The Top 5 TV Shows of the Past Year (For Whatever Reason) – Best Of
Yes, it’s 7 May, which means it’s time for an I Just Hate Everything anniversary.
And seeing as TV has been closer to my heart than movies this year, we’ll start off our birthday reminiscence with the top 5 TV shows of the past year, for whatever reason. If you haven’t seen last year’s list, here you go.
But first, a reminder of our entry criteria: any shows reviewed in the period between 7 May 2013 and 7 May 2014 qualify, regardless of original air date; these shows are not necessarily my favourite shows; nor necessarily my least favourite; they are simply memorable, important to me, and/or represent my past year’s viewing experience; for sake of reference, I will not include shows I didn’t review; and they are in no particular order.
Oh, and here are some honourable mentions before we get started:
- The Vampire Diaries. The endless plateau.
- Pretty Little Liars. Stale. Old. Needs to die soon. These are not terms that should describe a show about teenagers, but yet, here we are.
- Once Upon a Time. Season 2 went so far up. Season 3 went mildly down, then mildly up. Sometimes. I’m kind of over it, you know?
- Arrow. Abs.
- And to give the shows I didn’t review some lip service, I will say The Real Housewives of Melbourne, The Following, The Tomorrow People (eventually), and Reign will remind me of this year.
Alright, let’s get to it.
Episodes reviewed in past year: Season 2 Episode 20 – Season 3 Episode 21
Taking Once Upon a Time’s “Most Improved” badge from last year, Revenge’s third season was a surpising and glorious return to form following the absolute fucking travesty that was season 2.
You’ve gotta hand it to a show that literally dumped the entire contents of its slack season (except for Aiden and some continuity points) and made itself reborn as the true successor to its stellar first season. Revenge showed us it could be done. If only it wasn’t too late for Glee.
Revenge really is the ultimate primetime soap opera of the now. It’s lush, trashy, frivolous, sartorial, and, most importantly, it’s fun again.
Bye bye Initiative. Fuck off Nolan’s heterosexuality. Ciao Mama Emily. But please, God, let there be a season 4. Victoria must be destroyed.
Episodes reviewed in past year: Season 1 Episode 1 – Season 1 Episode 20
The winner of the spin-off showdown, The Originals has proven to be a competent partner to the still-strong The Vampire Diaries.
What The Originals has over The Vampire Diaries, though, is that it’s new. Yes, the Original vampires have been floating around since TVD season 3, but their removal from the stagnant Mystic Falls has been so integral to the success of their show. There are only so many times you can watch Bonnie obligatorily save the day. Now it’s Davina’s turn to become the overrelied upon witch bitch.
The Originals hasn’t been without its trials (the excision of Rebekah, one 3rd of the, you know, Originals, was a great loss), but it has been, essentially, The Vampire Diaries 2.0. Without all the Twilight-regurgitation teen romance.
And that’s all I really fucking want from a CW show.
Episodes reviewed in past year: Season 1 Episode 1 – Season 1 Episode 4 (discontinued)
Now onto the loser of the spin-off showdown. Ravenswood is, without an ominous shadow of a doubt, the worst show I’ve watched in the past year. It was a complete mess.
Worse than being simply a terrible show, its introduction also required support from Pretty Little Liars, which spent several episodes talking up the importance of Ravenswood (including the Halloween episode. Spoiling a PLL Halloween episode is totally not okay). And then you had all the supernatural wangst, which never, ever worked.
I know “piece of shit” is one my favourite insults, but Ravenswood is. A. Piece. Of. Shit. I kept watching until its conclusion at episode 10, and it only got worse and worse.
At least ABC Family agreed with me (and every single other person with a television in the world) and cancelled this fucking rubbish.
Let your weak leading characters, cheap effects, and washed-out colour palette stay buried. Please.
Episodes reviewed in past year: Season 1 Episode 8 – Season 2 Episode 10 (season finale)
Bates Motel really has the best formula worked out. It eschews the 22 episode marathon season that most of the shows I watch uses, thus staving off the possibility of filler setting in. But it’s still fun and enjoyable. Something Hannibal’s second season has forgotten.
What makes Bates Motel as special as it is, though, is Vera Farmiga. I hate to be this shallow, but honestly, if Norma Bates was played by a bad actress, I don’t think I’d even bother with this show. Freddie Highmore struggles along enough as it is, and Max Thieriot is cool, but Vera is where the heart, soul, humour, and sex appeal of Bates Motel is. It is nothing without her.
The bottom line is: I’m actually advocating for Norma and Norman to get together, because Vera Farmiga does such a perfect job at selling it.
This site is called I Just Hate Everything. And I just love Bates Motel.
Episodes reviewed in past year: Season 4 Episode 22 – Season 5 Episode 18
But love isn’t all you need. A lot of the time (and for me, all of the time), you need hate. And Glee, baby, is so very easy to hate. And I don’t do things that aren’t easy.
Glee is the only returning member of last year’s top 5 TV shows (PLL, TVD, and OUaT all fumbled. And poor Gossip Girl got cancelled), and there’s a reason: I mean it, it’s really fucking easy to hate. It’s almost like Fox intentionally makes Glee terrible.
What started out as the most exciting, promising show of 2009 has become a hollow vessel for making record sales. And the covers are mostly glaringly inferior.
At this point, the only reason to watch for most people is out of long-serving obligation. But for me, Glee is my favourite show to just launch all my bile and frustration at. I have to put the effort into occasionally appreciating other shows for what they have to offer. But Glee isn’t like that. Glee is just bad all the time.
And for that, I am grateful.