2014 was a wildfire of television gold. Lucky for us audiences, quality TV shows are now entering basic cable, broadcast networks, and online-only services, not just premium channels. Also, torrents. Because unfortunately the only things we have in the Philippines are Daniel Padilla and Marian Rivera #KMN
Also, with more than just a handful of shows for each genre, be it comedy, drama, horror, period drama, fantasy drama, etc, it’s truly a remarkable time for television, the “Golden Age of TV” perhaps.
Below, you’ll find my list of (entirely subjective and arguable 🙂 ) rank of the best TV shows I watched in 2014.
12. Orphan Black
The premise is excellent, the script is good, and the pacing is okay. If there’s one thing Orphan Black gave us this season, it’s that science fiction, drama, semi-religion, and action can work together without seeming too film-ish or kitschy. I got hooked certainly because of Tatiana Maslany, playing off around 11 different clones in various episodes. That’s acting!
Season 2 was a lost cause in my opinion. It was a hodge podge of Olivia and Fitz and the gladiators and every plot point went on a spiral trajectory that was really hard to follow. But this year’s season 4 picked up after the story arc of Fitz’ re-election and Papa Pope as the evil evil B613 head. It was almost hard to remember that Jake killed James, because plot. Also, Mellie’s depression over Little Jerry’s death was definitely relatable for a lot of audiences, and certainly funny. It had its moments!
The show that never fails to laugh at itself, Supernatural consistently offers one of the most humorous, witty, and heart-warming dialogues to date. Character developments between Sam, Dean, and Castiel and recently, Crowley, have been nothing but on point. Though I still think Season 5 was the best so far, #DemonDean season still blew me. Crowley was shown a more “classy kind-of-evil” side, “A sex trade? I’m evil, but that’s just tacky” which we all love. Castiel grew more “mature” and developed a sense of responsibility to humans post-angels-falling-era, especially his vessel Jimmy Novak and his daughter. Dean is still battling the powerful temptations of the Mark of Cain, and Sam is still moose. All is lovely!
9. How to Get Away with Murder
Because Viola Davis. Obvs. This brand new crime/courtroom drama stole the spotlight during the last quarter of 2014. Sure, I could do without the Wes-Rebecca love story (seriously, it’s crap), but the rest of the show is flawless. Given that we only have until the 1st half of the season, this is definitely something worth watching out for this February 2015. I adore Connor Walsh and Michaela Pratt; tough law students who would stop at nothing for their ambition. #relate And the pacing of this show is simply ON POINT!
8. The Walking Dead
Season 4’s first half was a snooze fest, most of the group stumbling around trying to survive post-prison-haven, eventually figuring out that “Terminus” might be where the others are headed. Near the end of the second half, we finally got to see Terminus and realized that, indeed, it wasn’t what a “sanctuary” was. Unless, you’d call a slaughter house controlled by morally-skewed canniabals disguised as a refugee camp a sanctuary. However, season 5 picked itself up with its mind blowing Go-Carol-Go first episode. The succeeding episodes included some fillers, but nothing to kitschy or annoying. Again, TWD showed us that the scariest thing in an apocalyptic world isn’t the undead, but humans. Deep.
7. Masters of Sex
I didn’t plan on watching it. I accidentally downloaded the 1st episode and voila, the rest is 2 seasons worth of impressive pacing, articulate and delicate dialogue, excellent character development, and of course, plenty of controversy on sexology, sexual roles, gender expectations, and gender discrimination. What I most love about this is Michael Sheen’s unlikeable Dr. William Masters, much like Jon Hamm’s Don Draper. Both performances so unique yet similar. I can’t wait for season 3.
6. True Detective
Was there ever any doubt that True Detective wouldn’t make it to the top rated TV shows of 2014? The script is amazing. The characters flawless in their portrayal because of course Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson. And the plot absolutely mesmerizing. What else is there to say?
As perhaps one of the most witty and genuinely funny TV shows to date, I simply can’t understand why this hasn’t gained a loyal fanbase. As the ratings remained stagnant, ABC cancelled Selfie after only just 11 out of 13 episodes #sadface I remain hopeful that this year, someone will recognize this brilliant and entertaining show for what it is. Despite the dialogue being often acerbic, I still find the excessively vapid but warm Eliza Dooley and the formally stiff yet charming Henry Higgs outright enjoyable. My favorite character would have to be Sharmonique though, that’s Monique but with a Shar #LOL
4. Orange is the New Black
The first season was a brilliant introduction to the inmates of a minimum-security prison in Connecticut; giving us the crazy lovable Crazy Eyes, the religious zeal of Pensatucky, the ever-indecisive Piper Chapman, the huge pile of douche Pornstache, and no-balls John. It was a wild wild ride, right up until Piper punched the teeth off of Pensatucky’s face. Season 2 took us in a different direction by making the characters crazier and the fights weirder. Most of all, we finally understood Morello; her apparent obsession with “Christopher” and her continuous denial of his hatred towards her. When she said, “I don’t think I want a veil. I want him to see my face.” it gave me chills. Gurl got it bad. Overall, season 3 can’t come any sooner.
3. Penny Dreadful
As one of the newest contenders for the best horror/drama shows in the West Coast, Penny Dreadful remained loyal to its namesake throughout the season. The “penny dreadfuls” comics in the Victorian era were outrageous, intentionally lewd, and certainly fantastical. Penny Dreadful beautifully combines the monster myths of Dracula, Frankenstein, Dorian Gray, and werewolves, plus the bone-chilling performances of Timothy Dalton and Eva Green. Of course, Penny Dreadful is carried heavily by Eva Green, whose performance as the enigmatic and troubled Vanessa Ives is simply flawless.
As followers of my blog know, I’m a big fan of Bryan Fuller’s brilliant and macabre take on the Hannibal series, taking it to heights and aesthetics never before achieved by any tv thriller/crime drama ever. If loyalists to Thomas Harris’ Hannibal novels were initially skeptical, I’m pretty sure most of them have become converts by the middle of season 1. It was pretty clear then that Bryan Fuller’s vision of the manic game of cat and mouse between Hannibal Lecter and Will Graham took the plot to a darker more twisted world.
1. Game of Thrones
No other show can operate at this level. Anybody who denies it can go suck it. The scope of production, the immensity of what the directors and writers have to go through, and the extent of character development for each episode is impressive, to say the least. And it’s not just about the rigours of making the show, it’s the story, the script, the actors, the props and locations, EVERYTHING! Other shows on TV give you drama, Game of Thrones gives you drama on a wildly epic scale. Benioff and Weiss, you awesome nerds!
So there you have it, dear readers! Do you think my list is legit or do you think yours is better? Show me your own list of best TV shows in the comments. Just no insults or cursing please! 😀