1. Show of the Year: "Homeland." "Mad Men" is a very close runner-up. A majority of our judges singled that series out as the best show of the year. But not only did "Homeland" have the highest cumulative point total, was there another show not on Bravo that sparked more animated conversations in offices across the land? We doubt it.
2. Performance of the Year: Claire Danes, "Homeland": In the least surprising result, a resounding majority chose Danes' performance as the savant-like Carrie Mathison. The Awl's Heather Havrilesky says, "I've grown to love Claire Danes on 'Homeland,' in all her twitchy, fidgety glory. When she meets Brody at the hotel bar? Almost too much going on in that scene, but her ability to capture complexity helps to make this cartoonish moment feel real."
3. Scene of the Year: Brody's interrogation, "Homeland": There was absolutely no broad agreement in his category — only two critics had the same pick. And they agreed that the interrogation scene between Carrie and Brody in the episode "Q&A." had the most lasting impact. As Todd Van Der Werff from the AV Club explains, "It's rare to have two actors playing at this high a level on TV, but 'Homeland's' endlessly watchable, intensely problematic, wildly entertaining second season wouldn't have worked without Claire Danes and Damian Lewis, and this scene shows why."
4. Laugh of the Year: Louis C.K. as Lincoln, "SNL." No two critics picked the same joke. But three different critics mentioned C.K.'s uproarious turn as a sad-sack Lincoln. Good enough! Besides, try to watch this and not laugh:
5. The series that best evoked life in 2012. No one had the same answer for this one, so we're going with Salon's first TV critic, Joyce Millman, and her choice of the longest-running series of all: "The World Series. On one side, the Tigers of Detroit, battered home of that presidential campaign political football, the auto industry bailout. On the other, the San Francisco Giants, whose coalition of white, black, Latino, Asian, straight, gay, old, young, male and Gamer Babe fans rooting together in perfect baseball harmony looked an awful lot like the coalition of voters that handed the GOP its ass on Election Day."
6. The personality of the year goes to … Jon Stewart. (Honey Boo Boo was nipping at his heels.) Eric Deggans of the Tampa Bay Times says, "In an election year, this title goes to 'Daily Show' host Jon Stewart, hands down, for repeatedly exposing the hypocrisy and danger from too much of what passes for political dialogue and journalism in America."
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