It’s the most wonderful time of the year — the time for year-end lists compiled by journalists / bloggers / critics highlighting the best (and sometimes the worst) in TV for 2014. Here at TheTelevixen.com, we were about to give you another one those year in review lists, but we decided on a bit of a twist …
In the spirit of the season, welcome to TheTelevixen.com’s First Annual TV Naughty and Nice List!
Each member of our team has selected one show for their “Nice” list, and one for their “Naughty” list. Take a look below at which shows will find something nice under the tree, and which ones will have a lump of coal in their stockings. Check out our picks below, and be sure to let us know which shows are on your Naughty and Nice lists by commenting below!
Nice: Jane the Virgin. This was the most pleasant surprise, and I fell in love with it from the pilot. It’s a great story with interesting characters, a lot of laughs, and a ton of heart. The moment each episode ends, I immediately want more! I’m really hoping that Santa brings me my very own narrator. How awesome would that be? (In case you were wondering, there was a three-way tie for second place between The Mindy Project, Parenthood and Outlander.)
Naughty: Revenge takes the prime spot on my Naughty list this year, so much so that I finally jumped ship in November. No matter how many twists or kickass actors they add to this show, it won’t bring me back. I really wish this one had been a limited series … one, two seasons tops. The longer it goes on, the worse it gets.
Nice: The Flash is on my nice list because it is the epitome of EXACTLY how a first season should be done! Great writing, great characters, great casting, and it’s just hella good!
Naughty: Once Upon a Time is on my naughty list because, aside from the last two episodes, the Frozen arc was SO BORING that I almost gave up on watching it! This show is on its last legs with me!
Nice: Republic of Doyle for a gang’s-all-here happy ending.
Naughty: Haven for handing 5.1 over to Mara at the expense of returning to the core storytelling that defined the show.
Nice: On my nice list is The Fosters … a show which never fails to leave a warm and fuzzy feeling inside. With demonstrations of love and affection — while exploring all sides of the family unit — this show delights in tugging on the heart strings. Santa would give them a hundred presents, of that I’m sure.
Naughty: Hannibal is on my naughty list for many reasons, not the least of which being Doctor Lecter’s spectacular display of brutality in the finale. Also I’m pretty sure there’s no way you can harm Hugh Dancy and still be in Santa’s good books.
Nice: My Nice pick is Jane the Virgin for being hysterical, touching and like nothing else on television.
Naughty: My Naughty pick is Once Upon a Time for devolving into an insipid advertisement for Disney products.
Nice: Chasing Life. There are a lot of reasons why this show is on my nice list ranging from its honest and heartfelt depiction of the lead’s struggles with cancer to its amazing representation for sexual fluidity. However, I am a shallow person so my main reason for giving this underrated gem a shoutout here is this: Scott Michael Foster’s Leo is the standout romantic lead of the year with his charm, his understandable rough edges, his hidden Make-a-Wish style gifts for his fellow cancer sufferers and, most of all, with his killer leather jackets.
Naughty: The Newsroom. Where does one even begin?
Nice: Enlisted. Another to add to the pantheon of “Brilliant but Cancelled” TV shows. Enlisted has so much heart, and so much love in it without ever being saccharine, plus enough chuckles, giggles and belly laughs to match. I laughed, I cried, then cried from laughing so hard.
Naughty: Arrow. One of my favourite shows went and fridged one of my favourite characters on TV. The show just hasn’t been the same since. R.I.P. Sara Lance, The Canary, and the awesomeness of that leather jacket.
Nice: Madam Secretary. This intelligent and quick-witted CBS drama could not have come at a better time. At least I’ll have something that can almost replace — my beloved — The Newsroom!
Naughty: The Blacklist. I just can’t stand how bad of an FBI agent Lizzie is! A complete turn-off.
Nice: The Mindy Project. I seriously cannot get enough of this show! Danny and Mindy’s relationship pays tribute to every romantic comedy that I grew up loving, which takes it to the top of my nice list this year.
Naughty: Dancing With the Stars. As far as reality competition shows go, DWTS is not too bad, especially with Alfonso Ribeiro on this season. However, Erin Andrews’ commentary is the absolute worst, which is why this show ended up on the naughty list.
Nice: Jane the Virgin is on my nice list for being the biggest (good) surprise of the new season – different and hilarious and full of heart, and actually doing well enough to stick around for a full season!
Naughty: Haven is on my naughty list for giving us yet another long arc that negated all the aspects of the show that made me love it in the first place.
Nice: American Horror Story: Freak Show. This season has been fantastic. And while not a lot of it has been “scary”, the stories they’ve told have been incredible and the characters they’ve come up with have been both other worldly and believable. (Honourable mentions to How to Get Away With Murder because it’s just straight up amazing, and Agents of Shield because DID YOU SEE THAT WINTER FINALE?)
Naughty: The Big Bang Theory. It no longer makes me laugh, and I’m no longer invested in the characters; at best it makes decent background noise while I make dinner.
Nice: The Walking Dead, because they still take time to develop characters and story arcs. So much action!
Naughty: Castle. The story is played out. I love Nathan Fillion; he’s basically the only reason I’m still watching. The writing is just tired.
Nice: Jane the Virgin. With Jane being one of the most lovely and admirable characters to grace television and a hilariously insane plot, Jane the Virgin was the biggest surprise and treat of the fall.
Naughty: Gotham. Like everyone else, I was looking forward to this Batman prequel. But I was disappointed. The show doesn’t seem to have figured out whether it’s a dark cop show or a showcase of comic villains helping Bruce Wayne discover his fate. In the meantime, the story just isn’t enough to draw me in.
Nice: Orphan Black. Opening up its world in a logical yet still suspenseful fashion, and what an ending to Season 2! Plus, Tatiana Maslany! Loved the further development of ALL the clones; each is such an individual.
Naughty: Helix for trying too hard to be a locked box story, but too drawn out to actually be suspenseful.
Nice: New Girl! They’ve come back from their Nick-and-Jessica era slump, and have been gaining traction all season, in my opinion. The Christmas episode especially was delightful.
Naughty: American Horror Story has seriously lost its touch. It feels like they’re just grasping at straws and throwing everything together at this point. I couldn’t even make it through one episode of Freak Show. I’m pretty sure I’m done with the whole thing. Murder House forever!
Nice: The Vampire Diaries is on my Nice list. The show and I haven’t gotten along as well the past couple of seasons, but this time around, the show is doing its best to remind me why I fell in love with it in the first place.
Naughty: Unfortunately, Parenthood‘s final season is on my Naughty list. This probably wouldn’t be the case if the final season hadn’t become The Adam and Kristina Braverman Are Terrible Parents and Professionals (And Also Hank Is a Main Character) Show (which is not as catchy of a show title, honestly), but unfortunately, it has.
Nice: Broad City. Abbi and Ilana’s antics and all-powerful friendship on Broad City continually put a smile on my face this year. The fact that the young women are also creators and writers of this excellent Comedy Central show is icing on the Christmas cookie.
Naughty: Doctor Who. I feel very conflicted about this because I think Doctor Who made some improvements this season over previous seasons, but — for me — Doctor Who continues to be very uneven in its characterization. There were high points this season — the season finale was great, and I had a soft spot for the Robin Hood episode — but I still expect more from this show.