TV - Top Five TV of 2015


Steve Taylor-Bryant looks back on 2015 and the television shows that caught his attention, disappointed him and his Top 5 of the year...

Another year another X amount of hours wasted sitting in front of television enjoying, moaning, loving and hating. It was a strange years viewing for me in 2015, things I was excited for seemed to nearly all let me down, shows I really wasn't that bothered about seemed to nearly all grip me, and some shows were just exceptional, a class above anything else available. It was my first year using streaming services as a serious alternative to my usual satellite platform and I was astonished at the high level of quality both Amazon Prime and Netflix produced and, whilst I'm not smart enough to work out what actual real effect these ideas will have on more traditional television outlets, at the very least they are going to have to up their game.

The disappointment...

True Detective Season 2 didn't live up to expectations. The writing seemed flat and rushed and something was missing from its visual quality with the change of directors.

Doctor Who. I'm quite the Moffat fan and defend him more than is probably healthy but series 9 has just been awful.

The Nearly Made Its...

N.C.I.S New Orleans started badly but found its feet towards the middle and finishes strongly. Here's hoping Season 2 takes it up a notch and stops relying on the original NCIS cast so much.

Elementary started poorly but picked up, had a great second season, lost a little for most of the third season before an epic run in and Season 4 is again highly watchable.

So what were my highlights this year from the small screen? Who lit up the televisual receptors in my tiny brain? I'll presume you all know the level of affection I have for Arrow so won't take up space here with it, as for what did make the list? Tune in below...


5 - Unforgotten (ITV)

I'm such a huge fan of Nicola Walker, whatever she is in is that little bit classier just by her involvement (Touch of Evil was elevated from meh to highly watchable with her casting). I've read trusted opinion on social networking that River was a phenomenal show but alas I've not seen it yet so can't judge but Unforgotten had me gripped.

When the bones of a young man are found beneath the footings of a demolished house, an investigation begins that will unravel the lives of four people who have been waiting for this moment for nearly 40 years, as they discover that the past can't, and won't, stay buried forever.

The entire cast of Unforgotten were incredible and the writing of creator Chris Lang (The Knock/Torn) was a level above some already great British writing. As DCI Cassie Stuart though Walker stole the show with her usual elegance and sheer talent.

Jessica Jones

4 - Jessica Jones (Netflix)

Yes, believe it or not, Marvel have finally produced something I absolutely adore. All right they did it by not making it 'typical Marvel' and instead produced something more akin to a DC show but credit where it's due! For Marvel to impress my anti-Marvel mind and to do it with a show containing David Tennant as well (sorry DT fans, not enjoyed Tennant since Casanova although United was good) is seriously good work.

Ever since her short-lived stint as a Super Hero ended in tragedy, Jessica Jones has been rebuilding her personal life and career as a hot-tempered, sardonic private detective in Hell's Kitchen, New York City. Plagued by self-loathing, and a wicked case of PTSD, Jessica battles demons from within and without, using her extraordinary abilities as an unlikely champion for those in need... especially if they're willing to cut her a cheque.

The show was a bit racy, contained scenes that certainly weren't aimed at the usual Marvel demographic and was delightfully dark in its writing and tone with Krysten Ritter outstanding in her portrayal of the troubled and failed superhero detective.


3 - Blindspot (Sky Living)

This maybe a bit premature to make the list as here in the UK we are about 3 months behind our cousins across the pond but so far so enjoyable!

A woman with no memories of her past (Jane Doe), is found naked in Times Square with her body fully covered in intricate tattoos. Her discovery sets off a vast and complex mystery that immediately ignites the attention of the FBI, which begins to follow the road map of her tattoos into a larger conspiracy of crime, while bringing her closer to discovering the truth about her identity.

I like the concept. I've not seen the cast in much else so to me they are a refreshing array of faces and I'm thoroughly enjoy watching the dynamic change between Jaime Alexander's Jane Doe and Sullivan Stapleton's FBI Agent Kurt Weller the more Doe remembers things about her life.

The Man in the High Castle

2 - The Man in the High Castle (Amazon)

Based on Philip K. Dick's award-winning novel and adapted by Frank Spotniz, The Man in the High Castle explores what it would be like if the Allied Powers had lost WWII, and Japan and Germany ruled the United States.

This show was the one I was most fearful of watching such is my love for the novel. See why in my article here.

Mr. Robot

1 - Mr. Robot (Amazon)

Elliot Alderson is a young cyber-security engineer living in New York, who assumes the role of a vigilante hacker by night. Elliot meets a mysterious anarchist known as "Mr. Robot" who recruits Elliot to join his team of hackers, "fsociety". Elliot, who has a social anxiety disorder and connects to people by hacking them, is intrigued but uncertain if he wants to be part of the group. The show follows Mr. Robot's attempts to engage Elliot in his mission to destroy the corporation Elliot is paid to protect. Compelled by his personal beliefs, Elliot struggles to resist the chance to take down the multinational CEOs that are running (and ruining) the world.

What a surprise Mr. Robot was! I knew I'd enjoy the subject matter and I have a soft spot for Christian Slater but I had no idea I'd be watching a show that for me is the best opening season since The West Wing nearly two decades ago. Watch this show! If you still need reason? Nate and myself wrote about it here and here.

Image - IMDb.
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