Welcome to the annual review of the year – in this post I’ll be looking over the TV – Films, Books and Music are all up as seperate posts – of the past year and just giving a couple of thoughts/comments on what has been seen/read/listened too/etc over the past 12 months. Hopefully you’ll find it vaguely interesting/gives something to think over. When I came to write this last year I found that I couldn’t remember that much of the year before so I’ve been making a real effort to keep track of what’s been encountered over the course of this year – hopefully it should give a more even spread of items from over the year.
This was a good year for TV – with a large amount of variety. It saw the end of some long running series and the start of some new ones which will hopefully run for a long time. To kick off just the top 10, thoughts/mini-reviews and more are under the “more” link. However before I start with my Top 10 I want to give a special mention to Joss Whedons Dollhouse. It only showed 3 episodes this year but if it had shown more the chances are it would be Number 1 on the list below. It managed to take a complex storyline and wrap it up in a really satisfying manner within its two seasons – in a way cutting it short helped as it removed the slack from the show. Strongly recommended if you get the chance to find it!
Miranda Hart’s sitcom came back with a real bang continuing to gallop along at a rate of knots, leading the main character into a variety of knotty situations spiralling further and further out of control – such fun. This series was pretty much guaranteed to have me falling off my sofa with laughter once an episode, fantastically funny and sweet at the same time – couldn’t recommend more highly.
Doctor Who returned to a new series with a new Executive Producer and new Doctor. I think it’s safe to say that the show has really taken off – Matt Smith seems to inhabit the role fantastically and Steven Moffat brings a wonderful faerie tale feel to the series. As I noted on the Christmas Special the series feels epic yet small and personal at the same time and whilst there were a couple of duffers the series on a whole was exciting, gripping and interesting – just what you want from Doctor Who.
Fringe finished its 2nd Series with a bang, and then really started pushing the envelope with it’s third. I found that this provided some of the most gripping TV of the year as well as some of the creepiest (the episode Marionette is a classic example of this). If you’ve not watched Fringe I recommend going back to the start and watching it through – you’re rewarded for your patience.
Raising Hope is a lovely little comedy that appears that to be on it’s way to making it big. Surrounding the adventures of a young single father and his family as they try and bring up a 6 month old baby it’s fully of fun characters who are all slightly insane, with the great balance of comedy, drama and sweetness that Scrubs found and carried successfully forward.
This series I always refer to as my guilty pleasure. It’s always a bit cheesy but is generally good fun. There was the odd duff episode this year – but what season doesn’t have that, and the really rousing opening and finale really made up for any bad episodes of the season – the last episode was especially epic pulling a lot of the myth into the story and developing the show in interesting ways – I look forward to seeing what happens next season with great interest.
This is a documentary series which was been running for a while on BBC4 but I only really encountered earlier this year. Charlie Brooker has a very caustic wit, and uses this to take a look at the current TV giving reviews, and some very informative segments on how TV shows are made – a very interesting watch which is also very funny and honest.
A modern update of the Sherlock Holmes stories, this took the approach of 3 feature length episodes. The biggest problem is that there weren’t enough of them. The series was really well made and the two leads were fantastic in their roles. The middle story was a bit weaker but the first and the last were both gripping, interesting and great fun to watch. It’s nice to see something that’s not afraid to be clever on TV.
I’d been avoiding this show for years due to my dislike of reality TV shows, but the idea of the Junior Apprentice is what piqued my interest and pulled me over the edge to watch the show – I found the Junior Apprentice really gripping and interesting and it was the same for the full blown show. I found myself completely gripped each week watching as the show progressed with it rapidly becoming one of the weeks highlights.
The king of the serialised dramas Lost came to it’s conclusion earlier this year. I thought it finished well, with an interesting ending that did it’s best to tie up the loose ends, whilst at the same time leaving some questions that should never be answered. It was quite strange at one point when the show flashed back to Series 1 episodes seeing how different the actors looked. This is a show I’d like to go back and re-watch from the start to see how fully it pulls together. Highly recommended for giving 6 years of gripping TV.
This was a bit more below the radar than I would’ve liked – the concept was a group of strangers wake up in a hotel with no idea how they got there, or why they’re there. As the show unfolded it became more gripping and interesting, leading to a very clever finale. It’s just a shame that they didn’t fulfil their promise of all the questions being answered and the much required second season doesn’t appear to be forth coming.