Once again, a top 10 of everything, having picked June 1st as the cutoff date because it’s roughly the end of the TV year.
Half Hour TV:
- Brooklyn Nine Nine – Maybe because it’s the new hotness, but it actually felt like the best comedy on TV this year. It’s not doing anything incredibly inventive, it’s following a lot of single camera comedy trends. It’s just well-written and has a great cast.
- Venture Bros. – Not its greatest season but it still had some major highlights. Hopefully not another 3 year wait for next season (they have said a special will be coming late this year followed by a season in 2015, fingers crossed).
- Archer – Archer Vice made for an odd season, but still a very funny one.
- Parks and Recreation – Had some speedbumps this year with some cast changes, but still one of the better shows out there. The time jump season finale could be interesting next year… or a disaster, who knows.
- Louie – I still feel like this show is getting less funny as it goes. I still like it, but there are really long stretches where there’s nothing funny at all. The early seasons, it managed to be just as good otherwise, but also very, very funny, so I still miss that.
- Bob’s Burgers – I have a hard time remembering what actually aired this year, since I caught up on the show from start to finish this year, but it’s an excellent, excellent show. I’d watched the pilot and seen a few minutes here and there but it never really clicked for me until I gave it another shot.
- Gravity Falls – This is a cartoon on the Disney Channel and it only aired like 3 episodes and a few online shorts in the past year, but dammit it’s good. Tons of mysteries, crazy adventures, and it’s really funny.
- Community – It was a big step up from the misfire last season, but didn’t exactly return to form. Still sad to see it go.
- Modern Family – I guess it’s only been 5 seasons, and I’m sure it won’t happen because it makes too much money, but I think it’s time for this show to die. It’s unquestionably on the down swing, the formerly young kids are either awkwardly or distractingly hitting puberty, and the gay wedding and the new baby are basically the things you’d expect to see when they’re wrapping up.
- Silicon Valley – Basically cracked the top 10 for this one scene in the season finale that absolutely killed me. That episode was a lot better than all the previous ones, both in terms of story and humor. I still find Amanda Crew (basically the only woman on the show) to be really, really attractive too.
Missed the cut: Legit (the drug/alcohol stuff is getting pathetic), Wilfred (honestly it’s been so long that I forget what happened last season), Veep (it’s fine, and I’m liking the campaign stuff more than the general VP stuff, just not one of my favorites), The Boondocks (it doesn’t seem very good anymore?), Cougar Town (another one where it’s time to go… but apparently next season is its last), Avengers Assemble (I really don’t care about this show anymore, and I miss Earth’s Mightiest Heroes).
Hourlong (or more) TV:
- Breaking Bad – Solid final season, satisfying finale, one of the best shows ever.
- Game of Thrones – In Venture Bros. commentary, Doc Hammer says he doesn’t watch this because it sounds like Falcon Crest with dragons. But that sounds awesome! And is basically what it is. But also with a lot of blood and nudity.
- Sherlock – Season one is still their best, but this show is still great.
- Orange is the New Black – Based on the first season, not the just-released second one (which I’m only just starting). It’s an excellent show, the only thing keeping it from greatness is the kind of shitty main character and her very shitty husband. Any time Jason Biggs is on screen, I kind of zone out.
- House of Cards – Kevin Spacey kills it on this show, and I do love both political drama and dark, cynical drama, so this is right up my alley.
- Suits – I worry about this show going forward, because the premise is getting more and more ridiculous over time. But somehow they’ve managed to keep it entertaining.
- Psych – Another solid final season with a satisfying ending. This leaves Royal Pains and White Collar as the last of USA’s fun shows. With HBO, AMC, and FX constantly churning out dark anti-hero dramas, I really liked that USA just had light dramedy. But they’re increasingly going in the same direction as everyone else.
- Justified – Next season is the last one, apparently, and this season felt more like getting things set for a big showdown next year. I do like Alicia Witt’s white trash hotness though (much like when she was on FNL).
- Fargo – One exception to FX’s dark anti-hero thing, this is… still dark, but if you had to pick a main character it’d be Molly, and she’s not even remotely an anti-hero. It’s definitely not like anything else on TV.
- Pick one of: Arrow, Lost Girl, The Walking Dead: These shows are all dumb and I could (and do) nitpick all the stupid stuff they’re constantly doing, but I find them entertaining anyway.
Missed the cut: The Newsroom (this season was terrible, a show I appreciated for snappy dialogue and ridiculously optimistic liberal bullshit became a show about pessimistic liberal bullshit and random pairing off of characters because maybe this was the end), The Bridge (I really liked the beginning, but lost interest more and more as it went along), Homeland (one of the best shows on tv in season one, I may not watch it next season), Person of Interest (probably should be #10 instead of those dumb shows, but I lose interest in a lot of their cases of the week), True Detective (I enjoyed it, but not as much as everyone else, apparently, and the ending was fairly underwhelming), Shameless (last season blew me away, this season was just a downer), Mind Games (over too quick to really matter, but I wish this had caught on), Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (hey this show kinda sucks huh? even with a couple hot actresses and a Cap 2 tie-in, meh)
- Captain America: The Winter Soldier – Best Marvel movie to date? Probably.
- Pacific Rim – One of those things, maybe honest trailers, kept calling it “so dumb, but so awesome” which is about right. But I would put the emphasis on awesome. I even liked the tie-in comic.
- Gravity – I’m with Neil deGrasse Tyson on all the physics goofs, but I still thought it was an excellent movie.
- Thor: The Dark World – The Thor movies and Cap 1 are definitely the lesser Marvel Studios movies. Though I’m expecting Guardians of the Galaxy (based on having seen no trailers) to join them. But they’re all still pretty good.
- American Hustle – A 70s crime/con story, ridiculous wigs for the guys and ridiculous cleavage for the ladies? Of course I’m going to enjoy that.
- The World’s End – Got pretty weird towards the end, but it was very funny. The thing that may impress me the most about the “cornetto trilogy” is that Simon Pegg plays very different characters in each one. He could have a career playing Shaun type characters, nerdy loser but ultimately good guy. Instead he plays super serious dude, or alcoholic asshole.
- The Way Way Back – Basically because Sam Rockwell is one of the most entertaining actors out there. And also because I don’t see as many movies as I used to, so these last few are pretty mediocre.
- The Wolverine – Also, I don’t see as many movies as I used to.
- Red 2 – Did I mention that I don’t see as many movies as I used to?
- Monsters University – See above.
Edit: Crap, I skipped Veronica Mars, which should go at #6 and bump everything else down one.
Missed the cut: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (after the third one comes out, someone edit them down to about 4 hours combined, and I bet it’ll be great).
- Saga – Still excellent.
- Locke and Key – I was pleased, but not thrilled, with the ending. Overall, one of my favorite series ever.
- Sex Criminals – Googling for this series probably puts you on some kind of list, but it’s worth it. This is a very original concept, and of course raunchy and funny too. The first trade is also very cheap.
- Batman Eternal – Too many current Batman comics ignore all the great and weird things about Gotham and just have Batman, Alfred, a villain, and maybe a love interest. Batman Eternal, a new-ish weekly Batman series, is telling a long story about Carmine Falcone’s return to Gotham, a gang war, Commissioner Gordon being in prison (and presumably set up), and all sorts of other stuff. It brings in Catwoman, Tim Drake, Spoiler, Jason Bard, Spectre, Batwing, Bluebird and tons of others, to make this series’ Gotham the vast array of characters that it was when I thought the Batman line was at its peak (roughly from No Man’s Land to Gotham Central).
- Rat Queens – A regular fantasy type setting, but with a group of ladies who curse and take drugs and fuck. It’s not too far in, but I’m enjoying the hell out of it so far. Also plugging a cheap first trade for this one.
- Daredevil – I thought the move from Hell’s Kitchen to San Francisco might derail the series, but it’s actually still one of the series I most look forward to.
- Hawkeye – The quality has gone down, the story pace is absolutely glacial, and it’s not as energetic/funny/action packed as before. It’s like Fraction took all his good ideas and instead of using them on Hawkeye, he moved them to Sex Criminals. But Kate Bishop is still the best.
- Chew – This is starting to hit the home stretch, at #41 out of a planned (I think) 60, and it remains funny and plot-twisty and full of weird/funny/random shit thrown in the background by Rob Guillory which I really appreciate.
- Li’l Gotham was a fun series with chibi versions of Batman characters having goofy adventures. Sadly, it only ran for 22 issues, and it was digital first so the issues were shorter than normal. But it was great.
- Black Canary and Zatanna: Bloodspell – An OGN that at one point was maybe going to be called The Fishnet Brigade (a much better title, IMO), it’s surprisingly good. The writer, Paul Dini, is married to a magician, and that comes out every time he writes Zatanna. Usually in a bad way, he keeps trying to push Batman/Zatanna as a thing. But here it works pretty nicely. Just a fun adventure with two characters that have been pretty neglected since the New 52.
Missed the cut: Mighty Avengers (idiot fanboys dismissed it as “the black avengers” when it was announced, but it’s actually the best Avengers title going right now, shitty Greg Land art notwithstanding), Wild Blue Yonder (it’s like a grown up TaleSpin but without the anthropomorphized animals, and other than an erratic shipping schedule it’s pretty awesome), Atomic Robo (unlike movies, I read shitloads of comics, so falling out of my top 10 doesn’t indicate mediocrity, most of these are still good), Lazarus (a little disappointing given my love for both the creators and subject matter, but I still have high hopes for this), The Manhattan Projects (kind of losing steam, but I’m in this for the long haul regardless), Captain Marvel (it works better as a series about this punch-first-ask-questions-later superheroine and her band of misfit friends, but sometimes it turns into this sort of serious woe-is-me kinda thing and I don’t like it as much), Skullkickers (still a lot of fun, but the most recent story arc is not my favorite), Lumberjanes (is only two issues in, but it’s adorable), Alex + Ada (has a lot of things that appeal to me, AI/Singularity type concepts, I just wish the story would move a little faster), East of West (I have no idea what’s going on but I’m still enjoying it), Fables (if it weren’t about to end I would have quit it by now), Moon Knight (Warren Ellis’ short but strange run is almost done, I’ve enjoyed it but may not continue once he leaves), The Wake (started off as an Aliens but with sea monsters thing, but went off in an interesting/unexpected direction), Revival (the guy who did Hack/Slash writing a sort of Fargo/Zombies thing, I never would have expected it to be as good as it is, but it’s quite good), Velvet (I love the concept, some shit happens and it turns out a Miss Moneypenny type, despite being a little older, has been pretending to be some secretary when she’s actually a badass spy too), Trees (Warren Ellis’ latest series with a really interesting beginning, but the first issue only just came out)