So, at the end of every calendar year, I make my annual list of Book Superlatives and Movie Superlatives. But the thing is, I watch TV too, like, a lot of TV. So, I decided to try something new this summer: My Geek Blasphemy’s first TV Superlatives.
Unfortunately, I only came to this decision a few months ago, so I’ve been wracking my brain trying to remember shit that happened on shows I watched, like, eight months ago. Because the TV Superlatives are going to work a little differently than the my other lists, as TV is a total pain in the ass medium that you judge season by season — and those seasons might begin in fall, winter, spring, or summer, and may or may not be contained in one calendar year.
So. Shows qualifying for the 2014-2015 TV Superlatives will have to have premiered somewhere between June 2014 and June 2015. This will cover all normal fall and winter TV shows. As far as tricky spring/summer shows go, well, Game of Thrones Season 4 will not qualify because it premiered in April of 2014, but Season 5 will, because it aired in April of 2015, even though it didn’t end until after June. Meanwhile Season 4 of Teen Wolf will qualify, but not the currently airing Season 5 or the previous Season 3B.
Everybody got it? Excellent. Let’s begin.
DISCLAIMER: Some awards are going to spoil you for minor shit if you haven’t watched the qualifying season yet. I will have a generic SPOILER SECTION for big time plot developments or twists, but smaller moments may be revealed earlier than that. You have officially been warned.
FAVORITE SEASON PREMIERE
“No Sanctuary” – The Walking Dead & “Last F**kable Day” – Inside Amy Schumer
It seems like such a long time ago now that “No Sanctuary” aired, but it was a hell of a way to open up the season, violent and tense with some long-awaited reunions and a few
fine young cannibals added to the mix. Mostly, though, it was a showcase for just how unbelievably badass Carol had become. My god, you guys. Carol is a-maz-ing.
But I couldn’t ignore “Last F**kable Day,” either, even though I never expected to award this particular superlative to a sketch show. After all, sketch shows are, by nature, not really interested in setting up any kind of season arc — and yet this episode was so fantastically perfect. I loved every sketch in it, and I’d be particularly hard-pressed to pick between the titular Last Fuckable Day skit and the Football Town Nights “no raping” skit. I’ve enjoyed Inside Amy Schumer before, but this season has been streets ahead.
Runner Up: “Pilot” (iZombie); “City of Heroes (The Flash); “Shadows” (Agents of SHIELD); “Into the Ring,” (Daredevil)
BEST FEMALE CHARACTER
Agent Peggy Carter – Agent Carter
Here’s the thing: I’ve only recently begun to appreciate how much better TV is (than, say, movies) when it comes to awesome female characters. Don’t get me wrong, there are some horrendous ones on television too — and boy, will we be discussing those — but I came up with a lot, a lot, of nominees for this award. In fact, there are so many fantastic women on TV right now that I actually have more than ten runner-ups, and even more characters could have been added.
But Peggy Carter was something pretty special this year. She’s smart, ultra-competent, entirely badass — but she also has, like, emotions? She’s allowed to cry and make reasonable decisions, all in the same episode, which really shouldn’t be that much of a high bar, but often is in Hollywood. The lost love of her life is important but isn’t driving her every action. She doesn’t need men to constantly save her. She puts men in their place, even ones who are trying to help her — because those same men are unintentionally undermining her. She’s a wonderful female lead, and I’m so happy I get to watch her again next season.
Runners Up: Carol (The Walking Dead); Ava (Justified); Kimmy (The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt); Helena (Orphan Black); Siobhan (Orphan Black); Joan (Elementary); Raven (The 100); Abby (The 100); Clarke (The 100); Skye (Agents of SHIELD); Jemma (Agents of SHIELD); Malia (Teen Wolf); Root (Person of Interest); Margaery (Game of Thrones)
WORST FEMALE CHARACTER
Barbara – Gotham
I actually thought Iris from The Flash had this in the bag, but then I remembered Katrina from Sleepy Hollow. Then I thought Katrina had this in the bag, until I remembered Barbara. Oh, Barbara.
I don’t know if Barbara ever got any better the way Iris did (still too little, too late in my damn opinion) because I gave up on Gotham about 3/4 of the way through. (Also, Sleepy Hollow.) But from what I’ve read about the end of Season 1, I sincerely doubt it. And honestly, Barbara’s one of the worst female characters I think I’ve seen on TV in a long, long time. Nothing about her makes sense. Her motivations change for no reason from one episode to the next. She has almost nothing to contribute to the ongoing plot, except to need rescue, often because she did something idiotic. She is entirely unreasonable at least 80% of the time, and melodramatic turns in her story appear out of nowhere, like, oh okay, now she’s a drug addict, sure?
In a show with some serious flaws, Barbara Gordon is easily the worst thing about Gotham.
Runners Up: Iris (The Flash); Katrina (Sleepy Hollow)
MOST UNINTENTIONALLY HILARIOUS MOMENT
All the Car Accidents – The Blacklist
So, I caught up on The Blacklist this year thanks to Netflix and Amazon, and I can tell you it’s one of those shows that you have to enjoy by reveling in just how utterly ridiculous it is. Unfortunately, and especially in the back half of second season, I’ve found The Blacklist’s inconsistencies more annoying than fun — but one thing will always make me happy about this show, and that’s the sheer number of car accidents the agents get into. (Also, kidnappings. These sometimes happen after the car accidents.)
That sounds mean, I know. And I’ve been in a car accident. They’re scary as shit, and I wouldn’t wish one on anyone, but see, the thing about injuries in The Blacklist is that accidents/attacks that should incapacitate you for months are usually dealt with in a week. Admittedly, that’s nothing new for Hollywood — although in Season One, Ressler makes this speedy recovery process a fucking art form — but the car accidents are particularly hysterical in The Blacklist because there are just so MANY of them. I think Season 2 has at least three or four episodes in a row where one or two of our main characters are in car accidents — and not like minor fender benders, but Super Big Ones. And almost every episode they’re pretty much fine after the commercial break.
I think someone eventually noticed because in the back half of second season, you know, when things started to suck? They really eased off both the car accidents and kidnappings, and I miss them. I want them to come home.
Runners Up: Palm Vaccinations (Arrow); Climbing Up The Wall With No Gloves (Arrow); Derek Swooping Into the Hospital, Lady Love In Arms (Teen Wolf)
Raising the White Walker Army – Game of Thrones
Dude. This was just . . . eerie. Silent and utterly creeptastic. I loved it.
Runners Up: White Walker Kids (Game of Thrones); Introduction of the Mute (Teen Wolf)
BEST FIGHT SCENE
The Hallway Scene – “Cut Room” – Daredevil
Guys, there were so many awesome fight scenes this year. Really, there were just a ton to choose from, and Agents of SHIELD, in particular, made a very strong showing in this category, but — nope, not this year. There’s just no beating the notorious Hallway Scene from Daredevil.
Bad luck, you guys. You’re all still winners to me.
Runners Up: Flash vs Arrow, “Flash vs Arrow,” (The Flash); Skye against Hydra Agents, “The Dirty Half-Dozen,” (Agents of SHIELD); Bobbi vs Ward, “SOS, Part 1,” (Agents of SHIELD); Melinda vs Agent 33, “Face My Enemy” (Agents of SHIELD); Matt vs Ninja, “Speak of the Devil,” (Daredevil)
MOST FABULOUS FASHION
Peggy Carter’s Red Hat – Agent Carter
Because it’s just instantly iconic. I would like this hat now, please.
Runners Up: Goth Felicity (Arrow); Root’s Wedding Dress (Person of Interest); Raylan’s New Hat (Justified); Kimmy’s Yellow Jacket and Pink Pants (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt); Ravi’s Hitchcock Suit (iZombie)
FAVORITE NEW CHARACTER (ON A PRE-EXISTING SHOW)
Lance Hunter (Nick Blood) – Agents of SHIELD
Look, I just like this guy, okay? He’s pretty and he’s got a nice accent and he tends to say most of the things that I say while watching the show. Sometimes, that’s really all I want out of a character.
Runners Up: Cal (Agents of SHIELD); Ray (Arrow); Choo-Choo (Justified); Aaron (The Walking Dead); Kitty (Elementary)
Ravi (Rahul Kohli) – iZombie & Jarvis (James D’Arcy) – Agent Carter
I’m pretty much in love with Ravi. He’s funny, a geek, and desperately attractive. He’s also a pretty great friend to Liv from the very beginning, when he has a wonderfully nonchalant reaction to the fact that his coworker’s a zombie. It’s probably not easy being friends with someone whose personality constantly shifts with every brain she eats, not to mention those occasional and unfortunate times she tries to eat you. (Okay, that only happened once, but let’s be honest with ourselves, shall we? Once is probably enough.) But it’s clear that Ravi is a better person than I am because he forgives all that, puts himself in danger trying to find a zombie cure, and is otherwise just generally awesome.
But Jarvis is pretty awesome, too, for he is loyal, charming, and in possession of a wit dryer than most champagnes. Seriously, he masters the polite British snark like no other and is a wonderful complement to Peggy Carter’s determination and competence. All of James D’Arcy and Hayley Atwell’s scenes together are simply magic. I look forward to seeing more of them in Season Two.
Runner Up: Cisco (The Flash)
MOST IMPROVED CHARACTER:
Cisco (Carlos Valdes) – The Flash
This is sort of a weird award to give to a character in a first season show, but I really didn’t like Cisco when The Flash first premiered. His humor fell flat to me, forced and awkward, and I hated how so many of his jokes seemed to be centered around ogling the female characters. I didn’t particularly buy him as a scientist, either, and would have been extremely happy if he’d just wandered away one day and never came back.
By the end of the season, though, Cisco had somehow become my favorite character.
It’s hard to figure out exactly when this happened. Gradually, he went from making me smile once or twice to laughing all the time. The jokes that had seriously annoyed me all but disappeared. He hit a couple of nice emotional moments I wasn’t expecting, and then suddenly he was in serious mortal peril, and I was like, “No, NOT CISCO!”
Of course, this kind of character reversal is probably best when it’s intentionally done (for instance, Jin on the first season of Lost), but the turn-around does greatly amuse me. Of course, Cisco’s awesomeness only means that my least favorite characters on The Flash are, once again, the women.
Runners Up: Laurel (Arrow); Raylan (Justified)
DOWNWARD SPIRAL CHARACTER
Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards) – Arrow
This just isn’t okay. Felicity is the best. I love Felicity. I love her with every bit of my geeky heart — but Season Three of Arrow did its very best to turn me against my favorite character. Once they established Felicity as Oliver’s primary love interest, the writers apparently had no idea how to handle her because they decided to ignore everything good they’d done with her character for the past two seasons and turn her into this irrational, whiny stereotype of a woman whose concerns almost entirely revolved around her love life. For Christ’s sake, she was jealous when Oliver was being forced to marry Nyssa.
Yeah, honey. That’s a love story you want to watch out for, your man and his ex-girlfriend’s grieving lesbian lover. I’d be concerned too.
Runner Up: Lizzie (The Blacklist); Finn (The 100); Rick (The Walking Dead)
Wesley (Toby Leonard Moore) – Daredevil
Many people praised Daredevil’s chief antagonist, Wilson Fisk, but I was never watching Fisk scenes for Fisk himself. I was watching for Wesley, Fisk’s put-together, incredibly loyal, quietly snarky right-hand man. I love that guy. I could watch him raise a contemptuous eyebrow at some slow-witted lackey all day.
You’re the best, Wesley.
Runner Ups: Tim (Justified); Jenkins (The Librarians); Monty (The 100)
Ra’s al Ghul (Matt Nable) – Arrow
I’ll admit, Ra’s has never done much for me as a Batman villain — but I found Matt Nable’s performance particularly underwhelming. Like, he wasn’t intimidating or interesting in really any way. (Not to mention, it might have been nice to have seen a non-Caucasian actor in the part for once.) And considering that Ra’s rarely did anything that actually made sense — Yes, Oliver Queen must be my heir because . . . because . . . prophecy, of course! — yeah, it was pretty hard to take him seriously.
Runners Up: Berlin (The Blacklist); Coady (Orphan Black)
Matt & Foggy (Charlie Cox and Elden Henson) – Daredevil
Okay, these two have some stuff to work out by the end of the season. But seriously, I heart the hell out of these guys. I’ve seen “Nelson vs Murdock” an embarrassing number of times, and while I like a lot of things about the show, Foggy and Matt’s bromance is pretty much the backbone keeping it all together. It is, at the very least, what I read Daredevil fanfiction for.
Runners Up: Raylan & Boyd (Justified); Ravi & Major (iZombie)
Nyssa & Laurel (Katrina Law and Katie Cassidy) – Arrow
Hollywood doesn’t spend nearly enough time on girl friendships. Laurel and Nyssa don’t even have that much screen time — but pairing them up instantly made each character far more interesting. I kind of adored their scene in the diner, and I can see a lot of potential in their dynamic, potential that’s almost certain to be ignored, assuming the season finale is anything to go off of.
Runners Up: Peggy & Angie (Agent Carter); Clarke & Raven (The 100)
BEST PLATONIC RELATIONSHIP
Sherlock & Joan (Jonny Lee Miller and Lucy Liu) – Elementary; Finch & Root (Michael Emerson & Amy Acker) – Person of Interest
One of the things I love most about Elementary is how Joan is on pretty equal footing with Sherlock. Three seasons in, they’ve really moved past the mentor/protege relationship and can now talk to each other as equals, which I think is great. They’re friends who depend on one another, annoy one another, and help one another, all without their scenes having the slightest bit of romantic subtext. I love this about them.
But I love Finch and Root, too, whose friendship grows stronger this season, particularly after events which can’t be named in the Non-Spoiler Section. They’re a lot of fun to watch on screen. I particularly adore Root’s violent desperation to protect Finch in “Skip,” and Finch’s reaction, both in the moment and at the end of the episode. Their relationship has changed drastically since they first encountered one another in Season One, and I buy every second of it.
Runners Up: Carol & Daryl (The Walking Dead); Ravi & Liv (iZombie)
FAVORITE INDIVIDUAL SONG
“Girl, You Don’t Need Makeup” – Inside Amy Schumer
I think I’ll let some of the lyrics speak for me on this one:
“Just a little mascara and you’ll make yourself look female.”
“See that’s on me. What’s on you is hopefully more makeup.”
“These are just metaphors, girl, but they are about your face.”
Runners Up: “Run Me Out” – Zola Jesus (Elementary); “Welcome to the Machine” – Pink Floyd (Person of Interest); “You’ll Never Leave Harlan Alive” – Darrell Scott (Justified); “Togetherness” – Josh Sasse, Karen David, and Luke Youngblood (Galavant); “Secret Mission” – Josh Sasse and Timothy Omundson (Galavant); “Stuck” – Maria Doyle Kennedy (Orphan Black)
BEST SINGLE EPISODE GUEST SPOT
Bruce Campbell – The Librarians
I think we can all acknowledge that the casting of Bruce Campbell as a personality-shifting Kris Kringle who talks about himself in the third person was a particularly genius move. He’s pretty awesome in this episode. This exchange alone:
“Ho ho — ”
“You have to let Santa get to the third ho. Otherwise, it sticks in Santa’s head.”
Love. This was a pretty joyful episode all-around, and I’d be totally okay if Bruce Campbell wanted to drop by The Librarians for more holiday shenanigans in the future.
Runners Up: Lucy Lawless (Agents of SHIELD); Taraji P. Henson (Person of Interest); John Stamos (Galavant); Josh Charles (Inside Amy Schumer); Tina Fey (Inside Amy Schumer); Patricia Arquette (Inside Amy Schumer); Julia Louis-Dreyfuss (Inside Amy Schumer); Paul Giamatti (Inside Amy Schumer); John Hawkes (Inside Amy Schumer)
BEST MULTI-EPISODE GUEST SPOT
Bradley James – iZombie & Kyle MacLachlan – Agents of SHIELD
Bradley James only had about a handful of episodes to make me fall in love with Lowell, but I absolutely did. He is charming as hell, which — considering where his storyline goes — is something that I think is pretty vital. I was really only half-considering checking out Lifetime’s Omen spinoff TV series to mock the hell out of it; now, I HAVE to watch it because Bradley James is playing the Antichrist, and I feel like I need to see that. (Oh, wait, the show’s now going to be on A&E? Damn, that’s, like, 10% less mockable already.)
But Kyle MacLachlan is his own kind of charming on Agents of SHIELD, in that he’s fucking crazy and hysterical. I’m not sure if anyone else could have quite pulled off Cal’s perfect manic pathos, but MacLachlan is brilliant at it and easily gives one of the strongest performance in Agents of SHIELD’s second season.
Runner Ups: Enrico Colantoni (Person of Interest); Ophelia Lovibond (Elementary)
FAVORITE SUPERHERO OR SUPERHERO-ADJACENT SHOW
Daredevil & Agent Carter
I know. The ties keep coming. Wait till I get to Favorite New Show, where I really just give up.
But yeah. I couldn’t pick between these two. Daredevil was so well-made: the acting was great, the choreography was excellent, the fight scenes were brilliant, etc. etc. But it also hit a lot of my fan kinks hard: angst, quality bromances, and so, so much H/C. (Although, admittedly, there’s more H than C so far.) I also really liked the two women in this show: while I’ll admit to being a a little concerned about how they’ll handle Karen in the future, I really liked Deborah Ann Woll’s performance and I was super excited to see that she had her own cause from the get-go that had nothing to do with romancing Matt or uncovering the truth about Daredevil. And Claire, well. Claire’s just awesome.
But if we’re talking about awesome female characters . . . well, we already did that superlative, didn’t we? Peggy Carter is just the best. This show handles the bullshit that women often go through so well, and while the show is set in the 1940’s, a lot of it still feels relevant today. It’s also just fun — good action scenes, zippy banter, enjoyable characters, etc. And it’s giving Enver Gjokaj something to do, too, which is awesome cause I just like that guy.
MOST IMPROVED SHOW
No contest here. Justified was an amazing show, but Season Five fell down hard, so much so that I was actually dreading watching the final season. (Well. That was one of the reasons, anyway.) But thankfully, Season Six was back in fighting form, casual and quippy and offbeat-cowboy-dark. I really haven’t seen a show that had a voice quite like Justified’s, so I was really happy they were able to pull out a solid conclusion to tie off the series. Season Six couldn’t fix the entire mess that Season Five made, but it was pretty strong, regardless, and gave me one of my favorite series finales ever.
LEAST IMPROVED SHOW
Last season, Sleepy Hollow was the surprise hit, the diverse, fast-paced, totally ridiculous guilty pleasure about two people who were chosen to fend off the apocalypse, particularly this one big, headless dude who liked to decapitate people. This season seemed to be mostly about making Katrina even more useless than she was before and ignoring both Frank and Jenny to make room for the generic love interest that no one wanted. I love Abby something fierce, but she wasn’t enough to keep me going with this train wreck, and I eventually gave up on the show mid-season.
Runners Up: Arrow, The Blacklist
FAVORITE NEW SHOW
Daredevil, iZombie, Agent Carter, The Librarians, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver
Seriously, I just gave up.
I’ve already talked about why I liked Daredevil and Agent Carter, so I’m not going to waste any more time with that here. As for anything else:
The Librarians is just everything I hoped it would be — silly and fun with characters I care about, amusing dialogue, terrible minotaurs, Arthurian mythology, and cranky John Larroquette. It’s this perfect mashup of Leverage and Warehouse 13 and just the ridiculous adventure crack I wanted at the time.
iZombie, meanwhile, replaces the Veronica Mars shaped hole I’ve had in my heart for, oh, about ten years. It’s spunky and sarcastic and hilarious, and I like almost every character in it. Ravi, of course, remains my favorite, but Liz is a great lead and Major a surprisingly awesome ex-boyfriend. Blaine, of course, is one of my favorite TV villains of the year, if not ever. I didn’t think Sark could be topped. I was wrong. Thank you, David Anders, for coming back to us (and in a considerably stronger show than Alias ever was).
Finally, Last Week Tonight is the only non-fiction show of the list, but I’m going to be real blasphemous here: I’ve looked forward to it on Sundays nights more than Game of Thrones OR The Walking Dead. It’s hysterical, it’s poignant, it’s constantly informing me of shit that I generally don’t know anything about, and damn well deserves an Emmy this year. For the Mother’s Day special on Paid Family Leave, if nothing else.
Runner Up: The Flash
MOST ANTICIPATED TV SHOW RETURN
Because there’s nothing like finishing a full season of a show on Netflix and going, “NOOOO! I need MOOOOOORE!”
Also, apparently, Tristan Thorn is going to fight Shane Walsh? Obviously, I need to see this.
That’s it for the generic non-spoiler section. If you’re feeling daring, though, there are more awards below!
. . . last chance to look away, cause we’re getting to the Big Death Stuff pretty much immediately.
Everybody Eats Chris – The Walking Dead
I was a little sad that Noah died, mostly because we just didn’t get all that much time with him. But guys, this might have been the most brutally violent death I’ve ever seen on television, not just for all the guts and gore but for the outright horror on Glenn’s face as he’s forced to watch only a foot away, on the other side of the glass. This one, man. This one stuck with me.
Thank you, The Walking Dead, for legitimizing my unease with revolving doors. Those things are TERRIBLE.
Runners Up: Tripp (Agents of SHIELD); Cisco (The Flash); Everyone on Mt. Weather (The 100)
BIGGEST ‘JIMMY, NOOOOOO!’ MOMENT
Shaw is Supposedly Killed – Person of Interest
Okay, so, this one’s weird because Shaw didn’t actually die. But I really, really thought she had, and honestly? I was bawling. I was bawling, you fuckers. That scene was so good. That whole episode was so good.
Runners Up: Wesley (Daredevil); Cisco (The Flash); Lowell (iZombie); Elias (Person of Interest); Shireen (Game of Thrones)
Root & Shaw – Person of Interest
Because oh my god, FINALLY. Also, DAMN YOU, CREATORS.
Runner Up: Baird & Stone (The Librarians); Clarke & Lexa (The 100)
Reverse Flash/Dr. Harrison Wells/Eobard Thawne (Tom Cavanagh) – The Flash
This was pretty hard, you guys. There were definitely some strong contenders this year . . . but there was just something electric about watching Tom Cavanagh go from Heartfelt-Yet-Kind-of-Ominous Mentor to Full-On Supervillain. His performance was brilliant, easily one of the best things The Flash had going for it, and his scenes with Carlos Valdes, in particular, were just magnetic.
Runners Up: Blaine (iZombie); Cal (Agents of SHIELD); Dottie (Agent Carter); Dulaque (The Librarians)
The Flash decides to go back in time to save his mom (and everyone around him is cool with this), even though no one knows how that could fuck over the timeline and, oh yeah, a black hole might EAT THE WORLD – The Flash
Seriously, guys. This is a supervillain’s plan. A sympathetic supervillain, to be sure, but come on: if Mr. Freeze was suggesting something like this to save his dead mermaid wife, would anyone be on board with it? Would anyone be like, “Ultimately, dude, it’s your decision?” Bullshit. There’s no fucking way.
Runners Up: Laurel refusing to tell Lance that Sara’s dead (Arrow); Liv refusing to tell Major about zombies, even after he checks himself into a mental hospital (iZombie); Oliver stupidly going to rescue Malcolm so Thea’s not responsible for killing her own terrible father (Arrow); Flash seeking Captain Cold’s help for no reason at all (The Flash)
WORST WTF MOMENT
The Magic Tea – Teen Wolf
Look, Teen Wolf is regularly ridiculous. Hell, that’s half the reason I enjoy it. But you can’t just discover your super important antidote by having one guy remember drinking this werewolf’s smelly tea as a child and another guy suddenly realizing that the same smelly tea had awesome healing properties. Come on, guys. This is just offensively lazy writing. Get your shit together.
Runners Up: The 70’s computers (Teen Wolf); Rick admits that he wouldn’t have helped any other abused housewife, just the one he’s attracted to — and Jessie’s totally chill with that (The Walking Dead)
BEST WTF MOMENT
Derek Turns Into a Teenager – Teen Wolf
Because even though I still wish it had stronger plot relevancy — holy shit, this was hysterical. I was giggling for hours. THIS, Teen Wolf. THIS is the kind of ridiculousness I want from you.
Runners Up: The shirtless Headless Horseman (Sleepy Hollow); Allison & Donnie’s cash dance (Orphan Black); Jemma gets eaten by the alien sculpture thing (Agents of SHIELD); Logan gets Kimmy a dolphin (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt)
BEST BOO-YAH MOMENT
Skye shoots Ward and leaves him for dead – Agents of SHIELD
This was a pretty competitive field with a ton of great moments to choose from — but as much as I enjoy Ward, Skye shooting him was just great for me on, like, a spiritual level. I know a ton of people despise Skye and yeah, she wasn’t my favorite in first season, either, but this season I think she’s grown a lot and I genuinely enjoy her watching her scenes now. This was one of my favorite moments in the whole second season.
Runners Up: Bob informs the cannibals that they’re eating tainted meat (The Walking Dead); Carol Threatens Pete (The Walking Dead); Carol blows up the propane tank (The Walking Dead); Root kills Martine (Person of Interest); Jemma tricks Bobbi (Agents of SHIELD); Scott Takes Down Violet (Teen Wolf); Peggy tells Jarvis off (Agent Carter); Clarke tells Abby she’s in charge (The 100);
Stannis – Game of Thrones
I’ve never particularly liked Stannis, but I’ve never considered him a villain, either. Still, when you string up your own daughter (who was probably the sweetest girl in all of Westeros) and burn her alive as a sacrifice . . . well that, sir, that makes you the chiefest asshat of all asshats.
Runner Up: Nicholas (The Walking Dead)
WORST RAPE SCENE/SUBPLOT
Ramsay Rapes Sansa – Game of Thrones
Okay, so this is my thing: I’m not categorically against rape scenes. Admittedly, I’m never thinking to myself, “Gosh, I like this, but it’d really be a lot better if there was just a little more raping.” That doesn’t happen. Still, I’ve seen rape scenes in movies and television that haven’t struck me as offensive or gratuitous.
The thing about Game of Thrones is that, at this point, I feel like they’re doing it for shock value, and that — that’s something I’m not okay with. And it’s interesting, too, because I have different problems with Season Four’s Controversial Rape Scene and Season Five’s Controversial Rape Scene. Jaime raping Cersei mostly bothered me because one, as it took place on Joffrey’s coffin, it felt especially crafted just for ratings, and two, the creators denying that it was a rape scene actually made everything just that much grosser.
Season Five’s Controversial Rape, on the other hand, bothered me partially because it was so unnecessary and partially because Sansa has been, time and again, this tragically victimized character. She finally starts showing signs of taking back power at the end of Season Four — and this, this is what you do with her? The perpetual victimization of Sansa Stark is maddening, as is the knowledge that Game of Thrones is probably going to win this award next year too, just because they know they can.
Thea Killed Sara Under the Influence of Bullshit Possession Drugs – Arrow
Like Sansa, Thea is another problematic character whose agency gets taken away from her nearly every time she manages to find some. It’s especially annoying here when Thea turns out to have killed Sara — not because she’s the one who did it (that wasn’t so hard to guess), but because the writers decided to come up with these bullshit possession drugs that no one’s ever heard of, just so that Thea could be a victim yet again, needing to be saved.
A much more interesting story would have gone like this: instead of giving his daughter Murder Roofies, Malcolm Merlyn simply tricks Thea into killing Sara. Thea doesn’t know that Sara’s the Black Canary (I’m pretty sure), so if he convinced her that BC was out to hurt them (or kill Oliver or something), then Thea could have done something terrible of her own free will, and we could still understand why she did it. And then she’d give up Merlyn to the League, and no one would try to stop her because, sweet Jesus, that STILL drives me nuts.
The only good thing about this storyline is that Laurel instantly forgives Thea, as Thea wasn’t actually at fault. When Laurel is the only good thing about a storyline, you know your season has gone to a dark and terrible place.
Runner Up: Lizzie’s holding Tom hostage (The Blacklist)
Jemma is Imaginary – Agents of SHIELD
Mostly because this twist is incredibly hard to pull off. It’s done far, far too often, and as a general rule, I wish people would stop doing it — but here in Agents of SHIELD’s season premiere it works really, really well. I only caught it about two seconds before they told me, which is pretty impressive, and it makes sense for Fitz, who’s struggling with a traumatic brain injury and needs someone who can understand him, someone who used to finish his sentences.
Pretty much everything about Fitz’s arc was well done this year.
Runners Up: Jiaying was the true villain all along (Agents of SHIELD); Diggle and Felicity help Roy fake his own death (Arrow)
FAVORITE SEASON FINALE
“The Promise” – Justified
I was not anticipating a happy end to this show. All year, I’ve been trying to steel myself for the bloody deaths of characters that I’ve loved for years, most likely Boyd, possibly Raylan, maybe Ava. I figured “You Will Never Leave Harlan Alive” was about as prophetic of a song as you could get.
But Justified didn’t go the predictable route (even Wynn lives!), and I loved the show all the more for it. I did have one or two small problems with this episode (namely Loretta not getting a bigger moment to make up for her repetitive victimization this season), but “The Promise” was pretty awesome. It had a great shoot-out scene with an incredibly well-executed fake-out death. (Seriously, guys. I thought Raylan had bought the farm for reals.) There was the usual awesome dialogue, a change in hats, the revelation that Raylan and Winona will never make it as a couple, and — of course — that last scene between Raylan and Boyd.
“We dug coal together.” Oh. Oh, my heart. So much love for this scene.
Runners Up: “A Controlled Descent” (Elementary); “S.O.S., Part 1 and 2” (Agents of SHIELD); “Conquer” (The Walking Dead)
FAVORITE INDIVIDUAL EPISODE
“If-Then-Else” – Person of Interest
Because, seriously. This episode was just amazing. The various simulations were at turns both heartbreaking and hilarious. Shaw busting in to save the day and her last stand against Samaritan’s people — so brutally awesome. The kiss. THE KISS. This whole episode was like a 45-minute action movie, and I loved it, even if it made me ugly cry. Quite possibly my favorite Person of Interest episode ever and certainly in the top five.
Runners Up: “What They Become” (Agents of SHIELD); “Cut Room” (Daredevil); “Nelson vs Murdock” (Daredevil); “Flash vs Arrow” (The Flash); “The Devil You Know” (Person of Interest); “And Santa’s Midnight Run” (The Librarians); “And the City of Lights” (The Librarians); “The Iron Ceiling” (Agent Carter); “The Frenemy of my Enemy” (Agents of SHIELD); “Out of Time” (The Flash); “Conquer” (The Walking Dead); “No Sanctuary” (The Walking Dead); “The Promise” (Justified); “The Eternity Injection” (Elementary); “Last F**kable Day” (Inside Amy Schumer); “12 Angry Men Inside Amy Schumer” (Inside Amy Schumer)
Finally, here’s a boatload of awesome scenes/moments that didn’t quite make it into any categories above:
Oliver reveals he’s the Arrow to Thea – Arrow
Thea tells Laurel she killed Sara – Arrow
The Machine talks to Finch – Person of Interest
Root plans to kill Finch’s girlfriend, and Finch drinks poison to prevent it – Person of Interest
Moriarty kills Joan’s nemesis – Elementary
Sherlock explains his drip-drip-drip of existence angst – Elementary
Kitty says goodbye to Sherlock – Elementary
Fitz tells Skye that there’s nothing wrong with being different – Agents of SHIELD
Fitz sees Ward for the first time since Season 1 – Agents of SHIELD
Jemma kills Bakshi – Agents of SHIELD
Everybody still hates Ward – Agents of SHIELD
Mac helps Fitz save the day – Agents of SHIELD
Stone tells Cassandra that he can’t trust her – The Librarians
Dulaque briefly wears Santa’s hat – The Librarians
Stiles stand-offs with the PSAT Teacher Assassin – Teen Wolf
Reverse Flash tells Cisco he’s a meta-human – The Flash
Oliver shoots Barry with an arrow – The Flash
Daeneyrs talks with Tyrion – Game of Thrones
The entire battle against the White Walkers – Game of Thrones
Felix emotionally tortures Rachel – Orphan Black
Hurt Matt on Claire’s Couch – Daredevil
Clarke, Bellamy, and Monty kill everyone at Mount Weather – The 100
Clarke kills Finn – The 100
Carol’s Cookies – The Walking Dead
That’s it for the 2014-2015 TV season, everybody. Hope you all enjoyed.
6 thoughts on “The 2014-2015 TV Superlatives”
I agree with so, so much of this. Primarily because you give love to THE 100. I’m sort of obsessed with that show.
Also, Nyssa & Laurel! I hope they bring that back. I loved every one of those scenes. Even if Nyssa’s actress has the worst accent ever.
Mek and I had heard good things about The 100, so we finally checked it out. I’m really liking it so far. Started out a little slow for me (I hated almost everyone in that first episode, especially Octavia), but it’s grown a lot, and they’ve pulled off some big, crazy shit. Plus, there are a ton of women in power, which is pretty cool. I’d planned to write a review of the first season, actually, but before I could we’d already watched the second season and I just never got around to it.
Next season should have so much more Monty. This is my opinion. Monty is the best.
Nyssa’s accent doesn’t bother me as much (not surprisingly), but yeah, it’s not great. I do hope they have more scenes together, though.
I haven’t seen much of The Blacklist, but the endless car crashes (and sometimes kidnappings) do sound kind of hilarious. I’m imagining the cast developing this Pavlovian negative response towards driving cars, although alas, that probably did not happen in the actual show.
SPOILERS for Daredevil and Arrow below.
I think for me, Worst Plan might have to be Jack Murdoch refusing to take a fall so his son will be proud of him – even knowing that it will likely get him killed. And placing a huge bet on himself so Matt will be provided for.
Jack. ignoring the fact that you might lose anyway – and thus lose all your savings with that bet – you know what your kid needs more than to hear the crowd cheer for you? NOT TO BE A BLOODY ORPHAN, YOU FUCKWIT. An orphan with a recently acquired disability he needs help adjusting to, at that.
I had no sympathy at all. I felt like it was meant to be this big noble act, but as far as I’m concerned, Jack basically committed suicide because he didn’t want Matt to think he was a loser.
Although Oliver going to rescue Malcolm Merlyn to spare Thea guilt would be a close second. She’d basically just solved all their problems for them, and not only did he undo it, but even if he succeeded he would only attract the League’s wrath (or aggressive recruitment strategies, as it turned out) yet again, which would be dangerous for him, Team Arrow, Thea, the entire city… It’s nice that he’s trying so hard to be a good brother, but he could’ve just tried being emotionally supportive instead. Thea’s feelings can’t trump everyone’s safety.
Sadly, the Pavlovian response to cars hasn’t happened yet . . . but it needs to. Desperately.
As far as Jack Murdoch’s plan — yeah, I agree it’s dumb, although I don’t think it bothers me quite as much as you. It’s a very stereotypical macho honor plan, I’ll give you that. I always got the impression that, while knowing it was a big risk, Jack did at least intend to TRY and survive, although it wouldn’t have hurt to see a little more on how exactly he was planned to accomplish that. It’s such a quintessential boxing story, though — a guy is told to throw a fight and chooses not to, no matter the consequences. Then again, a lot of those stories don’t come with recently blind children, either. So . .. I have some sympathy, but it’s minimal. I have considerably more sympathy for Matt and his holy shit guilt issues.
Still, I can’t quite agree that Jack’s plan is worse than Oliver saving Malcolm Merlyn — because ohmygod so much RAGE. The only, ONLY, reason that didn’t win for Worst Plan was because a blackhole eating the world wasn’t actually a possible consequence, and even then, I considered it, for basically all the reasons you just said. Ollie, sometimes you’re the worst.
On second thought, I probably wasn’t going by *Worst* Plans so much as Plans Which Pissed Me Off The Most. Because you’re right, it is pretty hard to beat a possibly world-destroying plan (when it’s to save a single person, anyway) in terms of terribleness. But that didn’t piss me off as much as the Arrow or Daredevil plans, probably because Barry’s reasons were at least understandable. Selfish, but understandable. And then at least every other cast member was calling Oliver out on his plan’s terribleness, and he eventually admitted that yeah, he kinda fucked that one up because Ra’s got to him.
I think what really infuriated me about Jack’s plan, as opposed to the other fighters in these kinds of stories, isn’t just Matt’s existence – it’s that he was supposedly doing it *for* Matt. If he just cared more about his big dumb suicidal honour than his kid, that’d be some pretty selfish parenting, but okay. But the idea that it was more important for Matt to be proud of him than to still have a parent was pure bullshit – even if he was hoping they’d be able to abscond with the money before he got his ass shot.
My fury only increased when we found out Matt had ended up in an orphanage, not with his mother – or whoever that was Jack left a voicemail message for. Apparently Jack didn’t get confirmation on whether or not she’d take Matt in before going out and getting himself killed.
Actually, wait, I forgot about Wilson Fisk’s plan, which was also pretty terrible. It was certainly the most WTF plan, because seriously, I have no idea why he even thought that was the solution to all of Hell’s Kitchen’s problems. Maybe he came up with it shortly after The Battle Of New York, when the city really did need a lot of construction done, and just kind of stubbornly held onto it even after most of of the repairs were already handled? Or was there just a metric fuckton of property damage offscreen somewhere?
I get that. It still doesn’t bother me quite as much as you, but it’s a pretty terrible plan, especially since you’re right: there was no follow-through. One voicemail on a woman’s phone and that’s it? That’s all you’re going to do to ensure your son’s future living situation, Jack? Yeah, you’re kind of an asshole. (In the future, there should be a scene where Matt tearfully confesses his guilt over his father’s death, and Foggy’s like man, that sucks, I’m so sorry, but dude, your dad? Kind of the worst.)
The more that I think about it, it’s not really that Barry decides to go through with the plan that bothers me. It’s his mom, he’s being selfish, that’s all understandable. Heroic, possibly not, but understandable. It’s everyone around him going, “Yeah, no, it’s totally your decision.” That just kills me dead.