Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Best Episodes of 2014

And welcome to another end of year best episodes list! As always, I prefer to focus on episodes at the end of the year, while leaving the best shows list for June. If you were here for last year's list, you know the drill, but for those that weren't, here are the basic rules:

- In general, no (or very few) premium cable shows were considered, because I don't usually get to see those shows until well after they air.

- No more than two episodes from any one show can make the cut (and in most cases, I make an effort to restrict myself to just one). The reason for this is that, despite how much great TV there is every year, there are always a few shows that tend to tower above the rest. Last year those shows were Breaking Bad and Enlightened. This year it's Broad City, The Americans, and Transparent, which could easily have combined to take 17 or 18 of the 20 spots by themselves. But where's the fun in that? So this isn't really a true top 20, but rather a top 20 that aims to capture what I feel are the finest episodes of many of 2014's greatest shows.

- Ordinarily I'd write some stuff about every single episode in the top twenty and post this as a two-part list, but I'm writing my undergraduate thesis next spring, so right now I'm working on getting a head start on that. Therefore, I've only done write-ups for the top ten this time around. Sorry about that. Life of a student and all that.

- It saddens me to not be able to include Black Mirror on this list. I debated breaking the rules and allowing it to be included, since I didn't get the opportunity to watch it until recently. But seeing as it officially aired in the U.S. during the last few months of 2013, I decided against it. But had I allowed it, "Be Right Back" and "Fifteen Million Merits" would probably both have cracked the top five. Heck, they might have been my top two.