Friday, December 12, 2014

TQ's Year of TV (2014 non life threatening list)

YEAR OF TV 2014
(non life threatening edition) 
2011's post / 2012's post / 2013's post / 2014's 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 no history of character death, it will be on the below list. A separate list exists for shows in which characters have died.

My Favorite TV Shows of 2014
Ron Funches

30. Undateable (NBC)
This is the worst comedy I watch, but I'll continue to watch it as long as Ron Funches is featured.

29. Unlisted (Fox)
A good show nobody watched, and has since been cancelled.

28. Marry Me (NBC)
They should just call this show Happy Endings Redux, which is both the show's strength and curse. Every time I consider quitting this show, it makes me laugh.

27. Kroll Show (Comedy Central)
Kroll Show's 3rd, and final, season premieres soon. It will probably be much  higher on next year's list.

26. Archer (FXX)
I had fallen away from this show in prior years, but I marathon watched the back seasons to get current. Similar to how memories of Happy Endings keeps Marry Me down, I can't help but wish we had more Frisky Dingo when watching Archer.

25. Chosen (FXX)
Honestly, just laughed more during Chosen than during Archer.

24. The League (FXX)
I rank these shows based primarily on what I would choose to watch in a head to head competition. The League ends next year, I think the show is still funny, but has run its course.  Unless they spinoff a Rafi only show, which would be spectacular.

23. Bojack Horseman (Netflix)
An animated show on Netflix that produced some of my biggest laughs this year. Primarily because of the character voiced by Paul F. Tompkins.

22. Key and Peele (Comedy Central)
The Golden Era of TV Drama that began less than ten years ago was followed by the Golden Era of Sketch Shows which started with Key and Peele's first season. No other show has a better voice, look and feel.

21. Broad City (Comedy Central)
Original comedy is the best comedy. Bonus points for Hannibal Burress in the cast.

20. Playing House (USA)
If you follow the comedy world, Playing House is the UCB all-star game. It's a shame that it's buried on USA and the only people that watch it are the same people who only know about it from comedy podcasts. It's also too damn sweet to be "edgy" but the laughs are huge nonetheless.

19. Girls (HBO)
Here's the first example of how my dual list strategy may not make sense. Girls is really more of a drama, which makes it tough to rank amongst the other titles in this list. I can't say anything more about it than what has already been said elsewhere. I still enjoy it.

18. Rick and Morty (Adult Swim)
I know two people who will be mad that this show isn't ranked higher. Everyone else will have zero idea of this show. It's fun and wonderful.

17. The Eric Andre Show (Adult Swim)
Eric Andre
If you don't know who Eric Andre is by now, I do NOT recommend this show under any circumstances. It is off the rails wild with zero purpose other than to mess with anything in its orbit. Splitsider calling his comedy Punk Rock was spot on accurate.

16. Meltdown with Jonah and Kumail (Comedy Central)
There have been a slew of TV Shows built around stand up comedy sets, but none have made it as entertaining as Johah and Kumail. I really want to go to Los Angeles to see this comedy club in person.

15. Too Many Cooks (Adult Swim)
It takes a lot to make a stew / A pinch of salt and laughter too / A scoop of kids to add the spice / A dash of love to make it nice / And you've got Too Many Cooks / Too Many Cooks / Too Many Cooks / Too Many Cooks / Too Many Cooks / Too Many Cooks / Too Many Cooks / Too Many... / It takes a lot to make a stew / When it comes to me and you / And him and her and the baby too / Too Many Cooks is True / The saying goes it'll spoil the broth / Honey, I think that's not true / Well, maybe Too Many Cooks will spoil the broth but they'll fill our hearts with so much SO MUCH LOVE!

14. Newsreaders (Adult Swim)
Similar to NTSF:SD:SUV, Newsreaders was born as a joke on Children's Hospital. The mock news magazine is 100% brilliant.

13. Comedy Bang Bang (IFC)
For an impossible to translate podcast, the show does very well. I wish I was Scott Aukerman.

12. You're the Worst (FXX)
For a show with a horrible title, and a suspect marketing campaign, I was very pleasantly surprised. A great raunchy show with a dirty beating loving heart.

11. Maron (IFC)
Maron wasn't on last year's list because I didn't watch it. It didn't take me long to watch both seasons and get caught up through OnDemand/Netflix. I can't wait for more episodes. This show is the West Coast Louie. I desperately hope Marc Maron doesn't see that line because it will probably make him angry.

10. Silicon Valley (HBO)
I loved the first season, and I wish I could rank it higher. Please note that the only reason it is "low" at ten is because of an incredible depth of quality elsewhere on the list. Quite possibly the single best joke of the year was on this show.

9. Veep (HBO)
Veep got better, way better. Either that, or I was just wrong about this show in the past. No other show uses profanity as creatively as Veep - especially when a character insults another.

8. Brooklyn 99 (Fox)
Yes, it's Parks and Rec Junior, but somehow this show doesn't have the same copy vibe that I mentioned earlier with Marry Me and Archer. Every character is three dimensional and still has the ability to surprise.

7. Parks and Recreation (NBC)
Parks and Recreation hidden joke
If you don't record this show in order to pause every once in a while to read background jokes, you're watching it wrong. For example, Andy Dwyer crossing out "Indie Bands" for "Indy Bands."

6. @Midnight (Comedy Central)
Pure fun. A long over due platform to allow funny people to be funny. And easily the show on this list that is best at engaging with its audience.

5. It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia (FXX)
The Tim Duncan of Comedy. You forget how long its been around. It keeps wining championships.

4. Louie (FX)
No show is tougher to classify than Louie. It's easily more of a drama, and actually they do have death as a theme in this show - but it's my list and I'm placing it here. The episode in the Hamptons, the "So Did the Fat Lady" episode, and the extended arc around the foreign neighbor confirm its unrivaled range. Not to mention, I went back to watch the Robin Williams episode after his death... Yeah, maybe should have this in the other column?

3. Review (Comedy Central)
This is a show in which Andy Daly, one of my favorite people in all of comedy, plays "Life Reviewer" Forrest MacNeil. Viewers of the fictional show-within-a-show submit life experiences for him to review. He explores topics such as cocaine, group sex, pancakes, and working in a coffee shop.  It's a work of art: watch every episode!

2. Nathan For You (Comedy Central)
Nathan Fielder
Of all my television choices of 2014, such as which shows to quit and which shows to start, the best decision was to go back to watch last year's first season of Nathan For You before his second season begun this year. He got famous for his "Dumb Starbucks" episode, but that was just the most visible experiment. I don't know how to wrap your head around the show's concept - picture a casserole of The Daily Show, Punk'd, Bar Rescue, Dateline, and The Office.

1. Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO)
The most important show one can watch on television. It's beyond what The Daily Show accomplishes, with none of the embellished gravitas of Colbert. It's also more focused and informative than Real Time. It definitely has a voice, but doesn't feel biased, as most of the topics are either international or apparent in system (not one side of the political aisle) motivated. HBO realizes that it can't sell past seasons of a current events minded show on DVD, which is why they post all its content for free on YouTube. Check it out: http://www.youtube.com/lastweektonight

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