10 Best TV Shows of 2014
When we were tasked with the job of compiling the 10 Best TV Shows of 2014, we were incredibly thankful that the list barred the inclusion of older shows that just were introduced to Netflix this year. Had that not been the case, the entirety of this list might have just been ‘Gilmore Girls’ in every slot.
With the absence of that old favorite, and of the great ‘Breaking Bad,' we figured it would be easy to put together a list of that which truly stood out on television this year. But when we were faced with the actual task of narrowing things down? That’s where it got tricky.
Some old favorites like ‘Orange Is the New Black’ made their ways back into our hearts — because if it ain’t broke don’t fix it, we suppose — while some brand-new shows totally blew us away (looking at you, ‘How to Get Away With Murder’). Check out our list of the Best TV Shows of 2014 below, and tell us if we missed anything!
From the oddly comforting feminism of Tina Belcher to the unabashed sincerity of Linda and Bob’s love, the Belchers are the family you wish were yours. Somehow getting funnier and smarter with each season, it looks like the general public has finally caught on to the greatness of this TV show. Not since the early days of 'The Simpsons' has a cartoon family had more heart, more wit or more fart jokes.
The Cory Monteith-shaped hole existing in the entertainment industry is most noticeable during repeat viewings of ‘Glee.’ But we have to hand it to the cast and crew for refusing to fold when it was the easiest option available. Glee will be heading into its sixth season next year, and we hope it maintains the strength shown in 2014's season.
If you’ve ever wanted to watch a teen soap opera with a supernatural twist, ‘The Vampire Diaries’ never fails to deliver. Sexy, steamy and scary — 'Vampire Diaries' maintained the drama of its earlier seasons while continuing to throw viewers for a loop in 2014. Who will die? Who will come back from the dead? Is anyone safe? Are they too safe? Who will Elena choose? Why is everyone always obsessed with Elena? These questions and more are either answered or they’re not, but it’s always a fun ride.
'Pretty Little Liars,' one of the best TV shows of 2014, is the teen soap opera for audiences who prefer interpersonal conspiracies to supernatural ones. Somehow, the twists keep turning sharper and the girls keep heading into dark brush at night without telling adults where they’re going. But when you consider the fact that literally no one is trustworthy in this town, you can’t blame them. At least it keeps us on our toes.
Shonda Rhimes doesn’t care about your rising blood pressure, your heart palpitations, your goosebumps. She only cares about Fitz and Olivia, the Heathcliff and Catherine of our times — and no, that’s not a compliment. 'Scandal' continues to live up to its name season after season, and we’re not sure how much more we can take! We're pulling for the justice of the character assassination of Jake Ballard next year.
Fairytales? Check. Magic? Check. Taylor Swift song? No, we’re actually talking about the NBC drama ‘Once Upon a Time,' one of the best TV shows of 2014. It’s a show that gets better with each season by staying relevant and fresh. With an abundance of material to draw inspiration from (fairytales are a never ending supply of origin tales and new characters), the show is just as exciting as it was when it first started. The best part? The incorporation of ‘Frozen’ characters in this season.
Who knew orange could look so good? Most shows typically go the route of being character-driven or plot-driven. But ‘Orange Is the New Black’ manages to marry the two so perfectly that it’s about both. Without spoiling anything for you (because it’s a show that deserves to be binge-watched in all its shocking glory), just know that the second season ups the ante from the last. It’s just as touching, sexy and heartfelt as the first and — trust us — it’s worth an all-nighter.
The serial legal drama ‘How to Get Away With Murder’ took audiences by storm this fall. The stunning Viola Davis — aka the new Meryl Streep — stars as a law professor who becomes intertwined in a murder plot, along with her class. That’s all you should know going into this one, and please don’t spoil yourself. It’s worth the shock. One thing you should know? Shonda Rhimes is behind this one, too — and it airs right after ‘Scandal.’ Have your heart medication handy.
It took some time for ‘The Mindy Project’ to find its footing, but once it did there was never a misstep. It’s a show that certainly isn’t afraid to go places (anal sex being among its most taboo subjects), but one thing we seriously love about it is that -- at the time this list was written, at least -- the writers have yet to give Mindy and Danny a reason to break up. Avoiding the pitfall of most comedies (yes, even ‘The Office’ pretty briefly), ‘The Mindy Project’ manages to keep our favorite couple together while still keeping it funny.
We weren’t sure it was possible to make us long for Halloween all year long until the 'American Horror Story' series was born (probably from the same womb as 'Rosemary’s Baby'). ‘Freak Show' tops our Best TV Shows of 2014 list because it's the creepiest installment yet, incorporating the general public’s massive distaste for clowns and the unnatural, while managing to give one of its most ghoulish figures a background that somehow makes you feel sorry for him. We never saw that coming, Twisty.