As our Reel News Daily staff gears up for an exciting new venture into the world of television, I thought it would be fun to look back on the shows that made 2014 one of the best years for television! In the coming weeks you will be able to visit RND for coverage of televisions hottest shows and we look forward to hearing your input on which shows we should tackle in the future. So we need your help! If we’re not covering something you think we would love, give us a shout and tell us and we will check it out! If it catches out fancy then we will add it to the DVR…so you control the remote!
Now, onto the best of 2014….ready?!
10. American Horror Story: Freak Show (Season 4)
One of the most original shows on television returns this years with an all new tale of crazy…this time at a carnival of freaks! Many of the past stars have returned in new roles this season including Jessica Lange, Kathy Bates, Evan Peters and Sarah Paulson, with new additions Michael Chiklis and Finn Wittrock rounding out the all star cast. Set in the year 1952 in Juniper, Florida, the show centers around one of the last remaining freak shows as its members do anything to keep the business alive. After a lackluster third season, American Horror Story has returned with its best season since the Season 1. With only 6 episodes left in the season, the boundaries of acceptable television are sure to be pushed to their limits. (FX)
9. The Blacklist: Season 2
What can you say that hasn’t been said before? The Blacklist is not an overly original show but its the performance by the great James Spader which catapults this show to elite status. Season 2 picks up right where the Season 1 finale left off, “Red” Reddington (James Spader), a former government agent turned high-profile criminal, and FBI agent Elizabeth Keen (Megan Boone) continue their search for the infamous criminal mastermind Berlin. While the show does fall victim to its cookie cutter NBC approach to how to make a TV show, the performances are what save this show. Spader is a good as ever and Megan Boone is beginning to come into her own. The midseason finale leaves many questions for the second half which begins Sunday February 1, 2015. (NBC)
8. Penny Dreadful: Season 1
Showtime has found its groove in creating original content for its channel. From Ray Donovan to Homeland, the cable giant has been clawing its way back to compete with its biggest rival HBO. The debut of the newest show, Penny Dreadful has cemented its position as worth contender. The 8 episode show, starring Josh Hartnett, Eva Green, Billy Piper, Reeve Carney and Timothy Dalton has been gaining legions of fans and wowing critics since its premiere. Set in 19th century England, the show centers around characters from 19th-century Irish and British fiction, including Dorian Gray from Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray, Mina Harker and Abraham Van Helsing from Bram Stoker’s Dracula, and Victor Frankenstein and his monster from Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. Outstanding performances have made this show one of the must sees of 2014. (Showtime)
7. Constantine: Season 1
NBC sucks as a network, let’s get that out of the way now. They have consistently created mediocre show after mediocre show which has resulted in the networks low ratings and the public’s non belief in its ability to create high quality shows. The cancellation of the hilarious and groundbreaking Community have lead to many to hold their breathes when a highly sought after property as Constantine is picked up by the network. based on characters appearing in the comic series Hellblazer published by DC Comic and produced by David S. Goyer, the show has been surprisingly good in its first 5 episodes which has lead to hope from the fan base that this may finally be a home run for NBC. Matt Ryan stars as John Constantine, an occult detective who struggles with his past sins, while trying to protect humanity from a gathering supernatural threat. A totally enjoyable network TV adaptation with a lot of promise, let’s hope that low rating on a Friday night graveyard time slot does’t derail this great show. (NBC)
6. The Walking Dead: Season 5
The most watched show on television is back and it’s not taking prisoners. Season 5 of The Walking Dead got off to a fast start in its premiere episode but has elected for more character driven episodes over the course of the first half of the season, a tactic many fans have tired on over the past few seasons, with only 1 episode left before the holiday break its unclear of the direction of this season. One things for sure, Rick and company will find themselves facing adversity and tragedy before the final credits roll. (AMC)
5. Gotham: Season 1
Like NBC, Fox has a horrible track record of debuting shows to much fanfare only to watch them squander the once promising show and ultimately cancelling it, this doesn’t appear to be the case with Gotham. Based on the characters and mythology of DC Comics Batman franchise, the show focuses on the back story of Jim Gordon (Ben McKenzie) as he begins his career with the Gotham police department. With recurring characters, including a young Bruce Wayne (David Mazouz), a young Selina Kyle (Camren Bicondova) as well as an emerging criminal mastermind in Oswald “Penguin” Cobblepot (Robin Lord Taylor), the show has emerged as a candidate for best new show on TV and has put many of it’s critics into a state of disbelief. Only 1 episode left before the holiday break so hurry up and binge watch! This is a show not to be missed. (Fox)
4. Game of Thrones: Season 4
In the latest season of the HBO mega show, Game of Thrones has not let its legions of fans down. Adapted primarily from the second half of the novel “A Storm of Swords“, along with elements of “A Feast for Crows” and “A Dance with Dragons”, the show has proven, once again, that it is one of the best acted and best written shows on television. Whereas the season centered on Joffrey Baratheon and Margaery Tyrell’s wedding, the elements of events surrounding the event and what transpires afterwards are the real focal point. This season was one of the best seasons yet. Winter may be coming, but so is season 5’s premiere in a few short months! (HBO)
3. The Flash: Season 1
With the CW’s continued success with its other DC property Arrow well into its 3rd season and still kicking much ass, the once lame network has decided to unleash their newest venture into the DC universe with The Flash. The show tells the transformation of young crime scene investigator Barry Allen (Grant Gustin) into a costumed superhero crime-fighter with the power to move at superhuman speeds. A smartly written show with fantastic actors on a network that advertises and cares for its future?! Unheard of *cough* NBC *cough*…with crossover events with Arrow planned and a history of amazing story lines, there’s no doubt that The Flash will be entertaining fans for years to come. (CW)
2. House of Cards: Season 2
Netflix hit a home run when it debuted it’s first original series House of Cards in 2013, and with high expectations for a repeat, season 2 opened with shocker after jaw dropping shocker and became one of the best shows on television. Kevin Spacey is absolutely amazing as U.S. Congressman Frank Underwood, a man determined to become President of the United States by any means necessary. With a strong supporting cast including Robin Wright as Franks wife, this political drama is destined to become one of the great American dramas of all time. Season 3 debuts in February 2015 so if you’ve never watched this amazing show, now is the time to catch up! (Netlfix)
1. True Detective: Season 1
It happened in an instant but, the second Matthew McConaughey’s character Detective “Rust” Cohle appeared on screen in the opening sequence of the premiere episode of True Detective it was abundantly clear that we were in for something special. The plot of the story uses multiple timelines to trace two Louisiana State Police Criminal Investigations Division homicide detectives’ hunt for a serial killer in Louisiana across seventeen years. Woody Harrelson also stars as Detective Marty Hart. Both actors are at their all time best and delivery two of the best performances in television history. A complete and utter travesty that this show didn’t win every award at the Emmy’s. The 8 part season 1 is all we will ever see of these characters, but it is 8 memorable episodes that we will never forget. (HBO)
We would love to hear from you! What were your favorite shows of 2014?!