10. Peaky Blinders
Netflix’s quiet inquisition of this British import will certainly get louder as more and more people discover how good this period crime genre is. A talented cast led by Cillian Murphy and Sam Neill makes this show hard to forget.
9. Halt & Catch Fire
The debut season of Halt & Catch Fire certainly wasn’t perfect, but this was definitely a show that grew more confident with each new episode as it finally found a solid plot to follow and really began to understand its characters performed wonderfully by Lee Pace, Scoot McNairy, Mackenzie Davis and Kerry Bishe.
8. Wild Things With Dominic Monaghan
Considering his acting background, Dominic Monaghan was obviously going to be a charismatic host, but season two of his series showed that he would go to any length to get a good episode.
7. House of Cards
Being loosely based on the second half of the first series of the British version, the second season of House of Cards finally found material that could make it hold up to all of the hype that came with the show’s arrival. New cast addition Molly Parker and a bigger presence for Gerald McRaney also helped.
6. Game of Thrones
This was far from the best season of Game of Thrones, but the show once again proved it could deliver big moments like no other while showing that television could still get to new heights in terms of scope.
Fargo’s ending was a little too clean to get it into the top tier of shows in 2014, but it’s perfectly messy combination of slapstick comedy and moments of sheer terror made it a fantastic remake of the Coen brothers’ classic.
4. You’re the Worst
No show this year was a bigger surprise than You’re the Worst. You’re the Worst quietly became this year’s best comedy as it made creating a dark comedy with a rom-com core look easy.
Hannibal continued to transcend its network television roots as it found ways to surprise even the biggest Hannibal fans while still remaining true to the story’s roots. Mads Mikkelsen is quickly making a case to be held in company with Anthony Hopkins.
2. The Leftovers
Damon Lindelof’s return to television was well worth the wait with this dark drama about what happens to the people left behind in a rapture-like event. As dark as it could be, Lindelof and company always found a way to find a moment of catharsis for the characters and the viewers, which made this show unique from the very beginning. The show was also non-Broadway-goers’ first introduction to the talented Carrie Coon.
1. True Detective
There has never been anything like True Detective to air on television before. There have been anthology series, but recent ones like American Horror Story have just been hollow, campy shows that just want to bring in the ratings whereas True Detective was in the search of answers to life itself. There have been hundreds of cop shows before, but none with the clear beginning, middle and end that this show provides. There have been visually stunning shows before, but not in the way that Cary Fukunaga’s direction made this seem like a revolution in television. For these and many other reasons, True Detective is the show of the year.