C&L's Top TV Shows Of 2015
January 1, 2016

Another year is behind us, but at least there was some excellent TV to keep us all company. Binge watching has become the "in" thing these days for streaming a series and I remember when I started writing about binging eight years ago, I called it "power cycling."

What I mean by "power cycling" is that I watched the whole season in about a week. It's one thing to check out a series from week to week, but speeding through it is a completely different experience.... it's a great way to get through an illness and also breathes incredible depth and clarity into the characters and stories.

I started posting Top TV lists in 2013 and it's been really fun to do.

Who knew in 2015, True Detective would suck so much? With all the hype, Gotham was a disaster, unlike The Flash and Arrow. CW also scored this year with The 100, a series about a group of hot twenty somethings trying to survive on a nuclear ravaged Earth.

I doubt many people saw Pivot's Fortitude, which showed off an impressive international cast and was really good and as I've written before, Person of Interest is a personal favorite. TV shows that didn't make it in my top list, like You're The Worst, UnReal, Wayward Pines, Veep, Orphan Black and The Leftovers was only because I didn't have time to finish viewing the 409 original scripted television series

This year I'm only going to name my No. 1 Series Of The Year and leave the rest to you, numbers wise. This is a subjective list, so please put your favorites in the comment section below since people are always looking for new things to watch.

Best Series of 2015: Fargo


I picked the first season of Fargo as the #6 show overall in 2014, but time-traveling back to 1978 to witness the massacre at Sioux Falls and increasing the number of cast members paid off big time for FX's mega-hit.

Kirsten Dunst was tremendous as the disillusioned housewife trying so hard to be the best she could be -- with the help of an EST-like program. She sets the whole tale in motion by running over Rye Gerhardt after he murders a bunch of people in a diner. Every actor nailed their parts, especially Bokeem Woodbine's Jabberwocky monologue.


Mr. Robot

This was the sleeper series from a network not known for this type of psychedelic entertainment. It came out of nowhere to challenge our perceptions between reality and delusions. Who could forget the haunting voice or face of its star Rami Malek, whose hacking abilities and morphine addiction led him down a road of hacktivism and corporate conspiracies?


The Americans

My top show of 2014 didn't drop a beat from what makes it so thrilling and actually upped the ante for the Jennings family when Russia set its sights on their teenage daughter Paige.

Bonus episode: You soon won't forget Lois Smith's journey in "Do Mail Robots Dream of Electric Sheep?"



I'm not a fan of guts and gore, but what Bryan Fuller did in Hannibal for three seasons was to turn it into an art form. And he blew my mind when he injected The Great Red Dragon into season three.

Come on, TV streaming execs. FOX is rebooting Prison Break for goodness sake. If there is one show that needs a rebirth, it's Hannibal. Are you listening, streamers?


Rick And Morty

From the minds of Dan Harmon and Justin Roiland comes this brilliant Cartoon Network series. I'm not the biggest fan of animated fare, but when these guys invented memory creating parasites that brought us Amish cyborg, reverse Giraffe, Mrs. Refrigerator, Nazi Frankenstein, Pencil Vester, photography raptor and sleepy Gary, in Total Rickall (sea2 epi4,) I was sucked into their world.


Broad City

What can I say about Broad City that I haven't said before? These two women have created the funniest show on television, period.


Penny Dreadful

Just repeat after me: Eva Green - Eva Green - Eva Green. She needs to win an Emmy for her portrayal of Vanessa Ives.

Showtime's gothic horror series really became a great show when they actually had a consistent serialized plot for Season Two and brought on the incredible Helen McCrory, to play the evil antagonist ( Madame Kali ) against Timothy Dalton's good guys.



It's streaming now on Netflix so hurry up and watch it. Stellan Skarsgård and Nicola Walker shine in this offbeat police procedural that has one of the best pilot episodes of 2015. Skarsgård has never been better as a man who sees dead people, but not in the way you think.


Jessica Jones

An excellent film noirish entry into the MCU, with terrific performances by Kristen Ritter and David Tennant, who turns in the best villain so far in Marvel land.


Mad Men

This is a consensus pick from every person I talked to and why wouldn't it be?



The best, most overlooked series of the great TV boom. Say farewell to Raylan Givens, Ava Crowder and Boyd Crowder.


Master Of None

Aziz really has tapped into something quite special with this entry and big props to Netflix for giving him the space to do so. Who says you can't make a show with two Indian actors as leads?



This series continually made me laugh this season after I had given up on it last year. Could be replaced by Fresh Off The Boat, if you feel so inclined.


Doctor Who

I'm not sure why The Doctor doesn't make more top TV lists every year. Peter Capaldi's darker Doctor Who was awesome this year. And Jenna Coleman's Clara will be terribly missed. Major props go to Maisie Williams, who got to show off her acting chops by portraying Ashildr / Me, an 800-year-old girl that was given immortality to by the Doctor.


Game of Thrones

Was there any season ending moment more written about in 2015, then if Jon Snow is really dead? And if he is then screw you, George R.R. Martin!

Breakout Performers:

Ellie Kemper in Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

Rami Malek in Mr. Robot.

Scariest Villain:

was more frightening than Hannibal Lecter as Black Jack Randall in the excellent Outlander.

Extra Credit

Comedy Central gets an extra credit for producing so many awesome comedies like Inside Amy Schumer, Key and Peele, Nathan For You and Review, Tosh.O and many others. They truly are the comedy network.

Extra, Extra credit

Amy Schumer's 12 Angry Men parody was inspired.

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