The best and worst content of 2014

Your U.S. Little League Champs!
Where does the Jackie Robinson West team rank ?

Instead of an “Excellent 10” and “Toilet 10” TV show list like yours truly has done in the past, this year I’m breaking it down as “Best Content” and “Worst Content” of 2014, because let’s face it – media content isn’t just on TV anymore… it’s on other platforms such as Amazon, Netflix, and the Internet in general (and plus, the monikers “Excellent” and “Toilet” have run their course.)

You cannot ignore the power of sports – like 2013’s Blackhawks Stanley Cup championship, the success of the Jackie Robinson West Little League team and the Chicago Bears’ failures this year were stories Chicagoans couldn’t stop talking about. And like any other show, viewers sat around the TV and watched, so they also should be included in this conversation. Three shows in the sports genre are in these lists.

And as much as a lot of people would like WGN Radio to be included in the “Worst Category” list, it doesn’t count (and even so, the items in this year’s Worst list would easily top anything heard on the heritage radio station.)

And without further a do, here is 2014’s Best Content and Worst Content:

Best Content of 2014.

10. How To Get Away With Murder (ABC). A surprise hit, this series was very competitive with CBS’ Thursday Night Football and even beat it in a few instances. Well produced drama that keeps the viewer glued to his/her seat for the whole hour.

9. Bob’s Burgers (Fox)2015 could be the final call for this under appreciated animated sitcom. A shame. But the good news is – it will hit the 100 episode mark soon, heading for a syndication run.

8. Chicago Fire (NBC)Shot in our town, this series continues to give us compelling storylines week after week. Better representative of our city than most prime-time shows.

Yes, that's Jeffrey tambor from Amazon's "Transparent". Really.
Yes, that’s Jeffrey tambor from Amazon’s “Transparent”. Really.

7. Transparent (Amazon Prime) and 6. Orange Is The New Black (Netflix). This is more proof that good content isn’t just limited to an over-the-air signal or a cable cord. If the content is good, viewers will flock to it. And besides, seeing Jeffrey Tambor in drag in Transparent is priceless.

5. The Good Wife (CBS). Despite a lack of buzz, this is one of the best dramas on TV and just keeps getting better.

4. The Flash (CW). This revival of the 1990 CBS series is better than the original. Did you catch the awesome Flash-Arrow crossover last month? An indication DC Comics does a better job of producing TV product than Marvel does.

3. The Blacklist (NBC)A move to Thursday in February is a big test for this show.

2. Road To The Winter Classic (HBO/Epix) Though it changed networks in the past year (from HBO to Epix), the behind-the-scenes content is still compelling, as hockey players prepare for the NHL’s biggest event on New Year’s Day.

1. Jackie Robinson West’s Run to the Little League Championship (ESPN/ABC)Even though they didn’t win the big prize, watching these kids play with a strong work ethic created a storyline no Hollywood producer could match – not to mention the Little League coach of the Philadelphia team after losing a game gave one of the best speeches yours truly ever heard a coach give.

Worst Content of 2014

Heading into in August, it was a sure bet CNN’s Chicagoland would be the worst show of the year. Enter the 2014 Chicago Bears. And The Wil Wheaton Project. And yes, every show here – including the Bears – are either in or soon will be in the T Dog Media TV Hall Of Shame.

Jay Cutler fumbles again. (USA Today)
Jay Cutler fumbles again. (USA Today)

1. Chicago Bears’ 2014 season (various channels.) No TV show – not even Honey Boo Boo – can top Jay Cutler and this team’s Poseidon Adventure-like performance in 2014. In fact, Honey Boo Boo is more appealing than the Bears. First sports team ever to make The Shame.

2. The Wil Wheaton Project (SyFy). As a person who is involved in geek culture (which may not be for long as assholes like Wheaton continue to run the show), I can tell you there is no interest in a weekly TV show or daily strip on the subject. This effort was a waste of time and money. Click here for more on my thoughts on Wil Wheaton.

3. Chicagoland (CNN). This was nothing more than an eight-hour Rahm Emanuel infomercial. Click here for more on my thoughts on the show.

4. Real Housewives Of Atlanta (Bravo). And this racist whore-a-thon almost edged out Chicagoland for third place. Click here and here for more on my thoughts on Kenya Moore and this show.

5. The Millers (CBS). Can someone explain to me how this program managed to last two seasons let alone one?

6. Utopia (Fox). The biggest bust in reality TV history, flushing $50 million down the drain.

7. Mulaney (Fox). A Seinfeld rip-off.

8. The McCarthys. (CBS) If this family lived next door to your crib, you’d back the U Haul truck up to your house fast.

9. Extant (Amazon/CBS) Not all Internet content is good, but you probably knew that. Not even Halle Berry can save this mess of a show.

10. (tie) I Wanna Marry Harry (Fox). Obviously, Fox hasn’t learned its lesson from the Darva Conger/Rick Rockwell disaster.

10. (tie) Lifetime’s “biopics” on Saved By The Bell and Aaliyah. Bad acting, casting, writing, and loads of inaccurate information. The only fun thing about this was the snark about them on Twitter.