest &quot;Doctor Who&quot;&nbsp;Christmas special.</p>

Holly Earl and Matt Smith in the latest "Doctor Who" Christmas special.

Credit: BBC

'Doctor Who' - 'The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe': Screaming trees

The Doctor helps a World War II family in the annual Christmas special

The annual "Doctor Who" Christmas special premiered last night, and I have a very quick review of it coming up just as soon as I can't tell weapons from wool...

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<p>Chuck (Zachary Levi)&nbsp;and General Beckman (Bonita Friedericy)&nbsp;team up.</p>

Chuck (Zachary Levi) and General Beckman (Bonita Friedericy) team up.

Credit: NBC

'Chuck' - 'Chuck vs. the Santa Suit': Super man, too

A familiar face returns for a fantastic Christmas episode

A review of tonight's "Chuck" coming up just as soon as I record a message of love on an electronic bear...

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<p>It's been an uneven year overall for &quot;The Office,&quot;&nbsp;but Michael's proposal to Holly was a big high point.</p>

It's been an uneven year overall for "The Office," but Michael's proposal to Holly was a big high point.

Credit: NBC

Best of the Rest: 10 Great TV episodes from 2011

Even shows that weren't brilliant overall could offer momentary brilliance every now and then

Having already presented my lists of the best overall shows of the year, the best returning shows and the best new shows, it's time for my final superlatives list: 10 great episodes of shows that missed the cut on any of the other lists.

Some come from shows I like a lot, but not as much as some others that actually made a top 10. Some come from shows I once loved universally and now stick with for the occasional reminder of the good old days. And one comes from a show I came to hate pretty thoroughly, as a reminder that even bad shows are capable of greatness for an hour or two.

In no particular order...

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<p>Gillian Jacobs as Britta on &quot;Community.&quot;</p>

Gillian Jacobs as Britta on "Community."

Credit: NBC

Why I'll miss 'Community': Because Britta can't say 'bagel'

How the show learned to embrace Britta's less appealing qualities

Last week, I introduced what will hopefully not be a very long-running series on HitFix, in which I plan to spend every Thursday until NBC returns "Community" to its schedule showcasing a different clip that speaks to why it's one of my favorite shows and why I'll miss it during its hiatus. (Though the show is being pre-empted tonight for NBC's "Who's Still Standing?" game show stunt, we still have a couple of weeks of reruns to go before "30 Rock" takes over the timeslot.) 

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<p>Dylan McDermott and/or Connie Britton might appear in &quot;American Horror Story&quot;&nbsp;season 2, but they won't be playing the Harmons again if they do.</p>

Dylan McDermott and/or Connie Britton might appear in "American Horror Story" season 2, but they won't be playing the Harmons again if they do.

Credit: FX

'American Horror Story' will reboot for season 2

Ryan Murphy and company will say goodbye to the Harmons and tell a brand-new story

So remember how this morning, I suggested that "American Horror Story" might want to start fresh with a new cast of characters and a new story for the second season? 

Well, that's exactly what's going to happen.

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<p>Aubrey Plaza as April on &quot;Parks and Recreation.&quot;</p>

Aubrey Plaza as April on "Parks and Recreation."

Credit: NBC

HitFix First Look: The best of Aubrey Plaza on 'Parks and Recreation'

Bask in the deadpan, misanthropic splendor of April Roberta Ludgate

When I wrote about why "Parks and Recreation" was my favorite show of 2011, I chose the clip from April and Andy's wedding ceremony to represent the reasons why. That whole episode was, to my mind, maybe the best the show has ever done, and a time capsule-worthy sitcom episode (certainly moreso than "Time Capsule" itself was). Both the episode and April and Andy's decision to get married on the spur of the moment were both incredibly silly and incredibly romantic, and the way the show turned April from a cynic sneering at everyone into someone who is reluctantly forced to acknowledge that she actually cares about a lot of people and things has been one of the best, most gratifying character evolutions the show has done. The April Ludgate of season 1 laughed at Leslie behind her back. The April Ludgate we know now thinks Leslie is awesome but doesn't like to admit it. Her heart has grown three sizes, but she keeps it hidden behind a cold, deadpan exterior. Like Nick Offerman, Aubrey Plaza's performance is all about minimalism, and because the acting is so small and quiet, any tiny deviation from the norm seems like a much bigger deal than when a louder, more emotional character like Leslie changes her mood.

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<p>&quot;American Horror Story&quot;&nbsp;brought out the gimp one more time in its season finale.</p>

"American Horror Story" brought out the gimp one more time in its season finale.

Credit: FX

The 'American Horror Story' finale: And they died happily ever after?

The FX horror series ends its first season in a mostly upbeat fashion

I bailed on "American Horror Story" a half-dozen or so episodes into the first season. Just not for me. But my professional curiosity - coupled with a lack of original viewing options last night - led me to check out the season finale just to see what Murphy and Falchuk did in terms of wrapping up the season and setting the show up for the long haul. I'm mainly curious for the opinions of those who watched all the way through, but I have a couple of thoughts coming up just as soon as Lady Clairol and I get too chummy...

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Firewall & Iceberg Podcast, episode 108: Best TV of 2011, plus 'Homeland'

Firewall & Iceberg Podcast, episode 108: Best TV of 2011, plus 'Homeland'

Dan and Alan offer their picks for the best shows of the year and discuss the 'Homeland' finale


It's time for the Firewall & Iceberg Podcast to count down our favorite shows of 2011. You already know what my top picks were, but now I can discuss them with Dan, here where his choices and/or rankings differ from mine, and listen to Dan's absolute dismay as I express my disinterest in his favorite character on a show on his list. Plus, at the end we break down our thoughts on the "Homeland" season finale.

The line-up: 

TV's Best of 2011 (04:15 - 01:13:00)
"Homeland" finale (01:13:15 - 01:31:00)
As always, you can subscribe to The Firewall & Iceberg Podcast over at the iTunes Store, where you can also rate us and comment on us. Or you can always follow our RSS Feed, download the MP3 file or stream it on Dan's blog.
And as always, feel free to e-mail us at sepinwall@hitfix.com and/or dan@hitfix.com if you have questions you want answered on the show. Please put the word "podcast" in your subject line to make it easy to track them down amid the hundreds of random press releases we get every day.
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<p>Even Laura Dern may be a bit surprised that HBO&nbsp;spared &quot;Enlightened&quot;&nbsp;on a day when &quot;Hung,&quot;&nbsp;&quot;Bored to Death&quot;&nbsp;and &quot;How to Make It in America&quot;&nbsp;were canceled.</p>

Even Laura Dern may be a bit surprised that HBO spared "Enlightened" on a day when "Hung," "Bored to Death" and "How to Make It in America" were canceled.

Credit: HBO

HBO renews 'Enlightened,' cancels 'Hung,' 'Bored to Death' & 'How to Make It in America'

A good news/bad news afternoon for HBO's boutique half-hours

This afternoon's HBO announcement that "Enlightened" had been renewed while "Bored to Death," "Hung" and "How to Make It in America" had been canceled was like a case study in how to manage the release of bad news.

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<p>Brody (Damian Lewis) feels nervous in the &quot;Homeland&quot; season finale.</p>

Brody (Damian Lewis) feels nervous in the "Homeland" season finale.

Credit: Showtime

'Homeland' - 'Marine One': Wait til your father gets home

The season builds to a harrowing, satisfying climax

"Homeland" just wrapped up its outstanding debut season, and I have a review of the season finale coming up just as soon as we're all out of paper towels...

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