Our countdown into the year’s best television shows continues today, as we look at a comedy that might be truly boundary pushing, an animation that had no right to be as utterly compelling as it was and a detective so brilliant it hurts.
6 –The Last Airbender: The Legend Of Korra
I love the original Last Airbender series that lit up Nickelodeon between 2005 and 2008, a show that combined the very best of western and Asian animation into one glorious package. When I say that the show up makes the original look sluggish and immature speaks just quite how highly I think of Legend Of Korra.
This follow up managed to combine the original shows charm, humour and habit of great characters and combine it with a darker tone and more than a little slice of the noir genre.
Legend Of Korra also managed to look absolutely stunning, with sumptuous animation throughout and fantastically framed and choreographed action making it the most visually inventive and exciting show on television, and making what could have been generic action into thrilling set pieces that never failed but raise your pulse.
With the best heroine of the year in the shape of the titular Korra, the show is so much more engrossing, thrilling and captivating than all but the very best of premier TV and was definitely the best thing on mainstream American television.
5 – Girls
Lena Dunham’s utterly brilliant comedy sneaks its way into our top five for the year, and may just be a show that will go down in history for changing boundaries and launching a super star.
Many have equated the tale of four twenty-somethings living in New York to a new version of Sex In The City, but Girls offers so much more, shirking the glitz and glamour of shopping trips and fancy lunches for flailing around trying to find a job or trying to figure out how you want your relationships to be.
It may occasionally become a little too navel-gazing for its own good, but Girls always manages to snap you right back into place by pulling out a fantastic joke, a real instance of tender drama or a brilliantly relatable moment.
Be it the trouble of nailing down exactly what to call a relationship, awkward small talk at a sexual health clinic, or the show’s fantastically frank portrayal of sex, Girls is about as honest and truthful as you can get.
Capped with by the fantastic central performance by Dunham (who also created, wrote and directed the show), Girls is one of the finest comedic dramas of the last few years.
4 – Sherlock
Benedict Cumberbatch’s brilliant private detective has become the default source of Sherlock for a reason, as Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss’ show just goes from strength to strength.
While the second, Hound Of The Baskerville’s based episode was slightly weak, the first and last of the trio of episodes were absolute dynamite.
It’s that dynamic duo that lie at the show’s heart that are the magic ingredient, with Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman having fantastic chemistry together as the crime solving duo and making every edition of verbal sparring they do an absolute televisual highlight.
Sherlock also has the knack of having fantastic guests, with both Moriarty and Mycroft simply sensational in their roles, perfectly played by the maniacal Andrew Scott and the slimy Mark Gatiss respectively.
It was the show’s opening episode and the introduction of Lara Pulver’s hyper cunning Irene Adler that stole the show, with the trio’s interplay and the fantastic, duplicitous idle at its core making for the finest 90 minutes of television this year.
All it really wanted was more episodes than we can count on a fork, and Sherlock would be even higher up this list.
Make sure you check back in tomorrow to see what show makes the top three, as we take an even closer look at the podium finishers, and check out the rest of the amazing shows from this year right here and here.