I am very thankful that Aaron said that I could submit three television shows that I think are the best of 2015 because having to pair it down to one would be like choosing which one of my children I like best. Well, if I had kids, that is.
2015 has turned out to be a pivotal year for comic book shows. Both Marvel and DC have been making strides in creating illuminating television series’ based on favorite characters that have been around for many years. Now, having to pick the best of the best for 2015 from the limited number of shows I watch was both a hard yet exceedingly easy task as I feel that three particular shows stand out above the rest.
Arrow (The CW)
I started watching Arrow after a persistent friend kept asking me if I had. His argument was that I would love the character of Felicity Smoak because, in his words, “she’s a kick *** nerd who holds her own against two brawny guys.” Well, if you know me, I’m a sucker for books, shows, and movies where a female lead is underestimated by her peers and then is able to shake up the world around her. And Felicity does that on a daily basis for Team Arrow and Oliver in particular.
However, what began as a “well, I’ll see if he’s right,” quickly turned into all night binges to catch up with the shows through Netflix and OnDemand so I could be on even footing when the show returned from their mid-season hiatus for the holidays.
I was engrossed. Actually, I take that back; I am still engrossed with this show.
Season 4, unlike that of previous seasons, does boast a lighter tone while maintaining faithfulness to the darkness of the comic storylines and previous seasons. There’s still a major villain plotline (however, the show still retains a bit of that “monster of the week” feel as new villains emerge in Star City at the same time), and there’s still the angsty question of who is in that frickin’ grave from the end of episode 1. But the fact that Oliver isn’t a brooding mess, Felicity has stopped crying for this season, and the addition of extra banter and jokes between major and minor characters alike give this show a much needed lightness that will give them a season 5 renewal, an influx of viewers, and allow them to keep their current prime time slot.
I don’t know what is going to happen with the rest of this season, and believe me, I wish I did as the anxiety is killing me, but I see great things for the future of Arrow if the writers and producers continue upon the path they are traveling.
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (ABC)
Sticking with my comic theme for a bit, I’m going to extoll many wondrous things that is Agents of SHIELD for a moment. First of all it’s a continuation of Phil Coulson’s adventures with SHIELD. Second, it features not one, not two, but four strong female characters that little girls everywhere can look up to as heroes. Thirdly, it satiates my need for a continuation of events between Marvel movies. And fourth, it is the series that got me into watching comic book shows in the first place.
Of course, if you’ve read any of my previous posts on the subject, Agents of SHIELD has been my favorite television show for the last three years. And thanks to the writers, viewers are able to stay in constant contact with the Earth-199999* universe and see the ongoing battle between SHIELD and Hydra.
Season 3, unlike that of previous seasons, follows closely with Skye and her quest to locate and assist new Inhumans as they adjust to becoming something more, something possibly scarier. However, there’s something more sinister happening to the Inhumans before SHIELD can get to them. And, of course, Hydra is involved.
This season is grittier, dirtier, and angrier than those previously. The world has changed, the populous is in the know that they’re not alone in the universe, and sometimes they need to rely on Secret Warriors to make sure they survive; I can’t wait to see where the rest of this season will go.
[*Earth-199999 is the particular Marvel Universe in which the movies and television shows take place.]
Jessica Jones (Netflix)
Okay, I may have lied to you because I’m going to stay on the comic book based television shows for my last entry. Wait, can you even consider Jessica Jones a television show since it’s a Netflix original? Well, I guess some watched it on their TVs if they have adapters like Roku or Apple TV, but it doesn’t really matter, does it?
I wish I could say that I’d been anxiously awaiting this show since I first found out it was going to be a show, but then I’d be lying. No, I had asked some comic book knowledgeable friends of mine about the character and series, and I was quickly turned off of watching the show. However, when I found out that David Tennant was cast as the villain, I knew I was going to watch it anyway; I love David Tennant.
When it finally came out on November 20, I sat enraptured as Jessica’s story of brainwashing and private eye-ing unfurled episode after episode. Before I knew it, fifteen hours had gone by, and my mind was exploding with conflicting emotions and thoughts.
First of all, David Tennant as Kilgrave is scary as crap. I don’t know if it’s the fact that someone so charming on the outside can be a complete psychopath on the inside, or the fact that I’ve known people who have gotten so wrapped up into their significant others that they could be brainwashed by them. It’s a scary thought that someone may have total control over your actions and mannerisms and you think it’s your own will. However, my long-time love of David Tennant quickly overshadowed his portrayal because I have a soft spot for that brilliant Scottish man in just about every role he’s ever been in. My mind warred with my heart; and it looks like my heart is winning.
Secondly, I love the grittiness of this series and how it’s definitely not for youngsters or the faint of heart. It doesn’t have the same rawness that I felt Daredevil had, but Jessica Jones certainly isn’t for youngsters or the faint-of-heart either: rape, drugs, alcoholism, and depression play a huge part to who Jessica is now because of her former relationship with the mind controlling villain. Definitely not something I’d want anyone under 16 to watch.
For something I expected wouldn’t turn out to be great, I was pleasantly surprised at how Jessica Jones turned out, and I cannot wait until Netflix gives us season two and the companion storylines of Luke Cage and the Defenders.
Never before have TV have viewers had the chance to experience so many great television shows. TV has surpassed movies as a higher quality form of entertainment, and companies have figured out that you can tell a story of 12 or 15 hours of programming instead of trying to cram it into an hour and a half or two hours on the big screen. Could you imagine what the Lord of the Rings Trilogy could have been with one book taking place over the course of one or two seasons?
Some of the biggest winners in this new battle of the networks? The comic book fans.
Every channel is trying to find their own niche with superheroes or some part of the comic industry. To most everyone’s liking it is succeeding in a big way. That brings me to my Top 3 TV shows of 2015. (I have not watched all of Jessica Jones, which people say is better than Daredevil, hence why it’s not on the list.)
The first season of Gotham was good, but it had several flaws. Toward the end of the that season it started to figure out what it was trying to do, and then Season 2 happened. The first half of the second season has been insanely good. They listened to the fans and are giving them what they were clamoring for: The Rise of the Villains.
They are pulling characters from all over the Batman mythos, giving them unique backstories and making it work. Not only have the villains’ back stories been superb, but watching young Bruce Wayne develop the skills that will make him Batman is intriguing. For those who watched last season and disagree, it would not have made my list without first half of Season 2.
Fear the Walking Dead (AMC)
Many people complained that this show moved to slow, but for me they built it the way it was supposed to be. The first three episodes happen over the course of two days, and we go from seeing the first cases of zombies to total collapse of society. That is one of the things that I enjoyed about the show, it was able to convey how fast things could actually happen if a major disaster struck. Over the course of a couple of weeks the government would become ineffective.
They continue to keep you on the edge of your seat and at the same time they do not rush anything. They have added ideas that The Walking Dead fans have always thought about, but now we get to see. We used to sit around and say, “I wonder what the zombie apocalypse is like in California? Or I wonder how it started?” At the end of the season they added a huge game changer: a boat. Now we get to see how various cities and ports are during the outbreak.
Or maybe we get Pirates.
Great things to look forward to.
Netflix and Marvel can do no wrong.
There is not anything on cable television that can touch what they are doing together. I cannot get enough of Daredevil. I know people may have had their doubts before, but Charlie Cox is Daredevil and he is the guardian devil from the comics.
The show may be about Matt Murdock becoming Daredevil, but it is so much more. One of the main drawing points is Vincent D’Onofrio’s Wilson Fisk. He is outstanding in his role. He shows these glimpses of compassion and love, and then we see some horrific violence from him. The action scenes are outstanding with many being shot with one take. It is not just a show about Daredevil, it draws in so many other influences ranging from The Sopranos, Law and Order, and The Wire. It encapsulates everything a TV viewer wants.
What are you favorite shows of 2015? Don’t just sit there and keep theme a secret! Leave your favorites in the comments below!