Cocaine, Conspiracies, And Cable Comedies: 10 Of The Best Things About Television In 2014

12.15.14 5 years ago 30 Comments
A few preliminary notes:

  • I watch a lot of television. So much television. Too much television, honestly. It can’t be healthy. And even with this gluttonous diet of content, I still missed so many shows this year. Transparent? I’ve heard it’s wonderful. But it just didn’t happen. Not yet, at least. We all have to make our own choices and stick and move as we see fit in this crazy world, and that means that me, you, and everyone else missed some great stuff this year.
  • The point of that extended disclaimer is to remind you that this list only contains moments and thing from shows I saw during the calendar year. I can’t be expected to remember something I never learned. That’s not how memory works. (Boom, science.) So if there’s a moment or thing you think should be added, please, by all means, chime in below.
  • Spoilerz ahead, obviously.

Okay, let’s get started.

The Whole True Detective Thing

Man, did we ever get into True Detective. The theories, the think pieces, the various mash-ups and parodies, the whole nine. It’s a pretty safe bet that the Internet devoted more words and time to this show in 2014 than any other show on television. I doubt it’s even close, actually. I chipped into the madness by drawing the above picture in MS Paint. This represents the most work I put into anything all year long. We all got a little carried away.

See you in Season 2 next year.

Cocaine!

Perhaps the biggest takeaway from television 2014 is that everyone is on cocaine now. Review did a segment on it, Bono’s daughter injected it into Clive Owen’s penis on The Knick, and hell, Archer basically devoted an entire season to it. There was so much cocaine on TV in 2014 that we were able to do a roundup of the best cocaine moments. It was essentially 1984 out here all over again. Someone get Don Johnson a Ferrari, a pair of pastel pants, and an ornery pet alligator. I smell reboot.

But the best cocaine moment of the year, hands down, happened on TNT’s update of Dallas, when Judith Light’s character did a giant line at the rodeo. I could provide you with context, but, I mean, why? What good would it do? Judith Light did cocaine at the rodeo. The show didn’t survive the year, but that GIF will live forever.

Whatever the Hell 24 Was Doing

Jack Bauer and company returned for an abbreviated season of 24 this year as well. At one point, in an attempt to prevent a terrorist attack in London, Jack had the President of the United States of America walk into an empty, fully-lit Wembley Stadium — Why was an empty stadium fully lit, you ask? Hey, shut up, guy — to get blown up by a drone piloted by Catelyn Stark from Game of Thrones, who would later die when Jack threw her out a window rather than bring her in for questioning.

BUT.

It was all a ruse and President Heller didn’t actually get blown up. Obviously! Because 24!

California Pete Campbell

The first half of Mad Men‘s split final season was a bi-coastal affair, with Don and Roger and Peggy holding down the fort in Manhattan while characters like Pete and Megan zipped off to Los Angeles to further their respective careers. The Megan thing was a big deal because it kind of ended up being the dagger in her already struggling marriage to Don, but I have no interest in discussing that any further right now because would you look at Pete Campbell up there? Have you ever seen someone go from zero to California faster than that in your entire life? He would do that, too. Pete Campbell strikes me as the kind of guy who would go to Paris for a week and then come back and make a big deal about how he can’t eat American croissants anymore because they’re horribly inferior due to the differences in the minerals in the water over here and ugggggggggghhhhhhh.

There’s still time for him to get eaten by a bear. Let me have this.

Officer Molly Solverson and Her Roving Conspiracy Wall

The degree of difficulty on Fargo was incredibly high. Taking a beloved movie from a critically-acclaimed team of directors and turning it into a cable series, without the involvement of the original directors or the crutch of familiar characters, yeah… this show had no business being as good as it was. Heck, it ended up being our favorite show of the whole year. Talk about a pleasant surprise.

And while there was certainly a lot to love about it, including but not limited to Billy Bob Thornton’s performance as Lorne Malvo, I think my favorite part had to be Officer Molly Solverson and her evolving wall of conspiracies as she put the case together. It started out on the window of her hospital room drawn in marker, then moved to her home, then to the station, picking up files and pictures and red squiggly lines connecting them all along the way. I like to picture her taking it down piece-by-piece and re-doing it every time she needed to move it. I mean, I suppose a Powerpoint would have been more efficient, but it lacks the pizzazz and lunacy of a giant wall-sized hard copy. Solverson today, Solverson forever.

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