2014 has been a great year in television for me! You can see what I’ve been watching and talking about over the past year with my Television Tag here.
I seriously have too many favourites (where do I find the time?!) to have a general top five, so I’m going to list my favourites in each genre and also talk about the shows that have let me down a little. There will be spoilers everywhere, so this is your warning!
I’m a self confessed nerd, so let’s start out with the comic book movies that have totally swept me off my feet.
- Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
HA! I knew this show was going to be great. It had a clunky start, but once the timeline coincided with the Captain America: Winter Soldier movie, the quality totally rose. They had new material to work with that tied into the wider MCU and it worked really well. As the show is, there doesn’t feel like a single wasted moment, or superfluous action. As more Marvel Movies come out I’m excited to see how the show is affected, and possible vice versa? There’s to be a new TV show based on the early days of S.H.I.E.L.D called Agent Carter, which looks really good.
I started this show on a total whim knowing nothing about the character and very little about DC beyond Superman, Batman, the few New 52 Wonder Woman comics I’ve read and the Past Imperfect Booster Gold comic. If it wasn’t for the leaked episode, I wouldn’t have given this show a second thought. But wow, Barry Allen is likeable and the only awkward actor is Caitlin. The plot is engaging and believable, by that I mean it makes sense in the context of the world they’ve built up. I’m really enjoying it so far!
For a while I’ve been meaning to start watching Arrow. Early last year I talked about how I wanted to watch it and my mother mentioned how she’d seen a few episodes and it seemed cool. My mother, I’m so behind the curve! Man this show is good. This show is like if Batman was a person instead of a symbol, how Batman can just do it all has always bothered me, Arrow shows how hard that is to do in real life. There’s still incredible plot armour and Oliver seems to just sleep with every hot woman he meets except Felicity, for reasons that no longer become apparent to me mid Season 2 but still a great show. All the Flash references are amazing, a random news broadcast here, a mention of going back to Central City in a Flash there, love. it.
There are no bad shows because comic books are on a high right now! Whoooo! I don’t care if the bubble bursts in 2015 because we’ve had such a good run so far.
I’m normally a big fan of animated shows but this year has been pretty polarising. There have been some really big hits, some really big misses and nothing in between.
- Gravity Falls
If I had ten hands I wouldn’t be able to type out how amazing this show is. Gravity Falls is the funniest show I’ve watched in a really long time.
- Rick and Morty
I originally was going to give this a skip because it looked like a gross out cartoon and I passionately and deeply hate grossout cartoons. I saw a funny gif (that’s how I find out about most TV shows I watch) and I decided to give it a shot. I’m so glad I did! Rick and Morty is a parody of Back to the Future done that packs a lot of humour and intelligence into each episode. The show is equal parts wacky adventures and human connection. I love it and I can’t wait for Season 2, RICK AND MORTY FOREVER AND FOREVER A HUNDRED YEARS Rick and Morty.. some…things.. Me and Rick and Morty runnin’ around and… Rick and Morty time… a- all day long forever.. all a – a hundred days Rick and Morty! forever a hundred times…. OVER and over Rick and Morty… adventures dot com.. W W W dot at Rick and Morty dot com w..w..w… Rick and Morty adventures.. ah- hundred years….. every minute Rick and Morty dot com…. w w w a hundred times… Rick and Morty dot com.
Word of advice? Don’t watch the pilot. Just.. trust me.
And for the bad.
Oh, Archer. I was excited for Season 5, the Miami Vice theme seemed interesting and fun! I was so disappointed. I don’t mind change, I just didn’t understand what was happening in Archer for the whole season. I can only describe it as a high school reunion with all my old friends where, they look the same, but they don’t act like the old friends I once knew really well. I watched the whole season and it felt like I was still waiting for the show to get going. What’s the point of what they’re doing? Are they still trying to be ISIS? Just make enough money to go their separate ways?
I bought into Archer because it was sold as parody of James Bond/Spy movies with lots of over the top crazy characters. Vice is nothing like that at all. The final episode almost redeemed the whole season because for the first time it felt like what the season 5 trailer had promised, but then nothing because it was the final episode. So I just felt a little empty. BAH HUMBUG ARCHER.
- The Legend of Korra
The one thing I didn’t like about Korra was all the relationship drama. It made me really pine for Aang where it was used sparingly. I think I’m also a little bitter that they went with Katara x Aang instead of Katara x Zuko, which was the most logical ship!
I thought the Korrasami ending was forced and fanserviced. To be clear, I don’t hate that it’s real or that they’re women. I was so happy that Korra was finally being the friend to Asami that she should have always been from the start. That they showed a strong female bond made me really happy. All the ‘clues’ looked like normal best friend stuff. Why wouldn’t she only write to Asami? They’re both women who’ve faced great loss. Her other options of peers to write to were her ex and ex’s brother who she dated super briefly. Even though I’m not a fan of the ending, I appreciate what it means to some people. So while I don’t love it, I totally get why the ending is what it is. I just think the way they did it (right at the end) was a bit of a disservice.
There were so many good parts of this show, the fighting, CGI and some of the history we learned was super interesting. Book 2, Chapters 7-8 was amazing and are the only reasons I kept watching. If they did another series and just focused on those two chapters I would be happy. It’s such a shame that they had so many problems with Nickelodeon because had they been given more room, or more structure or just not felt like they would be axed at any point I think this show could have been much better than it ended up being.
KwameO has a really good write up that summaries a lot of my feelings about this show.
I’m a huge fan of people walking around in old timey clothes saying old timey things.
- Downton Abbey
Edith is happy! Everyone seems to be happy! I started watching completely by accident when I saw an episode on TV while I was on holiday. A character died, everyone was sobbing and by the end of the episode I was sobbing too. I thought, if an episode where I started in the middle could move me so, I should really give it a shot. That was years ago and I haven’t looked back since.
- The Americans
Holy balls, The Americans, I talked about this show a little here. Wow is all I can say. The last season really ramped up the drama, holy wow. It’s been a while since I’ve watched an episode as a the season ended early in the year but WOW, I enjoyed it.
- Brooklyn Nine Nine
I talked about this show earlier, and I’m really happy to say that a few months on this show has yet to disappoint. It’s still funny, engaging and human. The only thing that worries me is that there are no standout episodes, there isn’t an episode that is a little better than the rest, they’re all just great solid episodes and kind of blur into one.
- Once Upon a Time
I was anxious that this show would ruin Frozen for me, especially after how heavy handed Neverland was and how tedious the Wicked Witch thread felt. But like I predicted they went with the Original Snow Queen storyline, but with a twist, they merged it with the Frozen story! From begining to end, this was thoroughly enjoyable even though some characters were acting super clueless (get it together Belle and Hook) and very unlike themselves, the story moved along nicely and they ended it on a good cliff hanger.
Can’t wait for 2015’s new shows and episodes! What are your favourites and disappointments in 2014?