Best shows of 2014

Curious, what were your favorite shows of this year? There was so much good shit, it's really hard to make a list. Here's mine, and none of it's in any particular order, just buckets.

My Top 10: True Detective (S1), Transparent (S1), Honorable Woman, Happy Valley (S1), Game of Thrones (S4), Hannibal (S2), Fargo (S1), The Knick (S1), Louie (S4), Borgen (S3)

On the bubble: Rectify (S2), Veep (S3), The Americans (S2), Boardwalk Empire (S5), Sherlock (S3),

Honorable mentions: Masters of Sex (S2), Silicon Valley (S1), Mad Men (S7), Halt and Catch Fire (S1), Vikings (S2), Manhattan (S1), Penny Dreadful (S1), Mad Men (S7), OITNB (S2), Defiance (S2), The Good Wife, The Bridge (S2)


  • broompersonbroomperson the Iron Islands
    True Detective at the top for sure.

    Louie was on another level. He does exactly what he wants and FX lets him do it. He can go from slap stick Louis CK style comedy, to rape jokes, to doing an entire episode of social commentary on teen drug use that Louis himself doesn't even act in. Jim/A.Ron, I'd be interested in hearing what yall think of Louie because its so much more than just a comedy.

    But Mad Men only an honorable mention? Season 7a wasn't as good as 6 (6 is my favorite Mad Men season of all time), but it was damn good.
  • Mad Men, True Detective, The Leftovers, Hannibal, Boardwalk Empire and The Knick.

    All in no particular order of course.
  • @broomperson‌ Mad Men really didn't do much for me this season. In fact, it barely made my list. Peggy is the only character I really care about anymore, and she's carrying the show for me.
  • DeeDee Adelaide
    edited November 2014
    Hmmm. Well, I'd put Boardwalk Empire on top because of the way they tied up not only the threads of the season, but circled right back to the beginning to shed new light on something we had always known. It was brilliant and I'm still thinking about it.

    True Detective would be second because it was just SO well acted and directed, even though the story was a bit shaky at times.

    Mad Men because Mad Men. You either love it or you don't.

    Orange Is The New Black because there are just so many amazing women and I am always down for that on my TV.

    Bates Motel because it's completely bonkers and the main actors are fantastic - especially Vera Farmiga and the guy who was Batmanuel in The Tick.

    My Mad Fat Diary because it was a smart, funny and occasionally heartbreaking teen dramedy that gave depth to each character - including the adults - and didn't demonise anyone.

    The Americans because it is consistently gripping and the two leads are incredibly good. Also I'm old enough to vaguely remember a lot of what they talk about, which is just as well because they sure don't dumb this show down for anyone.

    Happy Valley because it was tense and deadly serious and also horribly sad, and I just love these kinds of gritty UK dramas.

    The Tunnel because it was far more watchable (for me anyway) than The Bridge (US) and because I love Stephen Dillane but he gets no love as Stannis "old man yells at cloud" Baratheon so it was nice to see him play someone charming and friendly.

    The Goldbergs because I was a teen in the 80s and I feel like this show was made just for me. It's funny, nostalgic, sweet and Wendi McLendon-Covey is a comic genius.

    You're The Worst because I had really low expectations of it and it surprised me by how funny it was. Also because of when one of them refers to Daniel Craig looking like "an upset baby". I can never unsee that now.
  • pavlovsbellpavlovsbell Brooklyn, NY
    This is definitely more of a "favorites" than the best:

    True Detective, Hannibal, The Americans, Rectify, Mad Men, Fargo

    ...and Justified (messy season though it was), Arrow (S2, but not S3 so much), and The Walking Dead. Yes, there are better shows, but like I said, "favorites."

    I suppose I should add Game of Thrones even though I don't like it as much I want to.

    I'm really enjoying The Missing, but it's too soon to tell.

    Some of the ones listed above are on my list, but I don't know how much I'll get to see before the end of 2014: The Knick, Happy Valley, Transparent, Borgen

  • You're The Worst because I had really low expectations of it and it surprised me by how funny it was. Also because of when one of them refers to Daniel Craig looking like "an upset baby". I can never unsee that now.

    Was JUST going to post about this! By far the most 'out of nowhere' shows for me this year. It feels rare to have a comedy be genuinely surprising...and graphic..without feeling gratuitous. Can't wait for that one to come back.

    I've also been increasingly excited about Gotham. It was pretty rough for a few episodes, but they've found their stride and is one of the most gorgeous shows on tv. The direction has nailed the comic book style right down to super wide shot splash pages.

    Outside of that...exactly what you'd expect: Breaking Bad, Fargo, True Detective, Sherlock and Game of Thrones.
  • John_NadaJohn_Nada California
    edited November 2014
    Everyone has I covered but I will add Dr. Who, Gothem and Z Nation to my list.
  • A_Ron_HubbardA_Ron_Hubbard Cincinnati, OH
    Man, this is why I hate lists like this, because I find things impossible to categorize except as Shane does, which is put them in broad "A", "B" and "the rest" tiers. And I don't usually spend time on "the rest". I'll have to do some thinking on this, because I think we're actually going to do some type of award show early next year.
  • In a "Rookie" category I would consider adding BoJack Horseman, a Netflix jam. I just started binging this over the weekend and it feels sorta like an animated Louie...with animal-people hybrids. Its got an actual storyline throughout the season and gets increasingly complex/nuanced.
  • DeeDee Adelaide
    I loved Bojack Horseman! At first I was like "What the hell is happening?" but it grew on me really quickly and I ended up watching the whole season over a weekend.
  • Damn, how could I have forgot Orange is the New Black and Fargo? Second season of House of Cards was okay.

    So, Mad Men, True Detective, Orange is the new Black, The Leftovers, Fargo, Hannibal, Boardwalk Empire and The Knick.
  • MmmBopMmmBop United Kingdom
    The walking dead
    The vikings
    The last ship
    True detective
    The leftovers
    Game of thrones.

  • The Knick!!! I didn't expect to like this one so much, but it might be my favorite this year. It just brings together some of my favorite things, such as historical setting and a focus on the process of scientific discovery and the psychology of the scientific mind. Also, The Americans, Mad Men, Fargo, Masters of Sex, OITB. Justified had a weaker season this year, but it's still one of the best written and best acted shows in tvland. I'm still not sure about The Affair. I've enjoyed it so far but it depends on how they wrap up the first season.
  • pokerking775pokerking775 Winnemucca, NV
    I loved Silicon Valley. That was a great surprise show. Mike Judge can be hit and miss with me sometimes but I think he nailed it with this one. Really looking forward to next season.
  • Dramas: True Detective, GoT, Fargo, The Leftovers
    Comedies: Silicon Valley, South Park (personally, this season has been my favorite since 2004), Girls

    Honorable Mentions: 24:LAD, AHS:FS,

    Quite honestly, this has been an outstanding year in the Golden Age of TV.
  • Rectify is one show that got me by surprise by how much quality they produce by giving us so little. Not so much action but the acting and slow burn throughout the season just forces me to pay more attention and appreciate the little moments that much more because of the build up. Really unique and different from what I've seen this and last year.
  • gypzymomgypzymom Portland, OR
    edited December 2014
    Game of Thrones
    House of Cards
    Walking Dead (though disappointing this season, I truly HATE this mid-season break shit)
    Mad Men (finale season has been meh in comparison to others- I'd hoped for better)
    Sons of Anarchy.- power watching it and loving every minute!
    Gotham - quite good!
  • I've really enjoyed Tyrant so far but I guess I'm alone in that, not a single mention before now.

    True Detective was great but it's developed a bit of a stigma to me over its own success; if I hadn't watched it as it aired I'd probably have little interest in it due to everyone constantly waxing poetic about how great it is. It was indeed superb but that constant non-stop hyperbolic praise is just tiring.

  • Sepinwall's Best of 2014 list is in.

    In order (from 10 - 1): True Detective, Mad Men, Hannibal, Rectify, OITNB, Fargo, Review, Transparent, The Americans, and for #1. The Leftovers.

    Huh? The Leftovers is #1 of the year. For him, "No work of art in 2014 resonated with me more deeply than HBO’s “The Leftovers.” And I think it's really that simple - what resonates with you, flaws or no flaws. That's never debatable.
  • 1.True Detective - By far the best
    2.Game of Thrones - Spectacular as usual
    3.Boardwalk Empire - Good close to the series
    4.Walking Dead- Getting Better
    5.Fargo /Leftovers - joint 5th these two were good but neither really blew me away

    I was going to mention movies but i'll elaborate on that in another post
  • ElisaElisa Los Angeles
    edited December 2014
    I am sorry I tried getting into the Leftovers but I wanted to slit my wrists after and I really did not care for anyone. Please note I could not get past episode 2.

    My top for 2014: Game of Thrones ( I only buy HBO for 3 months for this show :smiley: ), The Vikings, Gotham, The Strain, Downton Abbey, TWD, and Sherlock.

    LOL I binge so many shows on Netflix in between, I can't remember what year or season I've watched, it's all a blur. :wink:
  • ElisaElisa Los Angeles
    Here's James Poniewozik's list from Time : Transparent was no 1 for him. Hmmmm
  • broompersonbroomperson the Iron Islands
    1. True Detective
    2. Mad Men
    3. Boardwalk Empie
    4. Louie
    5. Game of Thrones

    havent seen Fargo yet. Whats the best way to watch it? DVDs out?
  • Am I the only one that thinks Transparent is being overrated? Very good show, but those characters were the most obnoxious ones on TV since Entourage. I liked Moira quite a bit, but literally hated everyone else.
  • And my Top 10:
    1. Fargo
    2. The Good Wife
    3. Review
    4. Parks and Recreation
    5. Game of Thrones
    6. Veep
    7. True Detective
    8. Hannibal
    9. Orange Is the New Black
    10. Mad Men

    Special shoutout to The Flash and Arrow
  • ElisaElisa Los Angeles
    Yes how can I watch Fargo. It's not on Netflix yet. Just started orange is the new black. Good stuff.
  • pavlovsbellpavlovsbell Brooklyn, NY
    edited December 2014
    @Elisa, Hulu just announced that it acquired exclusive rights to stream S1 of Fargo "ahead of" the S2 fall 2015 premiere. It was released on DVD in October, however, and is available digitally via the usual suspects.
  • ElisaElisa Los Angeles
    Bummer :|
  • DrewDrew indianapolis
    True Detective was great, but I think Fargo was probably my top new show this year. Even then though, The Knick is amazing, The Affair on Showtime is great as well, Halt and Catch Fire started slow but ended great and I can't wait to see what's next for that show, I was really excited for Turn but that show was a real let down. New TV had a great year this year which is good because with so many shows between last year and next year ending I was worried about if newer shows would be able to keep up the quality.

    As for shows that were already deep into their run, Sons of Anarchy was really a mix bag for fans, I really enjoyed the season but was ultimately let down by the finale, Game of Thrones did their best season yet and has lead me to start reading the books because I just can't wait to see what's next, The Americans stepped it up a notch in season 2, season 1 was great but season 2 was even better, Mad Men final season part 1 was good as well. Orange is the New Black and House of Cards were good but I felt stumbled a little bit after both having really good first seasons.
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