The Iris’ Ten Favourite TV Shows of 2015

As we look ahead to the Golden Globe Awards on Monday and another year of amazing TV, we have compiled a list of our ten favourite series from 2015. With an incredible amount of competition, this was not an easy list to put together, but here we go…

10. The Weekly with Charlie Pickering 

Australian TV has been sorely missing its own version of a Stephen Colbert or Jon Stewart and thanks to the ABC and Charlie Pickering we now finally have one of our own. Admittedly the first couple of episodes were a little shaky in the scriptwriting but by episode 3 The Weekly had found its feet. Never one to back down from putting the boot into politicians or discussing the news topics of the week with a hint of snark and some scathing remarks but always a smattering of comedy. Their segment targeting the discussion around rape is one of their best ever – – Carina Nilma

9. Marvel’s Daredevil

Marvel + Netflix + Daredevil = phenomenally intricate storytelling and gritty dark visuals with jaw droppingly insane choreographed fight scenes and building a tiny new universe in the already existing Marvel Universe to great effect. Plus we are introduced to one of television’s most classy but intimidating villains in Kingpin, and the astounding performance by Vincent D’Onofrio. This show took television to a whole new binge-worthy level and upped the ante for all shows that came thereafter. Never has sitting in front of my laptop from 11am until 3am straight watching a series been so rewarding. –  Carina Nilma

8. South Park

Who knew that almost twenty seasons in (19 to be precise) that the US animated series would deliver its best season to date. Tying the series together with a story arch that ran through all ten episodes was a genius move, giving new life to a show that has always managed to maintain an edge on its competition (if there even is any at this point). From Donald Trump to Caitlyn Jenner, Whole Foods, Food Bloggers, Native Advertising and just about everything in between, this season was on point – hilarious and ingenious in the way it tied it all together. – Larry Heath

7. Marvel’s Jessica Jones 

I didn’t think it was possible for the Marvel & Netflix team to surpass their earlier release with Daredevil but they somehow managed to lay the proverbial smackdown on its predecessor but in a whole new way. Jessica Jones also had an intricate story but it was far more grounded in that it revolved around Jessica and her associates rather than being some larger conspiracy overshadowing. What it really did though was smash the Bechdel Test right out of the park and for once we were delivered a series that had a kick-ass lineup of female casting, all portraying strong female characters who were all uniquely diverse.

And unlike some of the sucky Marvel Cinematice Universe villains we’ve had to put up with, a worthy sucessor to Kingpin comes along and we finally get Kilgrave, the man with mind control powers who can make you stick your hand into a blender or slash your partner with scissors. Whovian David Tennant fans will probably need cold showers after watching his turn as Kilgrave. – Carina Nilma

6. The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst

Talk about compelling television. Without question one of the most talked about series of 2015, The Jinx was an incredibly well made documentary about the bizarre life of Robert Durst – the son of a property tycoon who has basically gotten away with killing a bunch of people. Allegedly, of course. The suspense in that final episode was some of the best offered on TV – fiction or otherwise. And that’s probably the most incredible thing about it – this all actually happened. And you can’t look away. – Larry Heath

5. Hannibal

The curtains have now closed on Bryan Fuller’s masterful re-imagining of Thomas Harris’ Red Dragon but the third and final season of the series ensures it won’t soon be forgotten. Despite being a network drama, Hannibal still manages to stand head and shoulders almost every other show on television most cable television. It’s consistently well-written, produced & directed at a level that’s borderline cinematic. It’s lovingly-faithful to the source material, and yet still manages to surprise even the most die-hard of Hannibal fans. You can read more of my thoughts on the third season in my review but let’s just say that Hannibal is a show that’ll be sorely missed. – Fergus Halliday

4. Brooklyn Nine-Nine 

The best zany, wacky cop – and office! – gang in ages!  Like Modern Family, the humour isn’t edgy or fresh but the characters are great, in particular Captain Raymond Holt who shows no emotion, his assistant Gina who wears her heart on her sleeve and the two older team members, Scully and Hitchcock.  The appeal lies in the many pop culture references, especially those from the 90s. – Erica Enriquez

3. Game of Thrones

This ones a no-brainer and as major movements continue to occur in the universe of Game of Thrones, things are only going to get more intense. There were a few missteps, mainly with the Dorne storyline (and Tommy Wiseau quality line delivery by the Sand Snakes) but ultimately Season 5 gave us a lot to keep us guessing, especially now that the show has surpassed the books. – Chris Singh

2. The Walking Dead

The fascination with life in a post-apocalyptic zombie existence hasn’t really faded in Season 6, but now it’s the realisation that Rick Grimes in the second half of Season 6 may well take a page out of Season 2 Shane’s book that keeps our attention. Zombies are still disgusting (they’re disintergrating!) but as we already know, it’s the humans left on Planet Earth who are the real threats. – Erica Enriquez

The first half of Season 6 started off with a relentless sense of dread, a feeling which was sustained for three episodes – that has never happened before in this show and it was a refreshing reminder of how effective the horror of The Walking Dead has become. Walkers AND savage survivors were a huge threat, and the show pulled out some of the most disturbing content it has given us so far (that is, The Wolves hacking people to death).

Then there was the fourth episode, Morgan’s stand-alone flashback, which stands as one of the best the series has ever done, perfectly paced with two stunning performances. It may have dipped in quality for the few episodes that followed, but it picked right back up for the season finale. – Chris Singh

1. Better Call Saul

It’s very easy to imagine a world where Better Call Saul fizzles. It’s a prequel to a side-character who, even if he is a fan-favourite, remains an auxiliary figure. He never really demanded an origin story. However, it’s a testament to Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould and the rest of the writers involved that they manage to make James McGill’s fall to the shady side of the law so compelling. It’s a show made from the same pedigree and toolbox as Breaking Bad but one so fascinatingly different. Breaking Bad is a hard act to top but Better Call Saul is every bit as good as it’s predecessor and absolutely worthy of the praise it gets. – Fergus Halliday

Fans of Breaking Bad were eager to see this prequel to the world Walter White inhabited prior to him meeting Saul Goodman (S’all good, man – geddit?), his shady, spineless lawyer.  Many found its pace too slow, but maybe it’s because they remember Season 5 of Breaking Bad when the shit was really hitting the fan.  It’s heartbreaking watching Jimmy McGill suffer loss after loss, and even though you know where Saul will end up when all is said and done, it’s still distressing to see how he got there.  Why bother watching?  Because he’s your worst fear about yourself realised. – Erica Enriquez