Top TV for 2015
Once you’ve got past all the festive shows in December – whether it’s Christmas specials like Doctor Who or depressing yourself with Eastenders – January is a bit of an odd month for television fans. Most of the major US shows are still on a break, X Factor has ended its run once again, and you’ll probably be spending a lot of time watching the DVDs and Blu-rays that Santa put under your tree. It’s the perfect month for catching up and planning ahead, along with the odd decent show actually on TV, and we’re here to examine what you should be watching right now and what you’ve got to look forward to
Telly addicts in 2015 have more choice than ever! The traditional terrestrial channels still provide hugely successful British dramas, soap operas, reality shows and more, while big hitters like Sky Atlantic and Fox deliver the best from the US. If you still find yourself struggling with the hundreds of channels there, you’ve got a huge amount of on-demand content through Sky and Virgin these days, as well as paid subscriptions to Netflix and Amazon, both of which are offering more original content with every year. Your main problem as a viewer now is finding the time to fit it all in!
So where should you start this year? Here’s some of the highlights..
1. Broadchurch Series 2 (Airing on ITV on Mondays)
The argument can be made for the first series of Broadchurch being almost perfect. A drama that gripped the nation from start to finish and took social media by storm, Broadchurch became a real water cooler show that had everyone talking. When it was all over, everyone was surprised there was a second series, especially the cast and crew! Based on the opening episode, it looks as if we’re in safe hands. David Tennant and Olivia Colman deliver exceptional performances again and with new additions to the supporting cast like Torchwood’s Eve Myles and acting legend Charlotte Rampling, this is proving to be another must-see series.
2. Better Call Saul (Airing on Netflix UK)
Any spin-off is a risky business, but especially one to a show as successful across the board as Breaking Bad. A darling with critics and fans alike, the journey of Walt and Jesse still remains fresh in the minds of millions around the world and Better Call Saul has a lot to live up to. Focusing on one of the most popular character in Vince Gilligan’s original series, this part drama-part comedy follows Saul Goodman (Bob Odenkirk) in his pre-Breaking Bad days, though time jumps have certainly been hinted at. This is absolutely one to watch.
3. Daredevil (Airing on Netflix UK on April 10th)
After the moderate success of SHIELD and taking a chance on a mid-season mini series of Agent Carter, Marvel’s next step is into the world of online streaming. Daredevil is just the beginning, with Jessica Jones, Iron Fist and Luke Cage all coming in the future, as well as a Defenders series joining them all together. Netflix original programming has a pretty solid track record so hopefully this can play out well. It all depends on audience expectation and how quickly the show finds its feet – something that SHIELD has eventually found, but unfortunately after a huge amount of the audience has jumped ship already. Hopefully Charlie Cox has better success as the blind lawyer turned superhero than Ben Affleck did.
4. The Mentalist Final Season (Currently airing in US, TBC in the UK)
It’s hard to say exactly if The Mentalist should have carried on post-Red John or not – the argument can be made both ways really – but if you’re a fan, it’s likely you’ve stuck it out to the end. At its best, The Mentalist delivered some phenomenal television, especially the third season finale involving Bradley Whitford, and the show will be missed. Simon Baker’s enigmatic Patrick Jane has been one of the most fascinating characters in all of television over the past seven years.
5. Gotham (Returning in February on Five)
While Marvel manages to take a huge chunk of the box office with its movies, DC has arguably managed to deliver the more popular TV shows. With Gotham’s first season currently airing, we are seeing a whole new side to the Batman story with star turns from David Mazouz as Bruce Wayne right after his parents have been murdered, Ben McKenzie as a young James Gordon, and especially Robin Lord Taylor as Oswald “Penguin” Cobblepot, just starting out in his life of crime. It’s not going to please everyone, especially those who simply want a Batman TV show, but it has a lot of potential going forward.
6. Arrow & The Flash (Returning in February on Sky 1)
Seeing as they do cross over and exist in the same world, I can cheat by putting them under the same number. Arrow had a slowish start but it went to a whole new level in Season 2 and shows no signs of slowing down in its third season. The Flash has come out of the starting blocks at a high gear, with a slightly more comedic tone but still managing to have its own fair share of drama along the way. Both shows complement each other perfectly and Grant Gustin could not be more perfect as Barry Allen. It would be easy to have comic book overkill, but these two shows are delivering some of the highest quality product of any medium.
7. CSI: Cyber (Airing in the US on 4th March, TBC in the UK)
With the original CSI still running into its fifteenth season, and two previous spin offs lasting nine and ten seasons, things look promising for the latest addition to the family fronted by former Medium star Patricia Arquette. Joined by the former Dawson himself James Van Der Beek as well as Ally McBeal’s Peter MacNicol, Cyber certainly has the star power to get an audience. Will it live up to the successes of previous spin offs? Only the quality of the stories can determine that. Let’s hope so.
8. How To Get Away With Murder (Returning in February on Universal)
If we’re talking about water cooler shows then there’s no doubt there’s one frontrunner for the most talked about new show of this season. With some of the same behind-the-scenes people from Greys Anatomy and Scandal, it’s hardly a surprise this show had people hooked from the get go. Fronted by award winning Viola Davis as complex defense attorney Annalise Keating, How To Get Away With Murder deals with a different case every episode but with a long-running storyline that unravels from one week to the next. Harry Potter fans will be pleasantly surprised to see the former Dean Thomas aka Alfie Enoch taking a huge role in his first US show. If you’ve not watched already, make it your mission to catch up before it’s back!
9. The Walking Dead (Returning 9th February on FOX UK)
If I’m honest, it was a struggle to get through the first part of the fifth season. Despite the dramatic and gripping start which suggested there’d be no messing around this season, the episodes became very split between all the characters to the point where you’d have to wait weeks just to find out what happened to someone. With everything coming to a crescendo in the mid season finale, hopefully everyone is back on the same page and things will be a little more focused this time round.
10. Game Of Thrones (Returning 13th April on Sky Atlantic)
It’s Game of Thrones! What more does anyone need to say?
Bonus Ones To Watch..
Fortitude (Airing 29th January on Sky Atlantic)
The Comeback Season 2 (Airing February on Sky Atlantic)
House Of Cards Season 3 (Airing 27th February on Netflix)
Bates Motel Season 3 (Airing April on Universal)
Luther Season 4 (Sometime in 2015 on BBC)
Sherlock Special (Christmas 2015.. ages away but we’ve waited this long!)