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The 411 Movie/TV Year-End Awards: Part Three – The Best New TV Show of 2015

January 13, 2016 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas

The 411 Movie/TV Year-End Awards: Part Two – The Best New TV Show of 2015

The 411 Movie & TV Year-End Awards continue! Over the next couple of weeks we will be looking at the greatest in television and film for 2015. Each day will have a topic that the 411 staff will have the opportunity to provide a top 5 for. In the end the rankings are compiled for the final 411 top 5 list in that category. Without further ado, let’s get to it!

Michael Ornelas

5. Man Seeking Woman
4. Togetherness
3. The Last Man on Earth
2. Master of None

1. Better Call Saul: The canon of Breaking Bad grew as did my heart when Better Call Saul premiered. Anyone who knows me knows my love for Vince Gilligan’s masterpiece, and I welcomed this spin-off with open arms. Bob Odenkirk had largely been comedic relief throughout the original show, so I think many doubted Better Call Saul‘s ability to deliver as a drama. Well, it’s not without its light-heartedness (a la Fargo), but it delivers as a drama all within its own rights. Watching Saul (currently “Jimmy”, as he’s yet to sell his soul yet) evolve as a no-name lawyer into a scrappy up-and-comer (by any means necessary) is his own “breaking bad” and a treat to see. I’m unsure where the series is going despite knowing exactly where it’s going, and I think that’s a testament to Gilligan’s storytelling. I can’t wait until season 2 this February, and may very well rewatch the first season in anticipation.

Joseph Lee

5. Blindspot
4. Better Call Saul
3. Jessica Jones
2. Ash vs Evil Dead

1. Daredevil: While I can recognize why people didn’t like the 2003 film version of Daredevil, it was always a guilty pleasure of mine. It could be because I’ve always been such a huge fan of the character that I was pleased with getting any kind of big theatrical adaptation. After seeing the Daredevil that Marvel unleashed on Netflix, I don’t think I can ever watch that 2003 movie again. This is the definitive version of the character fans have been wanting for years. Everything works perfectly. It’s dark and gritty, yet stylish and at times heartwarming. Matt Murdock can effortlessly take down a group of thugs but struggles with the weight of the tasks he has to perform as the sole vigilante of Hell’s Kitchen. Wilson Fisk is a fully-realized character instead of a cartoon villain. There’s just so much to praise about this show. It’s not just a good translation of the comics, it’s a stellar crime drama in its own right. You could never read a Daredevil comic in your life and fall in love with this series. I can’t wait for Season 2 and The Punisher.

Wednesday Lee Friday

5. Wayward Pines
4. Daredevil
3. Agent Carter
2. Better Call Saul

1. HUMANS: Originally slated to air on Sony’s nixed content network, HUMANS offers a future where “synths” are created to make human lives easier. As you’d expect, a few of them are a little too human for their own good. This show poses huge questions about the way we treat our supposed inferiors, and about humanity itself. It’s also full of great characters and was unexpectedly gripping.

Michael Weyer

5. Ash vs. Evil Dead
4. Daredevil
3. Better Call Saul
2. Supergirl

1. Jessica Jones: Dark and gripping, this Marvel Netflix show perfectly casts Krysten Ritter as Jessica, a super-strong woman broken by the twisted mind-controlling Killgrave and now a sardonic private eye. It tackles tough stuff like rape and murder, introduces a fantastic Luke Cage and David Tennant’s performance as Killgrave is utterly terrifying. Mixing gripping plots with sardonic humor and true horror, it’s one of the best efforts by Marvel yet on the small screen and whether you binge or spread it out, it ranks as a gripping ride for any TV viewer.

Bryan Kristopowitz

5. Limitless
4. Chicago Med
3. Into the Badlands
2. The Comedians

1. Ash vs. Evil Dead: How was a TV show based in the Evil Dead universe going to work? How could it work? Even on premium cable, where there are essentially no limitations, how was a show about a guy with a chainsaw hand killing demonic zombies going to go over and work? I mean the show is only 30 minutes per episode. What the hell can you do in 30 minutes on TV? Well, Sam Raimi, Campbell, and producer Robert Tapert figured it out and have created an instant classic TV show. Campbell rocks every second he’s on screen, the show doesn’t skimp on the gore and nastiness, and the supporting cast works well with star Campbell, which is what any kind of show needs. I’m still amazed that everyone involved in the show managed to pull it off. It really stinks not having a new episode every Saturday night. I don’t want to wait for the next season to begin. I want it to start now! I need my Ash Vs. Evil Dead man!

Ben Piper

5. Sex Drugs & Rock n’ Roll
4. Supergirl
3. Better Call Saul
2. Agent Carter
1. Mr. Robot: This is a transcendent serialized summer TV show on the USA Network that began as one thing, but then devolved into something else entirely. What began as a show about and narrated by an unreliable protagonist hacker railing against corporate America (played to perfection by Rami Malek) became a complex conspiracy thriller that looked to peek under the carpet of society’s ills. With Malek’s unreliable narrator being the one telling the story, we were blindsided by several surprising twists that were yet to come. And yeah, among them was the identity of the title character himself. Sam Esmail’s series blew my mind by coming out of the blue and blindsiding me with one of the best mindf*ck TV series I’ve come across in a long time. Plus, any show that gives Christian Slater his first hit TV series EVER can’t be a bad thing, right? C’mon, he was awesome in True Romance.

Jeffrey Harris

5. Galavant
4. The Last Man on Earth
3. Jessica Jones
2. The Muppets

1. Daredevil: I don’t care how “wrong” or unconventional this choice might be, but it’s my choice. Daredevil was a revelation to watch, and I’m so excited for the future of Marvel Netflix shows. Daredevil is the flagship show, and presents a new type of show that is still set in the MCU, but a completely different style from the other MCU films. Now Marvel fans can have their cake and eat it too. Here is where the darker, more violent and more mature themes can be explored because these are the problems the Avengers wouldn’t know how to deal with. I love the 13-episode binge watching format for the series. Watching the show was like getting a 13-hour adaptation of a really great book. Instead of a rough, abbreviated version of the book, this show was able to adapt basically every chapter, and it was a satisfying experience.

Steve Gustafson

5. The Muppets
4. Daredevil
3. The Man in the High Castle
2. Better Call Saul

1. Bloodline – The level of storytelling and characterization on Bloodline is breathtaking. Filled with one of the strongest casts on television, Netflix struck gold (again!) with this series and laid out a story that was gorgeous to look at and digest. Each character went through some passage that left each marked forever in some fashion, exposing their flaws, fears, and weaknesses. The series immerses the audience into the lives of the Rayburn family, owners and operators of a beachside hotel in the Florida Keys. The oldest son and black sheep of the family, played by the excellent Ben Mendelsohn, returns and quickly throws the lives of everyone into turmoil. We know where it ends but the journey is excellent.

Jeremy Thomas

5. Agent Carter
4. Daredevil
3. Mr. Robot
2. Jessica Jones

1. Better Call Saul: Not many shows debut with a bar set as high for them as Better Call Saul did. Breaking Bad is a landmark drama series that set a new standard for serial television not only on basic cable, but on all possible distribution networks. It’s difficult to see how any show could ever measure up to that or even meet moderately lower benchmarks right out of the gate. Better Call Saul managed to not look like a letdown by doing the smart thing: differentiating itself from the show that shares its universe. Like Breaking Bad, Vince Gilligan’s series centers itself on its highly capable star in Bob Odenkirk and sets the tone based on him. That makes it a much lighter drama in tone, but it would be a mistake to call it lightweight. With an extraordinary cast leading the way, Saul charted the waters of our protagonist before he was the man we knew him as in Bad and the results are spectacular. Most shows stumble in some form when trying to find their first-season groove, but this one didn’t miss a single beat. That’s what makes it the best new series of 2015.


AND 411’s TOP 5 NEW TV SHOWS of 2015 ARE…

5. Agent Carter/Mr. Robot (8 points)

4. Ash vs. Evil Dead (10 points)

3. Jessica Jones (15 points)

2. Daredevil (18 points)

1. Better Call Saul (26 points)


THE 2015 411 MOVIE/TV AWARDS:

* Best Television Actress: Krysten Ritter – Jessica Jones
* Best Television Actor: Vincent D’Onofrio – Daredevil
* Best New Television Show: Better Call Saul
* Best Television Comedy: TO BE DETERMINED (January 14th)
* Best Television Drama: TO BE DETERMINED (January 15th)
* Most Anticipated 2016 Show: TO BE DETERMINED (January 16th)

* Best Film Actress: TO BE DETERMINED (January 17th)
* Best Film Actor: TO BE DETERMINED (January 18th)
* Best Comedic Film: TO BE DETERMINED (January 19th)
* Best Dramatic Film: TO BE DETERMINED (January 20th)
* Best Blockbuster: TO BE DETERMINED (January 21st)
* Most Anticipated 2016 Film: TO BE DETERMINED (January 22nd)