It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. In TV's defense, unlike feature films, there was a lot to like about this past season. Films not so much as there were a few that rocked, a lot that were okay and even more that sucked moose balls. But scripted TV is at record highs with over 400 programs to choose from across a plethora of formats. It is quite impossible to watch them all so if your favorite is not on here, chances are I didn't watch it because I have to sleep at some point. That is not to say there were not some stinkers this year as well, which did indeed stink like fish left out on a hot day. Let's see what I thought swam and what sank like a stone.
BEST OF TV 2015
10)Family Guy- A spectacular season for the aging show, especially one of the latest episode which had Peter accidentally shooting Cleveland's son, resulting on claims of racism by angry mobs, as well as Cleveland, toward Peter who is definitely not racist. The best part is when Cleveland takes responsibility for shooting his own son, resulting in the press and mob dispersing quickly as black on black crime is "not news." That's funny. And, unfortunately, true.
9)Fargo- Unlike True Detective (which we will see later on the next part), Fargo's second season was a riot filled with great performances from people like Bookem Woodbine, fat Matt Damon look alike, Jesse Plemons and the always awesome, Jeffrey Donovan. Taking place in 1979, we see young Molly, the cop from the first season now a nine year old girl, and her father who is a cop investigating a mob showdown leading to a bloody finale. A chance death caused by two locals start a mob war that kills almost everyone involved. The fact it was very funny too tells you how much a line they had to walk and succeded.
8)Inside Amy Schumer- This girl had a great year with a hit movie, Trainwreck, a comedy special on HBO, and this show which was the best sketch comedy show of the year (sorry SNL but your star is fading). The "too old to fuck" sketch with Tina Fey and Julie Louis Dreyfus was fantastic as was the half hour spoof of 12 Angry Men where they debated whether Amy was hot enough for TV which won them some awards, which they should have. This woman is not only hot, she's on fire. I look forward to more from her.
7)John Oliver- No fake news show made me laugh harder or think more than Oliver's show, Last Week Tonight. It exposed every hypocrisy out there, spending a lot of time on FIFA, which proved to be one of the most corrupt organizations on Earth. Oliver as the British outsider is pitch perfect in his outrage and his key phrase, "I swear that this is true," never fails to amaze that it is indeed true and almost always shockingly unbelievable. The Daily Show missed out big losing Oliver because while Trevor Noah has done a great job taking over for Jon Steward, Oliver was the heir apparent.
6)Marvel Agent's of Shield- I was on of the few who actually liked this first season and didn't complain like a little girl about the lack of super powers on the show. Well, that is no longer a thing as there are several character that DO have super powers now, the show's writing is still as sharp as ever, and damn if they don't know how to end a season or a midpoint. Last season saw Gemma sucked into a rock that not only has been resolved, but added a new threat as well, and a really interesting one at that. I cannot wait for this show to come back.
5)Walking Dead- Again, I do not care what the whiners had to say about Glenn's "death," I thought this season was really excellent. The first few episodes were so intense I had to drink during it to calm down. There were some narrative flaws, such as the easy way to avoid zombies that no one seems to do except on rare occasions, and a terrible mid season ending episode where both of Jessie's kids deserved to die (I am still hearing mom, Mom, MOM reverberate in my ears), the rest was series gold. Another show I am looking forward to in February.
4)Big Bang Theory- After a rough start with some lame episodes involving Leonard admitting kissing another girl right before he and Penny were getting married seemed contrived, ill advised, and worst of all, not funny, the break up and rekindling of Amy and Sheldon have been comic gold. The two sleeping together for the first time was worth the wait as the rest of the guys went to Star Wars. Hysterical.
3)Daredevil- The show that made me get Netflix streaming was an action packed thrill fest that had great character development, some of the best fight scenes on TV, and a great use of the superhero that was far superior to the still not as bad as you have heard Ben Affleck one. The spin-off Electra was far, far worse. Even the villain, Kingpin, was given a background that made him sympathetic even when he was killing anyone who got in his way. Kudos for that.
2)The Muppets- Yet another show that a lot of people hated, I loved every minute of. Not one episode has gone by where I didn't laugh out loud like when Scooter went flying off the gold cart, the Swedish Chef doing Karaoke, or Gonzo wanting to relive his daredevil days. Much was made about Piggy and Kermit's break up but I found gave the show a lot of heart. It's getting a make over when it returns and I fear the sanitized version may make the show unpalatable to everyone. Here's hoping it is still funny.
1)Ash VS the Evil Dead- My favorite show of the year hands down as Bruce Campbell returns as the aging Lothario Ash, who after stupidly letting the evil out again from the Necronomicon, teams up with two work mates to fight evil all over again. Lucy Lawless has been in a few of the episodes as some one NOT human who also wants the book for reasons yet unknown. Funny, gross and very reminiscent of the films, STARZ had done the impossible and made this work without being derivative or contrived. Thank God this has been renewed for another season because this show needs to go on until Ash is a pile of bones himself. Long live Ash and the deadites.
Honorable Mentions- Dr. Who, Arrow, The Flash, Scorpion, The Nightly Show, The Daily Show, Bill Maher, Supernatural, Brooklyn 99, Mr. Robot, Undateable, @ Midnight, Jimmy Fallon, Seth Meyers, Elementary, Hawaii 5-0, Fresh Off the Boat, Last Man on Earth, South Park.
WORST OF TV 2015
10)The Slap- You know a show is going to suck when you can't watch the previews without laughing and it's not a comedy. Some bratty kid gets slapped by someone not the kid's parents and all hell breaks loose I guess, as I never saw one second of this show and it was cancelled soon after. Those that did said they sympathized with the guy slapping the kid as he was so out of control to oblivious parents, many said they would have done the same. I'd like to slap whoever thought this was agood idea for a show.
9)Wicked City- Wicked bad rating doomed this show three weeks after it aired. It was something about a serial killer in the 80's, and the only thing that died was the producer's dreams of a mansion in the LA hills from this debacle. In a season where many shows were left to die on their own, this one was one of the few to get axed quick.
8)American Horror Story- What happened here guys? This was the first season that spun off the rails with vampires, ghosts, a haunted hotel and nothing making a lick of sense. Lady Gaga was the one bright spot doing what she could with a boring character that, like everyone else in this show, no one cared about. The worst was Chloe Sevigny, who looked drugged every time she showed up and whose character was so stupid and badly written, I've been looking forward to her death which still hasn't happened. Next season better be WAY better than this drek.
7)Heroes Reborn- Stillborn maybe, this disaster came from a series most of us were glad was gone. The final season ended poorly, and this latest take on it was all over the place, with terrible writing and the same plot failures that doomed it the first time. I made it three episodes in before realizing that everything I hated about this show was still there. Please just stop with this show. No one cares.
6)Minority Report- Based on the movie of the same name, this show died a painful death and at least that one had Tom Cruise and Stephen Speilberg. This one had two leads that looked like they would rather be on any other show, CGI effects that appeared to be done on a laptop, and plot lines that was nothing more than procedural of the week with a little sci-fi thrown in. This would have been more agreeable on Sy-Fy where crap like 12 Monkeys and Helix have some life (both were terrible, just not enough to make this list). This show was one of the first that wasn't exactly cancelled, but was not renewed past the initial episodes either. It will not be missed.
5)SNL- I have been watching SNL since 1975 when I was just a tot, but one who much like today, didn't like going to bed early. There have been ups and downs but this year is just plain frustrating. There is a lot of talent to draw from, minus Kyle Mooney and Beck Bennet whom I have begun to hate, yet the writing is so sub par that many episodes are just painful to watch. One of the funniest women alive is Amy Schumer and her appearance was godawful. How do you make her NOT funny? The women are kicking it right now, led by Leslie Jones, Cecily Strong and Kate McKinnon, who are funny in almost every sketch they do even if the material sucks. The men need to step it up, particularly the news desk which is still not jelling right, with far better work. Maybe it's time to fire everyone and start anew. Almost the entire female cast will go on to bigger and better things. Kyle Mooney could get a new job at Staples. He is making me miss Melanie Hutsell.
4)Best Time Ever- I hate variety shows. They used to be great but for some time now they have become the bane of my existence. The last good one was Viva Variety which ran on Comedy Central back in the 90's with now famous stars, Tom Lennon, Kathy Kinney Silver and Michael Ian Black as Euro-trash hosts to a show that successfully combined music, comedy and stunt work into a viable program. NPH tried to replicate those kind of shows with this wild misfire that I barely got through the first episode. Stop doing these. They suck.
3)Under the Dome- What started off as an interesting take on the Stephen King novel devolved into a combination Matrix/Days of Our Lives plotline that was so uninteresting I tuned out before it ended. Aliens? Really? This was one of my favorite books and had they stuck to the original plans to make this a miniseries, rather than episodic programs, it might have worked. Instead they dragged it out, changed key parts that made the plot soggy, and came up with a truly awful ending. Once people started going in and out of the Dome, I lost interest. And according to the ratings, so did everyone else.
2) True Detective- While I wasn't as enamored with the first season as some, it was still a decent show. This one, which was a whole new take and missing the director who went on to did features, sucked from minute one. The characters were all interchangeable, the plot was incomprehensible, and starred two box office disasters Vince Vaughn and Colin Farrell, who also managed to sink this show as well. If this comes back, it will need a huge rush of adrenaline to make up for this abortion.
1)Knock Knock- Lasting all of two episodes, this terrible game show had Ryan Seacrest showing up at people homes live and getting them to compete for prizes. It's actually even more boring than it sounds. When a cannon was used to blast money up in the air while people fought each other for handfuls of it, it seemed not too far from the Hunger Games. This was one show that thankfully America said NO to and deservedly so.
Dishonorable Mentions- Blackish (still racist), Code Black, anything with a Kardashian, anything on NBC with the word Chicago in it, Stalker, Agent X, Rosewood, Life in Pieces, Blood and Oil, any of the debates, Helix, 12 Monkeys.