2015 had many great seasons of television shows. I would even argue this is one of the strongest years of television in recent history. Very few shows fell flat for me. In fact, there were so many great shows that I have a couple of honorable mentions. Before I delve into my list, keep in mind that these are my personal favorite shows of the year. Your list may be different, but that is why opinions are awesome.
Honorable Mentions: Silicon Valley had a great second season. There were certainly a couple of episodes the were not as good as others, but it ended with a superb season finale. Along with Silicon Valley, I would be remiss if I did not mention Arrow. Not season 3 of Arrow which was okay but far too inconsistent. Season 4 of Arrow is great. It brought the show back to its former glory while introducing a compelling new villain. Finally, Star Wars Rebels deserves some mention. I really like the show because it can easily appeal to both kids and adults. It has “kiddy” moments, but offers a great cast of characters and a great narrative. Now with the Honorable Mentions out of the way, let us get to the juggernauts of Television.
10. Parks and Recreation (Season 7): This is one of the best finale seasons of a comedy show. Not only that, but it had one of the best finales of all time. It was consistently funny but also did a good job of advancing the characters to new and interesting places. Every character got their moment to shine, which reminded me how this show had one of the best ensemble casts on television. It will surely be missed, but never forgotten. Goodbye Lil’ Sebastian. See you in Horsey Heaven.
9. Orange is the New Black (Season 3): After a good second season, here comes a really great third season. Not only did it have a compelling narrative, but the characters all had great moments that developed them even further. Just like Parks and Recreation, this show has a great ensemble cast, and I love how Orange is the New Black has embraced this by not focusing on one single character. I look forward to the fourth season and where the characters will be taken. It will be a hard season to top, but I am sure the cast and crew will be able to do it.
8. The Flash (Seasons 1 and 2): Since both the first and second season were both (partially) on air in 2015, I decided to include both because of how strong they are. The second season has not particularly wowed me just yet, but the first season certainly did that with its final episodes. I love this show the same reason anyone loves any show: it has compelling characters. They may feel stereotypical at times, but they are not. They have layers, and I love how the show explores what makes them complex. It is a very fun show, but what makes it truly great is the compelling narrative and engaging characters. Great villains too, that is key.
7. Better Call Saul (Season 1): While it may be a slower show, it is a great one at that. Just like all the shows on this list, the characters are extremely compelling. From this point on just recognize that every show on the list has great characters. What is interesting for this show is that I did not find the plot all that great. It is a simple plot, but what I love is how the plot effected the shows’ characters. Along with that, the writing is sharp, the acting is solid, and there is some great cinematography. My fear going into the show was that it would try too hard to be Breaking Bad, but from the first episode the show knew exactly what it was and it had its own identity.
6. Game of Thrones (Season 5): I wish this was higher up on the list, but there were too many great shows that came out. First of all, this season had one of the greatest episodes in the form of: “Hardhome”. This episode was absolutely awesome. It did so much to progress the plot, and gave us a great look at what the White Walkers are capable of. I never had too many problems with the season, other than some weak moments in an otherwise great season. I have no doubt that he next season will be great, and hopefully a certain character is revealed to still be alive. If not, not big deal, but my heart will be forever broken.
5. Doctor Who (Series 9): Talk about a great season, I loved this season of Doctor Who. Last season was okay but it had some wasteful episodes, this season did not have that. There are three episodes that I did not think were all too great, but they had moments of greatness within. However, there are a handful of episodes that are absolutely breathtaking. Both The Doctor and Clara had a fantastic season with too many compelling moments to count. I have absolutely no idea who will be the next companion, or what the next season will entail, but if it is anything like this season, then it will be something worthwhile. As for Clara, she was a fine companion, but I am excited to see someone new with Capaldi’s doctor. Bring on Series 10.
4. Daredevil (Season 1): This is the best superhero show I have ever seen. Some people may say it is The Flash, and I respect that choice, but I loved the first season of Daredevil. Not only did it have some of the best action on both television and film for 2015, but it had some of the best characters (yeah, still harping about great characters). Vincent D’Onofrio as Wilson Fisk was a joy to watch. He portrayed this despicable man as someone who is raw and vulnerable, while also being able to show his violent side when necessary. He stole the whole show for me, but Charlie Cox also impressed as Matt Murdock. I look forward to the next season as Punisher is introduced to Daredevil’s world.
3. Fargo (Season 2): Here we go, these are the juggernauts. I LOVE FARGO: The writing, the characters, the cinematography, the music. Everything in this show just works so well. I guess, I should say almost everything because there is a reason why this is at number 3 and not number 1. Mild Spoilers ahead, but the show includes aliens at various points throughout the season, and never quite explain the relevance. Perhaps that is the point, but all it did was make the show feel like it did not know what to do with it. It just felt so out of place and really brought down the show for me. With that said, this show is still remarkably good. If you have not already, give it a watch.
2. Hannibal (Season 3): Aside from some slower moments along with moments that felt unearned, this was breathtaking season of television. I love the progression of both Hannibal’s and Will Graham’s characters. It is interesting to see how far their relationship has progressed since the pilot. A couple of episodes stand out as television’s finest, which is why this show deserves the number two spot. I know come award season the show will not get the recognition it deserves, but if you are reading this, give the show a shot. It is a master class of acting, dialogue, cinematography, and music. I said the same for Fargo, but the difference is that Hannibal does each of those in such a unique way. There is no show like it, and there may never be.
1. The Leftovers (Season 2): Here we are, this is by far my favorite TV show of 2015. Why? Because it is so unbelievably great. The show introduced these complex characters in the first season and took them to exciting new places this season while upholding a strong central narrative. Along with that the music is breathtaking, the cinematography is gorgeous, and this season had so many great episodes it was hard to choose just one. I cannot overstate how much I love this season. There are some problems, mainly because some characters do not get enough screen time, but that just shows how great the show and its characters are. If that is my biggest complaint, then you know the show is doing something right. All I can say is I am glad the show will be back for a third and final season. Know the show I am sure I will see it pop up again in my top 10 list of 2016.
There we go. That is my list. Here’s to a great year of television, and to another great one in 2016.