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SpoilerTV 2013-2014 TV Season Review: "A Year to Remember"

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The Summer TV has officially took over so we decided to say farewell and review the finished 2013-2014 TV Season. Below are our views and reflections about last year in TV, in a form of Q&A. Enjoy reading and join the discussion in the comments below.

NOTE: The Review was originally going to be posted last week, so some of the answers (about f.e. Community) may not be updated with the latest news.

Q: It seems it's been a very busy season for everyone on SpoilerTV, the site has been through many changes, the number of team members and site visitors went up and we said hello and goodbye to many great and not-so-good shows. How about we start with a short introduction, with everyone saying a few words about the shows they watch and their general reflections about the past year in TV?

Pablo: It’s been a season of comebacks for the shows I watch; Revenge, Once Upon a Time, Community, Arrow and Revolution all became way better than their previous season, so it was a pleasure to see them all delivering, but that also made the cancellations of Community and Revolution all the more devastating. By the way, this is my first season writing reviews on SpoilerTV and it has been a great time!
Samy: In general, I really liked watching TV series this year (not going to name them all, there’s over 40, lol), I don’t think any show disappointed me but I was very sad over the cancellation of Revolution and Once Upon a Time in Wonderland.
Bradley: This has been an incredible TV season. Sure, there have been blips along the way (see: Crisis), but the majority of shows have been utterly superb.
Joshua: It’s been a season of highs and lows for me! Some shows produced some of their very best episodes to date (Hannibal) whereas others sadly fizzled or outright flopped (Community and How I Met Your Mother respectively). Other shows I watch include Grey’s Anatomy, Parks & Recreation, The Walking Dead and Game of Thrones, to name but a few.
Sandi: I post a lot on the British TV side of things, and we’ve had many shows end over the last year or so; Being Human, Misfits & Merlin to name a few. But it’s been a big year for Doctor Who with the 50th year anniversary last November simulcast around the globe, and the casting of Peter Capaldi as the 12th Doctor taking over from Matt Smith, who bowed out in the Christmas Special. We’ve also just finished a cracking second season of In the Flesh, and there is the new season of The Musketeers to look forward to after Doctor Who returns in the autumn.
Tonya: I tend to watch more network series than cable. Mad Men and The Walking Dead are my biggest exceptions. Over the past year I enjoyed many series but overall thought a lot of them were unfortunately very average. I still enjoyed them but felt from week to week they were often sporadic in their quality and didn’t consistently intrigue me as much as they sometimes have. Storylines were a little flat in my opinion.
Darthlocke: Well over the past couple of years I’ve come to really watch a lot more TV than I thought I ever would. I really feel like we’re in a golden age of television that just keeps giving, where there is so much more to offer and where I think viewers can really see great or compelling stories unfold in ways that never had before. Some of the shows I watched this year are Hannibal, Person of Interest, Almost Human, Mad Men, Game of Thrones, Bates Motel, Revolution, True Detective, Orphan Black, Once Upon A Time etc.
Jamie: There have been both highs and lows for me this season. I picked up 13 ‘new’ shows but lost 7 through cancellations, bringing my new total to 31. I’ve been most impressed this season with Game of Thrones, Reign, The 100, The Originals and Agents of SHIELD. Overall I think it’s been a great season.
Justyna: For me, it was a surprisingly busy year. I'm watching quite a lot of shows and I both added and lost a lot of them this year. Some of my shows include: Person Of Interest, Sherlock, Doctor Who, Teen Wolf, Agents of SHIELD, Arrow, Game Of Thrones and Sleepy Hollow. A couple of things that come to mind when I think about this past season would be: it was an especially deadly one, so many important (main!) characters died leaving us shocked and heartbroken, also the number of comics-inspired TV shows is getting higher than I expected and I love it. So, to sum up, it was a season of changes, big returns and deaths and definitely a year to remember.

Q: So, what are your favorites? The shows, the scenes, quotes or actors that made the best impression on you this season. Let’s name a few that come to mind and some of the reasons that made them so special from everyone's perspective.

Pablo: Revenge blew my mind this season, it did things I deemed impossible for the show before, breaking a lot of new ground and changing the parameters, basically becoming a whole new show. The end scene of this season with Victoria being locked up in a mental institution was just brilliant, and Emily walking away in victory is probably the most satisfied I’ve ever been while watching a TV show.
Samy: New shows that I really liked: Reign and The 100. Also, I discovered Orphan Black this year and Tatiana Maslany is really amazing. Favorite scenes: Revenge season finale really was my favorite, I can’t think of anything else.
Bradley: My favourite show of the season, and fast becoming my favourite show ever, is Person of Interest. I feel sorry for the people who don’t watch this show - they’re really missing out on incredible TV. James Spader’s return to television has been incredible this year, and The Blacklist would be nothing without him.
Sandi: The show that really surprised me as I didn’t expect to like it, let alone become such a huge fan was The Musketeers on BBC 1. I also enjoyed most of Reign’s first season, the two shows are only separated by a couple of generations, yet show a very different life at the French court. Orphan Black, and in particular Tatiana Maslany, I can’t praise enough, I wish that there were more dramas this compelling and creative on TV right now. This list could go on for some time, but I will curtail myself and just briefly add the sumptuous Game of Thrones and brutal, yet compelling, Banshee here too.
Joshua: My favourite show Grey’s Anatomy started off with a weak opening half, but redeemed itself with a solid final block of episodes which culminated with the departure of my favourite TV character Cristina Yang (which says a lot given the number of shows I watch!). The final dance party with Cristina and Meredith would have to be my favourite scene of the past year.
Tonya: My favorite episode of the season was The Mentalist’s season finale. What a satisfying ending to the season. I loved Jane’s declaration of love for Lisbon. Simon Baker did an outstanding job in these scenes. He made you feel all of the character’s heartfelt emotions - his nervousness and yet overwhelming desire to finally tell the truth about his feelings. I also continue to really enjoy Scandal and all the shockers it brings each week. You can’t miss a moment. Kerry Washington is so fun to watch. I enjoyed certain episodes of other shows as well, including the NCIS: Los Angeles episode when the team has to rescue Kensi in Afghanistan and the episode of Castle when Beckett finally gets to arrest her mother’s killer. Both of these had great emotional payoffs for the viewer.
Darthlocke: Such a hard choice, but I think Hannibal, Person of Interest, True Detective, The Blacklist and Game of Thrones were my favorites this year. With Hannibal in particular, being a fan of the source material as well, I feel that Bryan Fuller and his company of writers and their art department have really used certain ideas from both the novels and films greatly to their advantage. The season finale was one of most beautifully shot pieces of film and I just love Mads Mikkelsen’s portrayal of Hannibal. It’s just more of the way I would imagine him to be. Game Thrones too I think really outdid themselves this year. Considering that there wasn’t just one big storyline this season, I felt that the episodes and all of the individual narratives were actually executed much better in most episodes this year, let alone what a fantastic job on the choreography in the penultimate episode!
Person of Interest is the show that just keeps on giving and gets better and better every season. True Detective was also a masterpiece! It was great ride in the magical realism realm, but brilliantly paired with crime drama and touches of film nior, it was haunting, but also very character driven. Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson were FANTASTIC leads. Can’t wait to see what the anthology series will cook up next season! Once Upon A Time in Wonderland and Once Upon A Time I also would like to touch on. Wonderland got better as it went along and was unique gem alongside Once but I do think it could have been executed better! I’m hopeful given Will Scarlet jumping over to Once next season, that some of that enchanted forest backstory that I think would've made his and Anastasia’s stories much more compelling, might now be explored. Once Upon A Time itself also got back to some of it’s better aspects from the first season. It’s not that I didn’t like the second season, but season three’s storylines just felt more cohesive and we saw a lot of character building. The Blacklist too was a great new show. It reminds me of Person of Interest, Alias and a dash of Dexter all mixed together. James Spader’s “Red” Reddington makes the show for me! And lastly Orphan Black too upped their game by introducing a transgender clone “Tony” towards the end of the second season! It’s been such a fun psychological thriller! Tatiana Maslany really can just do it all!
Jamie: As its reviewer my choice for favorite show would have to be The Originals, although I’ve been pleasantly surprised by Reign and Agents Of SHIELD. When it comes to best returning shows I’ll have to go with Orphan Black, Tatiana just keeps amazing me. Can’t really choose a favorite scene, there are simply too many.
Justyna: Favorites? Starting from the new shows, the biggest impression made on me, among the hour-long dramas, Sleepy Hollow, The 100, The Musketeers and Agents of SHIELD. Very different shows, but all of them really engaged me in the story and its characters and I'm so glad they're all coming back for another season. And when it comes to new comedies, B99 turn out to be absolutely hilarious and quite brilliant to be honest. Sadly other great ones like Trophy Wife and The Crazy Ones finished their run after only one season. From the returning shows, it's been a very important year for Doctor Who and I loved all the celebrations surrounding the 50th year of the show. Year 2014 also brought us new amazing episodes of Sherlock and best seasons for Teen Wolf (!!) and Game of Thrones, among many other favorite scenes, shows and performances.

Q: And what are the biggest surprises of the 2013-2014 season for you all? It can be a surprisingly good or bad show, network's decision, viewers’ opinions or an actor's performance that left you shocked/amazed.

Samy: Of course, Beauty And The Beast being renewed has been the most surprising thing that’s happened this year!
Bradley: A few renewals and cancellations surprised me this year. The obvious surprising renewal was Beauty and the Beast, and I was sure that The Mentalist was also going to fall victim to the cancellation bear. On the renewal side, I’m still a little surprised that The Following was renewed, along with The Mindy Project, while Almost Human was cancelled. FOX was very puzzling this year. Show-wise, I was surprised by Revolution’s ability to get increasingly worse each week, to the point where I was actually glad it was cancelled. Josh Holloway’s return to TV fell flat, which was a real shame. The best acting performance of the season has to go to Kevin Chapman of Person of Interest.‘The Crossing’ and ‘The Devil’s Share’ showed us just how fantastic an actor he is. His emotional goodbye with his son in the former, and his speech to Simmons in the latter were utterly superb.
Pablo: Renewal/Cancellation wise, probably the Community cancellation shocked me the most; I was completely sure it would get another season, a final one, and instead it was mercilessly cancelled. Also, the renewal of Beauty and The Beast kind of shocked, but not as much as everyone else. Show wise, my favorite new tv dramas were a big surprise, as I believed Sleepy Hollow would be bad and that The 100 would be entertaining at best, and both of them exceeded my expectations by wide margins. Also, Brooklyn Nine-Nine premiered this season! And it was a great freshman season. All of those shows proved to be great, with The 100 standing out on The CW crowd as it walks to the path to become the better of the pack. Also a surprise, Resurrection being a hit: while I did enjoy the show it was too slow paced, which makes me interested on why so many people watched the show this season.
Joshua: The most shocking TV event for me this year would have to be the Season 2 finale of Hannibal. The entire season was excellent and far surpassed the first, with each episode leaving me wanting more, but I think for the last twenty minutes or so of the final, my mouth was literally on the floor. Bring on Season 3!
Sandi: Again, Tatiana Maslany has to be the standout performance for me of the last twelve months, she is just phenomenal in all her characters in Orphan Black. In a smaller role, but equally deserving of praise, Ryan Gage as King Louis in The Musketeers was outstanding. He played the childish, petulance of one of Frances weakest Kings to perfection! Tara’s death in Sons of Anarchy was a long time coming, but how it came about was still a shock, kudos to Katey Sagal and Maggie Siff. Jax killing Clay was also pretty brutal and out of the blue; Kurt Sutter really went all out for Shakespearean tragedy last season, kind of leaves you wonder what the hell this year is going to bring…
Tonya: The death of Will Gardner on The Good Wife left me stunned. It really came out of nowhere. But I thought the show worked actor Josh Charles’ departure to their advantage and used the emotion surrounding Will’s death to create fantastic drama. I found myself bawling the week after he was killed. As much as I hated it, I’d have to say his death and the following episode would also have to be listed under my favorites of the TV season because they were done so well.
Darthlocke: I think as far as new shows go True Detective, Fargo, The Blacklist and Penny Dreadful were all really nice surprises! I was never much of a fan of the film version of Fargo, but I love the TV series. I think they just have a cast that feels right and it helps being able to spend more time with them. Almost Human is another show I was suprised about. It had decent ratings, but a high licensing fee and was cancelled, but I saw so much potential in it. It really felt like an indirect companion piece to Fringe, if only it had a little more time to get to the bigger story that had started to unfold. Revolution is another Bad Robot show that was not renewed, but cancelled. It was also a surprise, because the first half of the second season worked so hard to fix the problems from the first season, but then suddenly in midseason it began to spin it’s wheels and stay there. It just seemed to revert back to a misadventure story and not be very productive for the main characters. Another big surprise would be the return of 24! I never in a million years would guess that FOX would bring back a series after being off the air for four years!! I have missed it and all of it’s fun tropes.It’s been great seeing the-24-hour-Jack Bauer back on my screen and seeing previous cast members along with great new additions like CIA agent Kate Morgan!
Jamie: Most surprising was probably the renewal of Beauty and the Beast, mainly because I’ve seen shows with better ratings get cancelled (forever bitter about The Secret Circle). Also very pleasantly surprised by Reign, I did not expect to like it as much as I do. The actor/actress who surprised me the most was without a doubt Tatiana Maslany. Everytime I think it can’t get any better, she proves me wrong.
Justyna: All the deaths on TV! And definitely some of the renewal/cancellation decisions, like Beauty and the Beast getting another season and the shows like The Tomorrow People, Almost Human (I mean, come on!) or Community ending their run too soon. Also surprised by how much I enjoyed the shows like Sleepy Hollow and The 100, never expected them to join my favorites. And Reign, which I never planned to watch and it ended up being a surprisingly good show.

Q: Do you have a wish list for the next season? Some things you would love to see or would rather see gone? Any specific expectations towards the shows you watch or a network? Maybe predictions?

Samy: I really hope that both How to get away with Murder and The Whispers get renewed. ABC has had a tough year with its pilots, I hope those two will get awesome ratings. Same goes for The Messengers. I watched the pilot a while ago and I thought I was going to be disappointed but I really wasn’t. Exited to see what happens next in 7-9 months… And I wish Les Revenants would come back in 2014 but since filming hasn’t begun… I guess I’ll just have to wait.
Bradley: I think The Flash is going to be a big hit, while Gotham and Constantine fall below expectations. I think there will be a lot of final seasons next year - the likes of Bones, Supernatural, among others. I would like to see The Blacklist actually give some answers during its second season. I really want Person of Interest to go more sci-fi, more high-stakes, more Bear! And, a renewal of 24.
Pablo: I’m really looking forward to Gotham and The Flash, both of their trailers showed a lot of potential. I will be reviewing Marry Me of which I've already seen the pilot and it was awesome. I will also check out a lot of shows such as How to get away with Murder, The Whispers, Galavant, Secrets and Lies, A to Z, The Messengers, among others. It’s going to be a fun season!
Joshua: I’m looking forward to How To Get Away With Murder, because I tend to like Shonda’s programmes, but I hope that it is better than the trailer has so far portrayed it to be. The trailer which most interested me was probably Galavant - it has the potential to be excellent, but I think it could quite easily be terrible too. Definitely one to watch.
Sandi: I was a tad disappointed by Once Upon a Time in Wonderland, I only really tuned in to see Michael Socha if I’m honest and was hoping that it would kick start his name over the pond as he thoroughly deserves it. It was a so-so show, but too many characters were irritating and it suffered with pacing issues, but hopefully the news that came out on 1st April that his character will move over to the main show might still happen. I’m very excited about Marc Warren joining The Musketeers as Count Rochefort, I think he is a brilliant casting choice. Some of the other guest stars that have already been announced are equally good, Colin Salmon probably being the one I’m most looking forward. I really enjoyed a few of the pilots we were sent, Scorpion, The Flash and Dominion for example, so I would like to see them to do well. The promo for Galavant also had me in stitches of laughter, love Timothy Omundson, so I’m looking forward to that too. Finally, where’s the Season 3 announcement for In the Flesh BBC Three, hmmm???
Tonya: I wish Hart of Dixie would actually start to go somewhere and stop introducing so many new, recurring characters that we don’t care about. I wish Nashville would quickly get rid of Luke. He is just not interesting. I wish NCIS: Los Angeles would actually commit to testing out a relationship between Kensi and Deeks. I wish Tony would get a love interest on NCIS and the show would bring back Ziva. I miss her. Bishop isn’t doing anything for me. I hope Don makes some kind of personal progress on Mad Men. For me it will all be for naught if he continues in the status quo to end the series. I hope Grey’s Anatomy doesn’t get boring without Cristina Yang. I hope Scandal doesn’t get rid of Jake. And I hope The Mentalist doesn’t lose its spark now that Jane and Lisbon are together.
Darthlocke: I’m hoping that Hannibal’s origin story remains true in the sense that he’s still a victim of horrific circumstance, in which makes him more of an anti-hero and will ultimately change some of the viewers perspective of him. I’m looking forward to seeing how we will get into the beginnings of Red Dragon as well! For Person of Interest, I hope we start to get just little more sci-fi. For Game of Thrones I hope not too much is cut from two major storylines, but I’m very excited to be near treading A Dance With Dragons sections too! For Bates Motel, I hope they up the game a little bit and put some more balls in the air, and speaking of which, I also wish Carlton Cuse the best on both The Strain, but even more so on his American adaptation and remake of The Returned (Les Revenants). I will be watching both! For Once Upon A Time I’m looking forward to seeing Wonderland character Will Scarlet/The Knave of Hearts (Michael Socha) added to the cast and I hope Emma Rigby follows suit and that we may also see Naveen Andrews pop-up before the end of the season 4. I’m looking forward to some new summer shows like The Leftovers and Tyrant, getting ready to say goodbye to Sookie Stackhouse and gang on True Blood, and looking forward to the return of Sleepy Hollow, Homeland, Boardwalk Empire (which I hope ends not too nihilistic like The Sopranos), and new shows Constantine, The Red Band Society and Scorpion. And lastly, I hope some of these HBO fantasy and sci-fi series that were more recently announced (Westworld, The Spark, Mad Adam, Ridley Scott’s Alien + Ancient Egypt series) won’t be stuck in development forever and we will see some dates and casting info (Seriously need Josh Holloway on Westworld! And lastly, please renew Orphan Black for a third season!
Jamie: For next season I hope that both The Flash and The Messengers get renewed, as I’m most excited about those new shows. For Hart Of Dixie, Vampire Diaries, Supernatural and Grey’s Anatomy I hope they start thinking about their endgame. When I saw the renewal of Hart of Dixie was for only half a season I thought it would be the final season. No confirmation on this yet, but I’d hate for it to get cancelled without a proper ending. As for the other three, none of them are what they used to be. These shows could probably go on without getting cancelled, but I hope they decide to end the shows on a high note. And of course what I want more than anything else is for none of my shows to get cancelled (wishful thinking).

Q: And finally, any general thoughts, reflections about the past season you would like to add to our TV season review?

Pablo: Only that rating wise I wish most shows would have performed better; most shows rating went downright the toilet and only Scandal and Supernatural rose from their previous seasons; there is so much good TV on the air right now that I would love to see those shows performing better. I wish Community was able to pull mid 1s, that Revenge would have at least made it to high 1s for all season long, that Revolution held on its 1.5, and so on and so forth. The need to make DVR profitable is becoming a real necessity in this time and age of television.
Darthlocke: Not much to add, but I wish everyone a happy 2014-2015 viewing season!
Jamie: I just hope next season is as good, or better than this.
Justyna: Only that: Have a wonderful summer, everyone (summer TV is getting better each year) and a happy new 2014-2015 season to all!

Justyna JJ Kubica
22. Student. SpoilerTV Writer. Loves Movies, TV Shows (Doctor Who, Teen Wolf, Sherlock, Person Of Interest, Arrow, Supernatural (especially 1-5), Agents Of SHIELD, Sleepy Hollow, The Musketeers, Fringe, Psych, etc.) and Books (Harry Potter!). Fantasy & SciFi geek! Scene Of The Week articles author. Member of SpoilerTV team since 27th November 2011.
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