Top TV Shows of 2016

Top TV Shows of 2016

I’ve really enjoyed 2016 for providing captivating, next level television be it on American networks like HBO or AMC, to Netflix and now the new super player, Amazon Prime. There’s so much on offer out there now so I’ve compiled a list of my favourites from this year.

Honourable Mentions: Blindspot (NBC), Love (Netflix), Vinyl (HBO), The Crown (Netflix), Atlanta (FX)
On My List To See: The Night Of (HBO), Mr.Robot (S2, USA), The Man In The High Castle (S2, Amazon)

15. Stag (BBC 2)
It’s no secret that I struggle to be entertained by British drama, I’m not completely sure why. However, the dark twisted comedy of Scottish highland massacre show Stag really kept me enthralled. Excellent performances and relationships all round and enough slapstick gore to shake the whole of the highlands at.

14. The Walking Dead (Season 7, AMC)
It’s an interesting question as to where TWD is at in its run. It’s hit a rock bottom of sorts with numbers drastically falling and there’s a reason why. It’s become procedural. Rick Grimes and his band of merry men are stagnant in Alexandria. Along comes a bad dude and after a few tussles and a few losses, we go full circle. The Walking Dead has lost its way and no amount of shock killings or stellar work from Jefferey Dean Morgan is going to solve the problems. The show needs a bit change or it’s going to continue to rot.

13. Orange Is The New Black (Season 4, Netflix)
After a truly dull third season, OITNB returned to some form with a better fourth effort. There’s still too much time spent with nothing really happening and maybe that’s accurate, but the show has become a bit of an indulgent watch. The end of season shock was terrific television but I still felt like I need more from the show.

12. The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (Season 2, Netflix)
Kimmy had a really difficult task this season. Its set-up around her prison, the bunker, was such a big part of Season 1 and the downfall of Jon Hamm’s ‘Reverend Richard Wayne Gary Wayne’ was a pivotal moment in the show. So how does Kimmy move on with life? It turns out by touching on darker themes like therapy and trying to find her mother. It wasn’t as enjoyable a watch but there were still lots of incredible gags and overall a success.

11. Marco Polo (Season 2, Netflix)
Season 2 of the epic Mongolian empire story was released this year and to lesser fanfare than it deserved. The excellent cast returned but with new deceptions, wars to rage and bridges to burn. Both central characters were in exceptional form but I would have preferred more time spent between them rather than their separate stories.

10. The Man In The High Castle (Amazon)
What if the war was won by Axis? This is the question brought to life in Amazon’s The Man In The High Castle, and it’s a great watch. The acting can sometimes be lackluster but set-up, scenery and plot succeed greatly and pave the way for an excellent second season, which is released really soon. Season 2 has just been released so will absolutely be on my watch-list!

9. Outcast (Cinemax)
If you’re a fan of The Walking Dead’s darker elements then Outcast may be for you. I’ve been hearing lots of good things about The Exorcist TV show recently but Outcast is by far the possession show of the year. From TWD writer Robert Kirkman, Outcast follows dark goings on in a rural American town which possession scarred Kyle Barnes is on a mission to stop. It’s a chilling watch.

8. Game Of Thrones (Season 6, HBO)
Season 6 of Game of Thrones took us to the peak of the show, setting out the table for the remainder of the show’s run which will happen over two years in shorter seasons. I have reservations about the show, which is famed on so many different complex characters, being slaughtered for shock value and to tie up loose ends. I think we’ll lose the political side of Game of Thrones really soon and whilst the battle is with Winter, and its right to knock off the people who don’t have a place in that final battle, I think it takes away from a lot of the enjoyment of the show. That being said there were some really huge moments this season which I think we’ll remember alongside the top moments of the whole show.

7. Luke Cage (Netflix)
Mike Colter is a fantastic lead it turns out. Marvel’s Luke Cage carefully trods along the fence of Blaxploitation carefully and just stays on the right side of it. Harlem looks, sounds and feels great and the characters we have are really fun. Well worth a watch and a welcome addition to the Marvel family.

6. Daredevil (Season 2, Netflix)
Netflix’s first efforts at keeping a superhero franchise strong and running in its second season came through Daredevil, and they did the job right. The cast additions split up the series really well. The action was there, the pace was there and it was great for comic book fans to indulge in. The one thing/person that was missing they even brought back for a few scenes too. All good.

5. Narcos (Season 2, Netflix)
When the first season of Netflix’s efforts at Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar’s life story finished, we knew that it was set in stone that he would perish soon after. History shows that the show wasn’t able to keep him around. So Season 2 gets the fact he will die out of the way quickly. What we’re left with is a slow, tense build up done correctly which usefully draws your sympathy on both sides. Also enjoyable is seeing Pedro Pascal have an increased role in the play.

4. Stranger Things (Netflix)
It was the show that stormed the world in 2016. Hitting cult status within 24 hours of release, Stranger Things’ upside down, eggos & awesome 80s horror vibe made for one of the most easily accessible shows in years. Excellent young cast that have bags of potential too.

3. i-Zombie (Season 2, The CW)
The CW was already onto a hit with i-Zombie in season 1. It’s a show which wears its super geeky, pop culture loaded writing on its sleeves and doesn’t take itself too seriously, in the same way Veronica Mars didn’t before it. Season 2 upped the ante with progressive story lines for all characters and a great villain or two at the core. The big budget season finale was zombie filled mayhem on a level the show has never attempted before. I-Zombie has become a must-watch.

2. Preacher (Amazon/AMC)
Exceptionally impressive first season which effortlessly drops a shock value moment of weirdness at random intervals in each episode. The cast is great with Ruth Negga and Joe Gilgun being great finds for Tulip & Cassidy. The end of Season 1 was so drastically enormous that I’m not sure where Season 2 picks up but it’s the craziest ride on TV.

1. Westworld (HBO)
Words fail me when trying to describe the gap between Westworld and every other show I’ve seen this year. It’s first season is perhaps the best first season I’ve seen of any show ever. An incredibly fun and open premise with lots of different complex characters and a bucket load of mystery, questions and secrets which slowly but surely crack open as the series continues. Insanely good character work from the likes of Jeffrey Wright, Anthony Hopkins and Evan Rachel Wood. I’m in love with everything about Westworld and its devastating we won’t have it back for a while. If you’ve not seen it, make the time.

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2016’s Best TV So Far

2016’s Best TV So Far

We’re half way into the year and we’ve already had a sixth season of Game Of Thrones which is firmly looking towards its end, as well as a half season of The Walking Dead which introduced its new long term villain by smashing one of our heroes to small pieces in one of the most frustrating cliffhanger endings of anything ever.

If you are a bit despondent at Game of Thrones being over for another year, or just feeling a bit lost on what to watch, I got you covered. Here’s my favourite fifteen shows that I’ve watched this year that should definitely get your couch potato-ing on for.

15. Love
Netflix’s Valentine’s Day release this year came in the form of light comedy Love which stars Community’s Gillian Jacobs (she’s way less annoying than Britta) and Paul Rust (who is so cringe you’ll want to end yourself). Both getting nowhere in their love lives, the pair come together to form an unlikely relationship in the gorgeous Los Angeles sunshine. The show has it’s fair share of mutual self-destruction and there are plenty of times where it’s easy to hate both characters but in the end you always want to root for love, and the pair do have it. Mickey and Gus forever <3.

14. Stag
The words “I’m not against the BBC but…” will come up a lot in this blog post. With that being said, I’m not against the BBC, but I do prefer to mostly watch American television shows. It takes a lot to get me interested in a show from the UK but when the BBC do late night Slasher Comedy in the Scottish Highlands I’m pretty much sold. Jim Howick of Horrible Histories fame is the bumbling awkward lead who accidentally winds up involved in his brother in law’s Stag do which goes super wrong. As friends are picked off one by one in the foggy, silent forests of the Highlands by booby traps and khaki snipers, the laughs pour in almost at equal measure to the violence and scares.

13. Blindspot
A naked, fully tattooed lady turns up in a bag in central square with no memory of who she is or what she’s doing there. She does however have the name of an FBI agent tattooed onto her back, which places her in an elite squadron tasked with solving Jane Doe’s cryptic tats and solving huge crimes using the clues. It’s a case by case weekly episodic much like your CIS and Criminal Minds but there’s a bit more at stake which keeps things interesting.

12. Vinyl
A few years in the making, Martin Scorcese and Mick Jagger’s project about the record industry in the 70s was to be truthful, a huge failure. It’s been cancelled after one season, and whilst far from perfect, there was a lot to enjoy about Vinyl. When the show was being busy at American Century Records, with people stressing and incredible lead Bobby Cannanvale’s Richie Finestra being a maestro at juggling all the problems in his life, it was great. When there was focus on the issues with his wife, when there was focus on issues with his drug habits, when there was a murder afoot, the show lost its charm. For the scenes that are pure passion about the music, this show is worth your time.

11. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
Season two of Tina Fey’s show about the loveable Kimmy Schmidt, a girl getting her life back on track after being kept hostage in a bunker by a lunatic, was majestic in its humour and life lessons. Pop culture references are around every other sentence, the guest places are funny and Kimmy grows a lot in the season through attempting therapy. I had a grin on my face for the whole season, as I’m sure you will too.

10. Outcast
The new show from Robert Kirkman (The Walking Dead) centres around Kyle Barnes, a fantastically hollow and shattered performance from Patrick Fugit, who is a hermit in a small town after horrific occurences put his mother in prison. Whilst the town think he is a lunatic, in truth possession is spreading in his town, and Kyle is the only one who can stop the demons. His ally is town priest Robert Glennister who is a softer man that he was in Life on Mars. The show is stupendously dark and evil feels like it watches Kyle from every angle. It’s creepy, its bloody and its genuinely terrifying, but I think we have a classic in the making here.

9. The Man In The High Castle
There aren’t many shows on this list with cooler premises than Amazon Prime’s newest hit. Based on a best-selling novel, The Man In The High Castle pictures the world as we know it if Axis had won the Second World War. We follow some heroes in San Francisco, ruled by the Japanese Empire, and also the East, ruled by the Nazis. Whilst our heroes are a young American couple whose lives are torn apart through the finding of forbidden films showing the Allies winning WW2, the really interesting parts of the show come from the top of the governments. Rufus Sewell’s American Nazi leader and Cary Hiroyuki-Tagawa’s Japanese Trade Minister are the highlights as the shows politics and imagined “what if’s” make for really great espionage, war drama.

8. Mr Robot
Elliot Anderson is a shy cybersecurity engineer by day, but a ruthless Matrix style super hacker Vigilante by night who hacks and ruins the lives of bad people, assisting the police in the arrests of criminals and the such. Through the appearance of anarchist Mr Robot played by Christian Slater, Elliot gets caught up in an international cyberhack planning to bring down the world’s top 1%. Stylish and always sounding good, Mr Robot is a dark technological thriller which is utterly captivating.

7. Narcos
Netflix seems to have an obsession over Pablo Escobar at the moment, but the pick of the bunch, and the best show to go for this year if you’re after historical drama is for sure, Narcos. Whilst the show does follow the taskforce tasked with taking down Escobar (led by the excellent Boyd Holbrook and Pedro Pascal), the show is empathetic to the crime lord himself, following his life story. Colombia may be portrayed as having its problems but at the same time the scenery and colour in the show is stunning, and some of the stories that happened through this man were incredible. Don’t miss this one.

6. Orange Is The New Black
Season three of the prison drama passed by pretty whimsically, but the first five minutes of Season four fixes all of those issues by giving us some really great storylines. What follows is a full season of life changing turns for many of our favourites as we also gain new favourites through previous fringe characters being fleshed out with backstories. What is apparent is that OITNB is going to be around for years to come, it continues to reinvent itself despite being stuck in cells, bunks and fences. And all power to it when it is this good.

5. The Walking Dead
If by chance you have never seen The Walking Dead, who even are you?! Seriously though, AMC’s golden boy post-apocalyptic drama is un-cancelable at this point. The show racks in so much money and seems to continue to throw new obstacles at its cast. Performances this season have been strong with lead Rick taking a back seat to let Maggie, Glenn and Morgan steal much of the thunder. And, Welcome Negan, is all I’ll say on that matter. If it’s not for you then that’s all fine and well, but The Walking Dead is making the best shows of its run so far. Bring on October for the new season.

4. Game of Thrones
If by chance you have never seen Game of Thrones, who even are you?! Sorry to repeat, but the granddaddy of them all with regards to current television has just wrapped up its sixth season and it was absolutely perfect. With the show now being ahead of the books it revels in its twists, turns and reveals of which there have been plenty of recently. As the show looks to reduce the following two final seasons to lesser episodes, HBO really have let the full length seasons go out with a massive firey bang!

3. Preacher
We’re almost half way into the first season of AMC’s new graphic novel adaptation and I’m not quite sure how to describe what the show is about, such is its manic weirdness. Basically Dominic Cooper’s preacher finds a supernatural occurrence at his church giving him the ability to preach control over people, controlling what they feel and do with his words. He is joined in the action and, quite honestly, fun by his adrenaline junkie ex Tulip and his new friend, Cassidy, an Irish alcoholic Vampire. It’s all a bloody hoot.

2. Daredevil
Marvel finally get it right with TV thanks to Season 2 of Netflix’s Daredevil. Last year’s debut season was impressive and they’ve expanded their ambitions bringing in characters from the source material such as Elektra and most excitingly Frank Castle, otherwise known as The Punisher. The show is split into arcs of sorts with Punisher and Elektra both getting time for our hero to play ball with, with everything coming full circle towards the end. It’s really great, the fighting sequences are top notch once again and for all who worried that they couldn’t replace Kingpin, don’t worry at all!

1. iZombie
My favourite show of the year thus far is one that is still fairly cult, iZombie. The weekly episodic crime show is the most fun on TV, but also continues a central plot line throughout the season. Liv is a zombie, who maintains her control and humanisms by getting her fix of brains. Luckily she works in a morgue with the Police, so her supply to brains is easy. Here’s the cool catch, once she eats brains she inherits traits and memories of the deceased, making it easy for her to find out who killed them. The larger plot-line at play is the energy drink company, Max Rager, who caused her turn, who are plotting to make everybody zombies. It’s full of pop culture, it’s confidently funny when it needs to be and the cast are easy to care for. If you like the action of Buffy with the humour of Community, this will be a show you will adore, do check it out.

TV in 2015: A Review

I swear I’m wrapping up the end of year lists and reviews but before I do it would be rude not to take a look at the best Television and Film from 2015. *spoilers ahead*.

There were a fair few shows that I didn’t manage to catch yet. It looked a strong year for comedy and I recommend you join me in catching up with the finale series of Parks & Recs as well as checking out Looking. Having been impressed by earlier seasons I’ll also be looking for time to catch up with Girls and especially Silicon Valley which is probably my pick of the punch. Despite not hugely enjoying the first season, I’m going to give The Leftovers another go as I’ve heard incredible things and also I’ll be looking to give Empire, House Of Cards and Better Call Saul another go after they all bummed me out on early episodes this year. Lastly the one show I want to see which I missed this year was Mr.Robot. From what I’ve read it does sound like one of the best pieces of TV from 2015. I am tempted to check out Amazon’s WW2/futuristic show The Man In the High Castle and lastly despite it looking a bit lame, I’m going to give Supergirl a chance to win me over.

I also watched some shows this year which weren’t new but I hadn’t seen before. Leading these were It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia which I can honestly say is now one of my favourites of all time. Charlie Day as a human is the funniest person on Earth. I smashed through all TEN seasons and never tired of the ridiculous situations that our five anti-heroes, who are literally the worst five people on the planet, get up to.

I shall talk about my favourite Ten shows of the year a little bit but before I do there are others that I watched which deserve honourable mentions. It was a fantastic year for Netflix original shows and whilst some make it into my Top 10, some just miss out. Most recently Marvel’s Jessica Jones is a change in tone and finally a show I love Krysten Ritter in (god I hated her in Breaking Bad!). David Tennant also does a fine job as the antagonist for the season Kilgrave. Netflix also gave us brilliant new sci-fi show Sense 8 which was impressive and likeable despite sometimes feeling weighted as the season progressed. Some characters I didn’t connect with as much as others but I was left wanting more Will, Riley and Sun and less of Lito and Nomi who seemed to dominate most of the season. Capheus was pretty badass though. Lastly on the Netflix train was Orange Is The New Black season 3 which didn’t really get up to much. I can’t actually remember the plot, I just remember getting a bit closer to characters I hadn’t before so if I could call it anything, OITNB was pleasant this season.
Continuing seasons of Arrow and Elementary had different outcomes. Arrow had a very difficult, but over scrutinized, season 3. The same can be said for Elementary but where the latter has still been dull into season 4, Arrow has come out fighting with enough twists and new characters to re-freshen things up. Entering its second season Fargo took the interesting approach to solve it’s “How do we make a multi-season show based on one film?” question by doing an origins season for a supporting character from season 1. It worked for me and Patrick Wilson was fantastic in the lead role.
And finally, two shows finished this year which I have been with from the beginning. Glee wrapped up its troubled-self with a fairly subpar season which gave fans all they could hope for in a relaxed and overly safe manner. What was way more interesting was creator Ryan Murphy’s new project Scream Queens which is a one off show, completely unique and cheesy but kind of essential viewing. And then to Community which finished (again) after the dream Six Seasons! Thank you to Yahoo for keeping the fans’ dreams alive and despite the show missing too many parts to make a whole (Pierce, especially Troy and now Shirley), there was still some magic moments to be had. Now let’s have a movie!

10. Gotham (Season 1 & 2)
Favourite Character:
Penguin is electric to watch in every episode
Favourite Episode: Season 2, Episode 2: Knock Knock (aka the raid on the GCPD)
Gotham has been far better than I expected it to be. I watched all of Season 1 this year and grew quickly to some characters (Penguin, Fish Mooney) but others annoyed me and I couldn’t hugely get into our lead, a young Jim Gordon. It’s difficult to have a superhero show without a superhero, but many humanized villains. There’s a lot the show can’t do with its budget and therefore some week-to-week villains have been fairly weak sauce but when the stakes are high and death comes to visit, the show can be fairly shocking at times. Hopefully the second half of season 2 picks the stakes back up well as the show isn’t anywhere near suspenseful enough at the moment.

9. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (Season 1)
Favourite Character:
John Hamm’s villainous Reverend Richard Wayne Gary Wayne was a laugh and a half.
Favourite Episode: Episode 10: Kimmy’s In A Love Triange due to the side story of Titus learning how to act as a straight character by the brilliant guest star Dean Norris (Breaking Bad’s Hank).
Who would have thought that a show about a survivor of a kidnapping religious cult would have been so light and easy. Tina Fey does the trick with a great sit-com surrounding the beautiful Ellie Kemper’s titular character as somebody finding their feet in a new world, which just so happens to be New York City. With her sassy gay flatmate Titus, her quirky landlady Lillian and a show stealing Jane Krakowski as the very blonde boss for Kimmy’s maid job, the supporting cast were all great too for a show with a lot of heart.

8. The Walking Dead (Season 5 & 6)
Favourite Character:
Abraham’s had quite a lot of good screen time but I gotta give it to returning Morgan.
Favourite Episode: Season 5 Episode 9: What’s Happened And What’s Going On. The swansong episode of fan favourite Tyreese, this is arguably the best episode the show has ever made.
Don’t get me wrong, The Walking Dead has had a year of up and downs. With the exception of Tyreese’s passing, Season 5B was actually quite boring and never picked up from when the group found Alexandria. Even Noah’s horrific ending didn’t seem like essential viewing. However the show has come back strong with 6A by the style of storytelling. Not a lot has actually progressed in the story. We have had a failed walker herding and two raids (one human, one walker) but that’s happened across eight episodes. The way that the direction team have gotten around this is to have centralized episodes for characters. This has worked well for everybody to be honest. Daryl and Morgan have had singular episodes devoted to them whilst Glenn, Abraham, Maggie and Michonne have had enough time to be fleshed out. Glenn’s quick brush with death was an awesome moment in pop culture with everybody talking about it, and bringing him back was not a cop out at all. Season 6B should hopefully keep up the danger levels but I’d like to see more storytelling from Carol and Rick’s perspectives.

7. Game of Thrones (Season 5)
Favourite Character:
Kit Harrington stood up tall for Season 5 making Jon Snow THE hero to back.
Favourite Episode: Season 5, Episode 8: Hardhome. The shock battle sequence which took up the final half hour of the episode was the best thing I’ve ever seen on television and made my mouth water for more.
I’m not wholly convinced that there has been a drop in quality for Game Of Thrones but Season 5 has been the least enjoyable season by some mark. This may be due to the source material turning very bleak around this time but there isn’t a lot excitement coming to our various groups week to week. Kingslanding has certainly taken a hit with Tyrion leaving for Khaleesi land, Jaime leaving for Dorne and Tywin leaving for hell. This leaves very dull Cersei Lannister vs all story which I couldn’t get into. Dorne and Khaleesi tales were also really boring with Bronn and Jorah being the saving graces in lands I just didn’t care about. All of what matters seemed to happen in the North. The Boltons did some horrible things to Sansa and then did horrible things to Stannis after he did horrible things to himself, the tool. Arya’s adventures in the Braavos are passable and I’m interested to come back to see her struggles in Season 6 but the winning formula was all north of the wall. I could have happily watched ten episodes of Jon Snow, the one true hero of Westeros as he led the Nights Watch against the horrors of the cold night. Let us never forget that despite people fighting each other, the true coming evil lies North of the Wall and Hardhome makes us remember that. The shock at the end of the season hints towards me not enjoying season six a lot, please let him be alive!

6. The Flash (Season 1 & 2)
Favourite Character:
Tom Cavanagh’s Harrison Wells is a great sympathetic bad guy but it’s got to go to Barry’s foster father Joe West for being Dad of the Year.
Favourite Episode: Season 1 Episode 15: Out Of Time in which things reach breaking point with Barry telling Iris he is the Flash as well as Wells revealing his identity. The episode ends with a tsunami heading towards Central City. Shame they copped out and reversed it all.
The Flash for me has hit the ground running at a great pace. What makes it good is that despite it feeling like a week-to-week catch the bad guy show at times, the central plot does run through every episode and there is a good, sometimes great, cliffhanger at the end of each episode. This culminates in brilliant mid and full season finales and great villains in Reverse Flash and now Zoom in season 2. Long may consistency continue for this brilliant show.

5. Daredevil (Season 1)
Favourite Character:
I was rather fond of Kingpin’s first in command and friend Wesley.
Favourite Episode: Season 1 Episode 2 – Cut Man. With it’s incredible one shot action sequence in the final act, this episode was the best starters guide to the show.
Marvel’s best TV show yet, Daredevil offers much in the style department with the setting of Hell’s Kitchen looking marvelously deadly and also offers some fantastic action sequences through-out it’s season. Comedy comes from Matt’s law buddy Foggy and there is real depth in both Matt Murdock but also his enemy Wilson Fisk. If Season 2 can make The Punisher half as interesting as Kingpin then we will be in for a treat.

4. Fear The Walking Dead (Season 1)
Favourite Character:
The only junkie I’ll ever love, Nick.
Favourite Episode: Season 1 Episode 6 – The Good Man. The finale of Fear The Walking Dead was genuinely terrifying and gave several characters, namely Travis and Liza, good resolves to their Season arcs.
Fear The Walking Dead was a very successful project which ended up being far consistent than its main show was in 2015. Fans of The Walking Dead’s world have always wondered what the end of the world looked like for other people and not only did we get that but we also got to see what it was like as the outbreak happened in a big city and residential area. Perhaps the most intriguing part of the show was finding out how the military reacted to the outbreak which was scarier than the walkers themselves. The new characters aren’t quite Rick and Carl but still likeable enough for us to care about their survival.

3. Doctor Who (Season 9)
Favourite Character:
Clara bless her soul
Favourite Episode: Season 9, Episode 11 – Heaven Sent: Doctor Who’s attempt at a one-man bottle episode was a huge success in my opinion with The Doctor having to work his way out of an impossible trap whilst being pursued by a big scary monster. Let’s call it Time.
Season 9 of Doctor Who was one of my favourites since the show returned in my lifetime. Peter Capaldi really has settled into his role and is doing incredible work as the titular character. We did have Missy and Osgood return amongst others and we had Maisie Williams join the show in a large role but it was Clara who stole the show for this season and she will now be sorely missed. The re-introduction of double episode stories mostly added to the quality of the episodes but when you get a naff story you have to sit through two episodes of it which is the bad side of that double edged sword.

2. Fortitude (Season 1)
Favourite Character:
DCI Eugene Morton, the best character on television all year expertly played by Stanley Tucci.
Favourite Episode: Season 1, Episode 9. The non-weird supernatural storyline finishes in the penultimate episode with DCI Morton finding out who killed Pettigrew and why.
Fortitude was my favourite new show of the year with Sky Atlantic bringing a sub-zero, supernatural version of Cluedo to us. After a grisly murder in a lovely Arctic Circle town, everybody is a suspect (with the exception of American DCI Morton) and everybody has motives. Strange things happen, it’s not all completely sane and it’s a bit gory at times. The reason it’s awesome is that each character is deeply explored so we really are unsure who to love and hate week after week.

1. Hannibal (Season 3)
Favourite Character: I loved the arc for Hugh Darcy’s Will Graham.
Favourite Episode: Season 3, Episode 7 – Digestivo. The mid-season finale ends the first half of the season and the Verger/Italy acts perfectly. They say the enemy of my enemy is a friend and that’s exactly the attitude that Hannibal takes when using Will and co. to take down Mason Verger once and for all.
It’s difficult to describe just how incredible Hannibal has been over the past three seasons. People are put off thinking about The Silence Of The Lambs and the horror parts of the legacy of Hannibal Lecter but the show is beautiful. It makes gore and death something to love, something pretty. It’s cast including Lawrence Fishbaurne have been stellar and at the centre of it is a love story between a psychoticly stoic and stylish therapist Hannibal Lecter and his FBI Crime Scene Investigator patient and friend Will Graham. We come into season three with Hannibal on the run after he was discovered and hurt our three heroes really bad (broken back, slashed throat and a gutting respectively) but they are not dead. Hannibal lives in Italy and is chased by Will, Alana and Jack each on their own terms. Will also goes to Hannibal’s home and becomes a killer himself, becoming closer to Hannibal. The season hit’s a turning point as Mason Verger, the baddie from season 2 catches up with everybody and plans to exact his revenge on Hannibal. Ofcourse it all goes sour for Verger, with the season’s best episode. Once this is done we are set up for one last ride with a famous villain from the source material, The Great Red Dragon played by the strong and scary Richard Armitage. This sees the whole show out with style as Hannibal and Will must work together to take him down and the finale is truly beautiful with just the right amount of potential for the cancelled show to return in the future. For now though, this is Hannibal’s design.