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Episodes: The Top 13 TV Shows I Just Didn't Watch in 2015


Emily VanDerWerff

Dec 09 2015

5 min read



No TV critic watches everything. So when my top 30 shows on TV list is unveiled on December 21 at the Vox Dot Com (along with, possibly, a very special sequel), you are bound to find that I've forgotten something, which will cause you great anger and distress.

Don't worry! Most likely, I just haven't seen it. Or it was in 31st place. It was a good year for TV.

Here are 10 shows I haven't seen yet and probably won't get caught up on in order to include them in my first draft.

The Affair (Showtime): I liked what I saw, but then I was, like, "Do I want to watch another season of a show I find more interesting in theory than execution?" And so I didn't! But I will probably catch up someday. Maybe. Probably not.

Black Sails (Starz): People keep trying to tell me this got really good. I have my doubts.

Crazy Ex Girlfriend (The CW): Of all of the shows here, this is the one I might catch up with in time. But I apparently tuned out right when it Got Really Good, which is always the way, isn't it? Still, it hits enough of my wheelhouses that I really will try to check out more of it. If I can.

Daredevil (Netflix): Got about halfway through. Bailed. Some really great stuff, in service of a story that just wasn't all there for me. Still, that hallway fight has to be on any list of the best scenes in 2015. Another one I will get back to at some point, though I suspect the inevitable comparisons to Jessica Jones (which I love) will only hurt it.

Elementary (CBS): I used to quite like this show! Then I stopped watching it, and I'm not sure why.

The Expanse (SyFy): This one is here more for a technicality than anything else. While I quite like what I've seen of the show, it's the kind of show that will be hard to judge from just four episodes (all I've seen). So it's not going to be on the list because I consider it, for all intents and purposes, a 2016 show.

Girlfriend's Guide to Divorce (Bravo): This is a show I'm sure I'd spark to if I watched it, but I haven't watched it! Life is strange!

iZombie (The CW): There is a lot of CW on this list for some reason. Anyway, I liked this show quite a bit, but I found the cases of the week very bland, so it started piling up on the DVR, and I eventually bailed. I plan to go back and check it out. Just probably not in time for list season.

The Last Kingdom (BBC America): Found this one terminally boring and hard to track (and/or force myself to care enough to track). Only got through three hours. I'm glad it has its partisans, but it is probably Not For Me.

The Middle (ABC): I love this show, but it got caught in the fact that I watch most TV on Hulu now, and it's not always available there. It also feels like the kind of show where catching up in syndication will be preferable, in some ways, to watching it week to week.

The Mindy Project (Fox/Hulu): I've always struggled with this show's wavelength, while generally enjoying it enough to keep watching. Until 2015, that is!

Penny Dreadful (Showtime): I'm as surprised as you. Despite numerous attempts to get through the first season, I just haven't been able to do it. It's certainly my kind of show, though, so I'm sure I'll give it another whirl at some point. Just, again, probably not in time for this year's list.

(The unbelievable true story of why I haven't watched Penny Dreadful yet! When the show debuted, I was knee-deep in the middle of trying to leave The AV Club for Vox, mired in discussions and writing up plans for the section and just generally convincing a bunch of Washington insiders that I wasn't some weirdo kid who was going to blow up the building if they let me in. The first time I tried to watch the series was actually the last time I was in Chicago visiting the AVC offices. I put it on my Kindle, then fell asleep. I'm sorry, Penny Dreadful. Bad timing.)

Tyrant (FX): Another where people keep telling me it Got Really Good, and I have my doubts. I even watched three episodes of this season before deciding that I had no time for it. The bait-and-switch undertaken in the premiere was just too much for me.

I'm certain I forgot something, which is just the ultimate horror for a show, I'm sure. Being forgotten on the list of shows you never got to!

Also, I assure you that I will forget Netflix's The Fall when the time comes to make my list. I really loved it, but it came out back in bleedin' January, and one of the flaws of the Netflix model (at least in terms of acclaim) is that a show that can easily be watched in a day will be watched in a day and summarily forgotten by just about everybody. I don't think I've seen this on any top 10 lists so far, and it was met with huge acclaim. That'll show you, Netflix!


Episodes is published daily, Monday through Friday, unless I don't feel like it. It is mostly about television, except when it's not. Suggest topics for future installments via email or on Twitter. Read more of my work at Vox Dot Com.

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