Tuesday, 3 February 2015

"Why is your penis on a dead girl's phone?"- BEST OF 2014: TV EDITION!

           Yeah I know, that's some post title. It's my favourite television quote of last year simply because the hype for it was HILARIOUS! Anywho, it's finally list-making time on my blog and for the first time ever, I am doing a television list, or rather 3 of them (this is going to be a looooong post). This is because I am becoming more and more of a TV fiend. I may not watch as much as some other bloggers out there but I am definitely watching the most TV I have ever done in my life. A lot of big shows one expects in lists like these like The Good Wife or Mad Men and so on, you won't find in mine because I still haven't gotten around to watching them. I think my lists are a bit off-the-centre but I hope you like them all the same.

          I should add that I'm considering 2014 as a normal calendar year and not in the TV calendar way which is honestly confusing to me. Also, though I haven't written any honourable mentions, believe me, there are loads.

FAVOURITE EPISODES OF 2014

10.
"Moving Up"- Parks and Recreation (6x21/22)
The only reason this is so low in my list is because I had watched it so long ago. But I remember loving it to bits and thinking it was a befitting series finale to a most wonderful show.


9.
"Apartment Hunters"- Broad City (1x09)
Honestly, any episode of Broad City could have made it in but I feel like with its impossibly awesome opening scene and Amy Sedaris' legendary turn as the craziest broker ever, this one deserved a spot here the most.


8.
"Chapter 1"- Jane the Virgin (1x01)
Again, I have loved all the episodes of this show so far but the first one gets major props for introducing us to its crazy telanovela world and its lovely characters and just getting us addicted to all of it almost instantly.


7.
"In Summation"- The Fall (2x06)
Maybe it's because this show is so fresh in my mind but god, this episode was the bomb! The interrogation scene alone cemented a spot for it on this list. And then there is that excruciating and plain awesome ending.


6.
"The Secret Fate of All Life"- True Detective (1x05)
I just never saw this episode coming, like in a million years. It turned everything around. The main mystery was ostensibly solved and we still had half a season to go. Also, it looked great.


5.
"Listen"- Doctor Who (8x04)
I was genuinely scared during this episode, which is the last thing I expect from a show like Doctor Who but there you go. Also, it was ballsy to go the places it went- from having a major part of the episode being a realistic romcom to actually taking us to the Doctor's childhood.


4.
"Mizumono"- Hannibal (2x13)
This episode is the embodiment of all Hell breaking loose. I was devastated by the end but I loved every minute of it. Can you imagine if the show ended with it?


3.
"His Last Vow"- Sherlock (3x03)
The bleakest Sherlock episode to date, it gave us one of the most shudder-inducing villains that I have seen and to see Sherlock and John tackle him was a helluva ride. It also had Sherlock almost dying AND Sherlock making out with a girl so there's that. And let's not even talk about that cliffhanger.


2.
"Fight"- Masters of Sex (2x03)
The first of the two episodes in this list where most of the action, so to speak, takes place between a man and a woman in a room over the course of a night. This is one of the finest hours of television of last year and will go down as one of the highest points in the show's history. It is sexy, heartbreaking, amazingly acted by both Lizzy Caplan and Michael Sheen and just gorgeous. 


1.
"The Wedding"- Outlander (1x07)
I would say spoilers except everyone has already freaked out about this episode. This is the sexiest television episode I have ever seen. A whole hour built around two people coming together and god, it is amazing. Yes, the sex scenes are great, especially due to the fact that they're from a woman's perspective (gasp!), but this is also an intensely romantic episode and also very funny. It almost works as a standalone episode if you have a basic idea of what the show is about but the build-up to it is even more fantastic. So yeah, call me a pervert if you will but I loved the hell out of this episode.



FAVOURITE PERFORMANCES OF 2014

15.
Karen Gillan in Selfie (RIP)
As much as I loved Amy Pond, Gillan was always overshadowed by Matt Smith and Arthur Darvill in Doctor Who. So I was really not expecting the burst of energy that she brought to Eliza Dooley. Her crazy accent, her readiness to make a total fool of herself, the quieter, emotional moments, that "Chandelier" cover- all of it was so pleasantly surprising. I really hope some other great comic role comes Gillan's way soon.


14.
Peter Capaldi in Doctor Who
Speaking of Doctor Who, I didn't think I would get over Matt Smith so quickly but Capaldi is fantastic in this role! One of my favourite things about last series was how often I thought that maybe he is the villain, which was so unique. And it made his inevitable goodness that much more impactful. Also, bless the Scottishness and the eyebrows.


13.
Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer in Broad City
This is the first of the 3 pairs in this list because none can exist without the other. In Abbi and Ilana's case, it is a little difficult to separate their real selves from the characters they play but who cares when all of it is sooooooooooo fucking hilarious?! Both of them are great in this show!


12.
Pedro Pascal in Game of Thrones
He was delicious. Not only because of the sexiness but because there was so much to sink one's teeth into in a performance like this. He was cocky and dangerous and courageous and heroic.


11.
Gina Rodriguez in Jane the Virgin
This show has a lot of wonderful performances but Rodriguez really leads the bunch with her funny as well as poignant take on a young woman who is trying to figure out what to do in a totally insane situation. Also, it's amazing to root for a genuinely good person and Rodriguez makes us do that.


10.
Finn Wittrock in American Horror Story: Freak Show
Though his work out in tighty-whities bring Patrick Bateman to mind, Wittrock's Dandy is another type of psycho all together. One of the most enjoyable and terrifying characters of last year, Wittrock shone brighter than any of his more famous co-stars by really embracing the crazy.


9.
Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey in True Detective
I seriously cannot pick one over the other. Of course True Detective came out at the height of McConaissance and he did incredible work in the show but at the same time, I couldn't help but think that Harrelson was the most perfect casting choice in the show.


8.
Gillian Anderson and Jamie Dornan in The Fall
These two get a slight edge over my #8 pairing because I was constantly surprised by them. I never know what to expect from this show and a huge reason for that is the two lead performances. One keeps somewhat rooting for Dornan's Spector even though we know he's a bad guy and sometimes Anderson's Stella makes it really hard to care for her but she's never not fascinating.


7.
Jenna Coleman in Doctor Who
I don't know what Moffat did between series 7 and 8 but he made Clara into a real person and finally gave Coleman a chance to showcase her talents properly. She's so good in this series, exploring Clara in and out. Yes, sometimes the show tries to paint her character in broad strokes but Coleman always finds something real and human even then.


6.
Lizzy Caplan in Masters of Sex
Ugh she's just soooo good in this show! Again, it's a show full of excellent acting but Caplan is still head and shoulders above everyone else. Her character is so complicated but Caplan is able to reveal everything about her in such heartbreaking ways.


5.
Martin Freeman in Fargo/Sherlock
Yes, he was better in Fargo but I love John and drunk John so you all can suck it! I never could have expected someone as sweet and kind-looking as Freeman to play a character like Lester Nygaard. It's not just that he's bad, but that he's so goddamn pathetic and Freeman just makes it so believable. Also that accent, oof! 


4.
Benedict Cumberbatch in Sherlock
This ranking is almost solely based on his performance in "The Sign of Three" which I feel is Cumberbatch's best performance to date. It shows his emotional, dramatic, comic, purely fucking alien sides perfectly.


3.
Billy Bob Thornton in Fargo
No one has made me laugh and subsequently unable to sleep at nights as well as Thornton did last year. Lorne Malvo is completely unpredictable and Thornton is able to infuse just the right amount of sinister with humour and yet feel like a real person to make us react that way to Malvo.


2.
Tatiana Maslany in Orphan Black
I just never remember that this is ONE person playing all these characters. She's on this list purely for that one/multiple moments during every episode when I am completely taken aback that these are not separate actors playing these various, complex roles.


1.
Lorraine Toussaint in Orange is the New Black
I wrote in September that no other television performance of 2014 will beat Toussaint for me and looks like I was right. She was incredible as Vee. Though I had issues with such a humane and compassionate show for giving us an out-and-out villain, she made it worth it. She was so manipulating that even the audience could get confused. She went from emotion to emotion but with such control, it was awe-inspiring.



FAVOURITE TV SHOWS OF 2014

10.
The Fall, series 2
I have a thing for super bleak British dramas and this one is probably my favourite of the lot. I just never know how to react. It constantly provokes unconventional responses and evaluations because it refuses to get bogged down by the expected formula of such shows.


9.
Game of Thrones, season 4
This was one of my favourite seasons just because it was nice for a change to see some of the bad guys get punished. As enjoyable as the show it, it feels masochistic at times to constantly have your favourites ripped away from you. Of course, that *did* happen in this season as well, but we got some well-deserved redemption. Plus, Khaleesi objectifying Daario for all womenfolk, amirite?


8.
Hannibal, season 2
I would have probably placed this show here based on its visuals alone. It is the best-looking show on television. #fact But it is also like a fever dream that keeps evolving and changing and morphing into new, beautiful, terrifying shapes and we can't help but be mesmerised by it all. It also has fantastic performances and god, this show made me want to eat a human leg so make of that what you will.


7.
Veep, season 3
The funniest season of the funniest show on TV. The only reason I don't have any of the actors in my favourite performances list is because I love all of them! Seriously, I cannot decide. Everyone is so funny in this show and the writing is on point and the humour is razor sharp. I love it.


6.
Masters of Sex, season 2
It's interesting to see how this show is moving from season to season. Since this has a historical base, they do try and do service to that, but at the same time, it is ultimately about the people. While the first season was more about the study, this one sees how it has truly impacted the lives of everyone involved. The writing, acting, look- everything continues to be top-notch. I want more.


5.
Jane the Virgin, season 1 (so far)
All the other shows in this list have been evaluated on their complete seasons/series but in spite of having just half of its season out, I had to put Jane the Virgin here. First and foremost, it's because I love this show. I am not the genius who realized this but the show is like Pushing Daisies meets Gilmore Girls meets Ugly Betty- there's that much magic, colour, human warmth, humour and culture in it. Secondly, I just don't see it getting bad. It keeps finding new ways to surprise and entertain and invigorate us with its loveliness. It is both the most melodramatic and the most beautifully human show in this list.


4.
Doctor Who, series 8
I had no idea how I was going to deal with this series. My Doctor was gone and this was the first time I was actually seeing a new Doctor at work. There was going to be a shift not just in the Doctor's personality but also in his relationship with Clara, who had been quite underwhelming as a companion so far herself. And my gosh, were all my doubts baseless or what?! Moffat and Capaldi have given the show a novel, exciting direction for a new Who fan like me. It was a pretty fantastic series with some truly stellar episodes and characters, from Missy to Danny Pink to Twelve himself.


3.
Fargo, season 1
I will be the first one to admit that I didn't think this show would work, and I became a Fargo the movie fan last year itself so that was pretty pretentious of me. I will have you know that I was obviously completely wrong and idiotic, as all pretentious people are, and this show is fucking genius! It is so funny and dark and filled with so many great characters. The time shift was one of my favourite moments of television last year. I love the violence in it because it is actually entertaining and not gratuitous. Also, like Jane the Virgin, it is so awesome to champion a truly good protagonist.


2.
Broad City, season 1
I feel like this is a show I needed all my life and I didn't even know it and I am so glad that I have found it. I keep rewatching it because it makes me cry with laughter. It is totally insane but in such a good way! I just can't get enough of it.


1.
Sherlock, series 3
You guys know how impatient I am, right? I mean, I don't ever publish reviews here because I get bored while writing them and I want something else. Watching a western seems like the cruelest punishment one can give me. All of this has a point, I promise, and that is it has to be a very special kind of show that will make ME wait two years for it and then deliver something that will make me willing to wait even longer after that. And that was what series 3 of Sherlock was. True, they were not able to really match up to expectations with "The Empty Hearse" but even in a lesser episode like that, there were countless moments of gold. Then we got "The Sign of Three" and "His Last Vow" which were the funniest and the darkest episodes of the show respectively, and well, some of its best.
If you watch this show as much as I do, you see that every series is a movement into developing the character of Sherlock who has gone from a "high functioning sociopath" to basically a total softy who deeply cares about a few but significant people in his life and can do any and everything for them. And none of that is possible without giving due importance to these other characters who also get their time to shine. I swear, I am not merely fangirling. This show and this series are excellent television in every sense.



Phew! If you've made it this far, here's a virtual pat on the back from me to you *pats and then subtly wipes her hand on her clothes*. I will soon start with the film version of this post and those will be shorter and more varied. Yayy for blogging!

What do you all think? What were your favourites?

14 comments:

  1. Great post! I love some of the shows on here. Game of Thrones, Sherlock, Fargo, True Detective, Veep.

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  2. Oh man I would love to do TV list one of these years but I don't watch enough of it. Hey at least I saw Fargo and True Detective and these really seem mandatory. Love this list and Pascal mention, I hope at least 1 person of new cast in s5 comes close to his levels.

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    1. They were mandatory, for sure. I am v. excited for season 5!

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  3. Great post! I loved Doctor Who, Sherlock, True Detective, and Fargo. I am a big fan of Game of Thrones, too, but I am way behind. And I really liked Orange is the New Black and the first season of The Fall.

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    1. Thanks! Those are awesome shows!!

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  4. Capaldi really is great on Doctor Who, isn't he? (I really liked the shot you chose. Sums up his Doctor pretty well, doesn't it?) I'm going to be a little bit annoyed (read: VERY) if "Fight" doesn't at least get a nomination or two at the Emmys later this year. All in all, very good list.

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    1. It does. Though he had won me over from "Time of the Doctor" itself, that moment cemented my love for him forever.
      Thank you!

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  5. Great post! I'm still playing catch up with some shows (Fargo, Veep), but I loved Sherlock, True Detective and Jane the Virgin.

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    1. Thanks! I hope you like Fargo and Veep as much as I do. And yaayy, another JTV fan!

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  6. I love that Fight episode in Masters of Sex. I think that was the moment where Lizzy Caplan and Michael Sheen really came together as actors.

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  7. Yay for Sherlock and True Detective! That's all I've seen here. I also loved House of Cards season 2. Those are pretty much the only shows I watch. LOL. Going to watch Fargo, though.

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    1. Yusss! Fargo is awesomesauce. You should also check out The Fall. I have a feeling you will like it.

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