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Of musicals and murder mysteries

Instep rounds up the year 2015 in television

Of musicals and murder mysteries

The continued existence of Game of Thrones ensured that people could keep telling us over and over (and over) again that they have read the books, and effectively made it easy to identify people we don’t want to be friends with.

Better Call Saul was a delightful masterclass in prequel-making.

Broadchurch spotted a shark off the Jurassic Coast, then promptly jumped it.

The Doctor said goodbye to yet another companion. Based on the fate of everyone he travels with and eventually tragically loses, if you ever run into the Time Lord and he asks you to join him, just smile politely and back away slowly.

We suffered from a severe lack of Sherlock in our lives.

The Big Bang Theory continued its descent into rom-com drabness.

Marvel impressed with its new offerings: the brilliant Daredevil, the classy Agent Carter, and the fierce Jessica Jones.

Supergirl joined Arrow and The Flash in DC’s small screen world of melodramatic mediocrity.

iZombie was like a cross between Veronica Mars and Tru Calling with added cannibalism.

Desperate to be provocative, American Horror Story: Hotel recruited Lady Gaga and tried to gather attention by featuring sleazy encounters. Viewers shrugged and moved on.

The massive success of The Walking Dead led to a companion spinoff series that was very creatively titled Fear the Walking Dead. Shockingly, the title wasn’t the worst thing about it.

The Mindy Project was cancelled by Fox, then picked up by Hulu, so that instead of not-watching it on Fox, we can now not-watch it on Hulu instead.

Backstrom was created to find out what would have happened if House had been a police procedural instead of a medical drama and had been written by significantly worse writers. The answer was a swift cancellation.

With her movie career going nowhere fast, Katherine Heigl somehow found her way back to television in the implausible State of Affairs, which brought with it a big mystery: who thought this series was a good idea and how did it manage to get picked up by a major network? Thankfully it didn’t last long.

The leads of Stalker, Dylan McDermott and Maggie Q, got engaged, so at least the project wasn’t a complete waste of their time, just ours.

Unlike its protagonist, Forever didn’t have a very long life.

Jon Stewart made the world a sadder place by leaving The Daily Show which decided to continue with new host Trevor Noah just so it could be a constant reminder of how much we miss Jon Stewart.img1

The Nightly Show was unwatchably dire, yet inexplicably remained on air.

Stephen Colbert took over The Late Show and turned it into a watered-down version of The Colbert Report.

The Simpsons remained in our lives like old, faithful friends.

South Park helped us cope with a world gone politically correct.

Barack Obama went on a wilderness walk with Bear Grylls, ate leftover salmon that had been nibbled on and then discarded by a bear, drank catkins tea, and then struggled with taking a selfie because the most powerful man in the world doesn’t know how to use a smartphone. We are not making this up.

Fargo returned for a second outing, dispensing crime and violence from the 1970s for viewers who are tired of crime and violence from the 2010s.

Everyone was frustrated that we couldn’t figure out if Orange is the New Black is a comedy or a drama, because everything must be neatly classified into categories to maintain order in the world.

House of Cards gave us major trust issues.

The terrific Mr. Robot was so awesomely confusing that it left us a little woozy.

Viewers remained riveted to Scandal.

How to Get Away with Murder remained true to its title.

Empire turned into a game of “spot the random, unnecessary, pointless celebrity cameo”.

Quantico showed us that you can make a semi-successful series by putting together an intriguing premise, terrible writing, and atrocious acting.

It was decreed by law that Amy Schumer must appear on every talk show in the known universe.

Kimmy Schmidt’s unbreakableness was charming.

Scream Queens was a sporadically entertaining mess.

Bruce Jenner transitioned into Caitlyn and starred in the reality show documentary series I Am Cait because the Jenner-Kardashian family isn’t ubiquitous enough already and should totally be in even more television shows.

Finally noticing its ever-increasing irrelevance, someone pulled the plug on American Idol, but decided that we deserve to suffer through one more season, obviously as some sort of penance for our sins.

Jeremy Clarkson’s foot-in-mouth disease finally led to his sacking from Top Gear.

The Muppets made a somewhat triumphant return to television.

International treasure Stephen Fry decided to say goodbye to QI after 13 years.

The Grinder surprised us by being thoroughly amusing.

The Odd Couple left us concerned about the fact that someone has clearly stolen Matthew Perry’s acting ability.

The Comedians forgot to be funny. Viewers forgot to watch it.

The delightful Rachel Bloom wowed in Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, which was so much “gooder” than we expected. #HumbleAndBlessed

Steve Harvey accidentally (on purpose?) announced the wrong Miss Universe, creating a controversy that reminded us the pageant still exists.

After having a long, successful run and spawning a number of entertaining spinoffs, CSI, formerly the most popular dramatic series on television, bid us farewell.

Mythbusters decided to end, leaving us in a sad world where all myths henceforth will remain unbusted.

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