Completely Arbitrary 2015 TV Superlatives

Completely Arbitrary 2015 TV Superlatives

Best TV of 2015

It’s been another busy year of watching TV. Some beloved shows bid adieu, some jumped the shark, others enjoyed a creative resurgence, and many new excellent shows were added to my watchlist. To celebrate, here’s my ‘best of’ list for 2015. As always, this list is both subjective and ultimately meaningless. Cheers to the new year!


Best New Show of 2015: Jessica Jones

Jessica Jones

I already compared Jessica Jones to Buffy the Vampire Slayer so I’m not sure what more I need to say in my defense for selecting this as my pick for best new show of 2015.

Bonus Award: Best Super ‘Hero’ (and Best Pun)

Sandwich Jessica Jones


Best Performance: Mr. Robot

Mr. Robot

Rami Malek is absolutely incredible as Elliot in USA Network’s new series Mr. Robot. From his voiceover work to his expressive eyes, Malek uses everything in his arsenal to help audiences connect with his otherwise unreliable and unstable character.     


Best Use of The Hiatus: Broad City

Broad City went back to its roots during the break and dropped a series of excellent webisodes. See Abbi and Ilana navigate Halloween, Yom Kippur, Columbus Day, and more.  


Best Show in Which Everyone is Unhappy: UnREAL


Never in my wildest dreams would I have picked a Lifetime series to be one of my favorite new dramas. It’s dark and soapy, and lots of fun despite the fact that just about every single character is incredibly flawed and generally unlikable.  


Best Goodbye: Parks and Recreation

Parks and Recreation

It was sad to say farewell to Leslie, Ron, April, Andy, Tom, Donna, Ben, Jerry/Larry/Garry, and the rest of Pawnee, IN but Parks and Recreation’s thirteen-episode final season provided more than enough laughs and closure to end on just the right note.  


Best Cold Open: Master of None

Master of None Walk Home

There’s a lot of highlights from Master of None’s first season, including early episodes “Parents” and “Indians on TV”, but the cold open from the episode “Ladies and Gentlemen” was the standout scene of the series for me. It hilariously, and honestly, depicts the different experience men and women have while walking home at night.  


Best New Theme Song: Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

Just try to not get this song stuck in your head, I dare you.


Best Holiday Episodes: Brooklyn Nine-Nine

Brooklyn Nine-Nine xmas

Brooklyn Nine-Nine’s Halloween episode was the perfect culmination of Jake and Captain Holt’s annual competition, and that episode alone would have earned them the ‘Best Holiday Episode’ title. But then they went ahead and made a Die Hard homage for their Christmas episode. That’s basically a mic drop move.  


Best Retooling From Season-to-Season: Halt and Catch Fire

Halt and Catch Fire S2

There was no such thing as a sophomore slump for the AMC 80s drama Halt and Catch Fire. Vast improvements were made from season 1 to season 2, the primary being the show’s shift to focus on Cameron and Donna’s quest to make Mutiny a viable company.


Best ‘About Damn Time’ Moment: Pretty Little Liars

PLL A Reveal

Dubbed the #SummerofAnswers, Pretty Little Liars finally revealed who the infamous ‘A’ was. Reactions to the much awaited reveal were pretty mixed, I won’t spoiler it here, but I think everyone can agree that the moment’s been a long time coming.  


Best Organ Donation: Revenge

Revenge finale

Despite an uneven four seasons, I strongly believe Revenge’s series finale “Two Graves” ended on just the right note, and with the perfect soap opera twist to boot.  


Best Reality Competition Moment: The Challenge

Sarah picks Johnny Bananas

It was a strong year for Survivor, but I’ve got to give this nod to Sarah Rice from MTV’s The Challenge for sending The Challenge ‘king’ Johnny Bananas into the dome, and thereby orchestrating his elimination right before the final. It was a bold move, one that put her in the best possible position to take home the grand prize. And win she did. It was also one of the only strategic moves made in the game by a female competitor.


Best Use of Music: Helix

The writers and / or the show’s composer Reinhold Heil must have one hell of a sense of humor because in just about every episode there’s one scene in which the music undercuts the seriousness of the drama unfolding on the screen. It is perhaps one of the best things about the now-cancelled SyFy series. Both seasons are available on Netflix, I recommend checking out the show, not so much for the plot, but for the excellent score and soundtrack. (See Above.)


Best Use of CGI & Special Effects: Manhattan

Manhattan TV show Nuclear Test

The final sequence of the second season finale of WGN America’s Manhattan, where all the characters are witnessing the successful test of their nuclear bomb, is visually stunning.


Best Dance Number: So You Think You Can Dance

Dancing With the Stars, So You Think You Can Dance, and America’s Best Dance Crew all showcased amazing dancers and numbers this past year, but my top pick is Travis Wall’s Ghost Light routine. In addition to the actual dance, the technical aspects of it, like the lighting and camera work really made it something special. I also saw the routine live during the SYTYCD tour and it was just as awesome.


Best News Program: Last Week Tonight

Last Week Tonight

2015 was a busy year for John Oliver and his weekly HBO news program. He interviewed Edward Snowden, Google bombed Marlboro with Jeff the Diseased Lung (google image search “Marlboro” and see what comes up), got into a TV feud with a FIFA official, started a church, and covered a wide variety of stories including gun violence, elections, the refugee crisis, and more.   

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Written by Jamie Paton

Want to know more, check out my About Me page or connect with me on Google+

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