As the year draws to a close, we look back at the best TV of 2015.
First broadcast on TV in September, the BBC One Drama Doctor Foster had the entire nation gripping their seats in fearful anticipation week after week, not knowing what was going to happen next. As intensely emotional and evocative thrillers go, Doctor Foster is by far one of the best I have ever seen. Driven by an outstanding performance by Suranne Jones as the Doctor herself, the evolution of her story after she discovers that her husband has been having an affair is rendered so powerfully and yet so sensitively that you become completely wrapped up in the isolation of her position as a wife, a mother, and a colleague. If you haven’t watched the series already – you need to. Amazing.
Pretty Little Liars
For me, the best show of 2015 was the penultimate series of Pretty Little Liars! Viewers finally got to find out who ‘A’ was after five seasons of build up. The show had twists and turns, and even though many viewers were disappointed with the reveal, we did finally get what we had been waiting for. Although there is one more series in early 2016, this show was, on the whole, brought to a close in 2015 which is what made it just so great!
Even in its ninth series, Doctor Who still managed to impress, and this latest series seems to be one of the best yet, with Peter Capaldi proving what a talented actor he is and how well he is suited in the role as the Doctor. For fans of past series and newcomers alike, this is a show definitely worth watching.
You, Me and the Apocalypse
An unlikely choice, but one I think well deserving of best television show of the year of the year is Sky 1’s You, Me and the Apocalypse. The show focuses on a group of ordinary people who are brought together in a series of unusual circumstances which result in them gathering in a bunker underneath the ordinary English town of Slough watching the end of the world on a TV. As the last episode of the ten-part series aired on the start of December, if you haven’t watched this yet, it is well worth a binge watch. I think what makes this show so successful is how they bring such a vast array of completely different characters together so smoothly, from a white supremacist to a closet gay couple working high up in the government.
When you hear the words “Netflix Original”, you know that expectations will be high. This remains true to my TV highlight of the year, Narcos. Based on the true story of Colombian drug kingpin Pablo Escobar’s (Wagner Moura) rise to power and the DEA’s attempts to bring him down. Clearly borrowing heavily from Breaking Bad, Narcos tells both sides of the story. With excellent supporting performances from Boyd Holbrook and Pedro Pascal, it is a tensely woven story of cat-and-mouse, and the fact that the majority of the dialogue is delivered in Spanish without losing the captivation of the viewer is a testament to the quality of the writing. The music, right down to the catchy theme tune, captures the Latin American vibe perfectly, and with a second series commissioned for 2016, Narcos is certainly one to watch.
After enjoying the first series so much back in 2012, I was delighted to see the show ‘return’ for a second series. Unlike many shows with a strong first series, The Returned managed to sustain its gripping plot, incredible acting and eerie tone throughout. With so much American TV dominating our screens at the moment, the French drama is a refreshingly different piece of television. It’s exploration of the undead is a topic that’s been tried and tested in many shows and movies but The Returned manages to take it in a completely distinct direction. It’s realistic, not gimmicky, to the point where you start believing yourself that the spiritual events that occur could actually happen. That’s why it’s my show of 2015!
As another Netflix Original, and one following after Daredevil no less, Jessica Jones had a lot to live up to – and yet, somehow, it only raised the bar even higher. Jessica Jones’ first season was as dark as it was deeply sophisticated – exploring a number of mature themes from rape to PTSD – all in a slick, refreshing noir style. Jessica’s season-long conflict with Kilgrave was thrilling to watch – with David Tenant delivering a disturbingly charming portrayal of a truly twisted individual – their relationship reaching Batman/Joker heights of brilliance. Although not without its flaws – certain characters grew very tiresome – Jessica Jones is not only easily Marvel’s best export to date, and but also one of the best shows around right now.
Special Mention – Best Performance
Rick Hoffman – Louis Litt in Suits
Suits showcases an extraordinary cast; to fit into the light-hearted drama takes a specific type of actor. Being able to do this whilst acting a unique and colourful character is even harder. Rick Hoffman shines as Louis Litt, the underappreciated, paranoid but brilliant lawyer, in the legal drama. He not only consistently and successfully portrays the brilliant development of his character through season 4, he also upholds Louis’ subtle (or not so subtle) nuances. Where many actors, 4 seasons in, may have begun to lose grasp of their character Rick seems so natural as his not-so-natural character. His expressions, movements and ability to adapt his character with the show makes Rick Hoffman as Louis Litt my favourite performance of 2015.