Friday, 15 January 2016

Top 5 TV Shows I watched in 2015

A strong year for television I thought, though perhaps because of a few excellent shows that stood out from the bulk of average stuff. There were some strong contenders that didn't make the list though; Parks & Rec (Series 4), Catastrophe (Series 1 & 2) and This Is England '90 being the closest.

5. The Bridge (Series 3) - The third series of my favourite show from 2012 & 2014 was just as good as the previous ones but trails in 5th place because I'd not finished watching it at time of writing (and was up against some stiff competition). I was worried the loss of Kim Bodnia would have an impact but if anything Saga's new partner, played by Thure Lindhardt, has made this series even better.

4. Count Arthur Strong (Series 2) - I suspect this is an acquired taste but I think, at it's best, it was the funniest show on telly all year. Two episodes in particular elevated this above top comedy contenders such as the final series of Peep Show and Sharon Horgan & Rob Delaney's Catastrophe. I watched the episode where Arthur is mistaken for a flying instructor 3 or 4 times and it got funnier every time. Similarly the episode when Arthur is almost conned by a dodgy plumber, which turns into a pastiche of the Stephen King film Misery was just as good.

3. Spiral (Series 5) - The 5th series of this French detective drama was my top show for most of the year but got pipped at the post by two excellent shows. I think this is the first series I've caught on initial airing but it felt like I really know the characters well now and worked all the better for that familiarity. Laure is still the star though and coping with being pregnant didn't slow her down a great deal.

2. Detectorists (Series 2) - I'd enjoyed the first series of Mackenzie Crook's subtle sitcom but it took a while to work its charm. This second series seemed to be great from the off. Maybe the benefit of knowing the characters and understanding the pace and style but this was a huge improvement to my mind with a wonderfully feel good conclusion. The Christmas Special was excellent too.

1. Fargo (Series 2) - Similarly to Detectorists, the second series of Fargo outstripped the first by some distance. The influence of the Coen Brother's is clear though this series has developed a life of it's own. The casting is great too. Big stars like Ted Danson and Kirsten Dunce in less typical roles and rising stars like Nick Offerman and Cristin Milioti putting in fantastic turns. The coup de grace is the way they link the story to series 1. I may have just been a little slow but it caught me completely by the surprise. Magnificent telly, I hope they'll find a way to make a third series.


No comments: