If you know me by now through all the blog posts and reviews I have posted for 365 Days of Inspiring Media (no, I am not Josh, who usually writes for TV Thursdays, but rather his brother, Jon, who’s writing a guest post this week), you probably know that I watch a whole lot of TV. From past shows like MONK, Chuck, One Tree Hill, Eureka, Being Erica, Psych, Packed to the Rafters, Life on Mars, Ashes to Ashes and Suburgatory, to present shows like Royal Pains, Once Upon a Time, Parenthood, Orphan Black, Suits, Arrow, Person of Interest and Switched at Birth; television shows have always had something to say, whether it be for entertainment value, or with a message of hope, encouragement, or even a relevant issue for current society to gain from watching the show. Regardless of whatever reason you watch your favourite TV show, you gotta admit that TV show watching has been a form of education, learning, escapism, and a place where people can dream and hope.
Much more powerful and affecting on people than they themselves would care to admit, we dedicate this post to new TV shows of 2014 that I have enjoyed throughout the year so far, considering that the new 2014/15 network TV schedule is about to come into fruition later on in September. (Note: this is not a Top 10s series, I will list shows and a brief description, but this in no way is a reflection on what the site reckons are their favourite Top 10 (or 15 or whatever number) shows of 2014 so far. This is strictly my own opinion). So without further delay, check out the list below to see some a brief description of shows that have made an impact on screens in 2014.
A spin off from Chicago Fire (a show that I have not seen, nor don’t think I can see because of the amount of shows I watch currently), this Chicago based cop show starring One Tree Hill alum Sophia Bush has kept my interest throughout the whole entire first season, delving into the stories surrounding police officers and the Intelligence Unit in the streets of Chicago- a great show if you love Chicago the state, or love crime dramas like Law and Order or NCIS.
About a Boy
Everyone knows this movie right? With Hugh Grant, where he plays a man-child that has to grow up with the sudden and unexpected events that surround an 11 year old boy and the relationship between him and the Hugh Grant character? Well, NBC produced a comedy based on the 2002 movie (which was in turn based from the novel by Nick Hornby). A great comedy, and perhaps my favourite since the short lived Suburgatory. Should you watch it? Check out the pilot, and if you are a fan of family comedies, then this show’s for you.
No, this is not based upon The Returned, a French supernatural drama. Instead, this ABC 40 minute show tells a story of men and women who had passed on that travel back to Arcadia, Missouri. With the show delving into the mysteries and unveiling of their feelings when they see and interact with their resurrected loved ones, this is a certain one not to miss if you are a fan of supernatural dramas, and shows that make us think about what happens after we die.
A TV drama about the future, The 100 brings us to a place where Earth is now uninhabited because of radiation, with Earth’s population relegated to a space station called ‘The Ark’. The premise is this- 100 delinquent teenagers are sent to the ground to see if the Earth is inhabitable, and deal with the Earth and other inhabitants of it once they land on the now uninhabited world. Challenges on both The Ark and on Earth throughout the season, this show, though having some cheesy dialogue (that’s what happens when your show is on the CW), is something that makes us all think and consider. If global warming and the treat of radiation in the form of the after-effects of nuclear energy become as real as people say; would I have the stomach to leave Earth and live somewhere else (if living somewhere else other than Earth becomes viable and possible)?
A show about cancer? Could that be any good? Quite frankly, yes. While the show does dwell on some romantic love triangles (it is on ABC Family after all), we have a necessary glimpse into life that is in fact finite- with the show delving into the theme of death, since the lead character discovers she has cancer at the ripe young age of 24. A show about death always places things in perspective, and this show is certainly one to do that. A show to ‘enjoy’ if you are a fan of all things ABC Family, Chasing Life ought to be here to stay as long as people want to watch and be reminded of their own mortality.
Murder in the First
A show that has one single plot line that flows through the entire season? One single murder (or two) that is solved only in the final episode? No cases of the week? Yes, please, sign me up. This TNT drama could be fine as a miniseries (I wouldn’t be crying if the show was cancelled next week), but what has made me come back week after week to this show is the characters, and the emotions they show. More enjoyable than King and Maxwell and on par with Perception, this new TNT drama is a must if you love who dunnit murder mysteries.
The Last Ship
A show about a virus, vaccine, ships, being stranded in the arctic, racing against time to save the world…you get the picture. A patriotic show and a must if you love America and them being the hero, I’ve only seen 4 episodes so far. Maybe after a few more, I’ll have a better judgement. Is ship and war dramas your favourite?
I wasn’t originally going to watch this show at first. Thankfully, I did, and this has become one of the shows I’ve looked forward to every week for the last month or two. A French-American comedy/action/drama, based on the film Taxi by Luc Besson, we see an unlikely partnership between a female cop and a male taxi driver, after her suspended driving privileges leads her to his taxi service. A similar budding friendship to that of Castle and Beckett or Jane and Lisbon, Taxi Brooklyn is one of the most enjoyable light hearted comedy police dramas since USA’s Psych.
Where do you fit in if everything you knew, and everything you thought was true of your life wasn’t? If all of a sudden in a whim of a moment, you were told that the person who you thought was your mother, was in fact your kidnapper, and that you had another family, a real one, desperately waiting, worrying, agonising, and anticipating your return after 13 years of not knowing whether you were dead or alive? This is the premise of MTV TV show Finding Carter, with the above rhetorical questions being experienced by the titular character, Carter Stevens. While the subject matter of fitting in a new family after finding out the one you were used to was a result of a kidnapping can seem like a dull, despondent and heavy premise; Kathryn Prescott’s acting as Carter and the heartfelt and real moments in the show make it worth watching- one of my favourite teen dramas since The Fosters and Switched at Birth.
Welcome to Sweden
Imagine travelling to Sweden (or another country) for love? Packing your bags, quitting your job and just moving, like that? This is what Greg Poehler did, writer, producer and actor in this new NBC show. Based on his own life, Welcome to Sweden also follows a man leaving his life in USA for love. One of the funniest cross cultural comedies…well since ever, I highly recommend this comedy, one that’ll have you laughing as you see the character Greg plays interact with Sweden and the culture.
Halle Berry. Aliens. Extra-terrestrials. Robots. Chris Keller…oops, I mean Tyler Hilton. Humanitics. Robots becoming human. The little cute boy who was in One Tree Hill Season 9 as Logan. The future. Need I go on? This thriller has everything you could want in a thriller- and is one of CBS’s summer standouts since Under the Dome last year. Well worth a watch, even if you only check out the pilot episode and see from there.
An undercover DEA agent playing soccer? A story about spies, soccer, the Latino culture, politics, espionage, serialised drama…have I convinced you already? Another one of this years most underrated new shows, Matador debuted on El Rey Network in July, and while not many viewers have seen the show (maybe El Rey is very much premium), this is by far the best show to watch to take a look into Latino culture (alongside maybe The Bridge on FX).
A new show on USA Network? Why not. A cross between Ray Donovan and Royal Pains, William P Rush is the new Hank Lawson- except with an attitude problem. A medical drama about a partying L.A. doctor-for-hire that serves clientele that pay a lot of cash to keep secrets buried, this is a show to see if you love the adrenaline of medical dramas and love to see drugs, and a lot of it (not my favourite show, but we as a site are reviewing it, so…).
Imagine a world without children. A world where women, for some reason or another, cannot be pregnant. A world where hospitals, schools, little league teams, and just the presence of young people; are all a thing of the past. Where the hope for any future rests on a few scientists trying to find a cure for an ailment that really didn’t have a certain cause. This is the basic premise of the new Lifetime television series The Lottery- a world set in 2025, and a storyline much similar to the 2006 movie Children of Men, also about a similar premise of a dystopian future where the world has stopped reproducing. While I haven’t seen any episode past episode 2 (better hop to it if I’m reviewing episodes 2-5 in a few days’ time), I would still recommend this show to anyone who loves a good conspiracy futuristic drama. Definitely an out-of-the-box thing for Lifetime to do- kudos to them, no matter what the outcome and fate of the show is.
A covert-ops spy drama starring Sean Bean, of Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones fame Legends, rather than being a story about fairytales, fables and legends as the title of the show suggests, instead gives us a story about identity. Centring on Martin Odum (Sean Bean) and his quest to find out who he is amidst revelations of the contrary, we see a story unravel full of twists and turns, and a glimpse inside the FBI Deep Covers Operative Division. Legends follows Martin Odum who has the ability to immerse himself in every deep cover role to the point where he himself believes and acts out the cover story he is trying to sell (for the period of time that he is undercover). The pilot delves into the case of the week- Martin and his team of operatives stopping a cult, but also brings to light a discovery- Martin is told by a mysterious man that whom he once believed to be himself (Martin) is actually a legend (in short- Martin and his life is also a cover story he has believed to be true…remind you of Total Recall anyone?). Intrigued? Interested? So was I- it’s one of my favourite new shows of the last few months.
So there you have it. My top 15 shows of the year (didn’t know I had 15, thought I had a bit more…ah well). What are your favourites? Are you excited for new shows coming in a month, like Gotham, The Flash, Scorpion, State of Affairs, Bad Judge, Selfie, Forever or Constantine? Let us know in the comments.
Til next time.