A magical trend has been building on cable for years and it all seemed to culminate into this fantastic orgy of awesome in 2011: Nudity and quality television are no longer mutually exclusive. In fact, on HBO, on Showtime, and on Starz, the two have worked wonders together, like peanut butter and chocolate, like Gillian Jacobs and Alison Brie. No longer must you resort to Skinimax for cheap, soft-core thrills. Forget the bare bones plots and the pizza delivery boys. Awesome TV and toplessness CAN co-exist, and in 2011, these ten women were the television actresses you were most likely to see nude.
Lotte Verbeek, “The Borgias”. “The Borgais” had one of the more remarkable pilot episodes of the 2011 television season, though it waned in the middle episodes. But where else are you going to combine your love of European history with nudity?
Morena Baccarin, “Homeland”: One of the best dramas of 2011, “Homeland” stars Claire Danes and Damien Lewis, and is a smarter version of “24” combined with excellent acting and a few racy sex scenes.
Kathleen Robertson and Hannah Ware, “Boss”: Maybe my favorite new drama of the year, Kelsey Grammer puts on a remarkable, intense Bryan Cranston-like performance as a ruthless brutal Chicago mayor , while Kathleen Robertson — who some may remember as Clare Arnold in the original “Beverly Hills 90210” — is not shy about removing her clothes, nor is Hannah Ware, who plays the mayor’s drug-addicted daughter. But it’s all to move the plot, folks. It’s necessary.
Lucy Lawless, “Spartacus: Gods of the Arena”: OK, maybe this one doesn’t quite qualify as a good show, but there is a lot of blood and sex and ironic badness.
Anna Paquin, “True Blood”: Look, I don’t get this show, but I know it’s beloved by a lot of really horny people who I’m pretty sure convince themselves that “True Blood” is a great show to justify their need to watch nude vampires copulate.
Emmy Rossum, “Shameless”: A remake of a phenomenal BBC series, I bailed — not because it’s not great — but because it tracked the BBC show too closely in the early episodes, and I’d already seen it. But, it’s coming back for a second season and hopefully it will continue to take a divergent path from the original.
Emilia Clarke, “Game of Thrones”: A Warming Glow favorite for obvious reasons, “Game of Thrones” combined sex, violence and artistry better than any other show in 2011 and gave us the most shocking season finale of the year. Unless you’ve read the books, in which case: Stop being so smug.
Paz de la Huerta and Gretchen Mol, “Boardwalk Empire”: “Boardwalk Empire” holds the title of the slowest drama on premium cable, and some infer intelligence from the glacial pacing while others just stick around for the nude Paz. She’s crazy cakes.