2015 was an amazing year for television. We have more options than every. This order is not based on which is best but instead grouped according to other factors.
- Jessica Jones
These 2 shows weren’t truly a surprise because they were on my most anticipated list for the year but what I was presented with exceeded my expectation. So far superhero television shows definitely showed that they were based on comic books. These new shows brought a sense of realism we hadn’t seen. They were very different from one another but you could tell they were from the same universe. Daredevil has what I consider the best fight scene of the year. The end of episode 2 includes a fight scene (see below) that is so cerebral and gritty you have to be amazed. Those with an eye for direction will notice it is actually a single tracking shot with no cuts. Jessica Jones takes the realism in another direction. As Marvel’s first super powered stand alone female I am not surprised they tacked big topics. Anyone familiar with the Purple Man & the Alias comic, know how
- Wet Hot American Summer
- Master of None
- Inside Amy Schumer
OK I think of myself as a sophisticated individual but I like to get turnt from time to time. These three shows were really all about that. What is interesting is that the first two shows came from Netflix. The first, Wet Hot American Summer, was ridiculous in concept. 14 years after the original cult classic film, the entire cast returned to play younger versions of their teenage selves, though they were all already in their upper 20’s during the individual film. That’s right, 40 year olds playing 15 year olds. Though they were all virtually unknowns at the time, they are some of the powerhouses in comedy today.
The next show, Master of None came out of nowhere. It’s amazing how these shows, of such quality, show without any notice. This show was modern, raw and so much fun. It was basically Aziz Ansari personified. I would say if you like his comedy work, then you would love this show. The same goes if you aren’t a fan of his work. There are small things like Ansari having his real life parents play his on-screen parents. It’s evident that they have ZERO acting ability and they are adorable for it.
I was a huge fan of the Chapelle show. Now I understand how white women must have felt watching his show. I might feel uncomfortable watching this show around. That doesn’t stop me from laughing so loud watching this at home. Schumer blew up this year & even had one of my favorite comedies. If you like sketch comedy, this is a much.
Jacked Up Youth
- Mr Robot
- The 100
I’ve got to let my nerd flag hang high on this one. These were two great shows. I will admit I’m cheating on this one but that is in part because of television’s antiquated schedule. The way television defines their season no longer makes sense. The 100 aired half of season 2 in 2014 & the other half in 2015. This is a show that is so targeted at the young adult segment but I love it. It is true sci fi. I am a sucker for shows that make major shifts midstream and it works. It you like sci fi & action, this is a winner. Mr. Robot is an anomaly. They had one of the strongest pilots in recent history. It’s a cable network show that is only 10 episodes so it is designed for binging. The artist in me fell in love with the way this show was shot. It just had a look and feel that was very cinematic. This show is very gritty and dark. They try many things that are not often seen on television.
- Empire (Season 1)
These two shows ran black twitter in 2015. As a cord cutter I don’t usually watch TV live. Because of Empire you had to watch it live or you would be in spoiler-ville. The show brought the streets to TV and made the informed fall in love with my future ex-wife, Taraji P Henson (don’t tell my current wife). I think the strongest thing the show had going for itself is that it was a mid-season premier. Based on the season 2 ratings the networks didn’t learn anything from their success. Not only was this one of Fox’s highest rated shows in years, it is one of the only shows to grow its viewers EVERY week.
Now Power is a different beast. It is in its second season but most people just found out about it. I think it owes a lot of credit to the aforementioned Empire. The two are very similar. They revolve around entertainment superstars (One in music and one in nightclubs) who got their start at through the drug game. Both are targeted at the African-American community. Power is much more realistic and not as focused on the music as Empire. Something that Power has going for it is that it is on a premium cable network. This gives it freedom with its language, violence and nudity. In all honesty, Power is the better of the two shows.
Wholesome Family Fun
- black – ish
In the year that we saw Bill Cosby’s legacy crumble, we also got one of the best family shows about a family of color in years. This one was not based on a celebrity’s real life but is completely fiction. Anthony Anderson & Tracee Ellis Ross are amazing in this show. I like many others, was really concerned about the title of the show when I first heard about it. Little did I know, it makes perfect sense given the premise of the show. The sad thing is that this is the only show on my list that I am comfortable watching with my family.
In the comments, let me know what your favorite shows were for 2015.