by Matthew Thompson
I’ve been looking to bring back my TV Show Power Rankings that were a staple of this site during early 2014 and starting today I finally will be. In an effort to make them more plentiful, I will be mixing up what I rank from time to time. So one week it may be characters, another I might go with a more negative list. But to kick things back off, I will be talking about the best shows I’m watching at the moment. Just like before this is a “what have you done for me lately” kind of list. So, no lifetime achievement awards here. A great episode can vault you to the top while a bad one or even a couple of weeks off the air could drop you out. Well here they are (these contain mild spoilers for the shows listed):
1. Black Sails: This show has been absolutely on fire this season. There has been more of Flint’s ruthlessness (the way he wins back his crew is a thing of beauty). There has been more of Vane’s brutality (like cutting off a rival’s head and posting it up for all to see). And Silver is always there to lighten the mood if all the vicious pirate action gets to be too much for you (it won’t though). On top of all this, there is the shocking reveal about Flint in the latest episode that sheds a new light on some of his actions throughout the entire series. It is the kind of twist that managed to catch me completely off-guard and yet make so much sense looking back that I’m not sure how I didn’t figure it out before. The writers deserve heaps of credit for how they set it all up. Plus that latest cliffhanger was just awesome. In my opinion, this has been the best show of 2015 so far.
2. The 100: It is no secret I have been loving The 100’s second season, but with all the Finn drama behind it, it has been even better in 2015. The show continues to be bold, pulling the trigger on moves many other shows might shy away from like Clarke not saving the day before the village bombing or the gruesome yet satisfying death for one of the show’s villains. The build to the confrontation with the Mountain Men for those inside and outside Mount Weather has been fantastic. Sending Jaha and company out in search of the City of Light has also satisfied my desire to explore more of The 100’s version of Earth. Overall it has been excellent television.
3. Jane the Virgin: Jane was the biggest surprise of the Fall even managing to make it into my year-end top ten list. It has continued to work as both a deviously clever soap and a hilarious satire of the genre. I did find the Sin Rostro reveal to be extremely predictable, but that doesn’t mean they haven’t used it to create some great material. I also can’t say enough good things about the narrator and captions the show uses. Between them and Rogelio, Jane the Virgin manages to be one of the most hilarious shows on TV despite all the sudsy drama at its core.
4. The Americans: This show has become the master at creating tense and quietly thrilling television. Case in point: the car chase in “Open House.” This isn’t a chase out of the latest Hollywood blockbuster, but a long, slow ride to evade the CIA’s tails. It was an exciting sequence oozing with tension and Philip’s tuck and roll out of the car was just plain cool. I’ve been impressed with the new ways the writers’ come up with to disturb me on a weekly basis too. The second episode’s suitcase moment takes the cake, but the bit of home dentistry in Episode 3 was tough to watch as well. I often say I respect The Americans quality more than I enjoy watching it, but for whatever reason I’m doing both here early in Season 3.
5. The Originals: The Vampire Diaries is a shell of its former self and I am just sort of going through the motions watching it at this point. Fortunately The Originals can be quite good still and has been on a roll these last few episodes. In particular, I loved “The Devil is Damned.” The way Klaus and Kol put their trust in each other. The tease of Hope’s powers. Freya being there now to mix things up. The explosive ending with Elijah and Finn. It all came together to create one of the series’ best episodes. And yes, I somehow ended up including three series from The CW here, but it just goes to show what a great line-up they have these days.
Just Missed the Cut: Felt a little bad not including a half-hour comedy this time around, but I debated including both Brooklyn Nine-Nine which I still think is TV’s best comedy and Man Seeking Woman which in its best moments might be even funnier.
That will do it for my first TV Show Power Rankings of 2015. What would top your rankings for 2015 so far? Let me know in the comments below. Thanks for reading!