TV.com's Top 100 Everything of 2014, Vol. 1: Items 100–91

Wow! 2014 is almost over. It seems just like yesterday we were marveling over a new season of Justified and visiting a place called Broad City for the first time. And now here we are, staring 2015 in the shoes and shopping for calendars. What have we been doing for the last 12 months? Spending every waking moment in front of the TV, that's what!

As is our wont here at TV.com, we're saying goodbye to the year that was by counting down the 100 things we loved most about television. Maybe they're special moments from our favorite episodes, maybe they're bits of news that will affect us for years to come, maybe they're someone's hair. We're covering the whole spectrum of TV-related goodies. Keep an eye out for a new installment of 10 items every few days from now until the end of the year, with the Top 10 dropping on New Year's Eve. ON TO THE TOP 100 EVERYTHING OF 2014!!!


100. Bachelor in Paradise edits devious passion with devious passion


Filling the No. 100 spot on our Top 100 Everything list is a special privilege. The honor traditionally goes to something we were too embarrassed to rank any higher, yet couldn't bear to leave out. Bachelor in Paradise gets the glory this year because it was the best possible type of summer rubbish TV. The producers behind the reality dating series were genius sadists, concocting a torture experiment full of vapid subjects by incorporating a beefcake-and-T&A carousel of endless meat: When one contestant was eliminated, another one came sauntering down the beach toward the hedonistic compound, ready to fulfill the desires of someone who'd just hooked up with someone else. But the real fun was in the presentation. Whether it was Claire sharing her frustrations with a raccoon or a game of H–O-R-S-E cleverly hitting H-O-R while a jealous ex boiled over, Bachelor in Paradise knew exactly what it was, and how to be the best damn version of it.


99. Tara Lipinski and Jonny Weir were broadcasting gold at the Sochi Olympics

Controversy, stray dogs, and tattered hotel rooms dominated the early headlines out of the 2014 Winter Olympics, but shining through the muck were America's real sweethearts, former Olympic figure-skaters and newbie broadcasters Tara Lipinski and Johnny Weir. The pair brought their bravado from their days on the rink right into the booth, consistently being the most entertaining aspect of the Games. In fact, they were so good together that NBC handed them a promotion, naming them its lead figure-skating commentators going forward, and sidelining the the older regime.


98. Kids these days!


In the past, it wasn't just acceptable but expected that viewers would feel compelled to throw their TVs out the the window whenever a child actor creeped onto the screen. Kids were the worst! But lately, they've become stars of their shows as producers realize that munchkins can be more than adorable one-liner factories (ahem, Olsen twins). Trophy Wife (BERT!), Black-ish, and The Americans are just a few series that've allowed their young-uns to leave the kids' table in 2014.


97. Parenthood's long-awaited reunion

When Joel moved out of his and Julia's house in Season 5, it felt like the NBC drama's writers had committed total character assassination. The move was basically the Parenthood equivalent of the infamous Murder Plot from Friday Night Lights' second season. Luckily, Joel finally pulled his head out of his ass in Season 6—with some help from his father-in-law, of course—and Julia eventually did the same. Once she finally remembered all the good things she (and we) loved about Joel, the couple finally reconciled in the show's fall finale. Now, will somebody pour us some wine so we can move on to fretting about Zeek?


96. Song-and-dance routines ranging from silly to sexy to sweet

Hey television, let your hair down and get your party on more often! Surprise musical numbers were totally a thing in 2014, with several shows featuring spontaneous bouts of frivolity. Mad Men said goodbye to Bert Cooper with a lovely showcase for the talented Robert Morse, American Horror Story covered both David Bowie and Fiona Apple, Orphan Black held its famous clone dance party, and Dr. Danny strutted his stuff as Diamond Dan on The Mindy Project.


95. Odd ads


Those annoying commercials that interrupted your television-viewing weren't all awful in 2014! In fact, many campaigns ditched the typical routine of hawking a product with smarmy salesmanship in favor of aiming to be flat-out bizarre. The most noteworthy ones? Rob Lowe schilling for DirecTV and Old Spice embracing its status as a wizard of the weird.


94. Saturday Night Live's The Dudleys


The long-running hit-or-miss sketch show hit a high note when when it examined the relationship between TV networks looking to appeal to the mass market with watered-down comedy and self-righteous viewers who want their favorite shows to cater to their every whim.


93. TOO MANY COOKS!!!


Writing a blurb for this Adult Swim masterpiece wouldn't do it justice. Instead, we ask that you simply watch it again and revel in its excellence.


92. The Strain spends an hour at the gas station

The freshman season of the FX vampire drama had its up and downs and its everything in betweens, but the highlight had to be the filler episode that focused on a convenience-store stand-off between our heroes and the bloodthirsty undead. Out went the boring family conversations and flat attempts at character development, and in came tension, violence, and one shocking death we didn't see coming. That's The Strain we want to see.

PREVIOUSLY: The Strain "Creatures of the Night" Review: Filler Up


91. The art of the opening credit sequence lives on

Intricate TV intros are vestiges of an era when DVRs and digital cable guides didn't exist, but some series still take them seriously, and 2014 saw the debut of some gorgeous ones. Halt and Catch Fire's electro jam, The Leftovers' religious motif and strong score, True Detective's sinister line between good and evil, and Manhattan's diagrams of dual lives accounted for some of the very best.



Comments (58)
Submit
Sort: Latest | Popular
Dec 14, 2014
The Leftover's intro was absolute garbage dressed as high-end artsy...Or maybe I'm just another example of the show being "divisive"? True Detective's Intro was aces though.
Reply
Flag
Dec 21, 2014
More the other. Leftovers intro was the only one I didn't skip and I skipped even Marco Polo's. True Detective's could have been good if someone wasn't trying so extra hard to convince me it was. Tomatoes.
Reply
Flag
Dec 13, 2014
i'm glad Too Many Cooks made the list, but think it should be higher
1
Reply
Flag
Dec 13, 2014
# 97 definitely. Glad they've reconciled.
Reply
Flag
Dec 13, 2014
Tara and Jonny! Finally fresh commentators who have skated with and know the current skaters. How wonderful.
Reply
Flag
Dec 12, 2014
ooooooooooh yes, Halt's intro &3333333333
Reply
Flag
Dec 12, 2014
"The art of the opening credit sequence lives on"

Hell yes. Luther and Orphan Black's are excellent.
Reply
Flag
Dec 12, 2014
I am not convinced that Joel and Julia are back together, it seemed that they regretted it quickly, so I think the jury is still out on them. Also, I cannot see the SNL skit here, and cannot seem to find it anywhere else either. :( I would like to see how they did that, even though I am not a Woody Harrelson fan. (Which I seem to show by being unable to spell his name, nothing looks right ) If anyone knows how to make it available to us poor EU members...I would be forever grateful. lol
Reply
Flag
Dec 12, 2014
Too Many Cooks is the absolute gem of the bunch - a genuine crazy positive surprise!
1
Reply
Flag
Dec 12, 2014
Bleek start tv.com, hoping the rest of the list improves. I have faith though, you usually do a great job :)
Reply
Flag
Dec 12, 2014
i miss trophy wife!!!
Reply
Flag
Dec 12, 2014
"The honor traditionally goes to something we were too embarrassed to rank any higher, yet couldn't bear to leave out." Bachelor in Paradise editing, yesss :)) It's a really enjoyable show and the editors are professionals, so they deserve it! Good choice.
Reply
Flag
Dec 12, 2014
Will Z Nation be in the top 100? Probably not... :-(
Reply
Flag
Dec 12, 2014
Damn! True Detective aint even get a honorable mention? That's cold.

I did like The Strain's gas station ep though. One of its finer moments.
Reply
Flag
Dec 12, 2014
Don't worry. Numbers 90 to 1 are still to come. I'm pretty sure TV.com has managed to insert True Detective somewhere in there.
1
Reply
Flag
Dec 12, 2014
Thanks. Just goes to show how little I know.
Reply
Flag
Dec 17, 2014
The lower the number the more tv.com liked the show...
1
Reply
Flag
Dec 17, 2014
That mightve been obvious to anyone who was actually paying attention. I admit I hardly ever read these things. I be skimmin'!
1
Flag
Dec 11, 2014
Too many cooks should have been higher on the list IMO. =)
3
Reply
Flag
Dec 11, 2014
Yay! Good to see some love for Halt and Catch Fire's intro sequence which is incredible. Also, The Strain mostly sucked, but that episode featured was awesome. Not a 100% sold on sticking around for Season 2 but will probably check it out if episode one gets good reviews.
Reply
Flag
Dec 11, 2014
Thanks for remembering Tara Lipinski and Jonny Weir. Too often, by this time I forget what happened at the beginning of the year. Robert Morse's song and dance on Mad Men is a nice cap to his career, since one of the first things I saw him in was How to Succeed....
Reply
Flag
Dec 11, 2014
It seems like the word "excellence" has different defintion in your dictionary. How could you describe a piece of garbage like Too Many Cooks as a masterpiece? It was a waste of time (the 4 minutes I watched that is).
Reply
Flag
Dec 11, 2014
*Spoilers*

You barely even got to the psycho killer let alone all the meta content and craziness. You can't judge it till you've seen it all, like any work of art.
1
Reply
Flag
Apr 14, 2016
Work of art.. lol Good one.
Reply
Flag
Apr 30, 2016
Anything that majestic must be considered art ;]
Reply
Flag
Dec 11, 2014
Relax, it's only #93 out of 100, and everyone knows 100-27 is pretty much all filler, nonsense, and click-bait anyways. (Incidentally 25-1 is all highly subjective and bound to cause fan-rage and forum wars)
3
Reply
Flag
Staff
Dec 11, 2014
What's #26?
Reply
Flag
Dec 12, 2014
#26 is something of an anomaly. It stands at the threshold of what can be considered a serious submission, but at the same time is not subject to the same level of bias that is likely to enrage most readers. All things considered, #26 is the safest bet of the entire list, everyone generally accepts its place and acknowledges that it was well chosen for it too.
Reply
Flag
Dec 11, 2014
It's like Lost. You don't know if it's some twisted notion of Purgatory, an illusory dream brought on by someone who partook in too much LSD, or if they really did crash on that damned mysterious Island.
2
Reply
Flag
Dec 11, 2014
Totally agree with The Strain - that episode felt like a movie, which is a very good thing. Didn't want it to end. If only every episode had been that on point.

Love Halt & Catch Fire's theme - glad it has a second season to continue what worked with the first and fix what didn't. Based on where s1 left off it's a pretty fresh canvas.

TOO MANY COOKS!!!! (enough said)
Reply
Flag
Dec 11, 2014
I'm glad Joel and Julia's reunion made the top 100 because their relationship angst and reunion has been my favorite part of Parenthood this season.
1
Reply
Flag
Dec 11, 2014
The kids in Trophy Wife are the reason I stopped watching after episode 2. Grating is not the word.
I haven't watched anything else on this list, so can't comment on those. Hopefully the next list will be better!
Reply
Flag
Dec 11, 2014
These are some great choices. Bachelor and Paradise = TV gold, simply for the editing. I'm still not quite sure what to make of Too Many Cooks but it took days to get the song out of my head, so I refuse to watch it again. I firmly believe every TV show should have at least a 15 second title sequence. HBO and Showtime have long glorious ones, but that is an art that is dying/dead on network TV.
Reply
Flag
Dec 11, 2014
The Strain: Completely agree, one of the best episodes, not only of this (admittedly uneven) show, but of the entire year.

As to the opening credits, although I agree that it has been loosing ground, it seems to me that any cable show that wants to present itself as serious and prestigious entertainment must have, and most do have, opening credits. Which, in my book, is a good thing.
Reply
Flag
Dec 19, 2014
"Loose" and "lose" are two different words.
Reply
Flag
Dec 19, 2014
True, but that's what you get for not being a native English speaker. Cheers wiseguy...
Reply
Flag
Dec 11, 2014
On The Strain I think they confused a filler episode with a bottle episode. by definition a filler episode wouldn't contain the death of a major character or be the joining point for 2 separate groups of the cast.

they did pretty much the whole episode in a gas station which means bottle episode, low use of sets to save money. but meeting up with the animal control guy that up til now they would cut over to show his seperate progress, and the hacker girl they did the same with, then the death of not only one of the main cast but easily the biggest star on the show makes it anything but filler where generally it's an hour of "ehh nothing happened"

1
Reply
Flag
Dec 11, 2014
I'll never get the Bert-Praise for Trophy Wife. he and his brother were easily the two most unlikable characters I've seen on TV in years.the daughter was annoying too but at least she matched the annoying vibe her mother gave off so it worked.

But every time Bert talked, that loud, over enunciated overenthusiastic voice.. omg nails on a chalkboard.
1
Reply
Flag
Dec 11, 2014
Damn, did I miss the voting for this?

Musical numbers were everywhere this year. And while I did like the surprise David Bowie song in American Horror Story, there apparently can be too much musical numbers. Did we really need Evan Peters singing Nirvana?

And I feel like Diamond Dan needed his own entry. The things Mindy Kaling gets Chris Messina to do. I'll always be grateful.
Reply
Flag
Dec 11, 2014
Yep, I also hoped for a separate entry for Danny's dance.
1
Reply
Flag
Dec 11, 2014
There wasn't a vote, just a call for contributions
1
Reply
Flag
Dec 11, 2014
Re: The Strain
How did you not see that death coming? His betrayal had allowed the Master to escape the airport. As for it being a "filler" episode, I thought the point of that term was to describe episodes that didn't advance the overall storyline, but this was the episode where the vigilantes met the hacker who'd clogged the Internet on behalf of the Master's benefactor. Also, if this was the best episode of The Strain so far, does that remove the negative connotation of an episode being a filler?
2
Reply
Flag
Dec 11, 2014
I think they confused a filler episode with a bottle episode. by definition a filler episode wouldn't contain the death of a major character or be the joining point for 2 separate groups of the cast.

they did pretty much the whole episode in a gas station which means bottle episode, low use of sets to save money. but meeting up with the animal control guy that up til now they would cut over to show his seperate progress, and the hacker girl they did the same with, then the death of not only one of the main cast but easily the biggest star on the show makes it anything but filler where generally it's an hour of "ehh nothing happened"
3
Reply
Flag
Dec 11, 2014
All hail Too Many Cooks.

Were the killer and the dad in fact really the same person? That's the theory I've heard.
Reply
Flag
Dec 11, 2014
I'm surprised Benjamin Stockham didn't get a mention as good child actor. He was great in 1600 Penn and if it were anyone else, About a Boy would be another piece of trash that not even David Walton could save.
Reply
Flag
Dec 11, 2014
I wish someone WOULD write a blurb for the Too Many Cooks thing. This is the second time I've seen this video on here and I still don't get it. Am I just not understanding some cultural thing here?
Reply
Flag
Dec 11, 2014
Too Many Cooks... WHAT did I just watch!?
Reply
Flag
Dec 11, 2014
Favorite ad for me?

Half Fast

the censors must be losing their minds with that one
Reply
Flag
Dec 10, 2014
Long live Too Many Cooks. May it continue to haunt everyone's brains for the rest of forever.
2
Reply
Flag
Dec 10, 2014
Leftovers's opening title sequence kind of reminded me of Carnivàle's (2003), which still look great. This year's American Horror Story opening credits are quite good, the show's best so far. I did think Halt and Catch Fire's were pretty good, but I was happily surprised at how much attention and praise it received. On the completely opposite side of praiseworthy: New Girl's new opening credits.

As for The Strain, LOL, that was one of the few episodes where something happened, the so-called "zombies" episode. :-)
1
Reply
Flag
Dec 10, 2014
Great, now that Too Many Cooks theme is back inside my mind.
3
Reply
Flag
Dec 10, 2014
I'm gald the top 100 is back. The year has truly passed quickly.

Too Many Cooks has the catchiest theme song I love it. I was kinda wondering why did it get so weird in the end. I did love the cast of dozens though.

SNL is fun a lot of the time.

I loved Bertram's farewell dance.

I live the Old Spice Robot ad. I loath Rob Lowe's ads.
Reply
Flag
Dec 10, 2014
No more Bert-wheels :(
1
Reply
Flag
Dec 10, 2014
And The Knick theme too. AHS always has good credits.
2
Reply
Flag
Dec 10, 2014
Halt and Catch Fire's opening sequence was so cool. Really glad that's on this list!
1
Reply
Flag
Dec 10, 2014
Yay! Another year, another TV.com's Top 100! I'm sure the fact that none of these first 10 entries mean anything to me means that I only watch stuff worthy of TV.com's Top 90. So yay my taste?
5
Reply
Flag

Like TV.com on Facebook