I consumed an absurd (and moderately embarrassing) amount of television in 2014. Hope y’all enjoy my self-indulgent Top 10 list.
*Note: I am not Alan Sepinwall. I couldn’t possibly watch everything. These are merely my favorites.
*Another Note: Some foreign shows originally aired in previous years, but were domestically released in 2014.
10. New Girl
9. You’re the Worst
Who knew raunchiness could be so charming, cute, and meaningful? The show Millenials (man, I loathe that word) need to be watching.
8. Black Mirror
7. Nathan For You
6. Last Week Tonight with John Oliver
Instead of hosting a reflective, week-capping Colbert/Stewart highlight reel, John Oliver routinely advances the narrative by calling attention to issues we didn’t know we wanted to care about. Comedy Central should never have let Oliver slip away, but we’re all fortunate that he did.
This Sundance drama is so beautifully contemplative that it’s almost meditative. Flawless second season. Aden Young’s performance is evolving into an all-timer.
4. The Returned
The most gripping foreign series I’ve ever seen. Leftovers-esque, but its opposite plot is far more conventionally engaging (in a great way). Merci, France.
3. True Detective
Never stop rambling about stars and time, McConaughey. Television as a director’s medium is ironically the best thing that’s ever happened to great actors and writers. The Light is most definitely winning. We all are.
Deeply affecting on so many levels. Viewers will catch on/up after this first season bags all the awards it deserves. A perfectly named series, though Amazon’s masterpiece is equally transcendent.
When reminiscing about his iconic rock band’s emergence, Keith Richards said “The Beatles kicked the door open, and we zoomed in after them and held it open.”
If True Detective’s Rust Cohle and Marty Hart were Lennon-McCartney, Fargo certainly followed with a landmark, Stones-like arrival in the television landscape. No 2014 series established and owned its world like FX’s greatest creative triumph did.
Let’s hope the True Detective/Fargo debate rages on in 2015. The anthology series door has certainly been kicked open, and I can’t wait to see what’s on the other side.
Cheers to 2015.
Honorable Mentions: The Americans, Boardwalk Empire, Game of Thrones, Girls, The Honourable Woman, The Leftovers, Mad Men, Masters of Sex, The Newsroom, Orange is the New Black, Orphan Black, Silicon Valley, Every scene on The Bridge feat. Matthew Lillard
All-Bank First Team: Matthew McConaughey (True Detective), Martin Freeman (Fargo), Lizzy Caplan (Masters of Sex), Jeffrey Tambor (Transparent), Aya Cash & Chris Geere (You’re the Worst)
All-Bank Unsung Heroes Team: Olivia Munn & Thomas Sadowski (The Newsroom), Michiel Huisman (Game of Thrones, Orphan Black, Nashville, that weird Chanel No. 5 commercial with Gisele), Shea Whigham (Boardwalk Empire, True Detective), Marc Pickering (Boardwalk Empire), Adelaide Clemens (Rectify)
Rookie of the Year: Allison Tolman (Fargo)
Shit List: The Affair, House of Cards BBQ-centric episode