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Editor’s Note: This is the first in a series of four posts from the site’s television writers, detailing their top shows of 2015. In order to qualify for the lists, a show had to air original episodes in the United States during the 2015 calendar year.
Right now, there are more television show options than ever before. It can be hard to decide which ones deserve your time. Of all the shows I watched this year, I compiled a list of my favorite TV shows of 2015. If you need some shows to watch during the winter hiatus, check out my favorites (in no particular order) below.
I’m usually not a huge fan of half hour comedies, but this one tells a unique story that is heartbreaking at times, but always hilarious. The acting and writing are impressive and there’s truly no weak link in this ensemble. It’s one of the only shows this year that has made me laugh out loud weekly. This show helps prove that comedies can be more than cheap jokes, they can have heart and can even cover serious topics like depression.
One of the biggest TV winners this year (for me at least) has been the CW network and no more is more surprised than I am. When I first heard the premise of this show, I hated it. I thought it was cheesy and would never make it past the first season. I only watched it because Gina Rodriguez nabbed a Golden Globe nomination for the role in 2014, which made me curious. The show is framed as a telenovela, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t feel real. I think Jane is the very rare TV character who could actually be a role model. I also love that the core of the show is about family, which is rarely the case. If the title or plot has you unsure, give this show a shot.
This is another CW show with a weird premise. I hate the whole zombie trope, but this series manages to make it work in a new and engaging way. Not only are the zombies able to carry conversations, but they can pass for “normal” people. I like to describe this show as Veronica Mars meets zombies- it has the same witty dialogue, sassy leading lady, mysteries every episode and great supporting characters found in the early 2000s cult classic series.
Oh hey, another CW show with a troubling title. I really hated this title, and I couldn’t imagine the show being any good, but I gave it a chance as soon as I found out there were musical numbers. I love anything to do with musicals and this show helps fill that void. Yes, it’s cheesy and some of the scenes make me cringe from awkwardness, but it’s pretty relatable and did I mention the whole cast can sing and dance? Rachel Bloom is a fun, (maybe crazy) main character, but somehow she makes you care about what’s coming next.
This show came out of left field (aka Lifetime). I don’t know if they have dabbled much with scripted dramas, but this show is a fantastic start. Shiri Appleby and Constance Zimmer are a dream team and every episode has jaw-dropping moments. It’s such an interesting premise and I can’t wait to see what season two has in store.
Netflix also continued to shine this year and Jessica Jones was by far my favorite show they have come out with. We FINALLY got a kick ass heroine. I devoured season 1 in a weekend and every minute was delicious and disturbing. I loved the female friendship, the underlying theme and, of course, David Tennant as Kilgrave. Dang that guy can act.
Aziz Ansari’s Netflix show is a fantastic slice of life story that is smart, thought provoking and just fun. It has a unique perspective that isn’t usually shown and television. The scripts are particularly impressive and contain the most realistic friend group dynamic I’ve seen. Everything flows naturally and feels real.
Amy Schumer has has quite the year and it all started with her sketch comedy series. It manages to be hilarious while also commenting on social issues. My favorite bits were of course the musical videos.
Yet another Netflix show made my list this year. Not only did it have the best TV intro of 2015, but it also told a hilarious and interesting story. Most importantly, it gave us the joy that is Tituss Burgess. Every line he has is instantly quotable and I’m stilling singing “Pinot Noir.” I can’t wait until next season. Tina Fey and company are a recipe for success.
Last but not least, Orphan Black season three makes the list. This sci-fi drama is often overlooked, but I think its third season was the best one yet. Not only did it feature twerking, but it also had one of the most traumatizing death scenes I’ve ever seen. This show is great for its comedic moments, jaw dropping moments and heart racing anticipation