6 Favorite TV Series of 2014

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Photo via Google

Photo via Google

With New Year’s so close, I’ve put off my list of favorite television shows of 2014 long enough. Surprisingly, this list wasn’t as hard to figure out as I originally thought it would be. Of course, as Emily Nussbaum of The New Yorker recently pointed out, these six series aren’t the end-all-be-all of the television I watched in 2014.

Starz’s Black Sails was an addictive and politically complicated pirate drama, while the network’s Outlander provided a fantastic adaptation of a cool sci-fi novel. Arrow and The Flash on The CW as well as Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. on ABC have revitalized the superhero genre on TV. Syfy hooked me with two new shows that have wildly different premises: Helix and Dominion. Orange is the New Black returned for a second season on Netflix and gave me my favorite quote of the year:

Photo via Tumblr

Photo via Tumblr

Bob’s Burgers and Brooklyn Nine-Nine continued to keep Fox’s block of Sunday night comedy interesting. Meanwhile, Once Upon A Time returned from a boring Neverland/Peter Pan plot to provide an interesting take on The Wizard of Oz, as well as a slightly-bonkers live-action adaption of Frozen. Orphan Black had a decent second season with an exciting twist in the finale that left me wanting the third season immediately. Parks and Recreation also featured a series-changing finale in their sixth season that will provide an interesting final season.

All in all, 2014 was a good year in television. But, even after looking at the best of the shows mentioned above, these are the six series that really stood out to me this year.

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4 Favorite New Television Series of Fall 2014

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Photo via Post Show Recaps

Photo via Post Show Recaps

We’re well into the fall television season – some shows have already gone on their midseason hiatus – and nearing the time for winter premieres of new series. This year I didn’t have as much time to catch all the new pilots (as opposed to 2012 and 2013) and had to focus on the shows I was particularly excited to watch. However, even though I gave many new series a chance, I didn’t stick with all of them (there’s only so much time in the day!). These are the four new fall shows that I’ve kept up with each week and will be excited to see how they progress through their debut seasons.

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6 Reasons ‘The 100’ is the Breakout Show of 2014

The 100 End of Season 1
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The 100 Poster

Photo via IMDB

Based on the novel of the same name by Kass Morgan, The 100 takes place nearly a century after a nuclear war wiped out most of life on Earth and left it a radiation-soaked wasteland. The survivors fled the planet and sustained the human race aboard a space station called the Ark. However, when it becomes apparent the Ark cannot support life for much longer, the Council decides to send 100 young offenders (since adult offenders are all executed) to the ground in order to ascertain whether Earth is habitable again.

The show follows the 100 as they try to make camp and survive on Earth despite antagonistic neighbors — which they call “grounders” — as well as those left behind on the Ark who must deal with their own problems as they monitor the 100 and the testy political situation of the space station.

The 100 centers on Clarke Griffin (Eliza Taylor), Bellamy Blake (Bob Morley), Octavia Blake (Marie Avgeropoulos), Finn Collins (Thomas McDonell), Jasper Jordan (Devon Bostick), Monty Green (Christopher Larkin), and John Murphy (Richard Harmon) who make up the main group of the 100. Meanwhile, Abigail Griffin (Paige Turco), Thelonius Jaha (Isaiah Washington), and Marcus Kane (Henry Ian Cusick) are the central characters on the Ark. Other main characters include Raven Reyes (Lindsey Morgan) and the grounder Lincoln (Ricky Whittle).

The 100 Character Poster

Photo via The CW

The 100 is a complex sci-fi teen drama that completely surpasses many other series in both the teen and sci-fi genres. The pilot is a bit rough around the edges — check out my review — and suffers under the strains of explaining the complicated premise of the show, establishing the characters, and hooking the audience to keep them coming back for more. However, The 100 quickly transcends typical growing pains in new series, becoming highly compelling by the end of the third episode, and in the fifth episode completely surpasses expectations.

By the end of the show’s first season, it was clear that The 100 would be 2014’s breakout show — similar to My Mad Fat Diary last year. Not convinced? Here are six reasons The 100 is fantastic and the best new show on television.

[This post contains spoilers for the first season of The 100.]

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10 Most Anticipated Network Shows to Premiere Fall 2014

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Photos via NY Daily News & The Hollywood Reporter

Photos via NY Daily News & The Hollywood Reporter

TV upfronts season is like your birthday–if your family celebrates your birthday by giving you some gifts you want and some stuff you absolutely do not want, while also keeping you in suspense over whether they’re going to take away and destroy some of your favorite toys/gadgets. But, whether you lost your favorite show in the greenlighting/cancelling melee that is upfronts season, there are plenty of shows hitting the silver screen this fall and winter to (possibly) fill the void left by finished or cancelled series. However, not all of these upcoming shows are going to be hits. While some, like Fox’s Gotham, are bound to get second seasons based on the buzz that’s already been building for months, others will fall by the wayside and may not even be worth checking out.

Photos via CBS & ABC

Photos via CBS & ABC

As someone who loves television, I try to check out as many pilots as possible, but in the current TV culture where there are more shows than days in the year, it’s hardly practical to watch the pilot of every single new series. Instead, I try to watch all the trailers and read all the synopses for upcoming series and pick out all the shows that seem to have potential. After this upfronts season, I find myself with 20 series to check out in the fall (on top of all the shows already on my watch list). From there, I’ve narrowed down those to the top ten of which pilots I’m most anticipating. While this is by no means a list of shows that will definitely, absolutely be successful, these are the ten pilots I’m most excited to watch.

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The 4 Best Adaptations of ‘The Wonderful Wizard of Oz’

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Photo via NPR

Photo via NPR

Last summer and fall it seemed Hollywood had caught Yellow Brick Fever as many major TV networks — CBS, NBC, CW, and Syfy — were looking to adapt L. Frank Baum’s classic work of literature: The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Syfy was developing a post-apocalyptic Oz with Warriors of Oz, NBC began progress on a “dark reimagining” called Emerald City, CBS was working on a medical drama titled Dorothy, and CW was in talks to adapt Danielle Paige’s, at the time, forthcoming novel Dorothy Must Die. Though none of those proposed TV series have made it to the silver screen just yet, they were being discussed around the same time as ABC’s fairy tale series Once Upon A Time announced plans of incorporating the classic good versus wicked standoff into their show.

Photo via Cineplex

Photo via Cineplex

Though fans may not be happy with the quality or quantity of Oz adaptations, the influx is indicative of a persisting love inspired by Baum’s classic tale. Since the book was released over a century ago — it was first published in May of 1900 — the beloved story has spawned numerous sequels, been adapted to film, television, and the stage many times, as well as inspired multiple retellings in literature. Throughout the past 114 years of Oz history, there have been many iconic works based on Baum’s original book, and his stories are set to hit the big screen yet again in the limited release of Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return on May 9. In honor of all the Wicked Witches in popular culture at the moment — Once Upon A Time’s season finale airs on Sunday — it seemed appropriate to talk about the best adaptations from Baum’s original book, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.

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Why the ‘Veronica Mars’ Movie is Perfect (for Fans)

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Photo via TV Line

Photo via TV Line

It was a long wait for Veronica Mars fans, but finally this past weekend, the movie premiered in theaters around the world. As a television series, Veronica Mars ran for three seasons in 2004-2007. The show followed plucky teenaged investigator, Veronica Mars (Kristen Bell), as she solved cases and generally caused trouble for all criminals in the fictional seaside town of Neptune, California. Veronica made plenty of enemies in her time at Neptune High, as well as her brief stint at Hearst College. However, it’s Veronica’s faithful friends–or, you know, people she coerced into doing her a favor–who helped her survive both high school and freshman year of college: her father Keith (Enrico Colantoni), her best friend Wallace Fennel (Percy Daggs III), Cindy “Mac” Mackenzie (Tina Majorino), Eli “Weevil” Navarro (Francis Capra), Logan Echolls (Jason Dohring), Stosh “Piz” Piznarski (Chris Lowell), and of course Dick Casablancas (Ryan Hansen).

Photo via Kickstarter

Photo via Kickstarter

Last year, Veronica Mars creator Rob Thomas launched a Kickstarter campaign in order to fund a movie continuation of Veronica’s story. Since the show was cancelled after only three seasons–and the final episode “The Bitch Is Back” left fans with so many questions–The Veronica Mars Movie Project quickly raised the money. In four hours and 24 minutes, the project raised $1 million; in less than 10 hours, the project reached it’s goal of $2 million. On April 12, 2013, when the campaign ended, over 90,000 backers had pledged over $5.7 million for Veronica Mars. On March 14, the film premiered in theaters and fans were able to revisit their favorite teenaged private eye one more time. Though the movie may not appeal to those who failed to watch the original series, it was everything fans could have wanted (and possibly a bit more).

Attention: there will be MAJOR SPOILERS in this post. 

VMars Gif

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5 Midseason TV Premiere Picks + 3 Anticipated Series

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Photos via IGN, IB Times, Slate, & SyFy

Photos via IGN, IB Times, Slate, & SyFy

It’s midseason premiere time! January is the second best time of the year for those of us who are hopelessly devoted to our television sets, or–at least in my case–our laptops and video streaming sites. Second only to the fall premiere season, winter has some of the best TV debuts of the year–even if summer is trying to give winter a run for its money. This year, maybe even more so than previous years, had some great series debut. From Intelligence to Spoils of Babylon and True Detective to Opposite Worlds, there seemed to be something for everyone. Although some shows have already been cancelled (looking at you, The Assets), it’s been a generally good premiere season. Or maybe I’m going crazy from the polar vortex temperatures and sun deprivation. Anyway, here are my five picks of the best new series on TV (plus a couple premieres still coming).

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