TV in 2015: A Year in Review

Barry Quinn

Barry Quinn is an English Language and Literature graduate and a Creative Writer MA studier. He is an aspiring creative and professional writer and is currently in the process of writing his first novel. His writing blog can be viewed here: https://barrygjquinn.wordpress.com You can follow him on Twitter at: @mrbarryquinn

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There have been many shows that have captured our hearts and attention in 2015, and Vada has been there every step of the way delivering reviews and in-depth explorations. To ring in the new year we bring you a look back at what has graced our screens this year – check our our highlights below.

The Leftovers

First off, The Leftovers continued its excellent first run with a sublime second run, in which the action was shifted to Jarden, Texas, but the intrigue continued all the way.

This year we were introduced to a new family; saw one of the families vanish (and later reappear); had a semi-answer as to why certain people departed; saw the mother of all stand-offs between Nora and Erica; and saw Kevin battle with Patti, die, and later resurface after a jaunt through the afterlife.

What a season! Thankfully The Leftovers has been renewed for a third and final season, so at least we’ll get some closure. No show on TV at the moment is as good as this.]

Doctor Who

Doctor Who continued with Peter Capaldi and Jenna Coleman, producing one of the best runs since its revival in 2005 – perhaps the best. We had the return of Skaro and the Doctor facing off against Davros, Game of Thrones’ Maisie Williams dying and later living as a highway woman, the Zygons threatening to tear the world apart and the Doctor giving his defining ‘Doctor speech’, the divisive found-footage experiment, and the thrilling three-part finale.

Clara died, the Doctor delivered on some secrets in the standout single-hander (if you disregard that one line spoken by Clara, that is), and we got the somewhat of a letdown finale.

Why bring Clara back? What was the point? But anyway… join us at Christmas as we review the Christmas special, ‘The Husbands of River Song’. Check out River Song’s top moments in anticipation – especially for Hitler’s reaction about his would-be killer.

Game of Thrones

The behemoth that is Game of Thrones continued with its fifth season this year – which admittedly wasn’t as great as season four. This year Jon Snow died (or did he?), Cersei got her comeuppance in what is arguably the greatest shot Game of Thrones has ever produced, Stannis the Mannis pissed off every single fan when he set his daughter alight just weeks after affirming his love for her, Dany FINALLY rode Drogon away from the sensational Daznak’s pit, the Night’s Watch battled the infamous White Walkers, Sansa was controversially and heartbreakingly raped by Reek (kill the bastard now!) and the first (but not last) substantial change between the TV show and books occurred when Barristan Selmy was shockingly killed off!

We can’t wait for season six – please continue to be as great as the final three episodes of this season.

Looking

Another HBO show aired its second and final (SOB) season this year – Looking. Thankfully we still have a wrap-up movie, which is reportedly two hours long!

This year, Doris’ father died, Doris and Dom fell out, Patrick falls in love with Kevin, and Kevin managed to piss off every single fan when he suggests an open relationship, leading Patrick back to Richie.

We genuinely don’t know who we want Patrick to end up with ultimately – Richie and Kevin are both so hot!

Glee

Glee also aired its final season this year, which included Coach Bieste transitioning to a man, the wedding of Santana and Brittany, and Kurt and Blaine, an annoying child, a flashback to 2009, and a flash forward to 2020. Everyone returned (well, mostly) and everyone ended up happy. All we want now is for Alex Newell, who played Unique, to become a global megastar. What a voice he has!

And the rest…

We’ve also been watching American Horror Story: Hotel, in which Lady Gaga steals EVERY. SINGLE. SCENE. Hopefully this darkness will rekindle The Fame Monster era for her upcoming fifth album (#LG5)!

Likewise, Heroes returned to our screens this year with Heroes Reborn, which wasn’t as bad as we were expecting it to be.

Mark Rocks watched Girls this year, and lamented that it was rather uneventful, and Tom Chapman argued why you should be watching Scream Queens – because you just should be. It’s amazing. Really. Give it a try, if only for Deneen Tyler as Shondell Washington. Pure TV gold.

Back on UK soil, Broadchurch returned this year to entertain and baffle millions of viewers. The quality dwindled, but the performances were still amazing to watch. This year we watched the court proceedings of Joe’s trial, in which he got off(!), and the investigation into the Sandbrook murder case. Spoiler: IT WAS ALL OF THEM! Broadchurch will continue with a third season, though we have no idea what it’ll entail.

PS Ferns caught up with The X-Factor hopeful Anton Stephens to discuss the negative press he garnered, the judges, and the typical day in the X-Factor bubble; as well as The Vivienne, ambassador for RuPaul’s Drag Race UK. They talked inspirations, designer labels, and icons. Because, you know, we’re all iconic.

Speaking of RuPaul’s Drag Race, Bryony Bates caught up with Miss Fame to talk equal marriage, music, and branding, and then reviewed the numerous singles spawned by the contestants in season 7.

Craig Lomas also caught up with Aaron Carty from this years Britain’s Got Talent – the drag artist who danced better than Beyoncé!

Other reality shows that Vada has been watching include Big Brother, though admittedly after our initial reactions to Celebrity Big Brother 16: UK vs USA we switched off. In fact the regular series, Timebomb, wasn’t all that great either. Boring housemates meant that oldies were drafted in, but even those grew annoying after a while.

At least we predicted the winner! And at least Celebrity Big Brother 15 was better – Perez Hilton and Katie Hopkins made this a classic series!

Scott Balf attended Superbia’s Transcript, an event during Manchester Pride which discussed LGBT representation on TV, where he met Julie Hesmondhalgh and Bethany Black… not that we’re jealous at all. We’re all still waiting for Corrie’s anal week! And, this year’s Eurovision proved quite controversial here at Vada HQ – Alex Mitchell delivered his top 10 performances, whilst Jake Basford argued about 10 things he’d rather do than watch Eurovision, including cleaning, going to the gym and… ahem, masturbating.

Following the return of Heroes, it was announced this year that Prison Break will be returning to our screens next year as the latest in a long list of returning shows. We delivered our top five picks of who we want to return. If there’s no T-Bag or Gretchen, this won’t be a show worth watching.

Likewise, The X-Files will be returning next year, as reported by Scott McMullen. But one show that won’t be returning to our screens (at least not for a few years) is Mad Men, which aired its final season this year. Maisie Barker took a look at its depiction of family life, and questioned its relevance to millennials.

We don’t all watch TV on our TVs though – some of us are more modern. Jake Basford waxed lyrical about Netflix, giving us a look at the third season of Orange is the New Black (a show you should ALL be watching), and its newest show Sense8a show Jake labelled as mandatory viewing because, as he put it: ‘if you are human this is the greatest opportunity to emotionally connect with some of the problems of the world that you never thought possible. Maybe afterwards you will want to do something and help, or maybe you will cry and chat to people about it.’ Go on, give it a watch!

And finally (!) Adam Lowe caught up with Russell T Davies, Lee Warburton & Dino Fetscher and Lynn Hunter to discuss Banana. He also watched Cucumbersurely we’re not the only one’s to still be devastated at Cyril Nri’s Lance being murdered?!

Wow. What a year it’s been. Vada hopes you’ve enjoyed the ride as much as we have – continue checking back as we go into 2016.

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