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It's been a tumultuous year, which means that most of us turn to our TVs—or laptops—for some light entertainment.
But unlike most areas of entertainment that often reflects our own culture back at us, television works at a much quicker rate—meaning that TV is more likely to depict, through comedy and drama, our current cultural climate with an exacting speed and accuracy.
And it was perfectly timed, proving in the midst of ongoing national conversations about race and sexism that the issues we encountered two decades ago still loom heavily over our culture today.
In all seriousness, there were months in which it felt as though a dozen new shows were premiering every day, and it is true that there are now more than 400 scripted shows (new and returning) competing for viewers’ attention.
colleague Sonia Saraiya has also posted her Top 20 Shows, as well as a roster of her favorite TV episodes of the year (here is one short piece that combines both our overall Top 20 lists).
Check out my list of the year’s best returning shows, and soon we’ll post a staff-written array of the worst TV moments of the year.Season four takes that challenge of maturity and stares it in the face, finally giving the Gallagher family some real financial stability and then practically daring them to step up to the task of maintaining it.The heartbreaking fragility with which the family handles this slight, tenuous rise in fortunes results in the best season to date, and a particularly strong showcase for Emmy Rossum, who as family linchpin Fiona Gallagher is consistently giving one of the best (and most under-appreciated) performances on television.Television is stronger than it’s ever been, as evidenced by the sheer volume and variety of programming The A. You can get your TV virtually anywhere these days, but to know what shows are worth uploading to your many glowing rectangles, you have to read on.Shameless has always been Showtime’s shaggy, lovable little brother of a show, the one that could do great things if he just grew up and learned to apply himself. Browning , Molly Eichel , La Toya Ferguson , Zack Handlen , Gwen Ihnat , Kate Kulzick , Myles Mc Nutt , Josh Modell , Noel Murray , Brandon Nowalk , Sean O' Neal , Dennis Perkins , Carrie Raisler , Eric Thurm , and Genevieve Valentine When the viewers, creators, critics, and scholars of the future reflect on the television of the 2010s, 2014 will have a special shine to it. This countdown of the top 35 TV shows of 2014 comprises streaming series and network staples, veteran dramas and freshman comedies, surprisingly good debuts and old favorites on the rebound.