From music highways, kick ass human clones, supposed true stories, hunting down serial killers, late night TV hosts retiring, movie reviewers retiring, absurd news hosts, to time travel comedies. TV in 2014 was truly bizarre and two choruses of the Everything is Awesome Lego classic tune.
Join me on the journey to celebrate 365 days on the tube:
#1 – Foo Fighers Sonic Highways
Dave Grohl’s 8 episode TV series on American music proved to be engrossing as I watched it week after week, eagerly anticipating the next stop-off along the highway. I wish there was more time with each city and a bit of good editing would have really helped in episodes when one story seemed to steal the thunder of the whole city.
The Seattle episode is only one such example. Don’t get me wrong I loved hearing about Nirvana from an insider’s perspective (worthy of a doco in itself) but I really felt it glossed over the majestic work of the entire Seattle scene from Alice in Chains, Soundgarden, Pearl Jam, Melvins, Screaming Trees, etc.
I would have also left out the Foo Fighters tracks at the end of each episode as we sometimes lost a good 10 minutes of hearing about other worthy musicians. The songs could have been kept a surprise for the accompanying album, but alas, I know that’s great marketing, Mr Grohl 😉
See More: Foo Fighters Sonic Highways (8.9 IMDB rating)
From the opening wink *true story* to the very end of this Coen Brothers classic, how can watching a story I’ve already seen in film form be so goddamn amusing and captivating? I’ve always known Billy Bob Thornton (Sling Blade) was a bloody good actor but he excels himself in this TV series and I’m afraid he’ll find out where I live. I even love Tom Hanks’ kid Colin Hanks as the dopey small town cop, Gus. The cinematography and score are epic and eerie. I have stopped using elevators.
Bob Odenkirk does such a good job as the Sheriff that I hate him for being so inept and getting in his brilliant deputy’s way, the wonderful Allison Tolman. Keith Carradine even plays her father, a former cop, and now cafe owner. Martin Freeman, as the creepy insurance salesman Lester is fantastic. I don’t know how there will even be enough story for a whole second series but I say, bring it on!
See More: Fargo (TV) on IMDB (9.1 IMDB rating)
#3 The Killing
Australian TV is a little behind the times, but I was lucky to be able to finally see Season 3 of The Killing (I’ll watch Season 4 in 2015!). Detective Steven Holder (Joel Kinnaman) persuades his former partner Sarah Linden (Mireille Enos) back into the force to help solve the murder of a prostitute killed in a suspicious pattern. One of my favourite actors, Peter Sarsgaard was absolutely phenomenal in the series as a prison in-mate on death row. I can’t recommend the show more highly, as it has proven to be one of my favourite shows of the decade.
See More: The Killing (US) (8.2 IMDB rating)
#4 Orphan Black
The Canadian production on this show seemed a little camp for me to be begin with in Season 1, but it’s like the first crusty season of The X-Files – who knew that some crazy sci-fi about *spoiler alert* human clones was going to turn out into something cool? The comedic elements with Sarah Manning’s brother Felix and uptight Alison, are measured to balance well with the preposterous story lines. Actress Tatiana Maslany does a wonderful job at playing multiple roles side-by-side the majority of the show, with Helena taking the cake as my favourite crazy of 2014. Besides, Orphan Black features Max Headroom (Matt Frewer). Go and get a Pepsi and join us for Season 3 in 2015.
See More: Orphan Black on IMDB (8.5 IMDB rating)
#5 At The Movies Ends After 28 Years
Goodbye Margaret & David, *sigh*. I want to personally thank you for my love of world movies, who else could have convinced a young teenager to give the Three Colours trilogy a go? You were on the telly
talking arguing about films since I was a young noodle (nods to Bill Collins and Ivan Hutchinson before you). I figured out the perfect system, if you both gave a film 4 stars or above, I had to see it. Anything less was a risk. Adieu, it’s French for goodbye!
#6 Shaun Micallef’s Mad as Hell
Shaun Micallef’s weekly news tirade is the most absurd view on Australian politics and I love it. Screw all the ABC and SBS budget cuts, when I’m in charge we will double this to an hour-long show and replace the 7pm news. If we can’t poke fun at our politicians with tax payers money than the terrorists win. And for those of you keeping count at home, I will also recommission Big Ideas, because it breaks up the monotony of the ABC News channel.
#7 Jonah From Tonga
Chris Lilley’s big comedy comeback was humongous for Australian TV. Half a million views of Jonah From Tonga within the 48 hour marathon. ABC iView took a risk to air all the episodes one weekend in May and it paid off big time. Of course there were new penis jokes, lots of break dancing and serious glares from Jonah’s dad.
See More: Jonah From Tonga
#8 Soul Mates
The Bondi Hipsters progressed from 5 minutes to a half-hour show on ABC2 and my was it worth it. Hands down my favourite comedy of 2014 and of 1970, and all the other times the brahs travel to. The brahs aren’t afraid to bare their privates for a lol, as their Kim Kardashian Rubbish parody would attest. Who else would think of New Zealand spies saving the world from carbonated milk, the vacuum-pack as a fashion accessory and travel agents of time travel?
#9 Black Comedy
Another gamble by the ABC pays off, with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander actors and comedians taking the reins over this little gem. Steven Oliver is always piss funny in the show, and needs to tour off the back of this sensation across all the comedy festivals in Australia! Aaron Fa’aoso you are fab in this, but I’m still absolutely guttered nobody took up The Straits for Season 2 as it has to been one of the finest Australian dramas from the story, the acting to the cinematography.
#10 The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson Ends
Screw Steven Colbert, Craig Ferguson was robbed I tells ya! Letterman’s Late Show baton only ever belonged to one man, and he is now laughing all the way to the multi-millionaire dollar bank (probably in Switzerland). You bunch of executive idiots. Way to ruin late night TV in 2015.
2014 TV In Memoriam:
- Robin Williams (Mork and Mindy, Happy Days, The Richard Pryor Show)
- Rik Mayall (The Young Ones, Bottom, Black Adder)
- Ann B Davis (The Brady Bunch)
- Russell Johnson (Gilligan’s Island)
- Joan Rivers (The Tonight Show, Fashion Police, The Apprentice)
- Christine Cavanaugh (Rugrats)