Saturday, December 26, 2015

Best and Worst Television Show 2015

Television in 2015 was filled with brilliant and not-so-great moments. I'm truly surprised by how many fandoms I was apart of since I didn't consider myself that much of a tv hog. Categories & winners for the absolute worst, personal favorites, and best from the series I watched have been compiled below. There are plenty of spoilers ahead for the following shows: Doctor Who, Once Upon A Time, The X-Files, Scandal, The Strain, The Walking Dead - to say the least. Please proceed with caution, and I hope you enjoy!

{ Worst }
Show I Forgot to Watch The Most: Doctor Who
Even with Coleman's exit looming over the show, I kept forgetting to watch Doctor Who. This season has not been memorable in terms of arcs for Capaldi's Doctor, nor the adventures he had with Clara. I still have to catch up on what happened nearly a month ago, but I'm not in any hurry.

Tv Show I Survived Because He's Hot: Hell on Wheels
Set in the 1800s, two companies are racing to build a train across the United States. Nothing happening in the middle of nowhere a lot. Except hotness. Like Anson Mount hot.

Character Who Deserves SO MUCH MOREBelle, Once Upon A Time
I was so proud of this moment: Belle finally recognized that Rumple is an abusive jerk. Again and again, he manipulates, lies and uses her forgiveness and open heart to get what he wants. She'll walk away to protect herself. He comes up with grand schemes to make himself look like a good guy or a victim to get into her good graces. Then, once she forgives his indiscretions, he continues to use and undermine her intelligence and love. She deserves so, so, so much more.

The Chandler 'I Don't Know What's Going On But I'm Excited' Bing Show: Once Upon A Time
Once Upon A Time has taught me a lot about hope and optimism. However, it feels like every season starts with all the characters having their memories swiped. The overall plot plays out in flashbacks through alternate worlds and even more flashbacks. Every Sunday I still get excited, but I'd be lying if I'd be saying I knew what's going on most of the time. Thankfully, Tumblr clarifies the storylines and significant moments in character's development, if I can't figure it out myself.

Character Who Ruthlessly Gets Treated Like Crap While All The Other Truly Horrible People Walk Away Scott Free: Mellie Grant, Scandal
Olivia and Fitz can treat everyone like dirt in the name of "love" and power. When other characters like Mellie try to play the game but just suck at it, she gets thrown under the bus. Mellie is not perfect, but I dare argue she is not as reprehensible as the shows' popular leads.

Why Am I Still Watching This Show?!: Scandal
After five years of watching Scandal, I just see RED. Quite frankly, the show is a joke. Fitz and Olivia are the most entitled, selfish characters you could ever be invested in. Any other character who is slightly interesting/entertaining are sidelined. Every single episode jumps the shark. I don't know why I'm a gladiator anymore.

Annoying Character I Ended Up Rooting For: Chanel Oberlin, Scream Queens
Emma Roberts has certainly perfected the mean girl trope. Though it'd rightfully be expected for a lot of screaming to be apart of a show called Scream Queens, she pretty much yelled her way through every line. Most of which weren't necessarily clever as they were offensive or completely random a la Ryan Murphy's style. I actually was rooting for her to be the killer o she would get her comeuppance. But for all the insults she threw around, by the end of the series, I was rooting for her.

Funniest Jerk: Chad, Scream Queens
Chad was a huge jerk, but my god - Glenn Powell was amazing. Like many of Emma's scenes and lines, Powell's were just as random and didn't make sense. But Powell pulled through. Not to poke fun at this looks, but his face was perfectly doofy; it matched the rich superficial idiotic person Chad was. His comedic timing was absolutely amazing. 

Biggest Jerk: Ephraim Goodweather, The Strain
Dude abandons his son to be watched over by the mistress he ignores to go on a ridiculous undercover mission where he has an affair? Then he returns from his dalliance and expects everyone to answer to his every complaint and worry? God help me, I love you Corey Stoll - but this character is the. BIGGEST. JERK.

Character Who Didn't Belong on a Terrible Tv Show: Nora, The Strain
Nora was the saving grace of The Strain. She was a CDC official thrown into the middle of a vampire apocalypse, learns how to fight, defends herself, is a team player and a leader, and is forced to kill her mom. She has all this kick-ass growth and development - only to be killed off in the name of her jerk boyfriend's jerk kid. It was the catalyst of me deciding to not watch the next season. The only consolation is that she doesn't have to endure any more torture.

I Thought I'd Miss This Show but Didnt: The Strain
Guillermo Del Toro's graphic novel adaptation has its hits and misses. The first season wasn't horrible. I was excited for what was to come with NYC being invaded by vampires, the different kinds of mythology, and so on.. And, then the second season happened. And, it was pretty much like the first season, only more horrible. The episodes repeated themselves with no real end goal in sight. There was no stopping myself from watching this horrible car crash just to see if it could get better. It didn't.

Most Gruesome Death: Noah, The Walking Dead
OMG. There were a lot of gruesome deaths on The Walking Dead, but Noah's was probably the worst - being forced into a wall of walkers by cowardice Nikolas, torn to shreds and devoured in front of your best friend. Total props to make-up, special effects crew, Tyler James Williams and Steven Yeun.

Horrible Character Who Redeemed Himself: Nikolas, The Walking Dead
Plenty of characters in Alexandria don't really redeem or prove themselves. Nikolas was at the top of the list of jerks who didn't deserve a second chance in hell to be shown mercy. But, he managed to come back and redeem his supposed cowardice in the end.

{ Favorites }
I Didn't Know I Needed This In My Life: Anne Hathaway VS Emily Blunt - Lip Sync Battle
What started as a fun game for husband-wife duo John Krasinski and Emily Blunt at parties became a skit on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. And, then lip sync battles got its own show with dueling celebrities. Hands down we needed Princess of Genovia versus Full Metal Bitch Rita Vrataski. Here's first half of their epic showdown. Part 1 is just as epic.

Female Driven Show: The Astronaut Wives Club
Set around the wives of the Mercury Seven—America's first group of astronauts, The Astronaut Wives Club was a joy. There was a great variety of female characters who dealt with the loss of their husbands, the challenges of long-distance relationships, and chasing their own dreams in a man's world. I was upset that it was only a mini-series because it was so much fun. Even though the show glossed over some historical details, the female-driven aspects made up for some of its flaws. Plus, those costumes and production design were gorgeous!

The Michael 'Well This Is Gonna Hurt Like A MotherF*****' Scott:
Swan Song, Once Upon A Time
I sorta predicted the season finale early on but still this episode was worthy of a Michael Scott gif. It hurt like a mother chucker. How could so much be built up between Emma and Killian, only to be so ruthlessly disintegrated and wonderfully filled with symbolism? There's plenty to look forward to in the season return - Killian is trapped in the Underworld and Emma is going to find 'em. Don't Charmings always find their soulmates?

Hero to Villain Transformation: Snow White, Once Upon A Time
Heroes become villains in the fourth season finale from Once Upon A Time. I really enjoyed seeing Mary-Margret transform into an Evil Queen. The costuming was beautiful; Mary-Margaret is always dressed in airy pastels, and suddenly she was so dark, in gothic red and black. Ginnifer looked like she had a lot of fun not being such a cute sweetie-pie and acting ruthless towards her subordinates. It was great to see her boss around Prince Charming (played by real-life husband Josh Dallas).

On-Screen Couples: 
Fet and Dutch, The Strain
These two are great partners-in-crime. They love to kick ass and take names, but also understand how the other has been ostracized by family and society. Fet respects that Dutch is bisexual and doesn't put her on a leash or mistrust her; he always tries to understand her decisions and confusion of her feelings towards him and her other partner. They really are an awesome pair, and more characters who don't deserve to be on The Strain.

Emma Swan and Killian, Once Upon A Time
I personally ship Emma with Sheriff Graham. It's hard for me to accept that his time was cut so short. But her relationship with Killian has so many layers, it's impossible to explain how amazing they are together and are one of the most interesting relationships on television.

Villain: Cruella Deville, Once Upon A Time
Villains in most fandoms have a backstory that makes us empathize with them, or show us why they turned out to be so cold and evil. Sometimes I just miss when villains were sincerely horrible people. What was Once Upon A Time going to do with Cruella DeVille - a fictional character who skins dogs for fashion? Umm, not much. There really isn't an excuse for what kind of woman she is. She was a terrible person with an interesting background, but not a sympathetic one, and it was pretty awesome.

Favorite Shutdown: Rick Grimes and Father Gabriel, The Walking Dead
Gabriel made a horrible choice in going to Deanna and trying to exile the group that saved his ass on so many occasions. When he tried to help Grimes fulfill their quarry plan, he was immediately shut down. DENIED. It was awesome!

Death: Deanna, The Walking Dead
Next to Nikolas, Deanna was the most salvageable character out of Alexandria. She had an amazing send-off, quite possibly the best in the history of the series. It was fierce as well as meaningful, and probably the most redeeming aspect of season 6.

Hallelujah, He's Still Alive: Glenn, The Walking Dead

As one of the original Atlanta Five whose still alive, his death was inevitable but certainly something we never suspected. The show did the best it could with keeping the allure over whether or not Glenn survived Nikolas' dumpster dive. I was hoping this fake-death was showrunner Scott Gimple testing the waters on fans would react if he died. We did - in huge waves of shock and grief. When he finally made it out from underneath the dumpster, it was glorious. Now we have to sit and pray he doesn't meet Lucille and his nasty comic book death.

I Ship These Two, So Sue Me: Doggett and Scully, The X-Files
Mulder and Scully undoubtedly share incredible chemistry and history. I don't necessarily ship them as hardcore as other X-Philes though. Sometimes Mulder was a little too annoying to me, but I digress. When Duchovny jumped ship from the show, someone had to step in. Robert Patrick was the perfect choice. He and Gillian were just so good together. OMG, I CAN'T EVEN.

Character That Doesn't Get Enough Credit: John Doggett, The X-Files
I'm not gonna lie. I love John Doggett. He just doesn't get enough credit for how supportive and respectful he was to Scully. He was a career guy, probably on his way to another promotion. But he accepted getting shafted to the basement for caring about Scully and trying to help her find Mulder. He didn't put the moves on her, but you could tell they had chemistry right away. It's hard to watch a series when a beloved main character is 'replaced' but not forgotten, and Robert Patrick was again - perfect. There's just so much more I love about him, but I'll just stop here....

{ Best }

Once Upon a Time Episodes: Fall & Shattered Sight
At the time season four aired I hadn't seen Frozen yet. I wasn't familiar with the characters, but from what I saw of the movie, the girls portraying Elsa and Anna were perfectly cast. They brought the animated film to life, switching the roles around where Elsa is on a desperate search for her sister. As the Queen of Arendelle's powers come to life, Emma's own magic starts to grow. Besides their abilities and fears of what their loved ones will think, they had a common enemy too: the Snow Queen - another woman of magic who felt betrayed by her sisters. The whole fourth season was so much fun, and I loved the girl power shared between the heroes and the apparent villains.

The Walking Dead Episode: Try and Conquer
The Walking Dead world is full of threats, both alive and undead. Rick's journey has all been about facing off against enemies right around the corner and his own personal demons. In season five, he was poised to take over Deanna's safe zone as soon as he entered Alexandria. After a near-murderous showdown with a notoriously abusive community member, Rick realizes how can be a leader but he doesn't want to do it having to kill people in order to save others. He gave two amazing speeches. In Try it was about killing others in order to protect. In Conquer, it was about not killing people to keep others safe; the helpless Alexandrians were going to come to their own defense. And, then he's called to make a revenge execution, and he does it - seamlessly, effortlessly, with a simple draw of his gun. Both episodes marked some great growth and scary epiphanies about Rick that were insane and awesome.

The X-Files Episode: All Things
Even if Scully accepted an assignment from her superiors to initially spy on Mulder and grow to work/like him, we never knew deeply about her life before the FBI. It remained a mystery until All Things, an episode written, directed, and starring Gillian Anderson.

While Mulder is out of the country hunting for crop circles, Scully coincidentally reunites with a teacher she had a brief affair with in college. All Things revolves around her being led by her heart and head to help understand her former lovers' mysterious heart condition. Scully always turns to Catholicism when logic fails her, and it's the variation of Buddhism and spiritual healing that is a different road for her to go down. Her partners' presence in the series is sorely missed but it's more than made up by their book-ended reunion. Anderson's conception, not only of her character but the inclusion of Mulder as well, is so emotionally satisfying and layered - It's just the best X-Files episode.

Best Performances by Supporting Actresses
These three women might have been in supporting roles, but they stole the show and kicked major ass.

Kirsten Dunst, Fargo
Peggy hits and runs a local mobs' son setting off a chain reaction of territory wars. To say the least Dunsts' character was completely out of touch with reality, but it's not necessarily obvious in the first episode. She is a married woman wasting away in a mid-western town as a hairstylist while her hopes (thousands of travel magazines) are stashed away in her basement. Peggy never recognizes how her actions affect her husband and so many other bystanders. All she keeps dreaming of is getting to California's bright horizon; sunny skies, better times ahead, and self-realization achieved. You came to never know or expect what her next move would be. Peggy kept us on our toes, and her unstable mindset never came off as cliche or exaggerated. Dunst was brilliant in keeping her grounded. Her deserves all the nominations she's receiving.

Niecy Nash, Scream Queens
Denise Hemphill is not the smartest bulb in the shed. She only sees one sorority sister as the killer and fails to do any real protection. Her wild monologues of going through ten different phone numbers to get into contact with her was hysterical; as well as her telling scary stories to the sorority sisters in order to keep them calm. I'm not sure what percentage of Scream Queens was actually funny. It's Ryan Murphy, so a lot of the dialogue was random sarcastic insults rather than clever material. But if there was one person who made every scene memorable and truly funny, it was absolutely Niecy Nash.

Melissa McBride, The Walking Dead
What can anyone say about Melissa McBride. She is simply extraordinary. Since the beginning Carol has undergone one transformation after another. From a mother who has lost her daughter, to inexperienced warrior, to councilor and protector forced to take extreme measures, every part of her has been burned away. She continues to rise from the ashes. Yet she continues to rise from the ashes and transform as a wolf in sheep's clothing. There are so many elements of her arc and performance, you just have to applaud the whole thing every damn season. There's nothing Melissa McBride really can't do.

Best Performances by Supporting Actors: the men of Fargo
There was an unbelievable seamless group effort of the cast for the second season of Fargo. A great variety of personalities kept the show fresh as these men tested their valor in war.  Pictured above: Jeffrey Donovan, Zahn McClarnon, Patrick Wilson, and Bokeem Woodbine are just the tip of the iceberg of great supporting actors. The list goes on: Ted Danson, Jesse Plemons, Allan Dobrescu, Angus Sampson, Nick Offerman, and Bruce Campbell. Not only was there a range of female characters (though Kirsten Dunst stood out the most for me), the men were just as talented, unpredictable and funny.

Best Performance by an Actress: Gillian Anderson, The X-Files
When I first started my watch of The X-Files, I didn't know what lied ahead. I'd heard about Mulder and Scully in passing, especially on tumblr when I started following fandom-related blogs. As I watched the series, an incredible character emerged. She was raised a Catholic, yet her passion was medicine. Life in the FBI's basement working on the X-Files put her through hell, yet gave her so much room to interpret her beliefs.

She survived abduction and experimentation and cancer; she wanted a life that was more than her or Mulder's work and settle down, then found out she was infertile. She was intelligent, witty, trigger happy, vulnerable, guarded, skeptic, realistic, and protective. Every season peeled back another layer, and if it wasn't for Gillian Anderson, there wouldn't have been an X-Files. (Her maternity leave after all gave way to so many subsequent storylines). She was a great straight-man to Duchovny's Mulder. And yes they shared great chemistry, but she was above all else, her own woman giving an amazing series performance, even when the series was losing its luster.

Best Performance by an Actor: Andrew Lincoln, The Walking Dead
Even if he wasn't featured a lot in season six, he still kicked ass in season five. This version of Grimes was incredible - the one who nearly crossed the line to murdering everyone in Alexandria so his group could take it; the one who stood up for his own leadership skills and was called on Deanna to kill Pete; who was so gung-ho about his hunches over the walkers' being right outside Alexandria he was willing to do anything; his desperation to not have to kill other people; his fierce protection towards his group after facing Terminus/losing Bob, Tyrese, and Beth. Rick is so much more than Ricktatorship or a second version of the Governor; he's a man with lost faith in his ability and necessity to lead. 

The Walking Dead has its faults. And yeah, Grimes is my absolute favorite - I could write thesis papers on every episode about him. But, sincerely, it's a crime two actors haven't been recognized by Hollywood for this show. And, they are Melissa McBride and Andrew Lincoln.

Best Show: The Walking Dead
Runner Up: The X-Files, Fargo
There were a lot of aspects to consider in choosing which show would be awarded as the best this past year. I truly weighed how much of the overall plot and individual episodes were disappointing versus satisfying for every show. The Strain failed on a massive scale. Some shows had huge faults, even if it was apart of the series' aesthetic, like Scream Queens. Others I still loved but were a bit disappointed with the overall direction like Once Upon A Time.

As for the runner-ups, I absolutely love The X-Files - but I had to consider what really made me love that show. I love the show and characters, but too many episodes left the field too open in terms of recycling the same material and conclusions. Fargo was highly entertaining and had a great ensemble. But the series' finale was very anti-climatic. It made me questioned whether I missed some major details that glued the overall plot together, besides one big connection to the first season.

In comparison, I had a lot of high expectations by The Walking Dead. Some of them were met exquisitely in season five, which featured some great transformations, intense scenes and very promising conflicts. On the other hand, I really struggled with season 6 - the storylines and writing was disorganized and all over the place. But most episodes still manage to offer some consolation, where other shows did not. As much I wanted more consistent writing in its latest six episodes, of everything I watched, I'll probably go back re-watch this show more than any other. Quite honestly, it's still the best.


  1. Great post! Love your categories. Anne Hathaway was fantastic in her lip sync battle against Blunt. That show was hilarious.

  2. Thank you so much! I could watch that lip sync battle a million times and it won't get bored. Happy that you enjoyed the categories. :)

  3. Lovely post, and yaaaasss Melissa McBride!

  4. Thank you for commenting and retweeting my post. All hail Queen McBride! :)

  5. I see all your tweets and posts about Once Upon a Time and kudos for sticking with it. I left it after a few episodes of season 3. But after seeing your posts AND seeing that its on Netflix AND after speaking to a converted fan at work, I think I need to watch the show again. The thing that put me off the most were the constant flashbacks ugh, they got in the way of the story after a while. I got why they were needed in the first season but after? Nope not needed. Also, I really hate Rumplehwhatshisface. I also forgot about Scream Queens - and that - I was enjoying, Denise was hilarious. I think my obsession with AOS took over, I even missed the finale of one of my favourite shows, Haven. Yeh, I know, no one watched it but I loved it.

    I've taped all of Fargo to devour one day, plenty of time until season 3. You have also reminded me that I really should watch X-Files.

    I think this year is been all about AOS, Brooklyn Nine Nine, Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries, AHS:Hotel and Moonlighting, I'm so glad I watched the latter - so funny, definitely reccomend it.

  6. Thank you so much Katie! The only season I really struggled with Once Upon A Time was the latest one (#5). It really pushed my tolerance for flashbacks, which is thin to begin with. lol Season 4 was a lot of fun! Looking for gifs for this post made me want to go back and rewatch it on Netflix. I loved the Frozen part of the show! Rumplehwhatshisface is horrendous and doesn't get better, unfortunately. Do not fall for his 'nice guy' acts. :)

    Haven was always something I wanted to watch but didn't get a chance to. Its cancellation was truly surprising! I'm not familiar with Agents of Shield but I really want to catch up on Agent Carter before the new season. :D

    Hope you enjoy Fargo and X-Files!! They're a lot of fun. Jessica Jones is on my to-watch list and I'll definitely check out Moonlighting. Bruce Willis is one of my faves. Thank you!!

  7. Great post Katy! I find it entertaining reading your comments even though I barely watch any tv, ahah. I only watched season 1 of Daredevil & Broadchurch and parts of Outlander this year, and just the first few episodes of Jessica Jones. I can't wait for Outlander season 2 next year!!

  8. Thank you Ruth! This year I was really surprised how much tv I managed to squeeze in and the list became this long. I thought the only shows I was watching was X-Files/Walking Dead. Definitely have to check out Outlander and Broadchurch. The U.S. miniseries with David Tennant was fairly good. :)

  9. It's sad to say but 2015 wasn't a TV year for me. I only loved few shows, Mr. Robot, Daredevil and Scream Queens to name the ones which premiered last year. Other than that, I pretty much stopped watching so many shows I can't count them all for the life of me. I did stop Scandal though because... it just got too ambitious and well, I hope How To Get Away With Murder stays a little more sane for a while longer though I doubt it will. Shonda has a knack to go cray-cray.
    Once Upon a Time also.. something I loved and now, don't really care about. Weird how things work out that way.