Earlier this week, we took a look at the Flavorwire staff’s favorite TV shows of the 2011-12 TV season, which ended in May. But while June may start today, we couldn’t leave the season behind without also heaping praise upon the actors whose small-screen performances we’ve enjoyed the most in the past year. From sitcom stars who brought depth along with comic relief to thespians who rendered complex drama characters with subtlety and empathy, these are our picks for the greatest performances of 2011-12; add yours in the comments.
Peter Dinklage as Tyrion Lannister, Game of Thrones
We’ll admit that this isn’t a particularly original choice — Dinklage has, after all, already won an Emmy, a Golden Globe, and a slew of other honors for his portrayal of the “half man” who seems to be the only Lannister who actually has a soul. But we think his performance has been even stronger and more nuanced this season, in which Tyrion has slowly transformed from a selfish bon vivant to King’s Landing’s very own moral compass, not to mention a totally badass warrior, while also falling in love. Dinklage has handled all the subtle changes in his character with sensitivity and insight, creating a complex character in a world where too many people seem to be either wholly good or pure evil.