Best TV of 2014

An amazing year for TV.  And there are tons of shows that I didn’t see.  Of course I value your opinions and you are more than welcome to send me your thoughts, please understand that I honestly don’t have the time to watch EVERYTHING on TV.  But I think I (we) do watch quite a few things.  So here are my 10 favorite.  Sorry Chan, nothing from BET or E made the cut.  Maybe next year.  Enjoy!

1)  True Detective (HBO)

Everything about this TV drama/anthology was perfect.  From the brilliant casting of Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey to the Louisiana setting to the perfectly told story.  Moving back and forth throughout 17 years, McConaughey gives the performance of the year as Rust Cole, and Harrelson is equally compelling as his partner Marty Hart.  They take us on a outstanding journey of a serial killer.  We start in 1995 with a murder case and then are placed back in the current 2012 where the case has been re-opened by the state of Louisiana.  Old wounds are opened and friendships are tested.  This is filmmaking and acting at its very best.  The second season will feature new characters and actors.

2)  Homeland (Showtime)

The 3rd season of Homeland was easily one of the more disappointing (and shocking ending) in this once great show.  This year, holy crap.  What the makers of this show have done is beyond good.  Gripping from its very beginning this has packed one wallop of a punch.  Each week is must see, and that is saying a lot.  An incredibly impressive 4th season.

3)  Parenthood (NBC)

I don’t know if there has been a more nuanced and perfectly told drama on national tv.  Ever (full disclosure, I never watched Friday Night Lights.)  But this year, unfortunately it’s last, has been just that.  It’s easy to become soporific and overly sentimental in a drama and especially one that’s made for NBC but the filmmakers keep the Braverman family alive and going strong.  This is a family drama that you get excited to watch, cry when watching and then discuss after.  Really impressive.

4)  The Affair (Showtime)

Another incredibly acted drama from Showtime (easily the best 1,2 punch of any night.)  Taking place in Montauk for most of the season and a little now in Brooklyn it’s the story of Noah and Allison, 2 people that meet in Montauk and have the affair of the title.  Both are married, both have family issues that they are dealing with and both are being interviewed by a detective in Montauk for a crime that I won’t mention here.  The premise had me hooked but what draws me back each night is the acting from both Noah (Dominic West) and Allison (Ruth Wilson) as well as their spouses, the underrated Joshua Jackson who plays Allison’s husband Cole and the great (and most beautiful actress ever) Maura Tierney who plays Noah’s wife, Helen, mother to his 4 kids.  I still am thrown for a loop as to how they’ll have a second season and what it will comprise of but man, I’m hooked.

5)  Mad Men (AMC)

This past season is the first part to the last season and man is this an impressive show.  I think if I have to put together a list of all the great TV shows that really are as good (if not better) than people discuss then this would easily make the list.  Nothing in Don Draper’s world surprises me anymore and I can’t imaging what will happen when part 2 happens this coming summer.  Without a doubt, one of the best television shows of all time.

6)  Girls (HBO)

Not at the top of my list for the first time since debuting in 2012.  Still one of the more innovative and brash shows we have.  Lena Dunham continues to create characters that while sad and despicable as they may be seem to make for great storytelling.

7)  Orange is the New Black (Netflix)

The second season of the Netflix dramedy (I hate that term) was much better than the first.  Piper continues to be a piece of work but her secondary cast on the show is probably the best on television.  The outstanding Lorraine Toussaint who as Vee is bound to get all the awards she can carry is the heart of this season.  And the last episode is one to be beyond words.

8)  House of Cards (Netflix)

The other Netflix show that made this list is another stunner of a tv show.  Kevin Spacey continues his role as Frank Underwood who now reaches his ultimate goal.  You watch this show and cringe at how creepy and despicable people in this world are.  I really hope politics isn’t this true to life.

9)  The Blacklist (NBC)

Ok, so I have a guilty pleasure.  So what.  James Spader is so friggin’ good in this.  Completely enjoyable television.

10) Silicon Valley (HBO)

The only true comedy on this last sadly.  Funny and awesome from the first episode of a group of 6 friends and the world of start-up companies.