I watch far too much TV. In 2015 alone, I watched upwards of 20 seasons of television shows. Urgh, I don’t know where I find the time; writing that makes me feel a little sick. Some shows I’ve continued watching for the sake of completion or a warped sense of loyalty, but most of them I’ve watched out of pure interest and engagement.
The best seasons/episodes of television in any year always depends on the television shows you actually watch. It’s impossible for any one person to view every episode of the multiplitude of television series across various cable, network and streaming channels in this ‘golden age’ of TV. I don’t know how the Emmys are expected to do what they do accurately.
Of the shows I watched this year (and if they’re not in the rankings, the remainder are listed at the bottom), the following seasons and episodes were exemplar of the wondrous storytelling that takes place on the small screen.
Top 5 Television Seasons in 2015
1. Fargo (Season 2)
Ah geez, I think this season might just be a masterpiece. The style, the cast, the writing, the music – everything just remarkably works, even when it shouldn’t have.
2. Hannibal (Season 3)
This was the season when Hannibal let loose; calmly deranged while unreservedly and deliciously arty. I dare you to find another current show as daring as Hannibal.
3. Better Call Saul (Season 1)
An outstanding first season for the Breaking Bad spinoff that took two familiar sideline characters and gave them their merited complexity. Bob Odenkirk and Jonathan Banks were both superb in the roles.
4. Parks and Recreation (Season 7)
A three-year time jump completely re-energised Parks in its final season. Not only did it give the characters new things to do, but it allowed the writers to provide their hilarious take on the future including some astute commentary on emerging social issues.
5. Veep (Season 4)
As the insults became wittier and more vulgar, the cast gave their best performances on the show to date. If you thought the campaign trail in season 3 was funny, giving Selina the Presidency in season 4 made for consistently hilarious TV.
Top 10 Television Episodes in 2015
1. Hannibal – “The Wrath of the Lamb”
2. Game of Thrones – “Hardhome”
3. Better Call Saul – “Pimento”
4. Parks and Recreation – “Leslie and Ron”
5. Fargo – “Loplop”
6. Community – “Emotional Consequences of Broadcast Television”
7. Veep – “Testimony”
8. Penny Dreadful – “And They Were Enemies”
9. Inside Amy Schumer – “12 Angry Men Inside Amy Schumer”
10. Mr Robot – “eps1.7_wh1ter0se.m4v”
Best Ensemble in a Drama: Fargo
Best Ensemble in a Comedy: Veep
Best Leading Male Performance in a Drama: Patrick Wilson, Fargo
Best Leading Female Performance in a Drama: Eva Green, Penny Dreadful
Best Supporting Male Performance in a Drama: Jonathan Banks, Better Call Saul
Best Supporting Female Performance in a Drama: Gillian Anderson, Hannibal
Best Leading Male Performance in a Comedy: Will Forte, The Last Man On Earth
Best Leading Female Performance in a Comedy: Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep
Best Supporting Male Performance in a Comedy: Kevin Dunn, Veep
Best Supporting Female Performance in a Comedy: Anna Chlumsky, Veep
Best New Show: Better Call Saul
Most Improved Show: The Last Man On Earth
Most Consistent Show: Silicon Valley
Most Inconsistent Show: The Walking Dead
Other shows I watched in 2015: Broadchurch, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Daredevil, Homeland, House of Cards, Jessica Jones, Master of None, Narcos, True Detective, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.