1. Best New TV Show: Orange is the New Black
This show, that isn't even on TV (it's a Netflix original series), had a lot of buzz back in the summer when I started binge-watching it. Now I can say I can't wait for season 2! While Piper is soppy, spoiled, and flaky, the rest of the cast is a diversity of complex, multifaceted characters. On the surface, every prison stereotype seems to be represented (the lesbians, the prison lesbian, the junkie, the former track star with so much promise), but OITNB flips those stereotypes on its head by showing the back-stories of the women, the history that brought them to their prison sentences. The show is very edgy and liberal (pro-LGBT and anti-Christian), but what you’ll enjoy is the rich character development.
2. Best old favorite that keeps getting better: The Voice
I’ve kept up with watching The Voice every season, but for a while it bored me. This season, with the original judges back (and goat-singer Shakira gone), it’s been better than ever!
3. Best Comeback season: Revenge
Revenge’s second season was a mess: I couldn’t follow the story lines, random characters kept popping up (Emily’s foster brother) and then going away, and too many people died (Amanda, Declan). Now in its third season, Revenge has definitely made a triumphant comeback. By paring down the story lines and focusing on the one that matters most--Emily’s search for revenge against the Grayson family and hidden identity—the show is back to its soapy, juicy glory days. And Victoria’s snooty put downs, sheath dresses, and lustrous hair never disappoint.
I had never seen this show before (so little time, so many TV shows), but started binge-watching it over Thanksgiving break on Netflix. Now I’m already on season 4 and totally hooked! If you haven’t seen it yet, the show’s nail-biting cliff-hangers and the characters’ descent into evil will have you addicted. You know what I'll be watching over Christmas break!
5. Best cult favorite: Scandal
I started watching this show in its first season (I’m a Shonda Rhimes fan), but didn’t start becoming addicted until it became such a cult favorite. Boosted by their social network following and the many twists and turns, this show is can’t-miss if you want to have anything to talk about at the water cooler on Friday.
What are your favorite TV shows of the year? Others I've seen mentioned, but haven't watched myself include American Horror Story, Walking Dead, The Good Wife, Mad Men, Game of Thrones, and House of Cards.
Have you seen any of these? And are they better than the ones on my list?