Wednesday, June 10, 2015

How Is My 2015 TV Watching So Far

Just like last year, I decided to once again rank the TV shows that I’ve watched midway through this year.  This list is exclusively on live-action TV series, so don’t expect any animated series to be in it.  The list is arranged from best to least.

The Flash

From being the number eight in my list for last year’s best shows, its inaugural season’s strong second-half propelled it to the top of my favorites (as of now).  Harrison Wells a.k.a. Eobard Thawne a.k.a. Reverse Flash has been one of the most complex, multi-layered, fascinating villains ever in fiction; Gorilla Grodd was miraculously adapted into live action in a manner that didn’t look cheap; it maintained a strong connection with its parent show Arrow, and significantly contributed in expanding the DC TV universe; and, most importantly, I grew to like all of the characters beyond Grant Gustin’s Barry Allen, Tom Cavanagh’s Harrison Wells, and Jesse L. Martin’s Detective West (I used to like only these three).  This show still succumbs to dumb plot holes, but these are easily forgiven for being continually fun and exciting.


In my opinion, it was only with this show that Marvel was able to take their first real step in challenging DC’s TV dominanceCLICK HERE for more of my thoughts on Daredevil.

Orphan Black

Orphan Black remains to be an extremely intriguing, fascinating, and smart series; and Tatiana Maslany continues to delight in portraying the different LEDA clones.  However, I’m a bit bummed that the CASTOR clones are taking some screentime away from Tatiana Maslany’s characters.  I think I liked it more when the narrative solely revolves around the lives of the LEDA clones – again, Tatiana Maslanay’s incredible display of versatility in bringing to life different characters and giving them distinctive personalities is the greatest thing about this show in the first place.  Ari Mellen isn’t a bad actor, but the CASTOR clones are just like different shades of the same character – there is no opportunity for Allen to play characters that are unique from each other (or he’s incapable of it).  Nonetheless, this is still the same show that I fell in love with last year, and it’s still pretty much near perfection. 


Its spin-off, The Flash, has surpassed Arrow already, but I’ll always love this show for being the closest thing to a Batman live-action TV series we can have right now.  Arrow boasts great fight scenes, gritty storytelling, and interesting characters – especially the awesome Felicity Smoak.


I’m not familiar with the comics this series is based on, but if the writing is anywhere near the quality of this series, then it’s probably terrific.  This new series has this particular charm, wit, and relatability that gives the show a Veronica Mars-like tone, which is no wonder since Rob Thomas, creator of Veronica Mars, developed this show.  The small screen is full of crime procedural/mystery shows already, but I find iZombie’s approach to the genre – along with its own brand of zombie mythology – fresh and fun.  I also appreciate how its scenes start like a comic panel then transitions into the opening shot of the scene.

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

I love this show, but I have these high expectations that hasn’t been met yet.  I’m not sure if it’s fair, but I really want my expectation to match the actual.  The current S.H.I.E.L.D. comic book series – which was somewhat based on the TV series – has a better premise and tells better stories.  At the very least, I hope the TV series can match the appeal of the comic book series.  But all that said, it was only somewhere in the second season that I finally get to like Skye, and that has to be a big deal considering how I disliked her during the first season.


It’s saddening that this series is cancelled (its low ratings can’t bring justice to its provided budget).  Matt Ryan killed as John Constantine, and though the story is limited and tame compared to its source material, it was still very great.  I’m going to miss this show.  If only Constantine can make a deal with or con the First into taking Gotham instead of Constantine.

The Blacklist

Though season 2 has its good share of thrills and intrigue, it isn’t as thrilling and intriguing as the first season.  In its first season, there were a lot of stuff happening every episode, but amidst the fast pace, it felt that the series has a clear direction on where it’s trying to go, narratively speaking.  But there’s a lack of that in the second season.  However, the drop in the quality of its storytelling is minimal, and it has still been a rewarding show to follow.


This is currently the longest running ongoing TV series that I’m following and enjoying – and it’s still not yet over.  The finale of season 7 actually felt like a nice wrap up of the series already.  That’s why I was surprised that a season 8 is still coming.  So I hope that this new season will really be able to bring something new and awesome to the series.   I would really hate to see this show become terrible and empty.  I would have preferred for it to end in season 7 – ending in a good position – than suffering from a purposeless, cash-grab new season.  So, keeping my fingers crossed.  Please be good, season 8.

Agent Carter

I liked it, but it didn’t make me go crazy for it.  It merely felt like an expanded Marvel One-Shot short.  CLICK HERE for more of my thoughts on Agent Carter.

12 Monkeys

I thought that this series is going to be bad, but I found it surprisingly enjoyable.  CLICK HERE for more of my thoughts on 12 Monkeys.

The Big Bang Theory

In my opinion, the previous seasons (which I marathoned last year) are funnier than the recent season.  Nonetheless, getting through a 20-minute episode of The Big Bang Theory is never a chore but always a fun time.


In an attempt to duplicate my experience with I Hear Your Voice, I picked up Pinocchio late last year.  Though it has the same writer and lead actor as I Hear Your Voice, Pinocchio isn’t as good.  Still, it’s entertaining enough to make me watch every episode until its finale early this year.


This show continues to fall further down my TV list.  It just can’t match the cleverness of its first season (which made it my favorite TV show back in 2013).  Now, it’s just like another generic crime procedural that has characters that only happen to have the same names with the characters from Sherlock Holmes literature.  I’m still going to watch the episodes of its next season, but not as regularly as before.


The pilot leaked.  I didn’t like it.  Still, I’m going to give this show a chance to prove itself by watching a couple of episodes when it officially starts later this year.  CLICK HERE for more of my thoughts on Supergirl.

Sleepy Hollow

In its first season, this show used to be ridiculous but in a good, entertaining way.  But in season 2, the drop of quality was great.  It became this convoluted, boring mess.  It regained footing in its ending episodes, but by then, it was too late, I no longer have a fondness for it.  A season 3 is coming, and there’s always the chance that it can get better and be as great as before again.  That would be nice, if ever.

So 16 shows in the pool so far, but new series can be picked up later this year, and some of the shows I’m following haven’t even run their respective seasons yet this 2015 – Defiance season 3, True Detective season 2 (coming later this month), Doctor Who series 9, and the Sherlock Christmas special (the show I’m looking forward to the most this year).  The rankings are subject to change, of course, depending on how the second half of the year will turn out for these shows.  Nonetheless, this can serve as a glimpse on how my picks for top 10 TV shows of 2015 will eventually look like.

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