Every year I think I watch too much TV and every fucking year they create more and more new shows for me to watch –THE BASTARDS!
Best New Network Show
Jane the Virgin
When I first read about this show, I texted Melissa that it was going to be unintentionally hilarious and that we should cover it but I was only half right it hilarious but that’s intentional. It’s been a very long time since a new show has been this good so fast while trying to do this much. Jane is part tellenovela, part family drama, part comedy, part romance and succeeds on all cylinders at all times. It is so good that it’s the first CW show to get awards nominations.
Best New Cable Show
I wanted to not like Outlander; in fact, I was excited about the level of snark I was going to do this summer while recapping it for the blog, BUT instead I love it. I initially started with the book and suddenly realized that it, like Jane the Virgin, is doing a lot all at the same time. Outlander is science fiction, romance, and an exploration of womens roles in both the 18th and 20th centuries.
Runner up: The Leftovers focused on a few families in a small town after a rapture like event which was both insanely compelling and super depressing.
Most Improved New Show
Melissa and I did not like this show when it first premiered. We liked aspects of it but thought it was kind of boring. One Saturday I caught up with this show onDemand and realized that it got a lot better once it found its footing mainly because star Italia Ricci is so darn likable as April. The longer the show was on the more her relationships with her family and best friend seemed real and lived in. The show also struck gold with her relationship with fellow cancer patient Leo (Scott Michael Foster). The chemistry between April and Leo is amazing and so much more electric than her and Dominic, her original love interest.
Most Improved Old Show
The past couple of seasons of Doctor Who have been confusing and all over the place, but this year with the arrival of Peter Capaldi as the 12th doctor was fun, exciting, moving, and thought-provoking.
I have loved Billy Bob Thornton since the TV show Hearts Afire way back in the early nineties and I was super excited about his return to primetime TV with the wonderfully violent and daffy (just as the Coens would want it) miniseries Fargo. I am super excited about the second season starring Kirsten Dunst and Jesse Plemons AKA LANDRY!
Just like last year with Parks and Recreation, I came late to the Bob’s Burger party, and last spring I watched as much Bob’s Burgers as I could on Netflix and onDemand and fell absolutely in love with the entire Belcher clan. As much as I love Tina, my true heart relies with goofball Gene.
Shows that experimented with storytelling that paid off
Both The Affair and The Missing experimented with storytelling. The Affair told the story of a couples extramarital affair from each persons perspective and always keeps the viewer guessing, is Allison needy or a vixen, is Noah egotistical or suave, or are they a combination of those things and more depending on how they see themselves and each other. The Missing uses time to tell the story of a child who has gone missing. It simultaneously focuses on the day and days after his disappearance and eight years later where the mother has tried to move on but the father is obsessed with finding answers. Both shows masterfully utilize acting, production design and cinematography to convey the shifts in perspective and time.
Shows that did NOT succumb to a second season flop
The Americans, Orphan Black, and Vikings each had stellar second seasons and, along with my other favorite shows, make the spring TV season the PREMIERE TV season –BRING ON JANUARY!
Sexiest Dude on TV
Pictures speak louder than words.
Jon Hamm (Mad Men)
Sam Heughan (Outlander)
Idris Elba (Luther)
All hail the ladies of the hour-long drama! Caitriona Balfe (Outlander), Gina Rodriguez (Jane the Virgin), Allison Tolman (Fargo) and Carrie Coon (The Leftovers) are (and did in the case of Tolman) amazing work on TV this year. I hadn’t heard of any of them before this year, but each and every one of them should win all the awards (Rodriguez and Tolman are nominated for Golden Globes). Carrie Coon is the fucking heart of The Leftovers–her lack of nominations this award season is bullshit.
No matter how crazy the writers get, I just can’t quit Nashville. It is slapdash and wishy-washy and a classic example of writers routinely forgetting who their characters are. But the one thing they get right is Juliette and Avery–Hayden Panettiere (Guiding Light) and Jonathan Jackson (General Hospital) are both daytime soap veterans and are able to sell every fucking story-line they have had. Avery in the beginning of season one was a total douche but Jackson sold his downfall and friendship with Juliet to the point that he went from being my least favorite to co-favorite character. As long as Connie Britton’s hair is gorgeous and Juliet and Avery are living in the music city I will be super excited every Wednesday.
Favorite TV shows of 2014 (AKA the same shows as last year)
Downton Abbey IS NOT as good a show as say, Mad Men, and it should NOT be nominated for awards in best drama (what the fuck are you thinking GOLDEN GLOBES) but it is the BEST nighttime soap EVER. The acting, costumes, hair and make-up, art direction, cinematography make it beautiful and highly entertaining but no matter how haughty Lady Mary gets her storyline is pure Falcon Crest circa 1985 (incidentally I as a small child watched both Dallas and Falcon Crest on Friday nights, not proud just trying to shed some light on my TV habits throughout the years).
Game of Thrones IS STILL FABULOUS!
Mad Men for some reason people keep forgetting this show exists and they are dead wrong as it might just be the best thing I have ever seen on TV.
Bill on True Blood. After seven seasons it was cathartic watching Sookie stake Bill. I’m hoping Stephen Moyer gets work in his native English accent in some supernatural Saturday show on BBC America.
Terrible shows I watch because I am insane and/or dumb
I still watch Once Upon a Time and I watched all of The Newsroom what the fuck is wrong with me.
Biggest douche with a TV show
If “mansplain” was in the dictionary (I hope it’s not) next to it would be a picture of Aaron Sorkin. Between the rape storyline of Newsroom’s penultimate episode, his comments regarding a female writer of the Newsroom, all of Newsroom season 1, large portions of season 2, his op-ed to the New York Times regarding the Sony hack, and his leaked emails in the Sony hack, I feel like Aaron Sorkin thinks we care what he has to say and the truth is I just want him to shut the fuck up. ALSO this is coming from a person who owns all of Sports Night on DVD AND who watched every fucking episode of every show he has ever written and produced so if I can’t stand his bullshit anymore I feel bad for those who have never liked him.
Least likable cast on TV
The entire cast of The Newsroom except maybe Sloan and Gary Cooper, even Don ended up alienating me –good job Aaron Sorkin.
Shows I completely gave up on
I’m sorry Jason Katims but in the end Parenthood was NOT as compelling as Friday Night Lights.