The Best Television Shows of 2014 According to Us

By now you might have read a few lists about the best television of 2014 written by television critics, people with strong opinions, or just people that love TV. That’s all very cute but I thought it was time to find out what we, a collection of random queers with impeccable taste, liked this year. We’re not experts or critics (though we do write some pretty bomb recaps). I just thought it would be interesting to see if any of the shows we love had things in common with each other. I suppose you can try to spot the trends yourself.

Best Shows of 2014

These are the shows that our esteemed collection of TV watching Autostraddle affiliates deemed the best of the year.

5. Jane the Virgin


4. Transparent


3. Bob’s Burgers


2. Broad City


1. Orange is the New Black


Best of the Rest

These are the shows that got a lot of votes but not enough to crack the Top 5.

True Detectives
The Walking Dead
The Comeback
Orphan Black
Key and Peele
Game of Thrones

Shows We Wish We’d Watched in 2014

Since we’re not an all knowing group of folks that watch every single thing, I thought this would be a good way to acknowledge the shows that we’ve heard are great but haven’t gotten around to. Maybe those that have seen them can fill us in in the comments. I think it says something that apparently we’ve all seen OITNB, Broad City, and Bob’s Burgers?

10. Adventure Time
9. Inside Amy Schumer
8. Fargo
7. True Detective
6. The Comeback
5. Masters of Sex
4. Black-ish
3. Jane the Virgin
2. Transparent
1. Orphan Black

Well-Received Shows that We Apparently Don’t Care About?

These shows got no votes in best show or shows we want to watch.

The Americans

What were your favorite shows from 2014? What shows have you been meaning to watch? Has this list convinced you to give anything a shot?

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Brittani Nichols is a Los Angeles based comedy person. When she's not tweeting about white people or watching television, she's probably eating pizza. Actually, she's probably doing all three of those things concurrently and when she's not doing THAT, she's sleeping. Brittani also went to Yale and feels weird about mentioning it but wants you to know.

Brittani has written 328 articles for us.


    • I have heard so many people be like oh I heard it’s good I heard this I heard that but NO ONE had seen it themselves. It’s like a chain of four people all saying they heard it’s good. I’m glad someone here is really watching it and it’s not some elaborate hoax…though that would be pretty cool and I sort of want that to be a thing one day.

      • As someone who marathoned the two seasons a few months ago, I can say IT’S SO GOOD. It deconstructs how capitalism is just a philosophy that our society follows, not a way of life better and more subtly than any other show I’ve ever seen. It’s well acted and tightly written, EVERYONE SHOULD WATCH IT. Don’t take pride in not watching it AutostraddlE, watch it and be amazed!

  1. I feel like these aren’t the shows I voted for (well, a few of them are). Does no one else here like the shows I like?

      • I picked a few of the ones mentioned, but I think I also picked You’re the Worst? and also Brooklyn Nine-Nine?

        • That’s funny. I literally just read about You’re the Worst on the AV Club 2014 TV wrap-up, and was wondering why I’d never heard of the show before when it came in 9th and got a pretty good wrap.

  2. I’m tempted to declare any “Best of 2014” list that doesn’t include Liar Game totally invalid, but since it’s in Korean and not everyone can deal with subtitles, I’ll give you a pass.

    But seriously, you guys. LIAR GAME. It is the best show I’ve seen in aaaaages. There are no lesbians (or there could be, but we wouldn’t know because there is no romance of any kind here), but you should watch it anyway. It’s about a sweet but naive college girl, her BFF/loan shark who’s hounding her for her absent father’s debts, and a former professor/con man just out of prison who get thrown into a reality show called Liar Game that is not at all what it seems.

    • I’m not sure if you know this (apologies if you are already aware) but the Korean series is actually a remake of the Japanese series which has 2 seasons and a movie adaptation out. It’s also actually adapted from a manga series which is still on-going and frankly one of the best things to read.

      • I did know that! And no apologies necessary, because if I didn’t already know that I’d have been really happy to find out.

        And this is going to be such an unpopular opinion, but I had to nope out of the TV series. Fukunaga is the personification of fingernails on a chalk board to me and I just couldn’t fucking take it anymore. Also, Nao crossed the line between sweet/naive and dumb as a stump for me, whereas Da Jung managed to stay just on the right side of that.

        However, I’m totally going to track down that manga. I was planning to look for it on my next trip to the comic book store!

        • I’ll probably have to check out the Korean adaptation at some point (catching up on J-dorama backlog now) but I have to say that as much as I like Erika Toda, I have to agree that I was quite disappointed with her portrayal of Nao. (Toda was pretty perfect in Spec though, if you ever want to watch like an wacky mixed with sci-fi element mystery drama~)

          • Ooh, Spec sounds right up my alley! I do generally like Erika Toda (and not just because she’s so hot), so I’d love to see her as a better character.

    • Also, while I haven’t seen the Korean series, I don’t recall any gay or lesbian characters in the manga so far, (it’s been really romance free everything) but one of the major side characters is actually a transgender character. I can’t reveal more because of spoilers but after a certain incident, the japanese text of the manga actually deliberately avoids referring to said character by gender.

      Unfortunately, the Japanese adaption didn’t bother to bring the intricacies of the character into the series and I’m not sure whether the Korea adapt decided to tackle it?

      • I know which character you’re talking about, and that person is cis in the Korean version. I still enjoyed that character a lot, though.

  3. Orphan Black and Fargo are definitely two of my favourite shows of 2014. <3 (And also many of the other shows on this list.)

  4. I shame-watch Once Upon a Time, but I don’t tell anyone about it and it has no place on any “Best of…” list. It is the actual worst. Yet I keep coming back. And queer Mulan has long gone. I have no excuse. I don’t even know what I’m doing with my life anymore IRT Once Upon a Time.

    • I stopped watching that this year, after the end of season 3. I gave myself closure by writing fanfic to tie up Mulan’s story. In my preferred ending to that show, Mulan returns and wreaks vengeance on all of Storybrooke for writing her queer self out of a happy ending.

      Now I just read Lily Sparks’s reviews and thank the gods I stopped watching.

  5. Orange Is The New Black and Orphan Black need to be 1A and 1B on any list of best, most feminist and queer shows. I am FLABBERGASTED that Orphan Black got less votes than the other four shows in the top five! Huh? (O_o) ???

  6. Sorry for the second comment, but you guys are seriously saying you’d rather sit down and watch Jane The Virgin over Orphan Black???? I think we need a recount…

  7. I must admit to liking The Flash quite a lot. Iris West is what Smallville should have done with Lois from the start. Faking It also fascinates me.

  8. Orphan Black is fucking amazing and you should all watch it. Masters of Sex is obviously a great show because it stars my beautiful wife Lizzy Caplan, but it suffers from having to watch her frequently bone down with Wesley Snipes from 30 Rock.

  9. seeing girls in that last list reaffirms many of my own deeply held values and emotions about me, you, and everyone we know, brittani. thank you for this gift.

  10. Getting On is perfect, Veep is so fun, The Comeback came back in a really good way annnnnd Homeland is the bomb. Thank you Alex Gansa for this S4

  11. Orphan Black is one of the best TV shows I’ve seen in a long time. Engaging and thrilling. I mean, c’mon guys, looking at Tatiana Maslany for 40 min is a great reason to love this show haha

  12. But, but, there’s always time for Adventure Time!

    “The Comeback” was a surprise for me. The season (series?) finale was perfect. I didn’t really care for Lisa Kudrow as an actress before but she totally blew me away here.

  13. I get that Orphan Black suffers from being on a channel that many people forget about or don’t have – but it is available online and there is no way it deserves to be left out of the Top 5. Besides, Transparent is on Amazon Prime – which is a D-list Netflix in terms of popularity.

    Also, Wentworth > OITNB. Wentworth is edgier and more violent than OITNB, but the story lines are more compelling. Wentworth is on Netflix now too.

    I am one of the few watchers of The Americans. True Detectives I found to be overrated.

    1. GoT
    2. Wentworth
    3. Orphan Black
    4. Broad City
    5. Transparent/ OITNB

    • LOVE HOUSE OF CARDS UGHHHHH. Such a high quality show it’s ridiculous. And the main character is canonically queer without it being made a huge deal about. It just is. Also I totally called that from the beginning, I just never thought they’d make it canon bc no one ever does when the queerness is “incidental”. SO MUCH LOVE.

  14. fuck Girls, who cares. I have been telling people Broad City is like what Girls would be if it didn’t suck.

    Other shows that have lesbians but are not highly advertised: Last Tango in Halifax! Features lesbians, old people in love, and a baby named Calamity Jane. It is Britishy, my gf is obsessed with British mystery shit and I am obsessed with all gay tv ever, this worked very well for us. Also, I subscribed to that thing tello films and I really enjoyed the Throwaways and hashtag, though most of the rest of it seems highly ridonkulous.

  15. My faves:

    2. The Mindy Project (crazy love for this show you guys, ugh Mindy Kalinggg)
    4. Brooklyn Nine-Nine (first cop show I’ve ever watched but wow so good)
    5. Sleepy Hollow (I don’t know, I just super love Abbie Mills, she is SO COOL, even though this is one of the scariest shows I’ve ever watched haha)

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