Friday, August 22, 2014

Must See TV: Emmy's 2014

With the Emmy's on the horizon, I've decided to talk about TV for a minute!

For the second straight year, I'll be giving you my list of best TV shows and a snippet telling you why I love each show. If you want, you can check out my list from last year here.

This year, my list has been expanded to a "top ten" list, while last year's list featured only my top five shows. With the quality of today's television series, I figured you would be interested in seeing what all I tuned in to, rather than just seeing five shows. The TV season runs from June to May, which means that this year's list includes TV shows released between June 2013 and May 2014... just so you know!

Here is my top five list from 2013:

1 - New Girl (Season 2 - FOX)
2 - The Newsroom (Season 1 - HBO)
3 - American Horror Story: Asylum (Season 2 - FX)
4 - The Celebrity Apprentice (Season 13 - NBC)
5 - The Office (Season 9 - NBC)

While reading this year's list, keep in mind that I am not listing these shows from a critical perspective, like I do in my movie best-list. Instead, this list simply consists of the shows that I enjoyed watching the most, over the past year. On the same note, there is no way that I could possibly watch every TV show that is made, meaning that this list is far from exhaustive. It's more of just an opportunity for you guys to see what I watch when I'm not at the theater.

Final note: I've put every TV show (of any kind) on the same playing field, which is much more fair than the current division of categories at the Emmy's, in case you wanted to know my opinion.

10. MasterChef Junior
(Season 1 - FOX)
Unfortunately, I'm not a big fan of reality TV, which you should be able to infer from the lack of any other reality show in my top 10. However, when reality TV is done right, it can be spectacular. Last year, The Celebrity Apprentice landed at the #4 spot on my list, and, had it aired this season, it might have found itself in the top 10, yet again. Thankfully, the super-fun show that was MasterChef Junior was there to pick up the slack. If you enjoy cooking shows (I LOVE them) and children (some of them are alright), you will have a blast with this show, which I believe only aired about 10 episodes. Upon completion, MasterChef Junior certainly left me wanting more, and I can't wait for season 2, this fall!

9. The Colbert Report
(Season 10 - Comedy Central)
I have long been a fan of Stephen Colbert and his crazy antics, and, as a moderate, I just love watching him and his writing staff brilliantly pick apart the flaws of both the left and right. Unfortunately, The Colbert Report will soon come to a close, but I am so pumped for Stephen and his crew to have the opportunity to move on up to CBS. There is no doubt that the last few months of The Colbert Report will be an absolute blast.

8. The Americans
(Season 2 - FX)
Season 1 of The Americans was a bit slow and repetitious, and, without the brilliant acting, who knows if I would have taken the time to watch season 2. But, boy, am I glad that I did! Not only did the show start the season with its most exciting episode ever, but the storyline continued to unfold into an awesome season of drama and suspense that I think almost anyone would enjoy. Although it's a hard time to cheer on the Russians, The Americans easily convinces me to do so.

7. The Writer's Room
(Season 2 - Sundance)
As someone who is continuously keeping up with both the television and film industries, I often find myself reading about TV shows and movies that I have never even seen. In the long run, I may be wasting my time, but, to be honest, I don't care, because I just love being in the know! For those of you who don't know, The Writer's Room, hosted by the hilarious Jim Rash, takes television writers and actors and allows them to talk a little about the process of creating the stories and characters that are found in our tube. If you've never had the chance to watch the show, I would greatly encourage you to do so, even if you only check out episodes that feature your favorite show. Of all the shows on this list, I don't know that there is another that left me wanting more quite like The Writer's Room, and that's saying something!

6. American Horror Story: Coven
(Season 3 - FX)
If I had made this list two years ago, American Horror Story (Murder House) would have likely found itself at the top of my list. Last year, Asylum moved AHS down to #3, and, this year, Coven brings AHS down to #6. However, the quality of American Horror Story has not gone down hill, AT ALL. I absolutely love the show! Every single episode! Instead, the shows slipping down the list can be attributed to both the newfound numbness to the insanity of AHS and the success of new TV shows, which you will certainly find as you move down this list. Don't worry... I will be tuning in for Freak Show, come October, and you should, too!

5. The Newsroom
(Season 2 - HBO)
Aaron Sorkin is a genius among geniuses, and, regardless of what many critics may say, The Newsroom is amazing. Unfortunately, season 2 wasn't quite as good as season 1, but I was absolutely hooked, regardless. Particularly, kudos are deserved by Sorkin, Jeff Daniels, and Sam Waterston (who was robbed of an Emmy nom, although no one is talking about it). All hail Aaron Sorkin!!!

4. The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon
(Season 1 - NBC)
Ever since I became hooked on Jimmy Fallon's Late Night, I was hoping that the day would come where the most likable man in late night television would be on before I went to sleep. However, I never expected that day to come this quickly. The build up to the launch of The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon was executed brilliantly by NBC, and, thus far, the first year of Jimmy's reign has been spot on. I can't wait to tell my children of the day I went to New York to see him on Late Night. Oh, the memories...

3. The Big Bang Theory
(Season 7 - CBS)
After a season 6 that I thought was the worst of the series, The Big Bang Theory rebounded brilliantly in 2013-2014 and is actually the only true comedy to make this list. With the return of Bob Newhart and a finale that brought out emotions that I have never felt for these particular characters, season 7 was absolutely perfect! As someone who started watching Big Bang before it was cool, I really love the fact that this genius show has become TV's number one comedy. But, nothing excites me more than seeing a great comedy be a great comedy, regardless of how many people are watching. Kudos to the Big Bang crew for sticking to what got them to their current level of success!

2. True Detective
(Season 1 - HBO)
As someone who doesn't care much for detective dramas, I was hesitant to check out True Detective, but thank God I did! Not only is True Detective the most brilliant cop show ever brought to TV, but it also caught me a bit off guard. While I did enjoy the first couple of episodes, I never anticipated to become as engulfed in the series as I was by the end of it all. With season 2 on the horizon, I can't wait to see what's in store for the new cast.

1. Orange is the New Black
(Season 1 - Netflix)
Where to start?!? Orange is the New Black had me hooked in the first 10 minutes or so, and I remained hooked for the entire 1st season. Not only does OITNB feature the best cast on television, but it is also one of the most uniquely dramatic and hilarious shows ever created. This show was created to destroy Emmy award categories, and I would not be surprised if we see a few big changes after this year's awards are handed out, considering how hard it is define current television in specific categories. Regardless, Orange is the New Black absolutely rocked my television world, this year. If you've yet to watch the show, go now! I'm sure that you will love it, even if you don't think that it's the best television show of the 2013-14 season!

As you might have noticed, only two of last year's Top 5 made it onto this year's list. However, The Office went off air and The Apprentice did not air this season. That only leaves New Girl, which topped last year's list. While it pains me to leave one of my favorite shows off of my list, season 3 of New Girl just didn't work, at all. Anyway... I'm hopeful that we will see New Girl return with great success this fall! Also, I just finished watching the first season of Silicon Valley, which was absolutely hilarious! I did not include it on my list, because I haven't really had time to digest it, but I could see it landing somewhere in the 6-10 range. Go check it out and see what you think!

Chime in with your comments, below, including suggestions for shows that I should check out (NOT The Walking Dead and NOT Game of Thrones). Also, as the new shows start up this fall, tell me what you'll be watching. I would love to know!

Finally... For entertaining bantering on Emmy night, be sure to follow me on Twitter @TheTan_Man. I promise to entertain!


  1. I love the love for Big Bang Theory! so many people say that show is stupid and bad but I just think they are bitter hipsters. The show is so funny and warm and Howard rocks :)

    1. Glad to hear your praise, as well! The show is absolutely great, and I agree that Howard rocks. Of course, the show hinges on Sheldon's humor, but few people realize just how important and funny Howard and Raj have become. If only we could get Simon Helberg some Emmy cred!