If this is the golden age of television, it also has to be the Golden Age of Time Commitments. It’s all very well and good to keep recommending these shows, but by gawd we’ll talking 13-hour chunks of my life, one after the another, binge or no. It’s like friends recommending one thick 19th century novel after another.
Anyway, here are the shows I watched and enjoyed (and finished) during 2015:
Last Man on Earth Season 1 and 2
Although it’s turning too dramatic in its second season, the first was a perfect portrait of venality by Will Forte. And Kristen Schaal makes every line delivery a study in comic timing.
Fargo Season 1
Like a jazz riff on the movie, along with melody lines from No Country, Blood Simple, and other Coen films. Yes, I’ve heard that Season 2 is even better.
Inside Amy Schumer Season 3
Vitally important comedy, more hits than misses
The Affair Season 2
Grew tired of this, as everybody seems miserable, no matter whose perspective we’re taking, yet slogged through! Give me a medal!
Peep Show Season 9
A fitting send-off to one of the originators of cringe comedy
Last Week Tonight and The Nightly Show
John Oliver and Larry Wilmore more than make up for losing John Stewart, Stephen Colbert and David Letterman. The former does better investigative reporting than most networks. The latter brings a much needed voice to race politics. Both will help me survive 2016 with my sanity.
Charlie Brooker’s Weekly Wipe 2015
Six episodes (and a year-end special) is not enough Cunk and Shitpeas
True Detective Season 2
Not as much a shit-show as critics said, and Rachel McAdams was great
Girls Season 4
Nearing the end of its run, I should think, with all the fun slowly draining out of it
Better Call Saul Season 1
A different beast from its father, but a very American story of hustling and capitalism. Mike’s surveillance scene scored to THIS TRACK was pure visual storytelling.
Mad Men Season 7
Creepy Greg: Died in Vietnam. Enlightenment can sell Coke/Coke is enlightenment
Proves that you have to make a fiction film and then a million dollar documentary to catch a rich murderer. (Compare to Steve Avery.)
Doctor Who Season 09
Had some crackin’ good episodes and Capaldi was always a joy to watch. I watch it for the laughs.
Master of None Season 01
Like Amy Schumer, a dispatch from the trenches of modern, socially-networked life
Jessica Jones Season 01
One of the best subjective representations of surviving rape and abuse, including the never-ending paranoia, but cleverly wrapped in superheroism.
We also watched loads of food/cooking shows
The Great British Bake Off (the zen garden antidote to Ramsey’s trials by fire)
…however, none of these shows teach you a damn thing about cooking apart from avoiding clocks and shouty people
And I gave up or forgot about these shows:
The Mindy Project – got too dramatic and lost its edge
Scream Queens – disappeared up its own reference and I stopped caring
The Grinder – Rob Lowe has great comic timing, but show couldn’t make up its mind on tone
Difficult People – Stopped caring after two eps
Wayward Pines – Never found out if Matt Dillon was Number 6 or if he escaped The Village
Aquarius – Does this really need to be more than one season?
Bojack Horseman Season 2 – Nothing wrong with it, just forgot to keep watching it
Daredevil Season 1 – Just lost interest, whatevs
New Year’s Resolution: watch more docs and more “movies”, you know those things that only take 2 hours.