(life threatening edition)
2011's post / 2012's post / 2013's post / 2014's non life threatening list
For this year's TV rankings, I've split my list in two. I am not a fan of the typical comedy versus drama distinction, because a great show needs to have elements of both. Instead I chose a more morbid route. If a show has a history of character death, it will be on the below list. A separate list exists for shows in which characters don't die.
Note: two shows I still have intention on watching are The Affair (Showtime) and Rectify (Sundance).
My Favorite TV Shows of 2014
20. 24 (Fox)
What has happened to our lives? The show that I would've, without hesitation, place atop any TV list from 2001-2004 finds itself at the bottom in 2014. There was no show I watched worse in 2014 than The Jack Bauer Party Hour. I wrote a separate post about my disappointment.
19. Banshee (Cinemax)
This is the only title I'm somewhat embarrassed to admit. For I actually watched the first two seasons of this action show. It's pulp rush of butts and bullets. I'm an American.
18. Orphan Black (BBC America)
17. Orange is the New Black (Netflix)
Speaking of season two letdowns, don't believe the hype on OITNB. It started great, but I think Netflix is really playing into the binge watching habits of the audience. If episodes were released weekly, it would be fighting for DVR space versus superior shows.
16. Parenthood (NBC)
Parenthood isn't a show that has guns blazing and people about to die of drug overdoses or at the hands of serial killers. I'm still placing it on the "drama-centric" list nonetheless because I'm bending my own rules. The show has grown beyond its control, and is maybe ending a year too late. Too much Joel/Julia and too much Saint Kristina Braverman Principal of Life. This will be a top five show the last five episodes are a road trip with Craig T. Nelson, Ray Romano, Peter Krause, and Dax Shepard. Yup, that'll be good - with a dash of one of my all time favorites Mae Whitman.
15. Masters of Sex (Showtime)
This is an underrated drama. It is also (like the previous entry) not exactly "life threatening" qualifying, but I wasn't going to make a third list of Louie, Maron, Girls, Parenthood, and Masters of Sex.
14. House of Cards (Netflix)
House of Cards is not a great show, but it is incredibly entertaining. Every episode's ending demands you remain paralyzed until the next episode automatically starts. But whenever I find someone who is also current with HoC, I simply ask, "what's the point?" I've yet to find someone who knows.
13. The Bridge (FX)
Here's the best show nobody watched, and now that it's cancelled, never will.
12. Shameless (Showtime)
The less they make this show about William H. Macy and more about Emmy Rossum the better. Keep it up.
11. The Walking Dead (AMC)
I was close to quitting The Walking Dead before this season. It's vastly improved.
10. Justified (FX)
One more season left for a show I've long said was a Best Show nobody was saying was a Best Show. Last season was a bit of a step back compared to some of its earlier seasons. However, I have nothing but full confidence that the show will end fantastically.
9. The Leftovers (HBO)
I can't recommend this show to anybody. It's a mystery with no intention of solving its own mystery. No other show makes me as depressed as The Leftovers. I feel spell bound by it as I try to cope alongside all its confused characters.
8. Homeland (Showtime)
Did someone say Bounce-Back-Year?! I had ranked Homeland #4 in 2011 and #5 in 2012 before plummeting to #21 in 2013 - that's how disappointing season three was... We are not through the end of season four yet, but I feel confident again in Carrie and company.
7. Hannibal (NBC)
Of any show in 2014, no show is as visually striking as Hannibal. Nobody that watches it believes they are watching NBC because it feels like an art flick from Scandinavia. It also does something more shows need to do: make the bad guy a bad guy (not a cool guy). And we all fear Hannibal.
6. Boardwalk Empire (HBO)
A victim of its own success, maybe, but I wasn't as sold on the final season of Boardwalk Empire as I have been in years past.
|Elizabeth Moss and Jon Hamm|
5. Mad Men (AMC)
Emmys for Jon Hamm and Elizabeth Moss please. They are more than due and its their last shot. Madmen (with the exception of the last 3 minutes of the season finale) have never been better. I may have this show number one if wasn't for that finale's closing scene.
4. The Americans (FX)
There a ton of shows in which its first season was its best season. It's not the case for The Americans. Season one was very good, but season two was great.
3. Game of Thrones (HBO)
The more I thought about my show ranks, the more I had to keep bumping up GoT to a higher place. There were so many incredible episodes, amazing set pieces, riveting plot developments. I can't even narrow it down to a single defining moment.
2. Fargo (FX)
If you haven't watched Fargo, but plan to, I have a bit of advice. Watch the Coen movie (again) before you start watching the television show. The TV Show is not a remake, but it does take place in the same world. Additionally, you'll appreciate just how well the TV show emulates the overall tone of the movie inspired by it. This show was fantastic, with so many great characters and angles. Ah jeez, the show was just pure ACES!
1. True Detective (HBO)
Rust Cohle taught me that time is a flat circle and not to dip your dick in crazy.
Marty Hart taught me that he likes to mow his own lawn and that T-Mobile has the best service.
They both taught me not to take simple named villains such as the Yellow King or Spaghetti Monster lightly as we all went to Carcosa together.
Everything was different with this show and nothing felt the same after you watched.