The list of great TV series just keeps getting bigger and bigger, and with each passing year we get yet more amazing entries into the world of television, as though there are some shows that disappoint, there are more than enough that entertain. But what series took centre stage, out trumping everything else?
This is the question that I presented myself, and after a good long though, I’ve came up with my TOP 10.
10. THE BLACK LIST
Just making it into the Top 10 is NBC‘s THE BLACKLIST, a crime drama centred around a high profile criminal named Raymond “Red” Reddington (James Spader). Bringing it’s first season to it’s conclusion during the start of the year, as well as launching it’s second, The Blacklist has proven to be an extremely clever show, giving wonderful self contained episodes, whilst also having an amazing overarch. It is however James Spader‘s performance as Red that really allows this show to excel, as though I’m sure the show would’ve succeeded without him, I doubt it would have been at quite the same level.
When it was first announced that Fox was working on a Batman centred series titled GOTHAM I wasn’t sure what to think. Having been a fan of Ed Brubaker and Greg Rucka‘s Gotham Central, I knew that a series centred around the GCPD had potential. Whether it lived up to this potential however was a completely different question. Having reached the mid-season interval of it’s first season, I can say that it’s been rather impressive, as though most remaining comic book TV shows surpass it, the unique look that the series gives us into Gotham City proves extremely striking.
Having amazed last year with it’s opening season, BANSHEE continues to be a must watch show from Cinemax. Continuing to centre around an ex-criminal who’s adopted the identity of incoming Banshee sheriff, Lucas Hood (Antony Starr), the second season takes a completely different path from the first. Initially focusing on the turmoil between Hood and dubious businessman, Kai Proctor (Ulrich Thomsen), and eventually returning to the overarch involving Ukrainian gangster, Rabbit (Ben Cross), the show continues to be as exciting as ever. The character development also impresses, with the suspense, and eventual cliffhanger having this fanboy excited for the third season (which starts in January).
7. PEAKY BLINDERS
Following on from an extraordinary first series, PEAKY BLINDERS once again showed us why it’s one of the best programs on British television. Moving the story forward two years, the second series shows how Tommy Shelby (Cillian Murphy) plans on expanding the Shelby gambling network, getting involved in a gang war between the Italians, lead by Darby Sabini (Noah Taylor), and the Jews, lead by Alfie Solomons (Tom Hardy). Despite ending on a slightly disappointing note, the phenomenal beginning to this second series, as well as the dramatic subplots made the show better than ever, with the action being explosive throughout.
Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss‘ modern take on Arthur Conan Doyle‘s classic sleuth has proven to be a worldwide sensation, with many considering SHERLOCK to be superior to the recent Robert Downey Jr. films. Despite not quite matching the extraordinary level of the first two series, the third continued to impress. The way that lead actor, Benedict Cumberbatch, shows the eccentric nature of Sherlock is as captivating as ever, with the chemistry between Cumberbatch and co-actor Martin Freeman (Dr. John Watson) allowing for some truly mesmerising moments. The scripts also give us yet more fabulous detective work, with the modern techniques of Sherlock being phenomenal as ever.
Easily one of the most underrated shows on television, JUSTIFIED once again amazed as it entered it’s penultimate season. Introducing a new set of bad guys for Raylan (Timothy Olyphant) to hunt down, the fifth season sees Dewey Crowe’s (Damon Herriman) cousins enter Harlan, with Darryl Jr. (Michael Rapaport) having plans on making it his home. Despite not quite living up to the outstanding fourth season, the show continued to excite and intrigue at every corner, with the urban western vibe making it one of the best crime dramas on American television. Unfortunately however the series is nearing its conclusion, as with its final season starting in January, it won’t be long until we’re getting out Justified fix through re-runs.
4. THE WALKING DEAD
Producing one of the best season premiere’s that I’ve seen in recent years, as well as it’s own personal best, THE WALKING DEAD quickly reminded us why it’s one of the best shows on television. The bitter battle of survival between Rick’s (Andrew Lincoln) group and the Terminans certainly gave an exciting start to the season, as though the first half of Season 5 dropped massively in quality following this, the show still gave some amazing twists to keep us occupied, with the mid-season finale being a major shock. In addition to this the show gave some brilliant hints towards it’s future, as bar the couple of brief appearances from Morgan (Lennie James), there was also a character that looked very much like the villainous Negan.
Bringing it’s second season to a fabulous conclusion, as well as kicking off it’s third, ARROW remained one of the top comic book series on television. Showcasing some brutal battles, and tactical fights, the show has been full of action, as whether it was the culminating struggle between Ollie (Stephen Amell) and Slade (Manu Bennett), or the threat of the League of Assassins, the Emerald Archer has most definitely had his hands full. The third season has also seen the introduction of some new characters, with former Superman Returns actor, Brandon Routh, stepping into the role of Ray Palmer, who’s better known to comic fans as the Atom. Despite this, the series has continued to shape its established cast, with each member remaining vital to the show.
2. DOCTOR WHO
There was one question on the thoughts of many Whovians going into 2014, and that was just how Peter Capaldi would shape up compared to previous incarnations of the iconic Doctor. Despite some of the earlier episodes being rather average, with one in particular driving this viewer to boredom, the eighth series of DOCTOR WHO was largely successful, with the comical timing of Capaldi, and mixed tone of his character being amazing in every single episode. The chemistry between this new Doctor and his companion, Clara Oswald (Jenna Coleman), also proved captivating, as though Clara was a brilliant companion during the latter part of Matt Smith‘s tenure, it paled in comparison to that of Coleman and Capaldi.
1. THE FLASH
I have to admit, choosing an order for the last few entries was rather hard, and even more so when it came to picking the #1 spot. There was however one series that shocked me beyond compare, with the opening half of THE FLASH‘s first series surpassing my expectations tenfold. Having a quirky, fresh look, the series takes the world of heroes that Arrow introduced, and took it to new levels. The polar opposite tone to Arrow also makes it a breath of fresh air for comic fans, with Grant Gustin‘s performance as Barry Allen surpassing the exceptional performance he gave during Arrow Season 2. In addition to this, the two shows crossed over in two epic episodes, with “Flash vs. Arrow” and “The Brave and the Bold” being the highlight of both shows so far.
So there you have it! That’s what I thought was the Top 10 TV Series of 2014. But what did you my fellow fanboys and fangirls think? Do you agree with these choices? Or should something else have made it onto this list?
Sound off with your thoughts and opinions in the comments section below!
EDITORS NOTE: GAME OF THRONES most likely would have made it onto this list, and probably would’ve ranked high. I personally however have still to watch Season 4 (due to only recently getting channel it airs on), so felt it unfair to add it to this list.