Chris's Best of 2014

Many of the characters I loved last year, I loved again this year. Raylan Givens, Sam and Dean Winchester, Rick Castle and Kate Beckett, Crane and Abbie, William Masters and Virginia Johnson, Philip and Elizabeth Jennings -- all thrilled me, made me laugh, and made me cry. But, with all due respect to those characters that I continue to care about, there were an inordinate amount of new characters that I fell in love with this year.

Some characters were not new to the television landscape, but were new to me. I went through the Gilmore Girls in record time. Leaving aside the fact that it took me forever to get used to Sam being called Dean, I fell in love with Lorelai and Rory, not to mention the people who shared their lives in Stars Hollow. This was a show I had never had much interest in, but I was hooked from the pilot.

Similarly, I discovered Veronica Mars this year. The first season ranks among the best television seasons I have ever watched. I have already watched it twice, astonished the second time through how well everything was telegraphed and foreshadowed when you know the answer. I enjoyed the second and third seasons and thought the movie provided good closure. But, it is the first season that is jaw droppingly good.

Recently, I have been watching Eureka. Another show filled with people I love, but the beginning of the fourth season irritated me so I have rather stalled on it. I do find myself thinking about it a lot, so I am sure I will get back to it sometime in the new year. By the way, this makes the third year in a row that something Jess reviewed/recommended has made my list. The Middleman next year?

The other show that I discovered this year is Suits. Yes, the premise is absurd, but I somehow can't stop watching. Harvey and Mike's bromance is a thing of beauty and Louis Litt is one of the best characters I've seen in ages. I can't wait for it to start up again.

Jack was back! 24 has been one of my favorite shows since its first season and I was thrilled that we got another half day this year. It did not disappoint. Filled with the trademark twists and turns, I was very happy that I got to spend more time with Jack and Chloe.

There were also a fair number of new shows that captured my heart this year. Speaking of heart, Jane the Virgin has more than it knows what to do with. A story that is both funny and sweetly romantic, Gina Rodriguez nails her role as the woman who is facing the truly unexpected. This one always makes me smile.

The other comedy that I fell hard for (pun intended) was You're the Worst. I'm a sucker for a romance and this is one of the greats. Two obnoxious people decide to be friends with benefits and begin to fall for each other. As they fight being in a relationship every step of the way, the situations in which they and their friends find themselves made me laugh out loud. A lot.

Another year of some wonderful documentaries, the best of which was The Roosevelts. Ken Burns can make history seem like a well told story and this outing was among his best. Spectacular, moving, and fascinating, I was hooked from the first.

A show that caught me off guard was The Affair. All ten episodes were sitting on my DVR and I was seriously thinking of deleting it. One rainy Sunday night, my roommates and I decided to watch the pilot. We marathoned through the entire series in two nights. A fascinating example of the unreliable narrator, the story is told from two points of view. As you watch, you realize that the stories are so divergent that neither can be the unvarnished truth. Additionally, each story reveals so much about the person telling it as the details change significantly. Remarkable piece of storytelling.

It isn't often that I enjoy something as much as a book. Especially if it is a book I am already in love with. Outlander proved the exception to the rule. Although we have only seen the first half of the first season, I am completely on board with how the story is being told and completely enthralled with Tobias Menzies who is playing two sides of the same coin.

By far, my favorite show of 2014 was The Musketeers. A joyful romp, I loved every episode of it and have watched them all more than once. Some, more than I will admit in public. It has become my 'go-to' show when I need something to cheer me up or I just want to smile. The casting is perfect; the chemistry among the four is a rare blessing; the bad guys are as much fun as the good guys. If you haven't tried this one yet, I can't recommend it highly enough.

ChrisB wishes everyone a very happy and healthy 2015.


Jess Lynde said...

It sounds like you had a great year of discovery, Chris! I'm glad you found so much to enjoy. It's interesting that early S4 of Eureka has turned you off the show a bit, because that's the season that made me fall in love with the show in the first place. And I've read that many folks who watched it from the beginning felt that S4 injected some much needed new life into things. I hope it improves for you, when you come back to it. And, yes, do check out The Middleman next. :)

Onanymous said...

Thanks Chris. It was mostly because of your reviews that I started watching The Musketeers and now I'm hooked.

I'm still a bit sad that our Cardinal has been whisked away into some timey wimey adventures, but hopefully Rochefort could be a sufficiently interesting replacement.

Gavrielle said...

Thank you for all your great sleuthing this year that's alerted me to great shows (like The Divide) I would never otherwise have found. It's incredible to have a personal TV curator! And yes! Yes! Middleman! It's absolutely wonderful.

Heather said...

What a great read -- thank you. I watched The Affair and it left an impression on me, too.

Laure Mack said...

Awesome post, Chris.

I had a similar Dean confusion problem when I started watching Supernatural.

The Musketeers sounds fabulous. It's going on my list!

sunbunny said...

I loved Gilmore Girls when it was first on but it took me two seasons to get Sam and Dean straight on Supernatural because of it so I promised myself after that I wouldn't rewatch Gilmore Girls. So glad you're enjoying it, Chris!

drnanamom said...

I got hooked on Veronica Mars this year as well. What fun! I am adding some of your suggestions to my list and hope that others get to Canadian netflix so I can binge watch them.