Perfect Seasons of Television

Not simply my favorite but objectively perfect seasons that elevated the medium. Only the vaguest of spoilers ahead.
  1. Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 2
    A show grows up before our very eyes. It starts so silly and ends so sadly. In an era where 22 episode seasons seem bloated, this seemed to accomplish more than possible in a mere 22 hours.
  2. Friday Night Lights Season 1
    Clear eyes. Full hearts. Has there ever been a more satisfying, emotional arc than that of this small Texas town, full of diverse, complicated, flawed and good characters, going from heartbreak to triumph in one perfect season?
  3. Mad Men Season 1. And 2. And 3. And 4. And 5. And 6. Was there a season 7?
    What? It's my list. I don't need to tell you why every season of Mad Men was a well-balanced tone poem. Even its most frustrating moments contributed to its perfection. Like whatever AMC did at the end with splitting the final season in half. Still perfect.
  4. Veronica Mars Season 1
    Who killed Lily Kane? The mystery drives some of this perfect season's arc, but without Veronica's introspection and the sun-drenched noir of Neptune,it wouldn't fall in the ranks of its peers listed here.
  5. Orange Is the New Black Season 1
    Orange is the New Black remains the best show Netflix has ever, and potentially will ever, produce.
  6. Parks and Recreation Season 7
    This season deserves recognition for accomplishing what few comedies and few final seasons fail to do and acing them both: a well-contained arc within a quirky sitcom and an emotionally satisfying finale that pleased both fans and critics. Has a time jump been better deployed?
  7. The O.C Season 1
    In some ways this show is a case study for why you *shouldn't* burn through 3 seasons worth of plot in 27 episodes, but the ride is so fun that I wouldn't change a thing. Welcome to perfect television, bitch!