2015 is coming to a close. We thought we’d get together with some of our favourite guest stars to answer some burning questions about TV this year.
1.) What show did you stop watching this year (and why)?
Kerri: Masters of Sex forgot who its characters were and so I forgot about it.
Graeme: Masters of Sex. They took a very solid TV show and turned it into a complete bore. They put a big focus onto their children, whom no one cared about, and insisted on keeping Masters’ long-suffering wife around for no real reason other than to just give her a part that should have been played by a new character. Truly terrible television.
Jane: Despite finding promise in the first few episodes, I think I finally gave up on Homeland. It became too much of a chore to tune in. The damage done to the show in Season 4 (particularly the manipulation of Carrie and Saul’s relationship) clouded the potential of Season 5. I just don’t feel like watching it anymore.
Katie: It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. Being disappointed in season 9 and hearing that the show was renewed for a bazillion more seasons, I had no interest in watching season 10. I had forgotten this show existed until this question came up, actually… maybe I’ll check it out.
Raph: I stopped watching Pawn Stars. I still catch it sometimes, especially during their multiple-hour marathons. I still enjoy it, but I think they got more into the show being about the quirky family rather than the cool items people brought in. So I prefer earlier episodes where it was a quirky history show rather than a quirky show with some history tacked on.
2.) What Christmas or Holiday episode do you look forward to most?
Kerri: I was going to write about how fun it would be to see a Christmas episode of Last Man on Earth, something I didn’t think would ever happen. I mean, would the last people on earth even bother with Christmas? Would they be up for it? And then, the night before writing this, lo and behold a VERY loudly decorated (thanks to Carol) Christmas episode of the Last Man on Earth shows up on my TV set. And, up for it they were! Secret Santa is even more fun when you have a 1 billion dollar price limit on your gifts.
I always look forward to Bob’s Burgers holiday episodes and I would have loved something festive from Gravity Falls (unfortunately, that ain’t gonna happen now). Basically, if Kristen Schaal is involved in a TV show I want a Christmas episode of said show. I also think a Broad City Hanukkah episode would be pretty stellar.
Graeme: Downton Abbey because even though it’s been a horrible show for several seasons somehow I still stuck it through to the end. Hopefully they’ll all burn to death when Edith gets sick of their stupidity and just burns the mother down.
Jane: Any holiday spent with the Braverman’s of Parenthood. When the whole family is around the table having a meal and celebrating, I am in my happiest TV place.
Katie: My 3 favourite shows for Christmas episodes are all set in offices. Having worked in an office for so long, the office party traditions and awkwardness hit home in a very real way. I’ve always loved the Christmas episodes of Parks and Recreation as well as The Office (both US and UK.) Maybe if a new comedy set it in office comes along, I’ll love their Christmas episodes too, but for now I’ll just watch Tim and Dawn kiss again and again and again and again… and again.
Raph: I watch It’s A Wonderful Life on Christmas Eve every year. But WWE Raw wrestling has a Christmas show every year. It’s always wonderfully bizarre as in year’s passed: Santa has gotten run over by a Mexican millionaire, chesty women wrestle in a vat of egg nog, and it usually culminates in a “season’s beatings” match where all holiday themed items are used weapons. They also have guest stars: Dennis Miller, Bob Barker, Nickelback, etc.
3.) Which show did you like that you thought you wouldn’t this year?
Kerri: I don’t generally start watching shows that I don’t think I’ll like. The truth is, I’m pretty easy to please. If a show is good, no matter the genre or subject matter, I’ll probably like it. That being said, I had a lot of love/hate and sometimes hate/hate relationships with shows this year. The Leftovers, Casual, Fresh Off the Boat, The Affair, Homeland, Red Oaks, Game of Thrones and Togetherness are all shows that I watch (or have watched) regularly and often enjoy but sometimes wonder why I’m watching them in the first place.
The show that surprised me most in terms of how much more I enjoyed the second season to the first was You’re the Worst. The second season was more assured, nuanced, decidedly more funny and even managed to flesh out its secondary characters a bit. But the best, and I mean downright show-altering, heart-wrenching best, thing about season two was the story of Gretchen’s depression. It was something rarely seen on TV or, really, anywhere and it was entirely earned and in keeping with the character. A bold and pretty damn brave move for a sitcom and it paid off handsomely (with a little help from Aya Cash and Chris Geere’s incredible acting).
Graeme: This is a really tough one because I don’t normally put on shows I suspect I won’t like. I’ll have to go with the much-maligned True Detective Season 2, which I correctly predicted would have a precipitous drop-off in quality from Season 1. That said, I actually became a huge fan of the season because of how terrible it was after all. This list does a pretty great job summarizing its insanity.
Jane: I’m only 3 episodes in, but I’m really enjoying Superstore! It is hilarious and the characters are interesting so far. The comedy is bolder than I thought it would be. It doesn’t pull any punches with social commentary on soulless corporations like Walmart. There is a hilarious cat and mouse game where a photographer for the chain’s staff magazine desperately attempts to photograph the store’s black, wheelchair bound employee for good press. I’ve been on the lookout for a good sitcom and this is hitting the spot.
Katie: Jessica Jones. I mostly hate superhero stories, but Jessica Jones grabbed me from the first episode.