As January draws to a close it really does feel like the last chance to write about the television of 2014. I’ve decided to try and keep on top of things throughout 2015 by writing more, I only wish there was a decent website for television like Letterboxd for films. There are plenty out there but they all seem a bit rubbish but hopefully tvtrakt is stable again now so I can continue checking things in and let’s hope their website develops some more. Anyway back to 2014
I was disappointed with Babylon and In The Flesh, both were good but I was always having the feeling that I should be liking it more. Downton Abbey is really terrible now, it stopped being good after the second series but I now think that Julian Fellows must be taking the piss to see how much we can take. I thought Hinterland was dull and predictable and gave up after the first episode, my life is too short for second chances. I also didn’t get The Walshes which I felt bad about but, hey, not everything is going to be liked by everyone, I stuck with this for all three episodes but didn’t watch the second series.
Australia had a good year with The Code, Secrets and Lies and the best TV show set in a women’s prison – Wentworth. Orange Is The New Black is fantastic (although it did take me a while to get into it) but feels so fluffy and light when compared to Wentworth.
In terms of catching up I finally got to see and really enjoy seasons 5 and 6 of Mad Men, S1&2 Modern Family, S1&2 of Parks And Recreation, S1 of American Horror Story, S1&2 of Veep and all of A Touch Of Cloth including the new episodes.
In terms of the rest of the really great stuff. The 7.39 was great television (and may have gone out in 2003), Sherlock continues to amaze but was over too quickly. It took me a while to warm to Capaldi’s Doctor Who but I’m fully on board now. Happy Valley stayed at the top of the great TV pile throughout the year, a completely unexpected gem of a series hidden in what looked like a pedestrian cop show. Similarly Line Of Duty built on the first series to create a high quality drama. Homeland got good again and I’m still wondering if they motion captured Damian Lewis into more episodes than he was credited with – that resemblance was uncanny. I also though 24 was a large amount of silly fun. Fargo showed how to adapt something well, feeling familiar but completely new. My Mad Fat Diary has a whole lot of heart and is much better than it initially appears. Others seemed to have issues with the second series of The Fall but not me and certainly not with the ending. The Honourable Woman had quality stamped all over it. The Missing was wonderfully structured and technically brilliant, idiots had a problem with the ending but it was great way to end, no need for a second series though. The ending of True Detective was disappointment after all that set up and smart story telling it resorted to a cliched Hollywood ending – if the actors are definitely not returning for another series why the happy ending? After every episode of The Good Wife I’m sure I say that was better than the last, this really is the most deceptively brilliant show currently airing and this was the strongest season.
On to comedy and via NowTV it’s so good to have The Daily Show back in my life although why Comedy Central show it days later is baffling (and the NowTV interface is horrible mean I spend so much time trying to find the next episode). Even better than The Daily Show is Last Week Tonight With John Oliver, I only caught the second half but it was consistently smart and funny. Scrotal Recall was a horrible name for a quite charming comedy. Sexy Beasts not strictly a comedy and not something I’d usually watch but it’s an interesting concept and made all the better by Susan Calman’s brilliant narration. Was Weekly Wipe on during 2014, if so then I’m sure that was brilliant because it always is which reminds me I’ve unintentionally missed the Black Mirror White Christmas special off all my lists. There were lots of other comedies that I saw and enjoyed but none really stood out so I’ll save my final mention for the finale of How I Met Your Mother, I’m still not convinced by the series as a whole but I am completely behind that ending which for anybody complaining was left ambiguous, who knows what happened next.