Here lies a comprehensive list of the ten best TV shows I have watched in the year of our lord 2015. They aren’t all necessarily new shows but all have released a season in 2015 that I have really enjoyed.
DISCLAIMER – Obviously I am only one person so there is probably loads of stuff I may have missed this year (The Last Man on Earth) or haven’t finished watching (Daredevil) as well as some shows that haven’t fully aired yet (Peep Show).
So without further ado:
10. It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia
Where Are We: Season 10 and still going strong.
What’s It About: It’s Always Sunny… basically takes the basic Friends style premise but asks ‘what would happen if all the characters were selfish, deluded, monsters’.
Written by and starring Rob McElhenny and Glenn Howerton and co-starring Charlie Day, Kaitlin Olsen and Danny DeVito, It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia has become a cult classic amongst people who prefer their comedy to incorporate the darker side of life.
Why It Is Good: Season 9 was not a bad season but it was markedly the worst since season 1 so whispers of a decline was always a possibility. Season 10 however started strong with the gang attempting to beat legendary baseball hitter Wade Boggs’ record of downing 50 boys on a flight on the way to a game.
Taking in the genius of Charlie Work, an episode that finally showed glimpses of Charlie’s wild world away from the gang and the instant classic Frank Retires in which the gang become transfixed with a bottomless cess pit they encounter in the bathroom, season 10 was a classic 10 episodes of comedy.
Best Quote: ‘You? You think we’re going to give Frank’s shares to the man who wants to pull a mutant from a mystery hole in the bar and live with him?’
For fans Of: The League, Peep Show, The League of Gentlemen
Where Are We: Season 1
What’s It About: Based on a Swedish show originally (because all good TV is Scandinavian these days) Humans takes place in an alternative time line where AI is readily available down the local supermarket and the implications this has on a normal British family.
Why It Is Good: As we come closer and closer to actual AI, the clamour for media about an apocalyptic robot takeover has reached fever pitch. For every Ex Machina however there is a Terminator Salvation. Humans falls squarely in the former category by humanizing (shocker) the whole thing and viewing the events of a potentially world changing event through the eyes of one normal family.
Best Quote: ‘I live in that solitude that is painful in youth, but delicious in the years of maturity.’
For fans of: Utopia, Firefly, Black Mirror
8. Rick & Morty
Where Are We: Season 2
What’s It About: A kind of debauched animated version of Back to the Future in which Morty accompanies his mad scientist grandfather Rick on a series of surrealist and hilarious adventures.
Why It Is Good: With the continued excellence of South Park and Adventure Time and a strong second season of Bojack Horseman it was difficult to pick the cream of the cartoon crop but the second season of Rick & Morty was not only the funniest cartoon I watched in 2015, it was the funniest show period.
Created by Community‘s Dan Harmon, Rick & Morty even surpassed Harmon’s most well known project in 2015 despite Community coming back strong as well.
Watch season 2 opener A Rickle in Time if you don’t believe me. Easily one of the most ambitious episodes of a cartoon ever produced.
Best Quote: ‘Now, listen—I know the two of you are very different from each other in a lot of ways, but you have to understand that as far as Grandpa’s concerned, you’re both pieces of shit! Yeah. I can prove it mathematically.’
For Fans Of: Aqua Teen Hunger Force, Bojack Horseman, Community
7. The Leftovers
Where are we: Season 2
What’s It About: Contentious question right there. The Leftovers takes place in a world in which hundreds of thousands of people just vanished into thin air one day in some kind of presumed, religious end of days.
Why It Is Good: Being created by Lost co-creater Damien Lindelof, The Leftovers is full of mysteries and weird shit going down and just general Twin Peaksesque, WTFisms. The Leftovers has polarized some viewers but stick with it and you won’t be disappointed.
Worth watching for brilliant lead performances from Justin Theroux and Ann Dowd as well as a mesmerizing score, The Leftovers has gone even further down the rabbit hole in season 2 and the move to Miracle has helped to keep things fresh.
Best Quote: ‘She’s gone Kevin..’
For Fans Of: Lost, Twin Peaks, Wayward Pines
Where are we: Season 2
What’s It About: As with True Detective, Fargo‘s second season introduces completely new characters and is set in a different time zone to the first series. A violent incident at a diner starts a war between two crime families whilst quiet townsfolk are caught in the crossfire.
Why It Is Good: It was always going to be tough to top Billy Bob Thornton and Martin Freeman as Lorne Malvo and Lester Nygaard but an ensemble cast of Kirsten Dunst, Patrick Wilson, Jean Smart and Ted Danson among others has ensured that Fargo‘s sophmore season has been almost as memorable as the first thus far.
Best Quote: ‘And isn’t that a minor miracle? The state of the world today and the level of conflict and misunderstanding, that two men could stand on a lonely road in winter and talk calmly and rationally while all around them, people are losing their mind.’
For Fans Of: Sopranos, True Detective, Boardwalk Empire
5. The Muppets.
Where are we: Season 1
What’s It About: Anthropomorphic fun times displayed as a mockumentary behind the scenes of fictional TV show Late Night With Miss Piggy.
Why It Is Good: This new Muppets show is a first for Jim Henson’s most famous creations as it tries to appeal to a more adult audience whilst still maintaining everything that makes The Muppets so special. While the interspecies relationships are a bit odd at first, the intelligent writing that has always accompanied any Muppets production lends itself well to a more grown up crowd.
Best Quote: Kermit – ‘Since they’ve been going out (Miss Piggy & Josh Groban), I’ve been waking up to the sound of my alarm instead of my own screams!’
For Fans Of: Family Guy, Sesame Street, Pixar
4. Game of Thrones
Where Are We: Season 5
What’s It About: It’s mainly about writer George R. R. Martin allowing you to build up a relationship with the main characters before they are brutally murdered before your tear filled eyes.
Why It Is Good: I personally think season 5 has been the weakest so far and that all the gratuitous death scenes and the constant ‘shocks’ have almost created a numbing effect whereby nothing is really shocking any more. That being said even at its worst Game of Thrones is still one of the best TV shows around at the moment and possibly ever.
The episode Hard Home in which the Night’s Watch battled with White Walkers was as good an hour of television as we saw anywhere in 2015.
Best Quote: ‘We’re not friends. We’ve never been friends, we won’t become friends today. This isn’t about friendship, this is about survival. This is about putting a seven-hundred foot wall between you and what’sout there.’
For Fans Of: Rome, Vikings, Band of Brothers
3. Silicon Valley
Where Are We: Season 2
What’s It About: Created by Mike Judge of Beavis and Butthead fame, Silicon Valley shows what happens when a relatively normal guy tries to navigate the uber trendy and progressive world of the Silicon Valley tech scene.
Imagine if The Big Bang Theory wasn’t absolutely fucking terrible, that gets you somewhere close to Silicon Valley.
Why It Is Good: All the best comedies have a whole cast of funny and interesting characters not just the main 2 or 3 and Silicon Valley is packed full of weird and wonderful faces. Season 2 surprisingly only improved on season 1 and Silicon Valley has the potential to become HBO’s best comedy since Entourage.
Best Quote: ‘I don’t know about you people, but I don’t want to live in a world where someone else makes the world a better place better than we do.’
For Fans Of: Veep, South Park, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia
2. Better Call Saul
Where Are We: Season 1
What’s It About: A spin off from pop culture phenomenon Breaking Bad sees dodgy lawyer Saul Goodman come to the fore.
Why It Is Good: Better Call Saul is almost akin to a super hero origin story as we get a detailed look into what made Saul Goodman into the Lionel Hutz figure we know and love from Breaking Bad. The comedy comes thick and fast but Better Call Saul also has an undercurrent of sadness and frustration.
Best Quote: ‘Look, don’t let Mr. Ehrmantraut’s dancing eyes and bubbly, bon vivant personality fool you. He’s actually, believe it or not, somewhat taciturn. Shall I fan you gently, so you don’t go into shock?’
For Fans Of: Breaking Bad, Bored To Death, State of Play
1. MR ROBOT
Where Are We: Season 1
What’s It About: A cross between The Matrix, Fight Club and American Psycho.
Why is it good: Aside from Remi Malek and Christian Slater’s brilliant performances it is the jaw dropping script that has had the internet buzzing about Mr. Robot.
It does skirt a little too close to its influences for comfort at times but Mr. Robot has been this year’s most talked about show for a reason. It is ten beautifully crafted hours of television.
Best Quote: ‘You want to talk about reality? We haven’t lived in anything remotely close to it since the turn of the century. We turned it off, took out the batteries, snacked on a bag of GMOs while we tossed the remnants in the ever-expanding Dumpster of the human condition.’
For Fans Of: Life on Mars, True Detective, Black Mirror