Where to even begin with what was an INSANE year in nerd television. Newcomers had epic finales and even better returns. Veterans of the genre showed they still had some punch left. Giants saw all time lows and expectations failed to be met while some were beyond exceeded.
If anything is left OFF of this list, it was not meant to throw shade at that show. For example, The Walking Dead will not make this list. Why? Because it was a mediocre year for a really good show. Same can be said about Arrow. Shows with great moments that just weren't the very best 2015 had to offer. So, in no particular order, here are my Top 5 TV shows of 2015.
The Flash - The CW
Where can I even start with The Flash? 2015 encompassed what was an incredible 2nd half of season 1 for the cast of The Flash while it also saw the hugely anticipated first half of season 2. This show has impressed from day 1 with it's ability to avoid the cliches plaguing other superhero shows while still embracing the hardcore nerd fan base. What makes The Flash better than other contenders in the genre? The cast.
Grant Gustin deserves every bit of success coming his way. His Barry Allen shines through the red spandex. The man is every bit as important as the hero. Gustin has really outdone himself so far in season 2, showing new depths to Barry as a character. The biggest strength of The Flash though is in its supporting players. Jesse L. Martin, Candice Patton, Tom Cavanagh and Danielle Panabaker have all been great as Team Flash but the real breakout star of this series is Carlos Valdes. His Cisco Ramon is what makes this series one of the year's best and a show I look forward to watching for years to come. The growth as a character JUST in 2015 has Cisco poised for big things in 2016.
Mr. Robot - USA Network
Talk about a show you didn't see coming. This show honestly caught my attention because I enjoyed star Rami Malek in the popcorn flick Need For Speed. No joke. I had no idea what to expect coming in and was FLOORED by this smart, smooth tech thriller. The show centers around Malek's introverted and intensely paranoid computer programmer named Elliot. To give away much more of the plot would be giving away too much but I will say the show has elements of sci fi and tons of great tech jargon that I'm assured is accurate.
Christian Bale turns in his best performance in years but this show is carried in large part by Malek and the incredible leading ladies of Mr. Robot. Portia Doubleday, Carly Chaikin and Frankie Shaw all shine in their roles. USA took a big risk on Mr. Robot and it has paid off in spades. Season 2 was announced before a single episode of season 1 had aired so we'll get back into Elliot's world very soon. I can't even wait.
Daredevil - Marvel/Netflix
What is there left to say about Daredevil that hasn't been said? Career defining performances from Charlie Cox and Vincent D'Onofrio. Brilliant action sequences. Marvel FINALLY proving they aren't afraid of the blood. Netflix showing that their magic is real by making a series that delighted newcomers to the genre while appeasing hardcore Daredevil fans. The pacing, the cinematography, the script, the acting...it was incredible.
If I had to pick the 1 thing that makes Daredevil standout over other contenders for this spot on the list? Kingpin. Vincent D'Onofrio deserves awards upon awards for his turn as Wilson Fisk. One of Marvel's longest running big bads, one of the legendary villains in the Marvel stable and D'Onofrio gave a pitch perfect performance. He captured not just the savagery of Kingpin but the delicate balance his life teeters upon.
Jessica Jones - Marvel/Netflix
This made this list before I watched a single episode. The trailers ALONE hooked me with David Tennant's Killgrave whispering "Jeeeeesssssiicaaaaaa..." and the look and feel of the show really kept with that theme. It's a noir series with super powers. Tennant of course knocks it out of the park as an actor of his caliber is expected to do and Krysten Ritter was wonderful as Jessica Jones. But just like with The Flash, the supporting players are a big tipping point for this landmark series. Mike Coulter, Rachael Taylor and Eka Darville (former Power Ranger) all made this series the amazing ride that it was.
But let's all stop for just a second and recognize Jessica Jones for what it is: A real, kick ass female series. Sure, Agent Carter deserves some love in that category too. Supergirl gets a mention as well for finding it's footing after a rocky start. But they lack the realness of Jessica. They lack the struggle, the trauma, the feeling that we could all know a Killgrave or a Luke or a Jessica and just have no idea. Jessica Jones was the realness. Season 2 should be a thrill.
iZombie - The CW
Alright, alright, calm down. How did a little show from the guy who made Veronica Mars end up on this list over some of the GIANTS from other networks? I like being surprised. I knew what I would get in 2015 from Game of Thrones. I knew what I expected from Ash VS Evil Dead. iZombie caught me completely off guard. What started as a show my girlfriend wanted to watch became appointment viewing for both of us. iZombie has brains aplenty but they don't skimp on the heart or the laughs.
Rose McIver (another former Power Ranger) is brilliant in her starring role while the supporting cast is also excellent. The best part of this seemingly obvious zombie tale? Nothing about it is as obvious as you think. Set your zombie assumptions aside old friend and embrace the new world.
Alright, so where did I miss? What heinous crime against the television enjoying public have I perpetrated? Let me know in the comments and have a happy new year!