With TV shows often eclipsing film now in terms of audience rates, Loaded takes you through the biggest shows of the year, from new entries including The Man In The High Castle and Narcos, to firm and well established favourites including Game of Thrones and House of Cards.
Nights in with a boxset never looked so good.
Top Coppers – BBC3
The popular action-packed cop-show comedy follows the adventures of John Mahogany and Mitch Rust as they attempt to rid Justice City of it’s deranged criminal underworld. Highlights this year included the escape of Vince Rust, the twist of the French knicker with Romeo and Byrne and meeting Captain Woods.
London Spy – BBC2
One of the stand-outs of the year, this five-piece drama boasts a stellar cast and a dark humour that kept many of us tuned in. Ben Whishaw and Jim Broadbent starred in the mystery thriller following disillusioned DIY shop worker Danny who meets a stranger on a bridge and as a result, things are never the same again.
Orange Is The New Black – Netflix
A firm favourite for many season’s now, Netflix has already prepared for the return of a forth season in 2016, which is good news as it seems like an age since series three wrapped. Season three saw Piper Chapman achieve something we didn’t think possible by becoming even more annoying and less convincing as a criminal than ever before. She’s not convincing as a lesbian either. Still, it all makes for entertaining viewing.
Asian Provacateur – BBC 3
This brilliant series saw Romesh Ranganathan sent by his mother on a ramshackle odyssey around his parents’ homeland of Sri Lanka in an attempt to connect him with his roots. During his quest, Roman discovers everything he never thought he needed to know, including stick dipping, the importance of religion and how vital it is to not mention the war.
Hannibal – FX
As the name would suggest, this is a dark and haunting production made for NBC in the US, which returned for it’s third series this year. After the surprising end to season two, Hannibal (Mads Mikkelsen) is on the run in Europe – accompanied by his psychiatrist Bedelia Du Maurier (Gillian Anderson) – sporting a new identity, but servicing the same insatiable appetite. Another show with a stellar cast. Probably not for the faint hearted.
Louie – FX
This season saw Louie C.K. do only 8 episodes, having wanted to delay season five so that he could film it later in the year. C.K directs each episode and the season isn’t filmed one episode at a time but with lots of scenes at the same location, much in the same way as a feature length film. Highlights this year included “Jornetha” in a gender swap role play scene from the episode entitled ‘Bobby’s House’. While some of the ideas are autobiographical, C.K. also likes to let his imagination run wild.
Fargo Channel – Channel 4
October of this year saw the return of the Golden Globe-winning Fargo to Channel 4 with an all-star cast including Kristen Dunst, Jesse Plemons, Patrick Wilson, Ted Danson and Jean Smart. This series was set in 1979 in South Dakota and unfolded dramatically over 10 episodes. We won’t spoil it for you.
No Offence – Channel 4
There were high hopes for Paul (Shamless) Abbott’s police drama and it didn’t disappoint.The final episode saw DI Vivienne Deering (Joanna Scanlan), DC Dinah Kowalska (Elaine Cassidy) and DS Joy Freers (Alexandra Roach) finally bringing down Viv’s other half Laurie Gaskell (Risteárd Cooper), but not before he almost got his hands on Dinah. It certainly grabbed the attention of a large Twitter following who were on tenterhooks right up until the shocking end of the series.
Jessica Jones – Netflix
The Marvel series has taken Netflix by storm this year. Haunted by a traumatic past, Jessica uses her gifts as a private eye to find her tormentor before he can harm anybody else in Hell’s Kitchen. Krysten Ritter has come into her own following her stint on Breaking Bad, with great support from our own David Tennant.
Josh – BBC3
Spending more time on the scripts than his show’s title paid off as The Last Leg host moved into sitcoms with surefooted ease. The flatshare premise traced an obvious lineage to Men Behaving Badly, but there were enough sharp one-liners and neatly wrapped-up farcical plots to suggest a move to the mainstream is both plausible and deserved. Bonus points too for being the first sitcom in years to make non-clunky football references.
Loaded’s entertainment editor Jennifer O’Brien is an award-winning journalist who has written extensively about popular culture as a national newspaper columnist and author. Follow her on Twitter at @Jen_OBrien1