The Best TV Shows in 2014

I realize I have been AWOL from blogging for the past two weeks, thanks to a busier work schedule, a cold, and getting ready to go on a mini-vacation tomorrow. That said, I’d like to thank everyone who’s taken the time to read the posts I’ve published, as well as who have left comments and feedback. My goal is to get back to my now 200+ feed first thing next week . . . so expect a flurry of likes/comments from me in the upcoming weeks, folks.


Now let’s get back to this post . . . last week I wrote about my favorite books I read in 2014. Now I’m going to mention the best TV shows – some old and some new – that I watched last year.

Best Returning Show

24- Live Another Day

Despite it’s sad and open-ended finale, I totally dug 24‘s (2001-2010) return to the small screen. I think everyone was hoping for some more Jack Bauer, so it was nice to see Keifer Sutherland give in and share some of his alter-ego with us. The idea of the show returning in a mini-series format worked well, offering the same cliff-hanging episodes that kept us on the edge of our seats. Switching the location added to the freshness of the show’s return, and a cast filled with vetted actors and actresses (which included three familiar faces from previous seasons) made longtime fans of the show like myself that much more excited to tune in. And if there’s every a takeaway from 24, it’s that you shouldn’t get close to Jack . . . because you’ll probably end up captured, tortured, dead, or all three.

Best Comedy

While the final season of Arrested Development (2003-2013) arrived on Netflix in 2013, I had never seen a single episode until last year. It’s probably the most off-beat show I’ve ever watched, and yet the writing keeps me coming back for more. Even for a show where multiple characters are unlikable, Arrested Development still knows how to make people laugh. The show runs on a continuous gag reel, forcing new viewers to start from the beginning of the show if they want to appreciate the ongoing jokes. What makes the show work so well is its ability to subtly hint at being funny without announcing the punch line. The fourth season surely received its fair share of criticism for its format, but for me, I felt like the storyline suffered more by not returning to what made everyone laugh about it in the first place. Regardless, I think the first three seasons are worth multiple viewings.

Best Drama

The Killing‘s (2011-2014) final season hit Netflix in 2014, after the streaming service picked up the original AMC show. Perhaps it was all just luck that I discovered the show one day while I was looking through Netflix titles, and I’m so thankful I did. Rarely do crime dramas feel as rough, believable, and original as The Killing. Although it’s based off a Danish show with the same name, this American re-make works as if it was wholly original, at least for American audiences. While I enjoy The Walking Dead (2010-) more than most shows, it was The Killing that had me binge-watching (to my shame) until I completed it. The two leads – played by Mireille Enos and Joel Kinnaman – is what makes The Killing, particularly the latter. It’s certainly some of the most compelling TV I have seen in a long time. If you want to watch a great crime show, check out The Killing. It’s that good.

Best British Show

So there’s a good chance I created this category just to throw a little of Sherlock into the mix. The third series arrived on Americans’ TV screens in January of 2014, a long two-year wait since the previous series. Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat fail to disappoint, attempting to top the series two finale that left everybody’s mouths gaping. There are always shocks and thrills in Sherlock, but never the cheap kind. We find out what’s happened since Sherlock’s fall, and we get to witness Sherlock and Watson’s bromance grow deeper, while yet another one of their major nemeses reveals himself in the third episode. Most everyone is familiar with the show’s lead, Benedict Cumberbatch, who has recreated a modern-day Sherlock whom everyone loves, despite his sociopathic tendencies.

In regards to British shows, I also thoroughly enjoyed the first season of Broadchurch (2013), which appears to have a second season in the works for later this year. I was not the biggest fan of Doctor Who‘s (2005-) latest outing, despite the actors’ best efforts. I am also a newbie to Orphan Black (2013-) this year, so I’ll get to see what all the fuss is about.

Best New-to-Me Show

It’s difficult to pinpoint exactly what category Gilmore Girls (2000-2007) ought to go in, given its balanced mix of drama and comedy. So I created a category for this show, because it’s absolutely one of my favorites from 2014. (Note – I’m not finished with the show yet [middle of season 5], so please don’t include any spoilers in the comments.) Where to start? The pop culture references, the offbeat townspeople of Stars Hollow, Kirk?!, Lane’s hilarious bandmates . . . Gilmore Girls seems to have that perfect balance of intertwining multiple storylines while still keeping its focus on the two main girls: Lorelai (Lauren Graham) and Rory (Alexis Bledel). Netflix has given the show a brand new generation of fans just discovering it. I highly recommend Gilmore Girls, especially if you want to see a show that has Alexis Bledel’s, Lauren Graham’s, and Melissa McCarthy’s best roles-to-date.

What were your favorite shows you saw in 2014?

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31 thoughts on “The Best TV Shows in 2014

    • Hey Mike! Really now?? Wow, so you were a fan of both? I wish I had access to the Danish version. I’d really like to see it, but it seems like I’d have to spend an arm and a leg on a DVD copy of it to see it.

      I saw a poster for Peaky Blinders on Netflix, and it looks intriguing, especially with the main actor. But I have no idea what it’s about, so I’m not sure what to make of it!

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  1. Yay – Arrested Development! Such a funny show and it just gets better on repeat viewings. Which reminds me, I think it’s about time for a rewatch.

    I wasn’t a fan of the 24 mini series. Thought it wasn’t a patch on the series and it had almost become a parody of what the show was. Also, ridiculous travelling time in London, whether by road or public transport, annoyed the heck out of me! Ha!

    My favourite shows of last year? The Knick, Manhattan, Justified, Game of Thrones, Rick & Morty, Broen. Though, if I had to pick one, it’d definitely be The Knick. Fricking amazing TV show.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey Jaina! I know, right? It really does. Hilarious stuff!!

      Haha . . . well, the traveling part is one thing that probably didn’t annoy me since I know so little about it. But I can understand how that would bother you. I still have a lot of love for the show!

      What is The Knick about? Sounds like something I need to check out.

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  2. Fun list. Loved 24 and Sherlock. Moderate fan of Gilmore Girls (I find it hard to binge watch it because the way they talk starts to get on my nerves after a while).
    I’m surprised you liked the new Arrested Development. I thought it was awful. Episode after episode kept putting me to sleep. I didn’t laugh once which was a real downer because I loved the original 3 seasons. Original show great but they should have let sleeping dogs lie.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey! I actually like the format – what they were going through – but I was very disappointed with the storyline. I found myself bored and uninterested in the plot, which ultimately left me wanting more than what I got out of it.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. As far as my favorite of 2014 I loved Sherlock, 24, Survivor Cagayan (probably my favorite season ever of the show and huge fan), and Girl Meets World (spin off of my old favorite Boy Meets World and they have done such a great job with it). I also love The Goldbergs. Such good writing. I also loved this last season of The Mindy Project.

    Least favorite was without a doubt the How I Met Your Mother finale. They managed in one episode to basically ruin a show that I loved for 9 years. I am still upset about it.

    I also got into Duck Dynasty last year. I know they had some controversy but I love those guys! A new current show I really like is called Hindsight on VH1. You should give it a shot. Very clever.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey there! I loved Boy Meets World growing up, so I’m happy they made a Girl Meets World. I haven’t checked it out yet, but I hope to at some point (I don’t have cable).

      Aww, I’m sorry to hear that. While I think the writing was just not very strong throughout the entire season of HIMYM, I’m one of the minority who was rooting for Ted and Robin to get together, so that part of the episode made me happy. However, I will say that I didn’t care for most of the finale episode – the writing really sucked in terms of destroying Barney’s character.

      Very cool! They certainly have made a name for themselves.

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  4. Though I am a big 24 fan in general, I was disappointed with this season. I think the show has slowly been on the decline since the end of season 4 (my favourite season). Bauer felt more like a superhero this time around than a real guy trying to get through the day.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey Courtney! Aww, I’m sorry to hear that. For me, I felt like the season just worked well, especially with the risk of killing off fan-favorite Audrey. I do get what you mean by Jack Bauer becoming a sort of superhero, but I think that’s one of the things that makes him more appealing to a widestream audience. I guess the world just hasn’t gotten enough of Jack Bauer yet 😉

      I actually hated season 5, and then I was back on board somewhat for seasons 6-8. I do think the first several seasons are the strongest though.

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  5. I still haven’t seen Arrested Development yet, but I’m looking forward to the film version of it.

    Oh to me my absolute favorite has to be Black Sails! I mean, my dahling Toby is simply phenomenal!! Season 2 started of even better and we see him in his pre-pirate years as a British Naval Officer, oh to see him in that uniform, yum!! 😉

    My fave British series would be Broadchurch and The Honourable Woman but haven’t finished the latter yet.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey Ruth! I hope that the film comes out at some point here! I didn’t care a whole lot for the fourth season, but the first three are great, in my opinion.

      Haha . . . I will have to add Black Sails to my list! Is it on Netflix?

      I loved Broadchurch! Great show. I’m excited to get onto season 2. Are you a fan of Sherlock, or is not your favorite? I couldn’t remember.

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      • No, BS is not on Netflix yet, but if you have On Demand service, it’s on Starz. It’s an excellent show, not the typical silly pirate show like POTC, but a gritty, realistic story of what it’s like during the piracy era.

        I like Sherlock, saw the third season last year and both Cumberbatch & Freeman are great!

        Liked by 1 person

        • Ahh, I gotcha. Thanks for the details. I will look into it! Sounds really fascinating.

          Awesome! I wasn’t sure whether you were a Sherlock fan or not. I loved the most recent season. Definitely looking forward to the special that’s supposed to come out this year!

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