So 2015 is over! We are, however, all looking forward to the extreme number of sequels, reboots and general lack of originality of Hollywood blockbusters that 2016 has in store. Over the course of January, I will be releasing three Best of 2015 lists, beginning with this one and concluding with My Top 10 Most Anticipated Movies of 2016 and My Top 20 Favorite Movies of 2015 at the end of the year. So without further ado, let's begin to discuss and congratulate the TV from the past year that succeeded to bring me thrills from the comfort of my own living room.
Before kicking off the list, I would like to mention a few honorable mentions. First of all, True Detective entered its second season, and whilst I ultimately thought the plot was too thick and messy, I thought it gave some of the best performances we saw on the small screen this year. In the comedy genre, we had the likes of the yahoo revival of Community perfectly wrapping up the end of the show and FX's It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia still leaving us in stitches in its tenth season. However, my favorite comedy show was Netflix's four-part sketch comedy show, W/ Bob and David, a continuation of the poorly rated, but critically acclaimed '90s show, Mr. Show with Bob and David that hit all the notes a sketch comedy show should hit, proving the writers still had the sharp wit and intelligently offensive writing skills 20 years after the end of Mr. Show. On top of these shows, I enjoyed the likes of The Walking Dead, Bloodline, The Flash (although I only saw a couple of episodes) and Ash vs The Evil Dead, a show that reunited us with our favorite deadite killer on the Starz network. These are the shows I enjoyed, but there are still 10 I enjoyed more. Remember, this is my list made up of my personal preference, and I only saw a handful of shows in 2015, so if your favorite show isn't on here, make sure to let me know in the comments section.
10. BoJack Horseman: Season 2
I get it, BoJack is odd, but amongst the surreal and hilarious comedy that was only elevated in Season 2, there is an incredible character piece about a man, or horseman, trying to find significance in the world. Will Arnett's voice acting was great, in fact all the voice acting in this show is held to a high standard, with a supporting cast consisting of the frequent appearances of Aaron Paul, Alison Brie, Amy Sedaris and Paul F. Tompkins, who purely add to the entertaining and colorful characters that the show has to offer. The plot is simple yet effective, and can really pack a heart-breaking punch at times, making this Netflix original absolutely worth watching.
9. House of Cards: Season 3
I understand a lot of people had issues with the third season of this acclaimed political drama, and whilst i do believe it was a step down from the insanely excellent quality of the past two seasons, the fact remains that House of Cards is one of the most well written and beautifully shot shows currently running. The very few potholes and odd twists were absolutely made up for with some of my favorite performances of the year from the likes of Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright, who were able to deliver some of the most unique and original lines of dialogue. This show is a spectacle.
8. Better Call Saul: Season 1
It was hard for the AMC show to live up to its predecessor and superior, Breaking Bad, and fair enough, the show wasn't quite as good, but it was still one of the most intriguing, surprising and binge-worthy dramas of 2015. The show followed Jimmy McGill, the struggling lawyer who would one day become corrupt attorney Saul Goodman, wonderfully portrayed here by Bob Odenkirk. This show was completely unpredictable. You felt like Vince Gilligan could throw anything at you at any time, and he did. Well paced and brilliantly acted, Better Call Saul is going to fast become a modern classic.
7. Jessica Jones: Season 1
Like superheroes? Like thrillers? Like extremely brutal and brilliant looks at characters with a deep emotionally tormented mindset? I think I've found the show for you. Marvel's Jessica Jones is a new type of superhero show. It's one that's so dipped in reality and real situations that it is outstandingly compelling to watch. Krysten Ritter gives us a character we sometimes love, sometimes hate, and always root for, as the plucky and intense PTSD sufferer Jessica Jones, a private detective with a dark past. I binged this show, and it was definitely more gripping than most superhero adaptations that had come before it.
6. Daredevil: Season 1
Okay, so I know I basically just described how Jessica Jones was unlike any superhero show that came before it, but Daredevil was everything Jessica Jones was, just with a little bit more style. And oh my god, was this show stylish. From episode one, the show showed the clear division between good and evil and established a perfect landscape and setting for various stories to be explored in. The Vincent D'Onofrio Kingpin was something new, and something that went to a place many people hadn't known a superhero show could go to before. On top of all of the this, the action and fight choreography was stellar and the writing was progressive and slick, making Daredevil a must see show.
5. Narcos: Season 1
I'll admit, I haven't actually finished Narcos, so I don't know what happens at the end, but this show is just too fantastically written, acted and directed to leave off the list. This whole series feels theatrical. When I was watching the first episode I was actually shocked when it ended because I forgot I was watching a TV show and thought I was watching a movie instead. Wagner Moura is an immense talent and deserves an inexplicable amount of acclaim for his performance as real life drug lord Pablo Escobar. If everything I've written so far hasn't sold you, there were also tons of interesting and developed characters, who made this show an amazing piece of television.
4. Rick and Morty: Season 2
You may be wondering why I've put an animated comedy show ahead of some of the most compelling and original drama of the year, and if you are, you clearly haven't seen Adult Swim's Rick and Morty, the hilarious and sharp lovechild of Community's Dan Harmon and Adventure Time's Justin Roiland. In both of its acclaimed seasons, it brings together the different, yet equally funny comedic styles of the two, with some of the most side-splitting concepts on TV, like having giant alien heads invade earth and making the only way to stop them a new and original hit song, or having a bunch of alien parasites invade your house and multiply by convincing the inhabitants of the existence of wacky and whimsical characters, such as Sleepy Gary or Photography Raptor. Seriously, I think this show might be the funniest thing on television right now.
3. Master of None: Season 1
I've come to recognize that 60% of the shows on this list are produced by Netflix, but it's only because they're willing to release shows like Master of None. In this, we get to see Aziz Ansari and co-writer Alan Yang's fresh brand of comedy, in which they take real situations and be completely honest about them, in the funniest way possible. But honestly, the reason I love the show so much is because there is so much to love. It so damn lovable and so modest and open about it, that you just can't help but wanna be in it. The chemistry and dynamics between the characters and actors are beyond great, reflecting just how awesome and relatable Master of None is.
2. Fargo: Season 2
The idea behind the second season of Fargo, a 'true crime' series set in Minnesota is similar to that of the second season of True Detective. But where the HBO show failed, the FX show succeeded, with gradual, yet tense storytelling that never managed to feel over complicated or messy, even though there was a lot going on. Every character that was introduced was as intriguing and complex as the last, with darkly comedic explorations into the lives of the good, the bad, and the ugly. I loved the first season of Fargo, so was very careful to contain my hype for the second season, but when I saw the first episode, which was edited more than impressively, I was absolutely blown away, and able to find a show with a second series that improved on a phenomenal predecessor. All I can tell you to do is watch it, and then you'll know.
1. Mr. Robot: Season 1
Before I say my piece on Mr. Robot, I must admit that I had no idea that the USA Network existed before this show. This show has really put that network on the map. Probably the most open concept of any TV show in 2015, Mr. Robot was art, and damn fine art too. There were scenes where my jaw was both physically and metaphorically dropped. I mentioned the stylishness of Daredevil earlier, Mr. Robot was quite possibly the most stylish show on TV in a long time. It was raw, gritty, and well shot, as we got to see every inch of Elliot Alderson's personality, a character who was portrayed absolutely magnificently, with a performance so layered that you were in awe by the time the credits rolled in the last episode. Taking elements from films like Fight Club and The Social Network, Mr. Robot definitely touched upon ideas that had been touched upon before, but did it with such a reinvigorated energy, making it undoubtedly my favorite show of 2015.
So what do you think? What was your favorite show of 2015? Was it even on this list at all? Let me know in the comments and make sure you come back for more lists including the upcoming lists for my most anticipated films of next year and my favorite films of 2015, which will be released at the end of the month.