GregHorrorShow: The TV Of 2015

TV 2015 Blacklist

What a year it’s been for TV, with traditional television production companies feeling the heat from new shows made for Netflix – it’s certainly an interesting time and the only clear winner is the consumer, as we get tons of amazing new shows to watch!

Before we launch into those new (and returning) shows, let’s take a look at some older stuff I caught up on that I’d recommend.

I mentioned both of these last year and I’ve stuck with them – A Town Called Eureka (Season 3) and Arrow (Season 2). Both shows deliver a nice dose of light hearted escapism, although Arrow did tread a few darker paths in it’s 2nd season. I also delved into Continuum‘s first season, which is a wonderfully cheesy sci-fi romp involving a group of time-traveling criminals and the cop stranded in the past trying to catch them!

TV 2015 Fringe

However the award for most captivating show I’d missed first time around it goes to Fringe, of which I devoured the entire 5 seasons in the course of the year! A cross between the X-Files and Warehouse 13, it lost its way a little in Season 4 but finished strong and the White Tulip episode is one of the finest episodes of TV I’ve ever seen. I know it’s old but that takes this year’s title for Best Episode.

Wow, with new shows where do I start?!

Well, I absolutely loved Agent Carter, which is a fantastically stylised trip through an alternate 1940’s in which Peggy Carter spends her time tracking down top secret weapons and generally kicking ass. It was a short season but I enjoyed it and am looking forward to the show returning in January. Sticking with Marvel, I thought Daredevil finished strong but it seemed to take an age to get there, I really had to stick with it as those first 5 or 6 episodes involved a lot of set up. It was worth it in the end and the characters came into their own in the second half of the season.

TV 2015 Agent Carter

Rounding out the Marvel trilogy is Jessica Jones which is truly amazing TV. I’m only halfway through the season as I write this but it’s one of the best things I’ve seen in a while. This is a superhero show that tackles some really heavy issues and doesn’t shy away from any of them. Also it’s a private eye with superpowers – just… genius.

On a completely different superhero vibe, Supergirl is midway through it’s first season and it’s been quite enjoyable, if a little light. There’s a good dynamic between the characters but this is at the other end of the spectrum to Jessica Jones or Daredevil – Supergirl is definitely more of a Saturday afternoon kind of show! Sens8 arrived this year and The Wachowskis (of The Matrix fame) delivered an experience that I’m still trying to wrap my head around. It was a fun, if at times confusing, tale of 8 individuals from around the world that are psychically linked. It certainly looked great, especially with it being shot in different locations across the globe.

TV 2015 Newsroom

I thoroughly enjoyed the final season of The Newsroom, which arrived too late for last year’s round up. The cast, as always, delivered some superb episodes and the writing was as sharp as ever. What a fantastic show and while I was disappointed it was finishing, it was the right time to go out. Defiance also wrapped up this year and while this season was stronger than the last, it also felt like the right moment to end the show. I appreciated the return to form of some of the main characters but it was hard to maintain the impact that first season had.

I managed to catch both Season 2 and Season 3 of the amazing Orphan Black this year. As the story becomes more complex I just come to appreciate the characters even more and especially the performance of actress Tatiana Masley – who plays the majority of roles in the show. I can’t wait for Season 4, which should be great fun judging by how this season ended! I also got stuck into the first season of Gotham, which I think is a great idea for a show and I’m looking forward to seeing where they take it from here.

TV 2015 Blindspot

Blindspot was another highlight for me – the story of a woman with amnesia, covered in tattoos that lead the FBI to different clues and cases as they try to work out who she is and why she landed on their doorstep. The Blacklist returned for its third season and although we only got the first half of it this year it was quite something. Consistently one of the, if not the, best show on my television, it always brings great storylines and solid character development. And well, Raymond Reddington – who is one of the best anti-heroes in recent TV history. Shout out also to the music supervisor on The Blacklist, this season has been fantastic on the soundtrack front.

The Middle continues to entertain and, along with New Girl, remains my go-to light, half hour shows. Also keeping things light were Castle (Season 7) and Haven (Season 5), with the latter coming to the end of its run this season. Firstly Castle though, and as usual the cast keep that close-knit chemistry going which really helps to keep you interested in the show. There were a few lulls over the course of the season and the stuff about Castle going missing turned out to be a bit of a waste of time in my opinion. I did enjoy it though and look forward to more cop/writer adventures soon.

TV 2015 Librarians

Haven got back to form in its final season and concentrating on the main trio of characters was definitely a wise move. It was a shame to see it end but it had a good run across the five seasons it was on our screens. Another light hearted show I’ve been enjoying is The Librarians (Season 2) which is such wonderful, silly fun and a perfect replacement for formerly watched shows like Warehouse 13 or Charmed. This season has definitely been improved and the writing has come on leaps and bounds.

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BEST NEW SHOW

TV 2015 Jessica Jones

Jessica Jones just about steals it for 2015. It was a tough choice this year and became a three way fight between Jessica Jones, Agent Carter and Blindspot. All three have their plus points and I really enjoyed all of them. For me though, Jessica Jones was a real breath of fresh air. So much darker than I imagined and with an awesome twist on the gumshoe detective genre, it was my favourite new show this year.

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BEST SHOW

TV 2015 Orphan Black

It could only be Orphan Black. I love this show so much and having the benefit of two seasons in one year gave it the edge. It was this or The Blacklist. Both are unbelievable TV and both find me desperately wanting to see the next episode as soon as possible. Orphan Black tells a complex tale but it is well worth sticking with – the pay off is just too good. The characters, the situations… brilliant.

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So what have you guys been watching, let me know what else I should be checking out below or give me a shout on Twitter – @greghorrorshow

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GregHorrorShow: The Films Of 2015

FILMS 2015 INSIDE OUT

It’s been a busy year on both the big and small screen. There were some fantastic films released in 2015 and while I found myself drifting more and more towards TV content I did still see some quality titles.

In terms of big budget blockbusters I thought Mad Max was a real stand out. This is an example of what I want from a cinema experience – bombastic, over the top and wildly colourful. It was also a wonderful performance from Charlize Theron and Tom Hardy filled the role of Max admirably. I did enjoy Avengers: Age Of Ultron but in the end it was scuppered by my expectations.

 

FILMS 2015 BOND

Spectre delivered for me, I felt it was the best Bond since Casino Royale and brought a lighter touch than Skyfall, which was too serious for my liking. I absolutely loved The Martian, as I mentioned in my book round up I preferred the film in this instance – the casting makes it, with a stellar ensemble that brings the story to life.

I did some work on both Listen To Me Marlon and Amy, two of the best documentary films I’ve seen in years. Listen To Me Marlon is the story of legendary actor Marlon Brando, told in his own words via voice recordings he made throughout the years. It’s an interesting look at one of the most well known actors Hollywood ever produced.

FILMS 2015 AMY

Likewise, Amy Winehouse remains a household name long after her death in 2011. Amy is her story, told after sifting through hundreds of interviews with the people that were there with her. It is one of the most heart breaking films I’ve seen, watching someone slip into addiction and lose themselves. It’s also a fantastic look at the dark side of fame and I’d recommend anyone who wants to be famous to check this out to see a glimpse of what it’s really like.

In the interests of full disclosure I also worked on Man Up and Legend, both of which I really enjoyed. Lake Bell has been in some great films and while Man Up was marketed as a Simon Pegg film, it’s really her vehicle as the main character. A series of crazy events unfold after her character decides to pretend to be Pegg’s blind date. It’s fun film with a good heart. Meanwhile Legend tells the story of Ronnie and Reggie Kray, the infamous East End gangsters that fought for control of London in the middle of last century. Both twins are played, impressively, by Tom Hardy, who really brings everything to the roles. It’s a brutal film and there were aspects to the Kray brothers that I had no idea about, which kept me interested.

FILMS 2015 BROOKLYN

All of my family adored Inside Out, the latest tearjerker dressed as a kids film from Pixar. A memorable cast of characters delivers an interesting look at the thoughts and feelings of children on the cusp of growing up. As a father it certainly hit home and gave me something to think about for in a few years time!

My most pleasant surprise of the year was Brooklyn, the story of a young girl from Ireland getting passage to the New York in the 1950’s. Saoirse Ronan is superb in the main role and there is a nice cast around her, including the ever awesome Julie Waters. I really enjoyed this film and it was a well told story, perhaps I felt it tugging at my Irish roots!

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FILM OF THE YEAR

FILMS 2015 MARTIAN

As much as I enjoyed Brooklyn, Inside Out and Amy, the best film I saw this year was The Martian. A great cast, a great story and truly stunning visuals meant that it had everything I want in a film.

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So what did you guys watch this year? I know I wanted to see other films like Carol, Ant-Man, Chappie and The Lobster but just didn’t have a chance to. My most anticipated film of 2016 hits early, January in fact, with Tarantino’s ‘The Hateful Eight’ which I can’t wait to see. Let me know below if there are any films you’re especially looking forward to.

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