Your picks for tbe Best & Worst of 2011, more breakout TV stars, and more

By EW Staff
Updated January 06, 2012 at 12:00 PM EST

The Year in Review

The Best & Worst issue is probably the one magazine I make time to read each year, period. I’m already looking forward to the recap for 2012.

Gail Brockmann

Downers Grove, Ill.

The Book of Mormon was praised for pushing the envelope, implying that Broadway traditionally does not do so (The Year That Was). I beg to differ. Broadway has often been ahead of the curve, from addressing the dangers of racism in South Pacific to the bold depictions of blooming sexuality in Spring Awakening. The Book of Mormon is only the latest in a long line of musicals to push the envelope.

Siobhan Grantham

Garland, Tex.

I would love to hear EW’s take on all of the incest on TV last year! True Blood, Dexter, Boardwalk Empire, Bored to Death… Was 2011 the year of creepy familial love?

Beth Harrington

Belleville, Ontario

Senior writer Melissa Maerz responds: You’ve got a good eye for a weird trend, Beth. (I’d add Game of Thrones to your list.) Maybe it’s that these shows’ heroes — the vampires, serial killers, bootleggers, and nobles we love — exist in a society that adheres to its own moral code and must be protected from the rest of civilization to survive. If you can’t trust the outside world, the only place to turn is to your inner circle. As for Bored to Death, well, I’m not sure, but it certainly made my heart beat faster when I watched the finale with my hot brother. (Just kidding. I don’t have a brother. Or a heart.)

I think there’s been some sort of printing mistake. Can you send me a copy of the Best & Worst issue that includes the ”Ducklings” episode of Louie in ”Our Favorite Episodes” (TV)? I’m certain such an unforgivable error must be the fault of the printer.

Mike Stec

Woodhaven, Mich.

I was happy to see Tommy Hilfiger‘s ”House Par-tay” as one of your favorite commercials (TV), as I’ve been obsessed with it for weeks. I contemplated going to my family’s Christmas party in boxers and a nice scarf, but I don’t think they’d understand.

Ben Phillips

Ogden, Iowa

I could not agree more with your selections of albums of the year, particularly your choice of Adele’s 21 (Music). It’s simply magical.

Bill Holland

Charlottesville, Va.

I happened to notice that every one of the top 10 best-selling videogames of the year was a sequel (The Year in Charts). With so much creativity seemingly invested in these games, where’s the originality?

Jeff Ricco

Ridgewood, N.J.

Like Father, Like Son?

In the Charlie Sheen board game (The Year That Was), I noticed something peculiar: the illustration of the tiger’s head spewing blood with Sheen up to his nose in the blood. I assume you were poking fun at an iconic scene from Apocalypse Now. Charlie was not in the movie, but his father, Martin, was. Is this a complete coincidence?

Kevin Fraser

Syrcause, N.Y.

Illustrator Mark Matcho responds: It was a nod to Apocalypse Now! I’ve always really liked that scene and saw some parallels between Captain Willard’s and (Charlie) Sheen’s state of mind, so I thought referencing it somehow might be apt. Good catch!

Your Breakout TV Stars of 2011

Didn’t see your favorite newbie on our list? These readers championed their own choices for those actors who stood out on the small screen last year.

You should have gone with a two-page spread on Jane Levy of Suburgatory. Playing Tessa, a city girl stuck in the suburbs, Levy is perfect as the sarcastic teen in need of a hug and displays the deft skills of a veteran comedian. She’s a big comic talent in a cute, petite package.

Douglas Wyman

Los Angeles

American Horror Story‘s Evan Peters does a phenomenal job of playing the psychotic son to Jessica Lange’s unfit mother. His acting really takes Ryan Murphy’s latest project to an entirely different level of a psychological thriller. His show-stealing performance shouldn’t be overlooked.

Nicole Triebe

Albertson, N.Y.

Playing a character that is not even a part of the original comics, Norman Reedus has managed to make the tough-but-damaged Daryl Dixon on The Walking Dead the star of the show in season 2 — and certainly the one viewers are rooting for the most.

Raquel Zaputil

Waterloo, Iowa

The Book of Mormon

  • Stage
  • Casey Nicholaw
  • Trey Parker