The annual best of the year series continues with a look at my "second ten" for the year in television. Much like with last year's second ten, almost all of these shows would be top ten worthy in a lesser year of quality programming, but given how many outlets we now get "small screen content" from, it seems unlikely we'll ever get another slow year. But hey, no complaining from me! (Just ignore any time I tweet about how hard it is to keep up with everything currently airing, like the two or three episodes of "Scandal" and "How to Get Away with Murder" currently sitting on my DVR which will be lucky to be watched even before they both return at the end of January).
To the list!
#20. King of the Nerds
major miscalculations in its season finale last spring, but the unrelenting self-aware fun and goofiness of this show make me so, so happy Curtis Armstrong and his team will get a third try in a few weeks' time.
#19. The Fosters
Most importantly, this is a show I would want my children to be watching. It oozes positivity in a way that never feels like a treacly after school special, but rather an overdue outlet for a lot of demographics that don’t currently have a voice on television (juvenile delinquents, children in foster care, blended families, and teens questioning their sexuality to name just a few). Among the themes it consistently emphasizes are that differences should be embraced because they make people special and offer opportunities for growth and learning; family is created by love, not just by blood; and no matter how many times a person is kicked down, there is always a hand to help you back up if we concede that trying to live for ourselves alone is a fool’s errand. I’m just so, so happy this is something that exists.
#17. The Chair
#15. Inside Amy Schumer
#13. The Leftovers
good and bad, would be adapting the film for (what was at the time) a miniseries. Instead, FX's "Fargo," now renewed for a second season, was all at once a unique and interesting "true crime" story that felt like a respectful tribute to the film and a tonal adaptation that didn't feel like just a copycat. And I can't tell you how much I love the choice for the second season to focus on Molly's father during his own time on the force in the 1970s (speaking of Molly, if "Fargo" had done nothing else than introduce us to Alison Tolman, the year's best new acting find, I would have loved the shit out of it).
#10.5. Too Many Cooks
The Atlantic's David Sims - we all went crazy for the absurd, relentless strangeness of "Too Many Cooks" for a week in early November, but can you imagine how terrifying it would be to randomly stumble across that at 4:00am, or how cool it would have been if the network didn't make it available anywhere online and we all had to stay up and stumble upon it ourselves after a friend told us about it? Especially considering anyone still watching Adult Swim that late is probably stoned out of their mind? In my opinion, to not recognize "Too Many Cooks" somewhere in my year end series would have been a rather large gap in discussing the small screen's achievements in 2014.
Next up: *the* correct top 10 shows of the year. Completely and totally un-quibble-able.