Hey, remember last year when I listed my top ten shows of 2013? Well, time is one cruel (flat-chested, if Rust Cohle is to be believed) mistress, so I must now expound on the best shows of 2014. It was a pretty quick year, wouldn’t you reckon? I mean, television assaulted us from so many angles that I’m surprised I managed to find the time to, you know, engage in human contact with others.
In addition to the standard networks pumping out the goods, reliable cable and streaming providers, like HBO, Showtime, FX, AMC, and Netflix, found themselves engaged in veritable fisticuffs with the likes of Amazon Prime, Starz, and Cinemax, all three of whom made their presences known as equally capable of delivering outstanding programming. That all adds up to excellent news for consumers–inundated as we’ve been with brilliant television–but also comprises an overwhelming crop of shows from which to select.
There’s no way to watch everything out there these days, so any list therefore feels incomplete. For instance, I never got around to shows like Broad City or Review, though they’re very much on my radar and might even have landed in my top ten. But even when it comes to the shows I do watch, ten hardly seems like enough slots to fill in this era of television excellence. And yet, I tried my best to do just that after much deliberation and reflection.
Top 10 Television Shows of 2014:
1) Fargo (FX)
2) Transparent (Amazon)
3) Game of Thrones (HBO)
4) The Americans (FX)
5) True Detective (HBO)
6) The Good Wife (CBS)
7) Silicon Valley (HBO)
8) Louie (FX)
9) Veep (HBO)
10) Shameless (Showtime)
Honorable Mentions: The Comeback, Hello Ladies, Southcliffe, Orange is the New Black, Parks and Recreation, Parenthood, Person of Interest, Boardwalk Empire, You’re the Worst, Nurse Jackie, Masters of Sex, Homeland, Banshee, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, In the Flesh, The Affair, Sherlock, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Enlisted, Penny Dreadful, Outlander, The Mindy Project, and Serial
Spotlight – Transparent
The spiritual successor to the all-time great Six Feet Under, creator and SFU alumna Jill Soloway’s Transparent is an achingly beautiful and bitingly funny dramedy that also happens to be Amazon’s first taste of prestige television. For a show grounded in topics of gender and sexual identity, Transparent is a brilliantly universal series plumbing the depths of melancholy and uncertainty that plague us all. Jeffrey Tambor (recent Golden Globe winner) is a revelation as the show’s centerpiece, Maura Pfefferman, the one-time patriarch who bravely comes out to her trio of children as trans. To say anything else about this series would be to spoil its myriad delights, but suffice it to say that if you stream one series in the course of your viewing, it had better be this one.
Did I miss the mark or omit your favorite show? Let me know! #accidentalrhyme