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2014 has brought some of TV’s best, with more to come.

As the regular 2013-2014 TV season winds down (and what an awesome season it has been), some emerging Winter/Spring series are just getting started.

After witnessing the best detective TV show ever with HBO’s ‘True Detective’ its hard to imagine any show from here out will have a chance to impress. Matthew McConaughy and Woody Harrelson gave it their all and the show never once pulled its punches. Dark, disturbing, wicked, and dangerous fun.

Amy Acker
Amy Acker in ‘POI’

‘Person of Interest’ continues to impress me. Not only delivering some of the most potent emotional moments/episodes to date but escalating the threat level beyond anything that has come before. Adding a more serialized approach to its “number of the week” stuff has amped up the intensity and the commitment. Plus we get a lot more Amy Acker (“Root”) and that’s never a bad thing.

‘Castle’ has proven itself capable of being fresh even after 6! seasons. This season has been its best in years. Lets hope they cancel this show (not going to happen) so Nathan Fillion can once again return to a much-needed ‘Firefly’ reunion movie/series. Hey I once believed in Santa Claus too;)

‘Justified’ has so far giving us a lackluster, but action filled, season. The emotional weight and the grand story-arcs of prior seasons has been lacking. Still giving us some of the greatest characters on TV. And you gotta love Raylan and Boyd in their epic battle over bad-good and good-bad. Looking for a proper end to this season and a glorious final season in 2015.

‘Intelligence’ began with a great concept, a man with a computer chip inserted into his brain fights to save the world. Of course, standard procedural TV pitfalls of over convenient plot contrivances, poor acting, even poorer writing, and rather generic characters quickly softened the impact. At least we got the talents of John Billingsley and Josh Holloway. And Megan Orly to drool over look at.

The new thriller series ‘Crisis’ has a decent enough set-up, kidnap the teenage children of the world’s most influential people and watch the parents do your dance. Hopefully they have a coherent overarching plot (see ‘Person of Interest’). Otherwise, we could lose patience very early on. And how would you possibly drag this out for a second season? But we have Rachel Taylor AND Gillian Anderson.

‘Elementary’ continues its evolution into a more meaningful and fleshed out Sherlock Holmes. This is not our great-great grandfather’s Sherlock Holmes. Where the BBC went all sociopathic, ‘Elementary’ strives to make this Sherlock MORE human, and a lot more approachable. After all, Conan Doyle’s Holmes is a complete dickhead.

‘Helix’ has the goods

Genre TV is still going strong, for every turd there’s potential just lying in wait. Praying for the death of ‘Dancing with the Voice’ and all ‘crapeality TV’–but that ain’t going to happen, we so ever love watching people make total asses of themselves on national TV.

‘Game of Thrones’ Season 4 is right around the corner. I’m crapping my pants just thinking about it. Promises to be the bloodiest (best?) yet, as the real severe and epic events from the novels began AFTER the ‘Red Wedding’.

Black Sails‘ gave us an uneven but memorable first season. Pirates, booty, and more booty;) Check out my complete review here.

Imagine that, SyFy is actually, once again, producing Sci-Fi. ‘Helix’ started our ever so strong with its isolated Arctic scientific lab overrun with zombies premise. They appear to have run out of concept steam, so to speak, as the finale comes up. “You need to know where you’re going if you want to successfully get there.” Oh well, it still remains a good and suitably creepy hour of genre TV.

Deathstroke in ‘Arrow’

‘Arrow’ continues to expand its DC universe, introducing The Flash, Brother Blood, The Black Canary and Deathstroke in its second season. Giving us more island flashbacks to chew on and more trademark CW soap-opera to tolerate. The action remains top-notch and as the consequences add up, Oliver Queen’s gravitas burns through. Looking forward to more in Season 3 and beyond.

‘Almost Human’ showed great promise, but its re-jiggered episode sort and a general lack of consistency marked it for quick dismissal. Not expecting a renewal, although the dynamic between leads Karl Urban and Michael Ealy and Ealy’s pitch-perfect android performance warrant another shot. Alas…

‘Marvels Agents of SHIELD’ has also improved since the beginning of this season. Unfortunately we don’t seem to really connect with most of the primary cast members. When you end up connecting more with the bad guys that’s never a good sign. Some epic action sequences, stylized visual flair, and big guest stars have helped to buffer its inadequacies. Besides, everyone knows Joss Whedon TV really takes off in Season 2, anyway.

NBC’s ‘Revolution’ and ‘Grimm’ have both succeeded improved with their new seasons. But will it be enough? Slightly less aromatic crap is still crap (I know they’re not THAT BAD). With a little more focus and some improved writing/humor both have a chance at being great TV, at least NEXT seasons (if there are next seasons).

‘Once Upon a Time’ has worn itself out, now lost in the world of OZ with Robin Hood and his Merry Men in tow. WTF? After Peter Pan(!?) destroyed Storybrooke I lost interest. Now it’s like watching a train crash, lots of cars and continuously growing collateral damage. Probably gets another season as the ratings don’t yet suck, but they should.

Can’t forget the fun-fest called ‘The Walking Dead’. All they need now is a zombie musical to complete the festivities. The darkest, bleakest season of TV in history. This ongoing root-canal of suffering has peaked post prison and I’m just wondering what could possibly happen next. As entertaining and enthralling a journey of depression that this is I don’t see it lasting much more at this level. Only so many preschool sociopath executions can be tolerated.

Will Graham
Will Graham’s predicament

Speaking of sociopaths, isn’t ‘Hannibal’ awesome. Having roles reversed this season has really invigorated the dynamic between the FBI’s very own serial killer cannibal consultant, Hannibal Lecter, and his framed for murder “partner”, Will Graham, now stuck in the loony bin unbelieved and unheard. Another show with a limited life span–once the cat’s out of the bag, pretty sure Hannibal’s consulting days are over.

And another season of ‘Continuum’ has arrived. Its looking to be the best yet, with more time-travel chaos and stronger high-concept sci-fi themes. Go Canada!

Basically I’m putting most of my eggs in one basket. “Winter is coming” and damn if I’m not looking forward to it. Oh yeah, and another season of ‘Veep’!

Chad Schulz, March 2014