Ranking the ShowsThat I Watch – 2015 Edition: 46-43

4 Apr

A very real dramedy followed by three shows which depart from the realms of the real. Three of these four debuted last year.

Intro here and 58-55 here and 54-51 here and 50-47 here.

46. Togetherness – 2014: Not Eligible

Togetherness

One of the plague of sad-white people with pre-midlife crises shows running amok on TV, Togetherness actually pulled together to be a little bit better by the end than I thought it would be at the beginning. It’s hardly mandatory viewing, but the characters are drawn relatively well and feel somewhat realistic, and the feuds and conflicts feel plausible and unforced, which sounds like a low floor but really isn’t. Mark Duplass’s character is the worst part of the show, but he’s balanced by his best friend on the show, Alex, who is the best character. 

45. Mr. Robot – 2014: Not Eligible

Mr. RobotMr. Robot is a show I’ve expended many words about, written, and in person, and although I’m still not sure if I’ll watch it again this year, I’m glad I did. Few shows actually capture the internet television watching community every year, but Mr. Robot was one of them, and while I’m not a fan of many of the show’s creative choices, I do understand some of the appeal, and some of why the appeal now. If the two shows coming up next after Mr. Robot were classic high-floor low-ceiling affairs, Mr. Robot is the opposite. There was a lot going on, generally more of which I didn’t like than did, but it’s the type of show for which I at least have a level of appreciation for the craft of even if I disagree fundamentally which several of the decisions made. I probably liked the next two shows on this list better, but if someone I didn’t know asked me which season of television they should watch it should probably be this one.

44. Doctor Who – 2014: Not Eligible

Doctor Who

Doctor Who is by no means for everyone, and sometimes I’m not even sure it’s for me, but although I doubted myself while watching several seasons over the course of a year, in the end it was a worthwhile project. There’s a low ceiling; there are never any real stakes in Doctor Who, and whatever suspense there is is trying to figure out what the deus ex machina is going to be, not if there will be one. The character development is limited at best, but the show makes up for it by being relentless silly, casting strong choices as the Doctor, like current Doctor Peter Capaldi, and having at least once every few episodes smart, sci-fi homages and mashups that play well with common tropes even if the end results aren’t surprising. What I just wrote is really true about any season of Doctor Who more than merely the last, but that’s about what this show is.

43. Marvel’s Agent Carter – 2014: Not Eligible

Marvel's Agent Carter

Agent Carter isn’t great or relevatory (it sounds like I’m repeating similar words a lot, but that’s where we are on the list) and it fits in well most of the Marvel Cinematic Universe superhero oeuvre – it’s light on its feet, with a low ceiling and a high floor, featuring heroic tales of patriotic derring-do conducted by heroes who care about the greater good more than themselves, all balanced by some sense of humor to attempt to prevent it from being too mired in its own self-seriousness. What puts Carter slightly above the mean is the chemistry between the two leads, heroic Agent Carter (Hayley Atwell) who has been buried deep in mundane paperwork as a woman in an all-male workplace in the post-war 1940s, and Jarvis, Howard Stark’s butler, full of British charm and snobbery who, increasingly as the season goes on, wants to show he can do more than cook, clean, and aptly manage Stark’s many lady friends. The ‘40s make for a great setting, and the show doesn’t go light on the constant sexism towards Carter, which actually makes the setting feel more authentic and the eventual triumph greater.

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4 Responses to “Ranking the ShowsThat I Watch – 2015 Edition: 46-43”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Ranking the Shows That I Watch – 2015 Edition: 34-31 | Television, the Drug of the Nation - April 25, 2016

    […] here and 58-55 here and 54-51 here and 50-47 here and 46-43 here and 42-39 here and 38-35 […]

  2. Ranking the Shows That I Watch – 2015 Edition: 30-27 | Television, the Drug of the Nation - April 27, 2016

    […] here and 58-55 here and 54-51 here and 50-47 here and 46-43 here and 42-39 here and 38-35 here and 34-31 […]

  3. Ranking the Shows That I Watch – 2015 Edition: 26-23 | Television, the Drug of the Nation - May 17, 2016

    […] here and 58-55 here and 54-51 here and 50-47 here and 46-43 here and 42-39 here and 38-35 here and 34-31 here and 30-27 […]

  4. Ranking the Shows That I Watch – 2015 Edition: 22-19 | Television, the Drug of the Nation - May 20, 2016

    […] here and 58-55 here and 54-51 here and 50-47 here and 46-43 here and 42-39 here and 38-35 here and 34-31 here and 30-27 here and 26-23 […]

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