Nobody should ever go to the movies to see history
Let’s face it, it’s impossible to see everything. There are only so many hours in the day, and sometimes things go unwatched. With 2014 winding down and network television taking a break until the new year, it’s the perfect time to check out all the stuff you’ve missed!
This WGN original series depicts the famed Manhattan Project, a research and development project that led to the production of the first atomic bombs during World War II. The beauty of Manhattan is that it’s all about the journey of the scientists attempting to build the bombs. But don’t worry, the compelling scenes aren’t all hogged by men scribbling formulas onto chalkboards. Manhattan might be at its best when exploring the relationships between the scientists and their clueless families. Turns out, living in the desert and making an atomic bomb is very stressful on the typical American family. Who knew?!
- The Knick
Everyone loves a flawed protagonist. People especially love their flawed protagonists when they’re doctors. If you’ve been nursing a House M.D. shaped hole in your heart for brilliant doctors with addiction issues, then look no further than The Knick. Taking place in the early twentieth century, the series focuses on the start of modern medicine. Compared to the hospital standards of today, watching the surgeons at the Knickerbocker Hospital operate without gloves is both fascinating and cringe-inducing. The show layers surgeon John Thackery’s (Clive Owen) personal problems with the Knick’s attempts to be the premier hospital for modern medicine, while also working extremely realistic racial tensions into the fold. All in all, it makes for one great hour of TV every Friday.
- Jane The Virgin
After being accidentally artificially inseminated, Jane’s (Gina Rodriguez) life is upended and changed forever. All she wanted to do was become a teacher, and now she’s a pregnant virgin who just happens to be carrying her boss’ last chance at a child. Jane The Virgin is styled after every bad soap opera your grandmother watched at 2 pm on weekdays, so don’t be surprised that everyone is somehow connected to everyone else. Taking into account and disregarding Jane’s “soapy” beginnings, the show’s sweet cast and the adorable premise make up for any eye-roll inducing melodrama. There’s also a sassy narrator and who doesn’t love that?!
- The Affair
This Showtime original series tells the story of the (not-so-happily) married Noah (Dominic West) and Alison (Ruth Wilson) and their secret love affair over the course of a summer in Montauk. But halfway through the episode, The Affair turns everything upside-down by telling the story from the other perspective. This style allows for an unreliable narrator, so we as the audience never truly know what happened. From Noah’s point of view, Alison was the forward one, while Alison’s side of the story tells us that Noah was the flirt. The only thing we can be sure of is that neither party is completely innocent.
- Playing House
Emma (Jessica St. Clair) moves back to her hometown just as her best friend Maggie’s (Lennon Parham) marriage dissolves and she prepares to have her first baby. The “besties for life” vibe Playing House gives off is realistic and instead of being half an hour of awkward people saying off the wall stuff, it becomes a peek into an old friendship. Emma and Maggie are the type to finish each other’s sentences and would totally be down when the other wants to do something that’s probably going to end disastrously. Basically, they’re the best friends everyone should emulate. We could all learn a few things from these ladies.
- You’re The Worst
It’s a show about two terrible people trying to make a functional relationship happen; it’s as simple as that. The two main characters, Jimmy (Chris Geere) and Gretchen (Aya Cash) are self-centered and a bit mouthy, but are revealed to be genuinely complex people as their backstories are explored throughout the season. Shockingly enough, the most endearing characters in this series are the trademark best friends Edgar (Desmin Borges) and Lindsay (Kether Donohue). They act as direct foils to their friends, breaking up their sarcasm with a bit of goofy humor. Edgar is the eternal optimist to Jimmy’s doom and gloom attitude, while Lindsay is Gretchen’s tether to the world of married suburbanites who wear too much plaid. In a show that showcases the worst of two people who don’t really have it together, You’re The Worst actually turns out to be one of the best comedies of the year.