Six TV shows worth watching in 2014

2014 was a particularly strong year for TV, even without Breaking Bad.

There was a ton of garbage on television the past year. No debating that. However, 2014 was a particularly strong year for TV, even without Breaking Bad leading the way. Below is a list of my top shows.

Parks and Recreation — As a whole, the penultimate season of this brilliant comedy didn’t live up to the standards set by its predecessors. But it makes my list solely on the first and last episodes of the season which are two of the most touching they’ve ever done, and that’s saying something.

Mad Men — Don’t let anyone tell you this show has slipped. The first half of the final season provided us with some of the most emotional of the series to date. The relationship between Don Draper and Peggy Olson remains one of the best on television.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine — Most of the first season aired in 2013, and we’re only part way into the second, but I’m including this simply to recognize Andre Braugher’s greatness. His deadpan Captain Holt is the funniest character on TV.

Fargo — This long shot of an idea was pulled off brilliantly. Billy Bob Thornton is at his smarmy, scary best but newcomer Allison Tolman stole the show in the Marge Gunderson role.

True Detective — There weren’t two better dramatic performances last year than those by Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey. The story may have been lacking in places, but the two leads carried the fantastic first season of this anthology series to a brilliant finish.

The Leftovers — Depressing, yes. But this newest HBO drama exposed America to the greatness that is Carrie Coon, and gave us the best single episode of TV of the year in “Guest”.