2015 has passed, and it’s natural that we state the best things of the year that we enjoyed at the time, and probably for a long while longer. Think of this more as a reminder of what was really kick-ass during 2015 from start to finish, because we really do have short term memory regarding these things.
First off, let’s do TV shows. As any aficionado of sci-fi and comics can tell you, the past few years of TV history has been terrific. We’ve got long-spanning episodic shows that respects its comic roots while also building atop it with careful aplomb. To add, we’ve got brand new shows and concepts that shined within its first season and most likely living on a prayer due to silly executive decisions. Also, that whole thing with Netflix where 13 episodes just plop onto your lap for your viewing at any time and at any pace? Brilliant!
Long story short: there’s a buttload of good TV out there for us.
Mr. Robot – Quite possibly the best fictional representation of hacker culture I’ve ever seen/read/heard, and the main characters are so incredibly crazy, AND they come back out the other side looking totally relatable.
Jessica Jones – The best superhero show of all time, and quite possibly the best representation of a female character from the comic books. And super hot Luke Cage did not disappoint.
Daredevil – Not the best superhero show of all time (because of the obvious), but it came pretty damn close. It certainly had the best fight scenes, especially the “one-take” one at the end of the second episode.
Honourable Mentions: The Flash, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, The Grinder (easily best new comedy), Bob’s Burgers.
I want to say Teen Wolf…. But i think i’ll be judged ‘til kingdom come. Oh heck, I’ll just say Teen Wolf.
I like how the show cycles through supernatural stuff. And I definitely love the “let’s put our strengths together and deal with this shit” sort of atmosphere. No prolonged sappy romance crap.
The Flash – It proves that you can make a good superhero TV show that fully embraces the over-the-top ridiculousness inherent to a superhero TV show, without having to play it straight for a mainstream audience.
They weren’t shy about putting Gorilla Grodd, King Shark and Hawkman/Hawkgirl on the TV screen. Also, time travel and the multiverse.
It’s a pity DC wants to keep its TV and film universes separated, because Grant Gustin is a fantastic Barry Allen. The supporting cast is great as well.
The Flash, Supergirl, Arrow, Daredevil, and Jessica Jones. Each show a different aspect of superheroes, but delivers on topics such as alternate realities, sci-fi, action, drama and time travel. Yet it includes general topics such as relationships, rape, abuse, death, and maturity.
Rick & Morty (Season 2) – The second season of Adult Swim’s sci-fi acid trip started mid-July, and boy does it not disappoint with the weird and zany story of an old super-smart grandfather bringing his grandson out for an alternate dimension space adventure. Its rapid-fire humor and concepts can be hard to keep up, but it’s worth the effort. Seriously, no other show features:
- An intergalactic game show premise where each planet must produce a catchy jam or face death ray obliteration.
- One half of the Flight of the Conchords guys as a mind-reading fart.
- A planet of decent and quaint half-dog half-people aliens that live by the rules of a B-grade horror flick once per year.
The Flash (Season 2) – Yaoxian said it best on his summary: it embraces its fantastical nature, it delivers an entertaining watchable non-bogged down experience, and the characters are loveable, good or evil. I’ll just add that I would want to be best buds with Joe and Cisco.
Silicon Valley (Season 2) – The final episode “Two Days Of The Condor” is the ultimate payoff episode that makes Silicon Valley worth experiencing from start to finish. You really are rooting for Pied Piper to succeed over insurmountable odds; in this case, a Google-esque conglomerate led by an asshead Chief Innovations Officer.
Despite the loss of a valued cast member in the first season, the new actors still keep the humour momentum skyrocketing: props to Suzanne Cryer and Chris Diamantapoulos for their stand-out roles as a metrics-driven socially inept boss and an oafish billionaire investor respectively.
Overlord – Here is an interesting take on the recent resurgence of “player(s) stuck in an MMORPG and they can’t log out” anime. Instead of playing the hero, the main character is stuck as his evil avatar – an undead overlord lich king. While he tries to figure out what’s going on, he and his AI allies (who have gained sentience) go on to pretty much rampage through the new world they’ve discovered. Save the world? Who needs that crap? Entertaining stuff!
Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans – This recent Gundam entry is a return to form of the series. It features gritty realism and focuses back on what made its underlying tones great – that war really, REALLY, sucks. Its main cast are a bunch of orphans and slaves in a universe where slavery is accepted and technology to control mechs is as likely to kill you in the process of the operation as it is to succeed.
Shimoneta to Iu Gainen ga Sonzai Shinai Taikutsu no Sekai – Shimoneta is controversially hilarious. Take the idea of control to extremes and you’ve got a society where sex is practically forbidden. No one is allowed to curse, swear, or even talk about sex. Sexuality outside of procreation is, in fact, outlawed. No smut, no porn, and a completely clueless population who get confused and aroused when watching two flies mate.
So what to do? Why, have a woman run around with panties on her head as a “sex terrorist” of course. It’s honestly a pretty hilarious show – right up to the bit where it gets real dark, real fast, with a near-rape scene. It is nightmare fuel for the next century masked in humor, folks!
Honourable mentions: Of course, we can’t spend the year without talking about this year’s big megahit One Punch Man. With a titular hero who only needs one punch to finish a fight, the show is actually rather interesting in how it shows off the selfish nature of (most) humans/heroes and the absurdly ludicrous power of its main hero. Arslan Senki is another. While it’s got its own ludicrously overpowered hero (well, subordinate) the show, based on an old Arabic folk tale, is a great look at a more realistic “war” show in the good old days. It’s also pretty damn rare to see a show where you’ll get to see a charge of war elephants.
Jonathan is an avid self-proclaimed connoisseur of films, video games, music & comics. Prefers screwdrivers over martinis. Fears oblivion.