I’m back! Or at least I’m back writing not emo, not published, not recipe driven blogs about the thing we all really care about – TV. Another year of great story lines, plot twist, and character development has come and gone, and I won’t lie to you, a lot of it was a terrible. This season of television from cables channels all the way down the line, were slim pickings, but luckily for you I”ll be starting a yearly tradition of this rundown to praise the shows we were all watching, and shed some light on the ones we you didn’t but you should have. As I count down, please remember that this is a list of TV shows this past year that had consistency throughout the whole season from start to finish as well as the fact that my opinion continues to mean nothing.
10. House of Lies (Season 3) SHOWTIME — Just when you thought Marty Kann & Associates couldn’t get any crazier they hit you with some double agent, Jeannie’s acting white girl crazy, TI AND Mekhi Phifer acting their balls off type of shit that changes everything. Every season this show is on, it’s creates perfect blend of Entoruage meets Scandal with a heavy dose of amazing created by Emmy nominated Don Cheadle but this season knocked it out of the park with some character retrospection and some action packed final episodes for good measure. It isn’t enough that we’re still reeling from, what looks like the end of Marty Kann, via criminal mandate but who’s not hoping that Clyde with the season he’s had makes a huge comeback and takes it all in season 4. Is that just me then?
9. The Blacklist (Season 1) NBC — If you want to know why this show is one of the only few that made it from last years up fronts to this seasons #1 new drama you really need to look no further than James Spader being a cheeky criminal to get the appeal. It’s a procedural, sure, but it’s darker than most and watching the cat and mouse game between Spader’s character and Agent Lizzy Keen brings a level of tension to NBC that isn’t usually spotted. I think this is a good show but I can feel that what is does best will only get better in time.
8. Parenthood (Season 5) NBC — This show, while easily one of the best family drama’s to be on television outside of Friday Night Lights, had some missteps this season after finishing the tear jerking season 4 wrap up. Some of the story lines seemed tired and repetitive, which is why it got bumped so far down on the list. The Braverman clan still ebs and flows with who the most interesting characters are and this year it was Joel & Julia’s divorce storyline that had me reaching for the box of tissues. Sarah’s never ending cycle of male suitors is becoming almost a joke and while I love watching Christina & Adam overcome obstacles this year seemed a bit much in the wake of surviving cancer, adding an air of unrealistic situations in an otherwise realistic show.
7. The Walking Dead (Season 4) AMC — You loved it or you hated it and everything else in between just wouldn’t be The Walking Dead. I’ll admit that it was far superior to last seasons wackiness but the first half of the year’s Walking Dead was a little lackluster even still. While I did love the reoccurring themes of hope and family as played out by Rick & Carl throughout season 4, the character development for all the characters on this show this season was the real icing on top for me. I find myself interested in what happened to Beth, intrigued by Rick’s new found resilience, and more than a bit worried about baby Judith’s fate with Carol & Tyreese at the helms.
6. Scandal (Season 3) ABC — Mama Pope & Papa Pop came just in the nick of time to add a little spice to Olivia’s soup of drama between Jake Ballard & the President. Add in some freaky stuff with Huck & Quinn, some more crazy Mellie, and obviously, murder, and you have the soapiest best show on TV. Next year with Columbus Short axed and a not pregnant leading lady I’m sure the twist will just keep on coming but I’m more interested in seeing less pinning and more handling from all our “Gladiators”. Also, is it ok if I’m totally #TeamJake from this point on? He looks better without a shirt.
5. House of Cards (Season 2) NETFLIX — It cometh like a storm in a desert with no flowers. That’s how good this binge worthy drama is. Season 1 was unassuming and amazing but season 2 you knew what you were in for and boy did it deliver. Claire continues to be the most dynamic woman I’ve ever seen on TV, ironically never letting the audience see her whole hand so that she can remains morally ambiguous as her and Frank rise to the top of the political heap. Their relationship with each to each other, with Meechum, and with their subordinates is so mind numbingly awesome that it only took me 4 days to finish the season and only 2 to want to watch the whole thing again.
4. Veep (Season 2) HBO — I added the next two shows even though their currently in the process of airing because they’re both too good not to. Funnier and more accurate of the two is Veep, which, side note, did you know Julia Louis-Dreyfus is 53?! Season 1 was funny because we got to learn about Selina, her staff, and the unglamorous realties of taking the second most important job in the country , but season 2 is even better because you open up the unbridled humor of campaign life. Also, am I the only one who loves all the random pairings this show has been setting us up for this season? Kent & Sue? Amy & guy from The Office but is actually on Silicon Valley? And was I getting a Dan & Selina vibe a few episodes ago? She won 2 Emmy’s already for this role, do you need any more reason to think it’s a good idea to opt for HBO?
3. Mad Men (Season 7 A) AMC — It gets half the numbers but is still by far and away the best AMC show ever. Sorry Breaking Bad and, it’s true. Even though we still have a few more episodes to go in the split final season of Don Drapers 60’s lifestyle, the past 4 episodes have just brought the roof down with realization and growth (?!?!) The best part about this season is that we get all of our main characters doing and saying classic things their character would say all while gentle and quietly changing into a better version of who we’d want them to be. It’s touching and not quite sinking in that by this time next year we’ll be saying good bye to all those Mad Men references that we think make us sound cooler along with Jon Hamm’s handsomely drunken face.
2. The Mindy Project (Season 2) FOX — So here’s the thing – I love this show but I’m cautiously aware of how unrealistic it is. She’s a quirky doctor who always dates the wrong guy but secretly has always been in love with her best friend who, after some time, realizes he couldn’t live without her either. Vomit. I’m torn between wanting to see a show about Mindy Kaling, the slightly awkward, not a size 2, funny woman who makes dating less irritating just by being a part of it, and the show that it is, which is none of that. It’s hilarious though, and the chemistry between Mindy and Chris Messina is pretty exciting to watch, but while this season was all lead up I’m wondering how they make the quality stick now that the two main characters are “all in”. Here’s to hoping it doesn’t suck.
1. The Good Wife (Season 5) CBS — If you’re not watching this show just stop right now. This season has exploded with emotion and character development and just all around good story telling since it started last September. Do you how hard it must be to write 22 AMAZING episodes of television? I use to think it was impossible until I watched this season of the Julianna Margulies hit show and ever Sunday was another great hour of TV. From the starting of their own firm to Will’s shocking and untimely death you cannot watch this season and not think Emmy’s all around for everyone involved. Hands down. Period.