Shows I watched in 2014

Saturday, 27 December 2014

It's no secret that I watch a lot of television shows. One look at my Tumblr says it all and you'd only have to speak to my closest of friends to know that I love immersing myself in the lives of fictional characters. Celebrating their happiness and crying rivers in their darkest hours.
Here is a list of shows that I loved watching this year and the characters that have made Twenty Fourteen a dramatic year with their story-lines.

HOW TO GET AWAY WITH MURDER

How to Get Away with Murder began airing this autumn and it is the US legal drama series that everyone is talking about online.

What is it about?
A group of ambitious law students and their brilliant criminal defense professor become involved in a twisted murder plot that promises to change the course of their lives.
HTGAWM leaves us asking a lot of questions. Every episode we follow the law students and Annalise, their professor, on her cases.

But the big question of the first few episodes is 'who killed Sam Keating', Annalise's husband? To make it even juicier, every single one of the characters looks guilty.

What I love about it:
  • Viola Davis is absolutely magnificent as Annalise in every episode.
    She's the epitome of a strong female. She doesn't take any nonsense, she can be ruthless and strict and more importantly, she isn't afraid to cry.
  • The whodunnit way in which the show is carried out.
    The first episode starts in the present day with the law students arguing over what to do with Sam Keating's body. The series is told through flashbacks pre-Sam murder and occasional skips back to the present day. As the series unravels, the pre-Sam flashbacks show us almost everyone has a link with Sam and almost everyone could have done it.

  • The Keating 5 and their dynamic.
    It's so competitive and tense with everyone desperate to get their clutches on the trophy that exempts the owner from taking an exam.
  • Each of the law students have qualities that everyone can relate to. From Wes' need to look out for the ones he cares about to Michaela's short temper.
  • Matt McGorry's portrayal of Asher Millstone is hilarious. While Asher has some daddy issues which are revealed in an episode, he is the King of Douchebags. Yet, despite all his douchery, he is completely lovable. 
There are so many reasons to watch How to Get Away with Murder. It's quick, it's clever and witty. It will also probably put you off law school for life.

HTGAWM is currently on hiatus and returns in the spring on ABC (US) and Universal Channel (UK).

SELFIE

Please do not let the name deter you from this show. I understand that it's probably off putting, but this show was - and I say was because ABC unfortunately and quite wrongly cancelled it - a fun and rather clever comedy who suffered from a rather unfortunate name.
Selfie was an American situation comedy series starring two of my favourite actors Karen Gillan and John Cho set in the world of social media.

What is it about?
Using a premise similar to Pygmalion and My Fair Lady, the series followed the life of Eliza Dooley, a modern day version of Eliza Doolittle, a woman who is obsessed with becoming famous through the use of social media platforms like Instagram.

Until an unfortunate accident causes Eliza to realise that she needs to actually find people that she can be friends with physically instead of “friend” them online.

This prompts her to hire Henry Higgs, a marketing self-image guru who is left with the task of re-branding Eliza’s image in the hopes to show her that there is more to life out there than just playing Candy Crush Saga with an iPhone and connecting with a Facebook page.

You're probably still not sold, right? You're going to ask me exactly what is it about this show that I liked or why should get yourself on Hulu and watch the episodes? Well, here you go:

What I loved about it:
  • The rapport between Henry and Eliza.
    John Cho and Karen Gillan have such great chemistry together. From the pilot it was obvious that these two were a duo destined to be together. She infuriates with him with her oblivion towards the real world and he infuriates her with his lack of ability to just let go and have fun. But when they're not rolling their eyes at each other, they have their moments and it's sweet.
  • John Cho is gold as Henry.
    While I am sad that we probably won't see any development on Heliza now that it's been cancelled, what I will miss the most is John Cho. His portrayal as Henry was the main reason that I kept watching. Had anybody else but Cho played the role, I don't think I would've taken to Henry. It was nice to see him play a leading man. Henry had the most hilarious scenes and while I can somewhat find a piece of myself in selfie obsessed Eliza, Henry is the character I relate to the most.
I'm begging you to give Selfie a chance. Even if you think it sounds dumb, even if you thought the pilot was weak, I want you to get yourself over to Hulu and give the first few episodes a proper try because on paper it sounds terrible but with the excellent talent of Karen Gillan and John Cho bringing the characters to life, it's something pretty damn special.

It's not everyday that there's a redhead leading female and Asian leading man which is something I really liked about Selfie. It isn't just Eliza who is learning to re-evaluate herself in this show,  Henry is also changing. Under Eliza's presence, she coaches him to come out of his hard-working shell and be more of an in the moment, fun guy.

Sign this petition to help #SaveSelfie

AMERICAN HORROR STORY: FREAK SHOW

Anyone who knows me knows that I have been obsessed with FX's anthology series American Horror Story since the first season. So, I have been counting down the days for its return this October with the highly anticipated fourth season, Freak Show.

What is it about?
This series is set in 1952 Jupiter, Florida and tells the story of one of the last remaining freak shows in America that is struggling to survive. Led by Elsa Mars (the flawless Jessica Lange), the show's members include the Siamese Sisters, two-headed Bette and Dot Tattler (played by Sarah Paulson), lobster boy Jimmy Darling (Evan Peters) and his mother, the bearded Ethel (Kathy Bates). Jimmy's father, 'strong man' and resident asshole Dell Toledo (Michael Chiklis), also joins the freak show, accompanied by his wife, a three-breasted woman, Desiree Dupree (Angela Bassett).

The season focuses on the conflict between the freaks and the 'evil forces' of the outside world who do not understand them. This includes the psychopathic Dandy Mott (the wonderful Finn Wittrock), whose obsession with the twins brings despair to him and his mother, Gloria (Frances Conroy). Also plotting against the freaks are con artists Stanley (Denis O'Hare) and Maggie (Emma Roberts), who plot to kill the freaks and sell them to a museum.

What I love about it:
  • Jessica Lange sings!Is there anything Jessica Lange can't do? From the German accent to belting out Lana Del Rey and Bowie. Jessica Lange can do no wrong in my eyes and I pray to the television gods that this isn't her last season because AHS isn't AHS without their queen.
  • Psychopath Dandy Mott
    After being enlightened by the short lived Twisty the Clown, Dandy discovers that his true calling in life is to be a murderer and I couldn't be more happy. He is truly bringing the horror element to this season. If Dandy Mott is going to murder someone, Dandy Mott will not hold back and if you stand in his way, you'll probably get killed in the process.

    Dandy is so twisted and I love it. We haven't had a proper psycho on the show since the first season with Tate Langdon, but Dandy makes Tate look like an angel. He's a rich, sulky white boy who gets his highs decapitating people and then bathing in their blood and he's one of my favourite characters this season. I both simultaneously love and hate him.  Finn Wittrock, the actor who plays Dandy, has been a great addition to the show.

  • When I first sat down to watch the show with my mother who had never seen an AHS episode prior, I recall her being terrified of the freaks and finding them scary. But as the season has gone on, she's warmed to them and hearing each 'freak' character tell their individual stories when Edward Mordrake came to visit, which was probably one of my favourite episodes because Wes Bentley was in it, definitely brought a tear to both our eyes. That's the brilliant thing about this season. While it lacks the horror of past seasons like Asylum and Murder House, it has given me a lot to think about. Just watching the short interviews with the 'freak' actors is fascinating and rather touching to hear stories of their struggles. See 'Amazon Eve' Erika Ervin's Story. See 'Seal boy' Mat Fraser's Story.

  • Much like last season I am in awe of the costumes. Kudos to whoever does wardrobe and make-up on that set because they really outdo themselves. I was so certain that last season, Coven,'s clothing was unbeatable in my eyes, but I'm really loving the bright and glamorous outfits of Freak Show. What I wouldn't give to have Maggie Esmerelda's wardrobe.
  • While Dandy Mott is going off murdering everyone and anyone, this season has a lot of heart. It's heavy with the struggles and issues of family. Whether it's Jimmy dealing with his loss or Bette and Dot's complicated scenario of not wanting to lose each other, but each wanting an individual life. There's a lot of moral dilemmas and a lot of tears shed in the name of family and love. In addition to this, Evan Peters knows how to cry and look damn good doing it.
The great thing about American Horror Story is that each season is a separate story, completely different from the last. So, you can just jump in anywhere. Although, I recommend starting at the beginning. Murder House and Asylum are my favourite seasons.

These are just a small handful of the shows that had me glued to the couch this year and I absolutely cannot wait for their return in 2015. Let me know if you'd like to see more T.V. show related posts on the blog as I really did enjoy writing this one.

Hope you have a great day! Happy T.V. show watching!
Until next time,
Samantha

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