19. Boardwalk Empire (HBO)
No show on television excels at pulling together a season's disparate stories like Boardwalk
. In Season 4, however, the show trimmed the narrative bonsai, focusing on only the most potent threads. The rise and fall of Michael K. Williams' Chalky White — featuring a knockout guest performance by Jeffrey Wright as his nemesis Dr. Valentin Narcisse — highlighted just how few people you can trust in the world of gangsters, a theme that echoed throughout Al Capone's continued climb to power in Cicero and the jealousy that perhaps ripped brothers Nucky and Eli apart for good. In a season that had plenty of casualties (RIP, Richard and Eddie!), the show seemed to find invigorating new life.