As 2014 draws to a close, I look back on the best shows from this year.
5. How to Get Away With Murder
Although this show often chooses entertainment and melodrama over quality, it kept me interested in a way that many other shows failed to this year. Although there were some american shows from 2013 which seemed promising, the second seasons were disappointing and I lost interest in many of the pilot shows very quickly. Therefore, whilst I do like this show, I did not enjoy it in the same way as I have the others on this list. Interestingly, it is the only American show in this post, which is surprising as my favourite programmes are usually outputs from the US.
As a huge fan of Miss Marple and Poirot, it is not surprising that I loved this murder mystery set in a small village in the 1950s, and indeed it did have that particular quaint vibe which makes Agatha Christies so appealing. The detective and main character is (an extremely attractive) vicar with serious issues, played by James Norton. The combination of the weekly murders with a series long romance made Grantchester a very enjoyable programme which I hope will be renewed for the new year.
3. Utopia Season 2
I actually only watched the first season of this in June, before the second season came out in July. The quality of this series lies in the amazing acting and the beautiful cinematography which often contrasts with the graphic horror that is portrayed. The incredible acting and well rounded characters – even when they make terrible mistakes, they still seem genuine, and even likable -made this more engaging than a typical thriller. One of the most imaginative and gripping television programmes of the moment, it is disappointing – if not entirely surprising – that this has been cancelled. (You can sign the petition to save the show here; https://www.change.org/p/channel-4-bring-back-utopia)
2. Nothing Much To Do
Honestly, I don’t really know if this counts as a TV show or not seeing as it is actually a web series, but I will include it on this list anyway. Modernised web series adaptations of classic novels – often taking the form of “vlogs” – have become very popular in the last two years due to the success of the Lizzie Bennet Diaries. However, amongst this wealth of material, and even compared to the Lizzie Bennet Diaries, Nothing Much To Do is by far the best scripted, well acted, most believable, and entertaining of them all. A modern adaptation of Much Ado About Nothing set in a New Zealand High School, the show manages to create characters which seem as if they could be real people vlogging. The story develops in a very interesting way, allowing the viewers to follow the story through three different youtube accounts – and many different points of views, as well as the twitter and tumblr accounts of different characters. If you only watch one webseries, watch this one. The full series can be seen here;
(although some of the Verges and Dogberry near the beginning can be skipped as, just like in the original play, I find them slightly tedious.)
1. In The Flesh Season 2
I’ve already discussed “In The Flesh” on my blog before; https://nellymair.wordpress.com/2014/07/05/in-the-flesh-a-series-review/ and this new take on the zombie tale is one that really should not be missed. After a zombie apocalypse, the zombies – here called PDS sufferers – are medicated and reintegrated into society where they are treated with contempt and violence by those who had fought them in the zombie-human war. The second season allowed the world to be further explored and how society has changed and developed since the first season. The introduction of new characters allowed viewers to see the experiences of more PDS sufferers and, with a lighter tone to the first season, allowed viewers to see the complications of different aspects of life for a PDS sufferer. If you only check out one show from 2014, check out In The Flesh.