This was supposed to be the year that the television industry regained its footing after the extended interruptions brought on by the COVID crisis. But then came twin strikes by the Writers Guild of America and SAG/AFTRA, which in their own way did even more damage. Despite said challenges, though, 2023 brought us an incredible selection of new and returning programs of all kinds; more than I could comfortably fit in my annual Top 25 Programs of the Year list. I'm not designating any one of the following as the year's best, because compelling arguments can be made for so many of them. Instead, I'm singling out three individual episodes -- one that I consider the year's best, the other two my personal favorites -- as deserving of special praise. I know what you're thinking … but that holiday episode of The Bear is not among them. (Click here for Part Two. Click here for Part Three.)
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