Tuesday, June 10, 2014

TV Spotlight – The 25 Best Series on TV 2014 – Part 2: 20-16

Rank: 20
Genre: Comedy
Channel: HBO
Current Season: Second
Season Premiere Date: April 2015
Plot Summary: Richard Hendriks has invented a better way to compress data, forming the company Pied Piper. Billionaire Peter Gregory decides to invest in Richard’s company, but now the pressure is on. Richard and is friends actually have to produce something tangible.
Why It’s Worth Watching: Silicon Valley is a very funny satire on the modern tech capital and the people who inhabit it. It is in-part based on creator Mike Judge’s own experiences, working in the tech world in the 1980s.The series succeeds on a great blending of awkwardness and pointed parody. Richard and his friends may be caricatures, but Judge and the cast also breathe life into them, making the show more than just a one-note joke.

Rank: 19
Genre: Comedy/Drama
Channel: FX
Current Season: Fifth
Season Premiere Date: May 2015
Plot Summary: The day-to-day like of comedian Louis C.K.
Why It’s Worth Watching: There is so much to like about Louie – from the great snippets from his stand-up routine to all the awkward situations he finds himself in. Personally, I really enjoy his interactions with his two young daughters. While the show is very funny, Louis C.K. also delves into deeper sociological and philosophical questions, giving the series some actual gravitas and intelligence (things generally missing from modern sitcoms).

Rank: 18
Genre: Comedy/Action
Channel: FX
Current Season: Sixth
Season Premiere Date: January 2015
Plot Summary: Sterling Archer is an international spy working for ISIS. These are his adventures (as he ineptly blunders his way forward; also he is kind of a bully, misogynist and alcoholic).
Why It’s Worth Watching: Sterling Archer is a fantastic satire of the classic James Bond-like spy, wonderfully voiced by H. Jon Benjamin. This very well could be the funniest show on television, as its wacky antics often just go overboard to ridiculous degrees. It also features the most vapid and immoral characters, but in the best and funniest way possible.

Rank: 17
Genre: Comedy
Channel: NBC
Current Season: Seventh and final
Season Premiere Date: 2015
Plot Summary: Councilwoman Leslie Knope does her best to make her small town of Pawnee, Indiana, a better place.
Why It’s Worth Watching: Sadly, season seven will be Park and Recreation’s last. The series started out as sort of a rehashing of The Office, but it has become so much more (and probably a funnier comedy series overall). The show’s greatest strength is its phenomenally funny cast lead by Amy Poehler. Now that Community has been cancelled by NBC, Parks and Recreation is network TV’s last great, smart sitcom.

Rank: 16
Genre: Political Drama
Channel: Netflix
Current Season: Third
Season Premiere Date: February 2015
Plot Summary: Frank Underwood does whatever it takes to seize power and take revenge on those who betray him or get in his way.
Why It’s Worth Watching: Season one of House of Cards was excellent, but I found season two to be far too soap opera-esque. Yes, the series was always that way, but a lot of the smart, tactful writing and great supporting characters seemed to disappear as season two progressed. That said, the show is event television and highly addictive and engrossing. The HBO comedy satire Veep probably more closely resembles real politics than House of Cards, but it is nonetheless a very thrilling political drama (and who is not excited for season three?).

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