Saturday, December 20, 2014

Best of 2014 - Television

Best Shows (Every Category):
Note: I know that The Knick probably belongs on this list. I haven't made time for it yet. So fit it in wherever you think it belongs. Also, Ground Floor (TBS) would have made this list but only three episodes aired in 2014, so it really doesn't count for this year. Sleepy Hollow (FOX) fell off because I fell behind, it may or may not wind up on this year's list retroactively. And Doctor Who isn't on here. It's not that I don't like Peter Capaldi or Jenna-Louise Coleman, it's just that the show isn't firing enough for me to consider it a best anymore. It's watchable, it's still on the DVR... but it doesn't belong on a best list.

In general, this list is the "If I had to cut back to a certain number of shows, based on money, time, etc., this is the list of shows I'd cut first (starting with #37) to shows I'd cut last (starting with #1).

When we did our "Best Of 2014" podcast a couple weeks ago, I said that Game of Thrones was #9 on my list, but after some reconsideration and favoring personal taste a little over critical acclaim (meaning things like Rectify, Mad Men and Transparent all slipped a bit) I decided this really ranked higher. In fact, it's arguable that it belongs above The Daily Show, but that show has done so much this year that I found important *and* entertaining that I can't quite nudge this any higher.

Similarly, Flash was #16 when we talked "Best of 2014" but upon reconsideration, and using the "If I had to pick only 10 shows to watch" instead of "What is more objectively critically great" standard, The Flash moves up quite a few notches. I always watch it on the night it airs, it's one of the shows I discuss most with friends and it just hits the marks it's aiming for so perfectly. Great cast, lots of good DC Easter Eggs, but it doesn't *just* offer Easter Eggs, it offers a fun, clever take on the superhero genre. Probably the best superhero show ever done on television.

1. Fargo (FX)
2. True Detective (HBO)
3. Last Week With John Oliver (HBO)
4. Orange is the New Black Season Two (NETFLIX)
5. The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (COM)
6. Game of Thrones (HBO)
7. The Flash (CW)
8. Mad Men (AMC)
9. Hannibal (NBC)
10. The Americans (FX)
11. Rectify (SUNDANCE)
12. Transparent (AMAZON)
13. Brooklyn Nine-Nine (FOX)
14. Community (NBC)
15. Louie (FX)
16. You're The Worst (FX)
17. Rick and Morty (CARTOON)
18. Key & Peele (COM)
19. Arrow (CW)
20. Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (ABC)
21. The Walking Dead (AMC)
22. Review (COM)
23. Silicon Valley (HBO)
24. Inside Amy Schumer (COM)
25. The Leftovers (HBO)
26. Justified (FX)
27. 24 Live Another Day (FOX)
28. Veep (HBO)
29. Bob's Burgers (FOX)
30. The Newsroom (HBO)
31. Boardwalk Empire (HBO)
32. Enlisted (FOX)
33. Married (FX)
34. The Meltdown with Jonah and Kumail  (COM)
35. A to Z (NBC)
36. The League (FXX)
37. Orphan Black (BBCA)

Best New Show:
1. Fargo
2. True Detective
3. Last Week With John Oliver
4. The Flash
5. Transparent
6. You're The Worst
7. Rick and Morty
8. Review
9. Silicon Valley
10. The Leftovers
11. 24 Live Another Day
12. Enlisted
13. Married
14. The Meltdown with Jonah and Kumail
15. A to Z

Best Comedy:
1. The Daily Show with Jon Stewart
2. Brooklyn Nine-Nine Season Two
3. Community Season Four
4. Louie Season Four
5. Key & Peele Season Four
6. Inside Amy Schumer Season Two
7. Veep Season Three
8. Bob's Burgers Season Four
9. The League Season Six
10. Archer Season Five

Best Drama:
1. Orange is the New Black Season Two
2. Game of Thrones Season Four
3. Mad Men Final Season
5. Hannibal Season Two
6. The Americans Season Two
7. Rectify Season Two
8. Arrow Season Three
9. Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season Two
10. The Walking Dead Season Five
12. Justified Season Five
13. The Newsroom Season Three
14. Boardwalk Empire Season Five
15. Orphan Black Season Two

Best Ensemble:
1. Fargo
2. Orange is the New Black
3. Transparent
4. Game of Thrones
5. Brooklyn Nine-Nine
6. You're The Worst
7. Veep
8. Mad Men
9. Silicon Valley
10. Rectify

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