Here’s the thing about me and TV: it’s complicated. I studied TV as part of my degree and even though I find it fascinating, I reckon I would be a terrible choice for a programme like Gogglebox because I don’t sit down in front of the TV every day. And when it comes to what shows to watch, I don’t really watch the same soaps, pop star reality contests or gritty dramas that get broadcast each week. That being said, when I was asked about which TV shows I’ve loved in the last 12 months, I found myself with a pretty long list!
I realised quickly that, even though TV isn’t part of my daily routine, when I find a show that I LOVE, I throw myself into it. I’ll binge-watch an entire series, losing an entire
day weekend as I become utterly absorbed in the characters and plots. I’ll load up on snacks, draw the blinds, put my phone on silent… the works!
So, back to the question at hand: what were my favourite TV shows of 2014? I thought it might be fun to give you my duvet day recommendations – what I have enjoyed this year, and what I would strongly urge you to watch!
Keep these in mind for the next time you’re feeling poorly, having a lazy day or just can’t bear going outside and facing awful weather…
The Comedy Show: 30 Rock
All genres of TV shows are exciting and interesting to watch, but I will ALWAYS go back to comedy. It touches something in my soul and when I find a comedy show that I love, I will watch it over and over again. For the last couple of years, 30 Rock is my favourite. It’s cleverly written, features countless “funny because it’s true” moments and I identify with the characters (I’m pretty much convinced that Liz Lemon is my spirit animal). It’s a TV show about a TV show, and as bonkers as that sounds, it totally works.
And if you watch 30 Rock, love the humour and want plenty more where that came from, you definitely need Tina Fey’s Bossypants in your life. This was by far my favourite read of 2014 by one of my favourite ladies!
The “Late to the Party” Show: Orange Is the New Black
I’ll be honest here, I never got around to watching Orange Is the New Black until REALLY late in the game. In fact, series two was a few weeks from airing when I started to watch it. The thing that really pulls me in about this programme is that it’s based on the real-life memoirs of the lead character, and how she coped with serving a jail sentence. It makes you think about what you would do if you found yourself in her position and if you’d do anything differently. Most of all though, it has complex and genuinely gripping plots – to the point that I find myself saying “just one more episode” when I really should be doing something else!
The Re-run One: Twin Peaks
Mark Frost and David Lynch’s cult classic Twin Peaks needs no introduction I’m sure! The murder-mystery serial has become the Marmite of television since its original airing in 1990. Even though I was a tad too young to catch its initial broadcast (it wasn’t really at the top of my list as a five-year-old), I studied it at University and became obsessed ever since! It has an intensity and unique style that has been often imitated but never bettered. I never get bored with this show, and can happily watch re-runs all year round! Want to find out who killed Laura Palmer? You’ll need to watch it and see…
The Runaway Success Show: GIRLS
The amazing thing about Lena Dunham’s award-winning GIRLS is, I knew a lot about it before I’d seen a single episode. It was famous before an episode had even aired – which is impressive – and it continues to grow in popularity. A lot of people compare GIRLS to Sex and the City – it’s about a group of four female friends that live in New York after all. However, that is where the similarities end. It shows that modern life in New York isn’t necessarily all cocktails and expensive shoes, it’s actually kinda like life in most cities. GIRLS is funny and serious all at once, reminding us about our closest relationships and that it’s OK to not have life all figured out just yet.
The Spooky Show: American Horror Story: Coven
Wait, a sassy gang of female witches? Hasn’t this been done before? I know what you’re thinking and yes, it does all sound a little bit like The Craft. But American Horror Story: Coven is different. Ryan Murphy has really nailed it with a fabulous balance between horror and a well-written script. There’s plenty of one-liners (“don’t make me drop a house on you”), clever back-and-forths and some EPIC speeches (mainly down to Jessica Lange). It’s a script that has kept me hooked and excited for each new episode. Oh, and the fashion is FANTASTIC.
The Underdog: Lilyhammer
If you aren’t watching Lilyhammer, then consider this my number one tip! Steven Van Zandt was always my favourite cast member of The Sopranos (and incidentally, my favourite member of The E Street Band, but I digress…), so when I heard that he had made another TV show about a mafia character I was all kinds of excited. Lilyhammer tells the story of how a slick American gangster adjusts to life in a small Norwegian town, after being placed there as part of the Witness Protection programme. Dark, quirky and full of on-point comic timing, there hasn’t been a moment of this series I haven’t enjoyed.
Are any of your favourites in there? Is there anything that you’d recommend to me?
With couch-surfing and channel-hopping,
Miss West End Girl x
Image credits: Illustration 1 by Catherine Elizabeth, illustration 2 by Coreena Lewis