Register a SA Forums Account here!
JOINING THE SA FORUMS WILL REMOVE THIS BIG AD, THE ANNOYING UNDERLINED ADS, AND STUPID INTERSTITIAL ADS!!!

You can: log in, read the tech support FAQ, or request your lost password. This dumb message (and those ads) will appear on every screen until you register! Get rid of this crap by registering your own SA Forums Account and joining roughly 150,000 Goons, for the one-time price of $9.95! We charge money because it costs us money per month for bills, and since we don't believe in showing ads to our users, we try to make the money back through forum registrations.
 
  • Locked thread
Rarity
Oct 21, 2010

i fucking love scoops




10. Faking It
MTV

A teen lesbian coming of age story combined with comedy and alt-rock music? I was never going to not love Faking It. But what takes the show to another level worthy of my Top 10 list is how it has evolved into so much more than that. Secrets, lies, the inner pain we keep hidden from the world when we're growing up, the show has touched on all these themes. Sure, Amy's girl crush on her best friend is the core of the show but there's also Liam Booker's (never Liam, always Liam Booker) revulsion for the family he despises or Duke's attempt to balance his sexuality with a future under the media's spotlight. And then there's Lauren. Sweet, romantic Lauren who's abrasive exterior only serves to hide her own feelings of inadequacy at being intersex. That plotline was the highlight of the second season, handled masterfully from the initial revelation to every coming out that followed. It's such a shame this show is on MTV where it will never get the spotlight that it deserves.



9. The Apprentice UK
BBC1

If you live in America, the Apprentice is a joke. Just another footnote in the history of reality TV. But over here in England, the Apprentice remains a way of life. Every year we eagerly await to see a collection of assholes, bullshitters, dickheads and cunts gather before LordSuga to prostitute themselves in the name of entertainment for a £250,000 business investment. And while this year has lacked a serious big personality to root ahead, it has provided so many examples of cockuppery that the quality has remained high. Sarah trying to sell a bucket to London Zoo for £250, Jimmy “Balls Out” Hill losing the hot tubs over a name, Fat Daddy, “do solar panels need to be on the outside?”, the paper skeleton. While the candidates are underwhelming, they have still produced an outstanding season of entertainment.



8. Orange is the New Black
Netflix

When Orange is the New Black first showed up last year everyone watched it, everyone loved it and everyone told me I'd love it. I ignored them all. The premise didn't appeal to me, I'd think, it's just not that interesting and seriously, Jason Biggs? Then one day I visited a friend and watched the premiere and realised I'd made a terrible mistake. I then went home and binged both seasons in less than a week. I'm not going to talk about Piper because gently caress Piper. This is the story of women who have suffered and lost so much. Some of them have made mistakes, some of them have been let down by society but they are all united by one simple fact: nobody else cares about them. This is the story of Sophia and Taystee and Nikki and Red and Poussey and Claudette and Morello and Suzanne and Gloria and Pennsatuckey and Watson and Tricia and Rosa and so many others. But seriously, Jason Biggs?



7. The Genius
tvN

It seems like every season of the Genius tells a different story. If season 1 was a story about a group of friends one-upping each other through trickery and wit and season 2 was about an alliance running roughshod over the competition, season 3 has been about two superior players systematically taking out the opposition on their way to an inevitable showdown. In both personality and gameplay, Hyunmin and Dongmin have dominated this season but that isn't necessarily a bad thing. The pair make for an entertaining alliance that actually turns rooting for the favourites into an appealing notion. And if that's not enough, there's always dealer nuna. Fighting!



6. Game of Thrones
HBO

By any other show's standards Game of Thrones would have had an amazing season. But Game of Thrones isn't any other show. After two seasons that raised the bar for what television can achieve this year came as somewhat of disappointment. Sure, the injection of Pedro Pascal as Oberyn Martell gave the main plot an extra thrust of excitement and his subsequent death was shocking but away from King's Landing many characters lost their way. Some of the show's best characters such as Theon and Ygritte disappeared were rendered almost to irrelevance, Arya spent most of the season wandering in search of a story and the epic ending setpiece at Castle Black couldn't compare to the Blackwater. However, it's still Game of Thrones and there were still moments to remember along the way. And they finally killed Joffrey so gently caress yes.



5. The Flash
The CW

Up until this week, the Flash was in contention to take the number one spot in my list. And in many ways I feel like it deserves to place higher than the position I've finally given it. Right from the start the show delivered on all cylinders operating at speeds as fast as its titular hero. Grant Gustin is perfect at Barry Allen, a noble, brave and kind man granted an incredible power. It was never a question of whether he would use it to do good, the only question was how. But when I think about what most excites me about the show I think about seeing the Schofield brothers reunited as the Rogues. I think about the Flash and Firestorm teamed up in full swing. I think about Grodd. And there's just one problem. None of those things have happened yet. The Flash is going to be an amazing show, there's no denying it. With the stories being set up and the ability of the people in front of and behind the camera, there's no way it can't be. But for the moment based on the nine episodes that have aired this year this is the place where it belongs.



4. Brooklyn Nine Nine
Fox

Many of the shows on my list have had ups and downs and been selected because I thought the ups far outweighed the downs. Not so, Brooklyn Nine Nine. The best piece of praise I can give this comedy is that it is consistent. The level of quality remains the same week to week, never throwing out a bum episode. The funniest show on TV hasn't failed to deliver laughs since its very first episode. The only difference between the show this year and last year is that this year it has found more reasons to give us the giggles. Melissa Fumero has been a revelation (the guilt burger is my funniest moment of the year), Joe Lo Truglio has evolved Boyle into an endearing and earnest sideman instead of a sadsack and Gina has found her place in the ensemble while being humanised in the process. Next year, B99 will do exactly the same thing it's always done and remain the best comedy on television.



3. Orphan Black
BBCAmerica

Last year, Orphan Black was the surprise package. The one that nobody saw coming. The little TV show that could. In 2014, things had changed. This year there was pressure, this year there was expectation. How would the show handle living up to the reputation it had established? Well, in all honesty it never could. Which is why this year saw an already-confusing mythology spiralling out of control. There were cults and scientists and disease and the military and miracle babies and oppressive patriarchy and many characters' motivations became indecipherable. But in the midst of a sprawling plot, it was the characters they got right that counted. Sarah continued to be one of the most relateable and positive heroines on television. Donnie, so often the butt of the joke, found his mojo. And then there's Helena. Her return from seeming death was the most shocking moment of 2014 and things only got better from there. The reunion with her seestra, the tenderness of her meeting with Jesse, the journey of a broken girl discovering the acceptance of a family. So often we complain about unwanted, terrible redemption arcs for their villains. We never complained about Helena and by the time she was throwing shapes at the Clone Dance Party we couldn't imagine it ever being any other way.

I literally forgot Tatiana Maslany played both Sarah and Helena while writing this. She's that amazing.



2. Agents of SHIELD
ABC

Wait, what? Seriously? Agents of SHIELD is my number two pick? This must be some mistake, surely. Except it's not. While some people will refuse to hear it, the MCU's redheaded stepchild has delivered throughout 2014. Every single complaint that was raised over the opening of season one has been fixed. Too many breaks between episodes? Fixed! May never shows off her so-called excellent hand-to-hand skills? Sorted! Plots are moving too slow? Not any more! No connection to the wider universe? Surprise, Hydra's infiltrated the team and another is an Inhuman! Not enough comic characters? How about Deathlok, Mockingbird, the Absorbing Man and Mr. Hyde! Ward is the blandest milquetoast romantic lead around? Nope, he's a psychotic double agent who kills innocents without a thought! Skye is awful? Nope, she's evolved into a badass that won't hesitate to act against an enemy! This is now one of my most anticipated shows of the week and by the looks of things it's only going to get better from here.

Look, I'm just going to say it straight. If you were excited about the idea of a TV show set in the MCU and then were turned off by the early episodes then you owe it to yourself to give the show another chance because Agents of SHIELD in 2014 is exactly the show that you were dreaming it would be. Or, you know, don't do that. It's your loss.



1. Arrow
The CW

As already mentioned, the top place on my list was up for grabs all the way through to this week. But while the Flash continued to setup its push for top spot in my 2015 list and Agents of SHIELD took another step up in quality, it turned out that all Arrow had to do was remind me why I already loved it. If I were to rundown all the great plot beats that the show had in 2014 I would have enough to last three years in any other show. And it's the speed of plot that remains its greatest strength. For every bum note the show hits, a week later it will have hit five notes so great you'll have forgotten about the bad one. Beyond that, the best move the show made was integrating its weakest character into the main core of the story. Or having her fall down drunk while yelling at everyone but hey, that was fun too. Meanwhile, there's been Manu Bennett and John Barrowman, there's been Roy's unnecessary combat flips, there's been supervillains and metahumans, there's been Brandon Routh as the most charming stalker ever and there's been the wanton destruction of everything Thea Queen holds dear. And oh poo poo, Ollie's dead now! Look forward to Canary topping my list in 2015, folks.

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

Regy Rusty
Apr 26, 2010



I've just edited my submission putting Fargo in at the number 10 slot, knocking The Flash down to honorable mention. I just watched it this week and I liked it better than I thought I would.

adhuin
Sep 15, 2008

Take over the World!



Well, this is a coincidence.

I'm currently at the "One year later" part of the Fargo and considering adding it to my top 10, thus dropping the Flash from the list.
Changes are still 50/50 pending on seeing the last episodes. :)

Thank you thread, for giving awesome recommendations! Last year you helped me to discoverer the Brooklyn 9-9 and this year the Fargo.

NieR Occomata
Jan 18, 2009


Oh god the time skip in fargo is so good

Regy Rusty
Apr 26, 2010



Toxxupation posted:

Oh god the time skip in fargo is so good

Yeah it's pretty cool

Republican Vampire
Jun 2, 2007



Toxxupation posted:

Oh god the time skip in fargo is so good

What makes it work is the reveal that Gus is working as a postman. Well not that in particular, but more the fact that there wasn't anything too surprising after the time jump. It was more about following up on what had already been established, rather than some gimmicky attempt to upset the status quo.

Zaggitz
Jun 18, 2009

My urges are becoming...

UNCONTROLLABLE



I just edited my submission, adding Transparent at number 10 and removing Agents of SHIELD.

Irish Joe
Jul 23, 2007

by Lowtax


You know guys if you can't keep your lists straight maybe you shouldn't be posting lists in the first place :colbert:

Ravane
Oct 23, 2010

by LadyAmbien


Irish Joe posted:

You know guys if you can't keep your lists straight maybe you shouldn't be posting lists in the first place :colbert:

Ditto.

Also, I should be number one and not number 18, given that that is the correct order. Please fix this toxxupation.

DivisionPost
Jun 28, 2006

Nobody likes you.
Everybody hates you.
You're gonna lose.

Smile, you fuck.


A few things: I haven’t watched all of Transparent yet, but if I get to it, I think it’ll make my list. Stay tuned.

Same for Shameless, a show I’ve banged the drum for in the past, possibly harder than anyone else on this site has, yet I’ve found it really loving difficult to watch past the second episode this year. The show hasn’t lost a step, and if you haven’t been watching I implore you to start. It just wouldn’t be fair to list it this time out.

All right: If you know me, then you know how I operate. If you don't, well, I like to talk. A lot. Maybe get yourself a mug of coco before you start reading.

10.) Faking It

As simple as I can make it: Faking It overcame a poo poo pilot and a poo poo premise to become a charmingly acerbic romantic comedy about deception, self and otherwise. When the show premiered in April, it was about BFFs Karma and Amy, who are mistaken for a closeted gay couple in their progressive-minded high school. Karma, desperate for attention and the affection of the school’s resident beefcake Liam, convinces Amy to run with it, convinced that it will bring them the popularity they’ve always desired. However, things get complicated when Amy starts to realize she may actually be gay — and in love with her best friend.

Does that sound insensitive? Showrunner Carter Covington, who inherited the pilot from original writers Dana Min Goodman and Julia Wolov and is himself gay, may actually agree. He allows this catastro-gently caress to play out through the first season to mixed results. However, he jukes when he can, developing characters in unexpected ways and opting for a resolution that’s far more personal and painful than the one you’d expect. This sets up a great hook for Season 2, and by the time the credits roll on the fall premiere, he’s completely blown up the initial premise and pivots into stories about people who struggle with their identities, sexual or otherwise.

The title "Faking It” no longer refers to Karma and Amy’s stupid, lovely ruse, but rather about how people cope with themselves when they don’t really know who they are. True, you could say that’s a hallmark of any navel-gazing teen soap opera (trigger warning: Family Guy); certainly nothing that suggests true greatness. What puts the show over the edge is how charming the whole package turns out to be.

For starters, Rita Volk and Katie Stevens have fantastic chemistry. It’s a pleasure to watch them play off each other, and any romantic attraction is nicely underplayed so that a Wonder Years ending — if Covington has the balls to do one — wouldn’t feel like such a cheat. It adds a welcome bit of suspense to the show in a genre where suggested romantic pairings often feel agonizingly inevitable.

(Look, rear end in a top hat, I told you to get yourself a loving mug of coco before you started. How about you go now? I'll wait.)

Individually, Volk does a fantastic job charting Amy’s sexual awakening and emotional frustration, while Stevens (best known as a top 9 American Idol contestant) manages to make Karma charming, lovable, and vulnerable despite, let's face it, rampant bitchiness. Even Gregg Sulkin, who spends most of the show’s run playing Liam as an interchangeable MTV love interest, gets a chance to build a character near the end of the show’s fall run. He does well enough that when his big moment comes at the finale, it’s actually a little tough to watch.

But while those three bring the heart and soul (and, let’s be clear, more than the occasional laugh), Bailey De Young (formerly Buntain) and Michael Willett bring the motherfucking pain. De Young plays Lauren, Amy’s conservative step-sister — a character that could have easily been written and played as a stock Mean Girl. In fairness, that’s how it goes down for the first couple of episodes. But ultimately, the show ends up treating her with as much love and respect as the protagonists. One key difference: at no point does the show ask said protagonists to play a scene where they freak out after accidentally dropping Molly, and holy poo poo does the former Bunhead deliver on that and many other fronts.

And yet. Every time you’re ready to admit “Lauren is the best,” Willett — who plays Shane, the most popular kid in school who happens to be gay — will end up stealing an entire episode with a single look. What starts off as a Kurt Hummel knock-off turns into someone legitimately cooler, more confident, more relatable while retaining plenty of his own flaws. He’s not just “the snarky gay best friend.” He’s a force of nature with an agency all his own. Any scene with one of these two characters is guaranteed to work on some level. Scenes with the two of them actually feel a little dangerous.

How’re you doing? Did you skip any of that? I bet you did, and frankly I don’t blame you. I’ll give you the short version: Because of the nature of this show, there’s not as much to talk about here as there is with, say, Arrow. But holy poo poo does it deserve to be watched and loved. Whether or not you think you’d be into this show, give this a few episodes. You might be surprised.


9.) Banshee

In its second season, Banshee backed off a bit from its mostly procedural format to build something a little more character-focused. Granted, there wasn’t much wrong with the first season, perhaps aside from its problematic “Rapist Scumbag Strawman of the Week” habit (easily forgiven due to its sheer entertainment value). However, the change-up allowed for episodes like “The Truth About Unicorns,” which I’d gladly put up there with the other best hours of television this year, while remaining a throwback to the pulpy, mid-stakes, down-and-dirty actioners of the 70s and 80s (i.e. Road House, Walking Tall, even Commando to a certain extent), fused with the anti-hero mentality of current-age TV, minus all the tiresome rumination about the duality of man and good intentions or whatever bullshit.

It’s got its lows: The show’s more shallow than it occasionally thinks it is, I’m still not a hundred percent comfortable with how it treats its women, and I go back and forth on whether or not they went too far with how they dispatched a major character at the end of the season. But the fact that it’s on this list tells you all you need to know about how I find its highs. In a landscape that gives you choices between haughty sophistication (faux or otherwise), younger-skewing superheroics, and mass-market pabulum, Banshee is a double shot of Jameson that burns the gut and goes right to the head.


8.) Foo Fighters: Sonic Highways

For an episode set in Austin, Texas, Dave Grohl and his camera crew captured a prominent piece of graffiti that says (paraphrasing), “Do not follow in the footsteps of the masters. Instead, seek what they have sought.”

This is the difference between a mere vanity project and something larger: Grohl isn’t just here to tell you about the agony and the ecstasy of music. He doesn’t entirely present Sonic Highways as a teacher, but rather as a fellow pupil. He's seeking what the masters have sought, and he's inviting you to tag along. What he doesn’t know, he learns. What he already knows, he re-examines. And in presenting his findings, he knocked me flat with his sense of dramatic storytelling and his command of the camera.

Granted, the songs at the end are far from the best stuff the Foo Fighters ever recorded, but the material leading up to those songs is vital, entertaining documentary filmmaking. Watch this show. Watch your fist spontaneously shoot into the air when Zac Brown talks about waging a war with the Nashville elite over his song “Chicken Fried.” Feel your heart break when Grohl speaks frankly about the days and months immediately following Kurt Cobain’s suicide. Feel your spirit swell when Dave, working with the Preservation Hall Jazz Band in New Orleans, triggers an impromptu march. And marvel at how these stories and many others tie into Grohl’s overall thesis on the importance of the rebel spirit to the American journey.


7.) Person of Interest

If this seems low on the list, I can assure you it’s not by any fault of the show. Though it has yet to reach the visceral heights of last year’s “The Devil’s Share,” Person of Interest has broken through to become the cyberpunk thriller it was destined to be ever since it was revealed that “God Is An American.” Since the epic season 3 finale they’ve eased off the gas, introducing a new ground-level threat that while far from novel, parallels its underlying “old vs. new” argument in a fun way. In between those times they continue to give us highly entertaining numbers of the week and make tremendous use of its deep bench of characters.

By the way, once the show hits American Netflix next fall, you’re out of excuses.


6.) The Americans

It’s easy to forget The Americans at the end of the year, but it’s impossible to forget at the beginning of it. The season opens with an unthinkable crime shown through the filter of a unique point of view: a fellow family of spies slaughtered, the lone survivor being the eldest son. From there it somehow goes downhill: The missions get riskier. More civilians get caught in the crossfire. Elizabeth, realizing that her work might put her kids in danger, is brought close to the edge. Philip, faced with the idea that he's become a monster in service to a country he no longer feels connected to, nearly goes over altogether. And in the thick of their emotional turmoil, the Soviets have the NERVE to ask them to bring their daughter Paige into the program. If Philip and Elizabeth didn’t have each other, they’d never survive. Funny thing is, they might not even have that for much longer: Elizabeth, feeling more distant from Paige as she’s seduced by the teachings of Christ, is starting to think bringing her in might be a good idea. Philip, of course, wants Paige to have nothing to do with the Russians. Disagreeing on how to bring up your children can test any marriage. Add guns into the mix...

I mean, dwell on that for a few minutes: not only is this dramatic, heavy material for a spy thriller, this is also a hell of an angle on the family drama as well. People may complain about the clumsy reveal near the end of the finale, but the sin is forgivable in light of the implications of what was revealed, as well as EVERYTHING ELSE that was happening: Stan's mind beginning to fracture from stress and guilt. Stan burning Nina. Larrick bringing every last chicken home to roost. As far as traditional cable drama goes, it did not get better than The Americans this year, and like with Person of Interest, the fact that it's at number SIX says less about this and more about my top five.


5.) Last Week Tonight with John Oliver

Frankly, rather than talk about what an impact this show has had, it might be better to show you a clip of one of their long segments. But why point to a single YouTube clip to make this point when I can point to the whole channel, stacked with deep, comical dives on issues no one in the news likes to talk about?

Last Week Tonight is not just great political comedy that managed to find an identity away from The Daily Show; it’s become viewing essential to the national conversation. It’s no coincidence that days after their Net Neutrality piece ran — three weeks into the show’s run — Tom Wheeler felt compelled to swear, during an FCC open meeting, that he wasn’t a dingo. Frankly, there’s also some circumstantial evidence to suggest that LWT’s coverage of the topic may have helped keep Net Neutrality alive for another year, if not saved it altogether.

But even if that’s a bit much — and it very well may be, it’s not like LWT’s report on Police Militarization led to sweeping reforms there — the fact that it could so much as graze a man like Tom Wheeler so early in its run suggests a certain power. And if you disagree…well, gently caress you, it’s still funny.


4.) BoJack Horseman

The show starts out as an animated Hollywood satire with anthropomorphized animals. Naturally, most people hear a pitch like that and they shrug, because people have been trying to replicate the success of South Park for years without understanding why that show works. “Edgy” animation, ironically, has become as creatively cheap and unsatisfying as the family cartoons they professed to subvert.

What separates BoJack Horseman from the Brickleberrys and the post-cancellation Family Guys of the world is the point of view that creator Raphael Bob-Waksberg commits to. BoJack isn’t really about the wacky trials and tribulations of a washed-up prick of a 90s sitcom actor. It’s about being depressed in an environment where depression festers like mold in a damp cabinet.

The show mines its comedy from a few of the usual places (animal puns, jokes about celebrities), but all the while it patiently builds its characters, and is extra careful to make each joke involving them count. For instance, in one episode, BoJack makes a complaint about his oven’s range not getting hot. Cue the cutaway, BoJack holding his hoof over the fire on the range: “Nothing on the outside, nothing on the inside.” It’s funny in a jet-black sense (helped by some sharp editing and a great delivery by Will Arnett), but it also builds our understanding of BoJack’s distraught mind. The front half of the series is filled with moments like that for so many other characters: quick, dark shots that hit you like a cold ice cube down your back, making you laugh or gape while enhancing your understanding of the bigger picture…

…a picture that takes immediate shape with episode 7. “Say Anything” chronicles a few days in the life of Bojack’s agent Princess Carolyn; days that force her to reflect on everything she’s given up for her career as she fights to stay relevant in the wake of an agency merger. At the end of the episode, her phone — at this point, her only real friend in the world — wishes her a Happy Birthday. “YOU ARE: 40.

And it just keeps digging from there. The rest of the season — particularly the penultimate episode, “Downer Ending,” remarkable for its incredible animation as well as its emotional heft — commits to the show’s darkest psychological edges while still finding some room for the kind of humor that carried it for the first half of the show (Vincent Adultman, the store without a floor). By the time the season ends with Bojack quietly celebrating his own Pyhrric victory to the tune of Teagan and Sara’s “Closer,” I felt like I had been gut-punched.

This is not trying to be Family Guy. It's not trying to be South Park either. BoJack Horseman has minor elements of both, but its end goal is wholly unique and utterly devastating.


3.) True Detective

Backlash is a funny thing. I’m not going to tell you I’m immune to it; this show was originally at number two before I realized that it didn’t offer as much as the show just behind it. At its core, True Detective is just a well-told bit of neo-noir (as broad as that term is) that was elevated by the performances of Matthew McConaughey (at the height of his renaissance, natch) and Woody Harrelson, not to mention the muscular direction of Cary Fukunaga. But you know, the days wear on after the show airs, people start to get over the initial high of that first viewing, they realize that Michelle Monaghan’s character barely served a purpose and the female characters in general kind of sucked. They start to discover other fantastic “one crime over a season” shows coming out: The Fall, Broadchurch, Happy Valley, not to mention the show that tops this list.

Then they hear that the star of loving Fred Claus is one of the leads of the next season, and suddenly “True Detective really wasn’t that good you guys.”

I’m not judging. I’m there with you. Here’s the difference between you and me: As much as I agree that McConaughey, Harrelson, and Fukunaga elevated some solid, if elegantly postured material, I can’t let go of just how goddamn much they elevated it, or just how elegantly it was postured. Regardless of how you feel about it a year after the fact, from that first note of “Far From Any Road” to that last perfect shot of the stars, the experience of watching True Detective is undeniably fulfilling.

Well, maybe unless you expected Cthulu to be the killer.


2.) Hannibal

Everything I said about the show last year applies this year: This show shouldn’t exist, but thank God it does. Gorgeously photographed, poetically written, and absolutely brilliantly acted. This show just is; frankly, I don’t have the words to explain beyond that.


1.) Fargo

If Hannibal shouldn’t exist, then nothing about this show should even work. At heart, Noah Hawley — previously known as a writer for Bones and the creator of The Unusuals (a noble failure) and My Generation (a five spiral plane crash) — wrote what turned out to be a sequel to Fargo, if only in the sense that it takes place chronologically after the classic film and makes a few references to it. It’s a film that is so much a product of its authors, Joel and Ethan Coen, that any sort of spinoff without their direct involvement feels wrong. It’s like making a sequel to Scarface.

And maybe we should have known that something was up when Joel and Ethan gave their blessing and placed their names on the project. And maybe we should’ve gotten a lot more psyched when other names, like Billy Bob Thornton, Martin Freeman, Colin Hanks, Bob Odenkirk, and Oliver Platt started to associate with it. But…seriously, who the gently caress was Noah Hawley?

It turns out that Noah Hawley is a god damned talent. In the space of ten hours, he muscled his name onto the short list of people whose work you loving pay attention to, even if the story is about a man’s quest to read the entire phone book. Hawley understands almost everything about why the movie works. He spins a new tale of good vs. evil that narratively links to the old one while brilliantly expanding on its themes. It starts out darkly funny, and then becomes mind-bendingly intense in ways that evoke nothing less than Breaking Bad at its sharpest. (“Buridan’s rear end” was a week-long heart attack cleverly disguised as an hour of television.) And it does the world a favor by introducing it to Alison Tolman, a big ball of sunny charisma who ably carries the soul of the show as Molly Solverson, our chief law enforcement character.

All of this, however, short-changes the work done by Thornton and Freeman. Thornton’s Lorne Malvo is the Devil on Earth, a man who lives to push and transform so-called beta males into wild apes for his own amusement. Freeman plays his latest mark, Lester Nygaard; a life-long pushover whose brief encounter with Malvo slowly reveals the monster he always was deep-down.

And in the midst of the slow, dark transformation, there’s Molly’s adorable romance with Gus Grimly (Colin Hanks). And that doesn’t get into Gus’s own history with Malvo. Or the existentially-concerned FBI agents (Keegan Michael-Key and Jordan Peele) who take an interest in Malvo after he shoots up a criminal outfit they were supposed to be watching. Or the two hit men (Adam Goldberg and Russell Harvard) who work for that outfit. Or Lester’s old boss. Or his wife. Or. Or. Or.

What a world that Hawley built. What talent, in front and behind the camera, that brought it to life. What a show.

DivisionPost fucked around with this message at 05:38 on Dec 17, 2014

BSam
Nov 24, 2012



BSam posted:


02 black mirror

I havent' seen this years episode yet but based on every episode so far, and knowing the guy behind the show, it's going to be must see tv.




Having seen it now, this definitely gets to keep its spot.

Parasara
Sep 17, 2014

Next time I see that woman, I'm shooting her, and not in the knee.


10. Utopia, US Airing

A terrible, great, terrible, great reality tv show that managed to both be horrific and amazing at the same time. Many of the people on the show were flawed in some insanely unbelievable ways and the show was never going to take off in the ways they needed it to, but if you could get past that there were more than enough enjoyable characters. Enjoyable characters who were mostly enjoyable due to the mad poo poo they talked about everyone else, but enjoyable none the less.

9. Journey to Wrestlemania 30: Daniel Bryan

Oh boy it's #9 and I'm already talking about Wrestling. This is going to be a long one. For those who don't follow wrestling, the WWE released a streaming service this year that gives you basically everything the E' produces that isn't broadcast on Sci Fy or USA Network. Live pay-per-views, old matches, clip shows, old matches from companies the WWE bought 30 years ago, you name it, it's on there. To supplement this, the WWE released a slate of it's own original programming. The vast majority of it is either super low effort best-of shows, terrible reality television whose one redeeming moment was barely worth the rest of the show, or both at the same time. Occasionally, however, they manage to produce some amazing pieces of content.

Sometimes this is even intentional. This is one of those times.

Journey to Wrestlemania 30: Daniel Bryan, a fake documentary (docufiction? Ficumentary?), follows WWE wrestler Daniel Bryan at arguably his (and the companies) hottest point during the year. It effortlessly blends real life events like Danielson's upcoming marriage and storied indie wrestling career with both 'in story' fiction and real life events that WWE programming rarely touches (like the performers real names). The parts of the WWE that Daniel Bryan was part of are the drizzing shits right now, in huge part due to his absence for health reasons, but this show manages to 100% encapsulate everything that's great about the WWE when things all manage to click together.

8. The Monday Night Wars

If Journey to Wrestlemania 30: Daniel Bryan is the WWE intentionally being amazing, then The Monday Night Wars are amazing for a completely different reason. The Monday Night Wars attempts to document wrestling's hottest period during the mid to late 90s by following specific actors and management from the three major companies. Yes, three major companies. If you're scratching your head going "Wait, three? I thought there was only WWE!" well...yeah. The WWE eventually 'won' the Monday Night Wars by buying out both of its major competitors. They are also making the documentary about it. Many of the major people involved in the Monday Night Wars from the WWE's side of things are still employed and are, in fact, making this documentary.

You can see where this goes wrong.

The Monday Night Wars comes off less as a serious documentary attempt and more as the victor attempting to retroactively rewrite how things went down, and all of this happening during one of the biggest dark periods the business has ever faced in the US. What comes out is an insanely fascinating look at how a desperate company wants its lapsed fans to look at history through the cult like lens of corporate WWE, while also trying to stoke the ego of many of the still active participants. Riveting for all of the wrong reasons.

7. The Daily Show

It's The Daily Show. By now everyone should know what it entails. John Stewart is still funny. I still wish he did less interviews. The show will continue to live on in the middle of my top ten shows of the year for probably the next 20 years.

6. Faking It

I cannot say any better than what has already been said about this show, but i'll try. What starts off as a horrifically stupid and offensive premise quickly gives way to a pretty funny romantic comedy that happily uses the warm fuzzies that phrase inspires to hit you with some actually decent drama. It would probably be closer to #10 except for Shane, who is the best character currently on television not named Tyson Kidd.

5. Last Week, Tonight
See: Show, The Daily. Does slightly deeper dives and without interviews so it goes slightly higher than the Daily Show. Also probably going to have this position on lock for the next half century or so.

4. Z Nation

Wait! Wait! Hear me out! Z Nation starts off as a really willingly stupid take on The Walking Dead, and it never really stops doing that. What the show does do that takes it from Sharknado category to some of the better stuff Sci Fi has produced is what it layers on top of that. Characters come across as human, acting rationally when given a while to think and acting irrationally when pressed. The plot moves at a breakneck pace; they've already done more in like sub 10 episodes than The Walking Dead has done in its entire existence. The show takes the stereotypical immune survivor concept and turns it on its head. Everything in the show can be boiled down to it's the origin story for a Zombie Lich. Last one got you interested? It's sub 10 episodes. Go loving watch it. It's amazing.

3. WWE NXT

During Journey to Wrestlemania I talked about how a huge part of the WWE is the drizzling shits. I still is! The parts that aren't the drizzling shits, though?

They're loving amazing.

WWE NXT is loving amazing.

It's an hour long show with coherent characters, amazing actors, intense wrestling, a red hot crowd, two top good guys (Sami Zayn and Bailey) who are so likeable that watching them should be a controlled substance, good commentators, amazing villains, an Irishman who comes to the ring painted head to toe as every scary thing in the book, a murdering traitorous mother fucker(WHY OWENS WHY, WHY OWENS WHY), a wrestler who is Half Man But All Model, two (!) reincarnated egyptian pharoh vampires ....it has everything. Go buy the Network for 9.99$ a month and watch NXT. It's far and away the best non drama show I've seen in years. Go watch NXT. Right now. The show is great at explaining things to non wrestling fans or people who are/were wrestling fans who have never seen NXT. There is no excuse. Go watch it.

I'll wait.

(Go watch NXT)



GO WATCH NXT

2. Person of Interest

Still the best non limited time event drama on television. If you're on this forum and you haven't been converted yet you're a terrible person. Hasn't reached the heights of mid S3, but, to be fair, no television in the history of television has either. Easily my number 1 slot.

Wait, this is at number 2? What the gently caress came out in 2014 that was better than Person of Interest?

1. Fargo

Oh.

Fargo is the best television I have ever seen. That's not an exaggeration. It's #1. I cannot do justice to this show with words. Please, please, please, if you haven't already, please go watch Fargo. It is worth every second of it.

Honorable Mention. The JBL (Not Cole) Show

What do wrestlers do during the like 4 hours of the week they aren't wrestling, sleeping, driving somewhere to sleep then wrestle, or getting horrifyingly dangerous medical advice from people who got their degree in a bag of fatty deposit filled popcorn? They're goofing off on this show. Every episode is like 5 minutes long. A man in a straw cowboy hat attempts to run from a man in cat ears by riding a tricycle 10 times too small for him. Two men repeatedly tan each others backs. If you play this show backwards it starts the spell that will end the world. It's great. Go watch it.

Parasara fucked around with this message at 23:37 on Dec 17, 2014

Republican Vampire
Jun 2, 2007



Changed my votes around in light of this night's Black Mirror. I also might have a permanent, horrifying smile now. We'll see if it wears off.

NieR Occomata
Jan 18, 2009


Ed: nvm not worth it

NieR Occomata fucked around with this message at 16:09 on Dec 17, 2014

adhuin
Sep 15, 2008

Take over the World!



I hope you have good system for counting votes, 'cause I ended re-mixing up half my list due to the season finals: :engleft:


Main Changes:
The Librarians entered as a no. 9. Really fun adventure show in spirit of Indiana Jones. Probably won't have long shelf-life, because they started releasing in december and will continue through the Christmas vacations.



Fargo just didn't make it to the list. a Clear no. 11 in the list.

Comedies shuffled upward, with Orphan Black dropping to sixth, with Brooklyn 9-9 as new no.2.

adhuin fucked around with this message at 19:33 on Dec 17, 2014

Sophia
Apr 16, 2003

The heart wants what the heart wants.


I have a horrible system for ordering lists! You all are dead to me.

(Just kidding. I mean, I do have a severely terrible system, but shine on in whatever way is appropriate for your own self-actualization in this world.)

Edit: Parasara please confirm that you were talking about the US version of Utopia in your list, thanks!

Sophia fucked around with this message at 23:26 on Dec 17, 2014

Escobarbarian
Jun 18, 2004




Grimey Drawer

man Fargo is just the best

CeeJee
Dec 4, 2001


Oven Wrangler

10. Orphan Black
I nearly left it out, there are lots of things wrong with season 2 that can’t be ignored. Too many shadowy organisations do indeed spoil the broth. But when it’s good, i.e. Tatiana Maslany is cloning it up, it’s really good. The closing scene of episode 4 when Sarah and Helena are reunited is amazing.

9. Matador
With everyone singing the praises of Jane The Virgin it’s easy to forget another show with telenovela DNA was released this year. Like JTV you have a ludicrous premise, a likable lead with an equally likable family, lots of eye candy and a briskly moving plot. JTV does not yet have Gaius Baltar who wants to destroy humanity but there are still a few episodes to go. For such a silly show it was not afraid to up the stakes with the death of sympathetic characters, a brutal brainwashing of what seemed just to be a comedy sidekick character and kill off a few hundred civilians to show how real the threat is.

8. Manhattan
I had no idea who WGN were apart from they once got hacked by Max Headroom but they did an excellent job with this period drama. The setting is ideal with cheap shacks in the desert looking like 1940’s cheap shacks in the desert and a sense of the scale of the Manhattan Project. Frank Winter is a great character who is an unrepentant rear end in a top hat but whose drive and motivation are clear and understandable. You want to shout to him that Heisenberg is not anywhere close to building a nazi bomb so he can stop ruining his and everyone else’s lives. Richard Schiff is also absolutely terrifying as the man who knows everything and will destroy you with his folders.

7. The Good Wife
It’s so effortlessly good, staying strong where most shows have long settled for mediocrity.

6. Brooklyn 9-9
Just about every scene makes me go ‘OK, this settles it, the best is: Holt/Boyle/Santiago/Rosa/Scully’ and then the next scene convinces me it’s someone else.

5. Marvel Agents Of SHIELD
Winner of the ‘Most Incredible Leap In Quality’ award 2014. Once Bill Paxton came on the show it started to get better and better to the point where I look forward to the next Marvel movie just to see how it plays out in the show.

4. Jane The Virgin
Another totally ludicrous but irresistably charming show. It takes the premise and just goes with it, piling up one amazing twist on another while still keeping the focus squarely on its heart: a young woman who wants to keep a promise to her grandmother and become a teacher. Small things but you root for her as much as any superhero.

3. True Detective
I can’t believe how few times this is voted for, this show was phenomenal and Chthulu not showing up does not make it any less good.

2. Fargo
Fargo did what so few shows pull off: a story told from beginning to a satisfying end in 10 episodes with great characters and character development.

1 Hannibal
One day we’ll wake up and this show being on TV, let alone network TV will have been a dream. Until then it’s the best there is. Equally horrifying and beautiful I can’t wait for season 3.

onefish
Jan 15, 2004



My critical language for it below is a little bit lacking (hey, we have critics whose job it is to talk about this stuff in a genuinely interesting way), but man, there is so much great TV out there. And, according to other people's lists, apparently a lot of great TV I still need to see, too...

10) True Detective - great lead performances and cinematography, generally tense and well done. But also boringly conventional when it comes to actual plot and characters. Still a TV achievement, and one that I got sucked into while it was airing.

9) Archer - man, gotta love a show that's willing to do a complete premise pivot and pull it off. Reliably funny yet again.

8) Rick and Morty - Community was a sitcom that just assumed you'd get all its sitcom and pop-culture references; Rick and Morty is a cartoon that just assumes you'll get all its ridiculous sci-fi malarkey. Ultimately a bit more of a "mean" show than I normally like, but: really funny. And with a tremendous amount of launch season energy. You could imagine a world where this runs for as long as, say, Futurama -- if the showrunner keeps it together.

7) Community - the show that introduced me to the wonderful, terrible feeling of Genuinely Caring about TV was once again surprising, entertaining, and worth tuning in for in season five. It felt strained at points, and the nearly transcendent levels of glee, energy, and enthusiasm it once inspired have mostly dissipated due to various factors, but this is still going to go down in history as a truly important sitcom. Sure, not as utterly, fascinatingly, bizarrely brilliant as it was at its best, but more than good enough.

6) Parks and Recreation - the best entirely good-hearted sitcom on TV, possibly ever, a genuine classic. Season six wasn't the best the show had to offer, but Parks and Rec has earned my viewership and is totally enjoyable even when it's not bothering with too much forward momentum. I'm extremely psyched for what I expect to be an awesome season seven, and I'm thankful the show will get to exit on its own terms.

5) The Leftovers - absorbing, atmospheric, deeply felt immersion in a world balanced on the edge of sharp terrible reality and blurred dream-logic mourning. Sure, it might end up "going nowhere," but I genuinely believe the journey is worth it. There won't be any explanations. This is good, really.

4) Justified - more amazing dialogue, excellent performances, crazy twists, and a perfect balance of drama and humor. Season five may have lost a little bit of focus compared with previous seasons, but this is an absolutely top-notch show.

3) Brooklyn Nine-Nine - it's a comedy with no weak links in characters or actors firing on all cylinders. Didn't like Andy Samberg before, but love this show so much. The show that I always wanted to watch as soon as possible after it aired.

2) You're the Worst - probably got a bump since it's the most recent of these shows that I've watched and I binged through it, but it's the funniest new sitcom of the year (the jokes land! this is important!) -- and it's also one that does some genuinely interesting commentary, below the surface, on some of the specific ways people can be hosed up these days, and how they can try to deal with that. I care about the story happening with these characters (even though they are so unambiguously "bad" as people), AND that story makes me laugh really, really hard.

1) Hannibal - Gorgeous and surprising and scary and funny and weird and thrilling and just totally bonkers can't-look-away. Absolutely the most audacious show I've ever seen.

onefish fucked around with this message at 02:54 on Dec 25, 2014

SHVPS4DETH
Mar 19, 2009

seen so much i'm going blind
and i'm brain-dead virtually







Ramrod XTreme

2014 was the year that though I maintained a nearly-constant double-record on my DVR during primetime, I didn't find as much time to argue on the internet about what I was watching. It's made TV a lot more enjoyable in some respects, but if I'm being totally honest, I post this as someone who hasn't watched Fargo, True Detective or Transparent (yet!) but still sat through garbage like American Horror Story: Coven, Rising Star, Sons of Anarchy, Sing Your Face Off, Hot in Cleveland and Glee. I'm doing this to kill time before some folks come over and we get drunk and watch garbage xmas movies and with a few exceptions I don't know where this is going to land. All I know is I'm going to forget about several things. Also happy holidays to all tviv goons, unless you don't celebrate holidays in which case enjoy life in general! Also Toxxy you're still my favorite posting nemesis and i hope you disagree with everything i've nominated :shobon:

10. Enlisted Emerged as a brilliant show from a doomed timeslot and network fuckery. It was a mess at times (thanks to being aired in the wrong order, mostly) but no show had more genuine heart and is one of the most painful casualties of the 2014 season.

9. Community - Righted itself after the embarrassing gas leak season and found its heart again even with Troy's departure. How they stick the landing on Yahoo! is anyone's guess but if this season was any indication they're going to be just fine.

8. How To Get Away With Murder - The all-time great pilot was stunning and the mid-season finale braided the threads of the season to that point in breath-taking fashion. I don't know how they sustain the premise longer than one season but I'll certainly be tuning in to find out.

7. black·ish - The jokes are all funny and even the cutaway gags work. The whole cast seems game for anything and the energy is infectious. They haven't toyed with a lot of drama yet but I think they're capable of it. Time will tell.

6. Parks & Recreation - They just knock it out of the park(s) every single week. Can't wait to see how it ends, especially with how amazing last season's finale was.

5. Review - Andy Daly finally gets his show on the air, and the madcap trickster turns convention on its ear with aplomb. There's nothing out there like it and it's probably for the best if no one else tries, thanks.

4. Louie - After taking a season off, Louis CK picks right back up where he left things. Ambitious in ways it had never been, hilarious as it ever had been, and as emotionally honest and devastating as anything else around. Louie remains the most finely-crafted show on television.

3. Brooklyn Nine-Nine - Has there been a better cast on any comedy? I'll answer for you: no. No there has not. The steep incline in quality of season 2 has been dizzying at times but as long as they can keep their balance I'm going to remain thrilled.

2. Mad Men - It's Mad Men. Come the gently caress on. The show's gift for sustained, consistent perfection remains unblemished even as we're all holding our breath wondering what fate is about to be suffered by whom. Bert Cooper's exit is one of the sweetest, most touching moments the show has ever pulled off. As we head into the final stretch things are just as exciting as when the show first aired.

1. You're The Worst - There is nothing else like it. That a show can be so ironic and sincere with equal gusto and trust its audience to come along for the ride is so refreshing, and YTW never once pulled a punch for any reason. That fearlessness, that commitment, and the performances played to absolute perfection by all involved (even the neighbor kid knows his beats like a pro!) are why I can't think of a more appropriate place for it than #1.

Honorable Mentions
11. Key & Peele, for having no standout sketches because they are all stand-outs.
12. Selfie, for having my in-the-moment favorite episode of television in 2014 (Episode 10 "Imperfect Harmonies"). Selfie deserves much, much better than what it got, but it also couldn't stick the landing that eps 8-10 set up gloriously.
13. @Midnight, for sheer volume of content. And for being really funny most all of the time.
14. The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, for keeping it classy all the way to Christmas. And going out with a genius ending.
15-17. Comedy Bang! Bang!, for its commitment to being as loving weird as it wants to be. I'll also mention The Eric Andre Show and Rick and Morty for that same reason.
18. Saturday Night Live, for at least being worth talking about week-to-week. Really, that's a lot better than you can say for a lot of shows this year (and a lot of seasons of SNL really).

SHVPS4DETH fucked around with this message at 01:00 on Jan 1, 2015

Rocksicles
Oct 19, 2012

by Nyc_Tattoo


I'm not being judgey or anything, but i feel like you did not watch anywhere near enough TV if Selfie is on that or any list.

Go blast Rick and Morty before NYE.

Irish Joe
Jul 23, 2007

by Lowtax


2014's Top 5 Dishonorable Mentions

5. Bob's Burgers
How the mighty have fallen. What was once the funniest, freshest cartoon on television spent the last year wallowing in the little rut it dug itself. That's not to say that the show is bad; its still quite good even in its rut year, but its just a shame that, unlike The Simpsons, King of the Hill or South Park which all took nearly a decade to hit their ruts, Bob's Burgers did it after four seasons.

4. 2 Broke Girls
2 Broke Girls started out as the most consistently good show on television, became wildly inconsistent and is now, tragically, consistently bad. I've talked repeatedly about how important character motivation is both in this show and in others (namely Community), and while season 3 was good about giving the Kat and Beth goals and a reason for getting into hijinks, season 4 has pretty much abandoned any pretense of being about the journey of two young women becoming successful entrepreneurs and has firmly become about,well, nothing. And in that transition, the show has lost the last of its waning appeal.

Choice season 4 plotline: Kat and Beth rent their apartment to a bunch of Victoria's Secret models. Why? Who the gently caress knows? If only women in their underwear was something worth watching when I can literally see any woman naked on the internet.

3. Marvel's Agents of SHIELD
This show is supposed to be about an organization responding to supernatural threats. It has become a show about people with daddy issues and autism. Oh, but there was a two second fight between a geriatric asian woman and her evil counterpart, so, uh... why are people saying this show is good again?

2. Parks and Recreation
Old and sad people doing callbacks to bits that stopped being funny half a decade ago. If you look up "beating a dead horse" in the dictionary, you'll find a picture of Amy Poehler's face.

1. True Blood
Aside from crazy sex dungeon vampire, there was really nothing about this year's True Blood worth talking about. Just an overall blah :v: season by people who clearly didn't understand what made True Blood good in the first place.

Escobarbarian
Jun 18, 2004




Grimey Drawer

HA @ bringing up Ming-Na fighting herself. Probably the most over praised individual scene of 2014.

oh jay
Oct 15, 2012



The slo-mo makes it good or something.

Irish Joe
Jul 23, 2007

by Lowtax


I'm not nearly spergy enough to write a 5000 word essay all at once, so I'm going to do this in parts.

Top Ten TV Shows of 2014

10. Penny Dreadful (Showtime)

This show is awful. No, seriously, its REALLY bad. Half the characters have nothing to do, and the other half spend the entire season just waiting around for a vampire/the devil/something to show up and tell them where to find Timothy Dalton's daughter. There are entire hour-long episodes devoted to having sex with Dorian Grey (which go nowhere), Frankenstein's monster's search for humanity (spoilers: he is immediately killed) and Billie Piper's coughing whore (spoilers: she also dies without accomplishing anything). So why is a show that is, by my own admission, objectively terrible the tenth best show of 2014? Two words: Eva Green.



Eva Green takes the most ludicrous, sub-Doctor Who level writing and turns a star loving performance with it. She's able to make scenes of her sitting down and talking and laying down and talking two of the most interesting and compelling things I've seen on television this year. If Eva Green gave the same performance as an Alzheimer's patient on one of Shonda Rhimes shitstorms instead of a show where she fights vampires with James Bond, Emmy voters would be lining up to suck her clit right now. She is that incredible. If you haven't already, track down episodes 2, 5 & 7 and bask in what is, without a doubt, the strongest female performance of the year (in the worst loving show ever).

9. Taxi Brooklyn (NBC)

France's love letter to American police procedurals and one of 2014's funniest shows. Yes, its wacky. Yes, its way over-the-top, but its supposed to be. Don't think of Taxi Brooklyn as Castle mk.2, think of it as Mel Brooks' NYPD Blue. Its a straight up satire of police procedurals and if you're even a passing fan of the genre, you will LOVE it. The show's a little harder to track down now that its been taken off Hulu, but its totally worth it.

Highlights include:
Taxi running over Brooklyn's foot.
Brooklyn getting roofied within five minutes of going undercover.
Taxi and Brooklyn beating the mob at street basketball.
Taxi posing as a prostitute for the police, going through with it, and keeping the money.

8. 24: Live Another Day (Fox)



Chloe becomes the world's oldest goth. Jack becomes a samurai. And Game of Thrones fans get the closure they've been waiting years for. 24: Live Another Day is a fun, exciting little miniseries and the best season of 24 in nearly a decade. Many people have pointed out that the shortened season really focused the narrative and contributed immensely to the season's overall jump in quality. Those people are dead wrong. Live Another Day is just as bloated as any other season of 24. There are, for instance, still a bunch of dull familial, mole and White House subplots, and a straight up villain rear end-pull eight episodes in. So what's the real reason Live Another Day is so good? Despite the season's typically 24-style meandering, it did a really good job of keeping Jack Bauer front and center. And let's be honest, we don't like 24 because of the twists and turns of whatever dumb poo poo is taking place at the CIA or White House. We like it because Jack Bauer is loving awesome. Live Another Day gives Jack plenty of opportunities to be awesome, and that's more than enough to make it top ten material.


7. Rick and Morty (Cartoon Network)

There's not much that can be said about R&M that hasn't already been said. It has a rocky pilot, a rocky finale and a few episodes that just don't work (Rixty Minutes), but the peaks far outweigh the valleys so its well worth a watch in spite of its flaws. Best cartoon on television by far*

6. Person of Interest (CBS)

I don't know what's going on with the plot, but drat do I love watching Sarah Sahai scarf down food like a feral animal.



5. Fargo (FX)

The spiritual successor to Breaking Bad and proof that not all prestige dramas are shameless Emmy bait, desperately latching on to [fill in the blank]isms for relevance. So what is it about Fargo that makes it so much better than dreck like Transparent, The Knick and Orange is the New Black?

Its entertaining.

And, at the end of the day, isn't that all that really matters? Viewers don't care about the important statement you're making about race relations in 21st century America if they can't stay awake long enough to hear it. Breaking Bad knew that. The Wire knew that. And Fargo knows it. Fargo is a deep character study done right, making it the best prestige drama of 2014.

4. Louie (FXX)

What is there to say about Louie that hasn't been said a million times before? The show is unlike anything else on television and, though others have tried to imitate it (Lena Dunham), none have succeeded (because she's a lovely writer and child molester). Season 4 is a little more uneven than the previous seasons, but that works to the show's benefit as many were finding it stale after season 3. This time around, Louie kills Yvonne Stravinski, dates a woman who can't speak English and gets into a relationship with his abusive ex, Pamela. Basically, its everything you could possibly want from a season of Louie and more.


3. Jane the Virgin (CW)



Where the hell did this show come from, and why is it so drat good? A show about a woman finding love through unwanted pregnancy shouldn't be sweet, funny and charming, but Jane the Virgin is all that in spades. Everything about this show works. The cast is perfect. The writing is sharp. Plots move along at a brisk pace. There's enough going that things never get dull. And everything is beautifully shot. I can't think of a single bad thing about Jane the Virgin except the premise, and every other element of the show more than makes up for it. Perhaps the most impressive feat of the show is that, despite existing in a world inhabited by larger than life characters, plots are often resolved by the characters simply talking to one another, and behaving rationally. For instance, there's a plot where the main guy is falsely accused of battery by his conniving ex-wife, and while other shows would have dragged out the question of "how will Jane find out and what will she do when she does?" for half a dozen episodes, he straight up goes to her in the next scene, tells her what's up and.. she believes him. I was blown the gently caress away by that because, let's be honest here, when does that ever happen in a television show?

Some people have compared Jane the Virgin to Pushing Daisies. I think that's a poor comparison because Jane the Virgin is a million times better than Pushing Daisies. Watch it, love it and then root for it at the Emmys. Trust me, its worth it.


2. Mom (CBS)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aEJBtg0rFX8

A weird little CBS sitcom created by the auteur behind such hits as Two and a Half Men and The Big Bang Theory. Riotously funny and unflinchingly dark in turns, Mom is a sitcom in the vein of 80s and 90s classics like Taxi, MASH and Roseanne, which combined standard sitcom tropes with a very real and very powerful pathos. Remember pathos, or has it been watered down by dreck like New Girl and P&R with their constant stream of toothless "awwwwww" moments? The characters in Mom don't cry. They're not asking for "awwwwww"s (in fact, the audience is muted when things get rough). No, they stare the darkness right in the face and move forward, like we all do. By harkening back to sitcoms of the past, Mom manages to be the freshest and most honest sitcom on television. Yes, its multi-cam. Yes, there's audience laughter. But once you get past your childish aversions, you'll find what is objectively the best comedy on television.

1. ???

Irish Joe fucked around with this message at 01:43 on Jan 1, 2015

BSam
Nov 24, 2012



Oh poo poo the suspense...

NieR Occomata
Jan 18, 2009


Fine joe, just keep it to that one post then

uublog
Jul 19, 2012

"World Champions. WORLD FUCKING CHAMPIONS." - Chase Utley, October 31, 2008; Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA

I know we're not supposed to get judgey about other people's lists but does that include Irish Joe's Shows He Hates That Nobody Gives a poo poo About or Asked For? Because I really want to judge him for that completely nonsensical Parks & Rec bullshit.

Also I'm having the damnedest time both trying to whittle my own list down to 10 and organize in some sort of representative order. There was a lot of good TV this year (not that that's any kind of problem)

e: lmao who follows plainly simple instructions anyway

Zaggitz
Jun 18, 2009

My urges are becoming...

UNCONTROLLABLE




NieR Occomata
Jan 18, 2009


uublog posted:

I know we're not supposed to get judgey about other people's lists but does that include Irish Joe's Shows He Hates That Nobody Gives a poo poo About or Asked For?

yes, don't do this

IRQ
Sep 9, 2001

SUCK A DICK, DUMBSHITS!




I should probably bookmark this next to Anime is for Jerks.

Sober
Nov 19, 2011

First touch: Life.
Second touch: Dead again. Forever.

Also Irish Joe couldn't even be bothered to find a better picture of Eva Green with an even lower neckline.

Escobarbarian
Jun 18, 2004




Grimey Drawer

Is Eva Green actually good in Penny Dreadful? She was.....well, dreadful in Sin City 2.

Zaggitz
Jun 18, 2009

My urges are becoming...

UNCONTROLLABLE



That's adorable that you think anyone was trying in Sin City 2.

Rocksicles
Oct 19, 2012

by Nyc_Tattoo


She was the best part of Sin City 2, and 300: 2
She doesn't save Penny Dreadful, it was like some of it was either badly written or just ad-libbed

Escobarbarian
Jun 18, 2004




Grimey Drawer

Zaggitz posted:

That's adorable that you think anyone was trying in Sin City 2.

Hahaha they're all so fat and old and don't give a poo poo

Pillowpants
Aug 5, 2006


First, it should be mentioned that my wife and I had a son in December 2013 and we instituted a "No TV before 2" rule for him, so In turn I had to cut out many hours of television. I cancelled HBO so shows I would have enjoyed like The Leftovers and Last Week Tonight will not make an appearance. I also moved Sleepy Hollow, Modern Family, The Black List, Cosmos, and The Good Wife to "DVR and Binge later" status. While we're at it, I haven't seen Fargo, The Americans Season 2, Transparent, Penny Dreadful, True Detective, or Spartacus

Guilty Pleasure show: That MTV show, Finding Carter. It is absolutely hilarious to watch because of how bad the writing is.

10: Supernatural: I feel like this show has finally hit its stride again after 4 seasons of being relatively disappointing.

9: The Walking Dead: It's like a movie that never ends.

8: The 100: If you had told me a few years ago that one of the best post apocalyptic forms of media out there would be a CW show with mostly teen stars and subpar writing, I would have laughed at you,. I feel like they somehow made Fallout 3 into an awesome TV show.

7. Psych: I remember when Psych and Chuck were both on and they both had main characters that spent their time making old pop culture references. The cast gelled so well together and while the season kind of felt slow to me, the finale more than made up for it.

6. Hannibal: This is just so well made, with amazing actors and great cinematography. I just don't understand how anyone can NOT enjoy this show.

5. Flash: Honestly, I never expected to like this show. I didn't really enjoy his backdoor pilot on Arrow that much and I rather enjoy the "Dark" theme from Arrow and the Nolan Batman movies. But, I was hooked immediately and I feel like the CW is apologizing for making me watch Smallville for 10 years with this amazing show.

4. Person of Interest: After being relegated to "DVR binge" status in the previous season, I love the whole conspiracy surrounding the show with Samaritan and the fact that we have an ensemble cast instead of a lovely main character knee capping everyone.

3: Agents of Shield: Honestly, most people I know gave up on this show because of the terrible first half of season 1, but it really started to get good and then Captain America turned it on its head. Now, season 2 is just amazing all the time.

2. 24: Not much needs to be said here. This show is ridiculous, and Kiefer Sutherland is awesome.

1: Arrow: Season 2 was just the most entertaining television put out on years. Non stop action, Manu Bennett AND John Barrowman. Season 3 has been a little slow but now they've introduced so many different themes and the second half should be fantastic. I honestly can't believe that four of my favorite shows are on the CW. I really suck at these lists.

IRQ
Sep 9, 2001

SUCK A DICK, DUMBSHITS!



Pillowpants posted:

I cancelled HBO so shows I would have enjoyed like The Leftovers

Aww, that's cute, good for you, don't resub and hang on to that delusion :3:

Ravane
Oct 23, 2010

by LadyAmbien


Pillowpants posted:

First, it should be mentioned that my wife and I had a son in December 2013 and we instituted a "No TV before 2" rule for him.

Your son is only a year old and you've already had to create a rule restricting television for him? Jesus, he'll be morbidly obese and myopic by age three. Wait until he's three to let him watch tv, and then stick to a 30 minutes per day schedule for him. Allow him only to watch shows in foreign languages, so he picks up on them easier, childhood is the only time to learn other languages. The rest of his day, throw him into a fitness regimen that increases steadily in intensity. If your child speaks five languages and has a six pack by age ten, you have only me to thank.

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

SHVPS4DETH
Mar 19, 2009

seen so much i'm going blind
and i'm brain-dead virtually







Ramrod XTreme

Rocksicles posted:

I'm not being judgey or anything, but judge judge judge judge judge judge i didn't watch this show but you suck at watching tv cuz I said so

There is more than one poster in here saying that The Walking Dead is one of the ten best shows on tv right now for reasons other than ratings. Go bother them.

  • Locked thread