Worst comeback since Lazarus award
I know what you're thinking, but no, not Paul Henry. Actually it was Benedict Cumberbatch's Holmes in Sherlock. Writers Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat found not one but three solutions to the problem of how Sherlock faked his death at the end of series two, all of them complete bollocks. The big unsolved riddle is how this show went downhill so fast.
The have-the-antidepressants-handy drama of the year
Perhaps it's just my gloomy disposition, but Olive Kitteridge was hands down one of the best TV drama series I've seen. The year's other big dramas for me, True Detective, Fargo and Broadchurch, were all terrifically written, cast and directed. But this Frances McDormand-led four-parter was extraordinarily bleak but life-affirming television.
The Oh-man-I shot-Marvin-in-the-face award for most entertaining death of the year
I admit seeing Joffrey die while bleeding from his eyes was pretty satisfying. The little bastard deserved it. But the best death on Game of Thrones and on television this year was the Red Viper and his exploding head. Talk about yuck! But also a load of yucks ...
Best drinking game television
Seven Sharp. Fake bonhomie? Drink! Forced laugh? Scull! Phoney empathy? Bottoms up! Why so many people watch it is a mystery to me ... but then so was that business of one million people voting for National.
Upper class twit of the year
For the fifth year in a row, Downton Abbey's Lord Grantham. The fellow is an ass, a nincompoop, a total silly-billy. It's a complete miracle he's able to walk and breathe at the same time.
Lower class twit of the year
Pam Corkery. How she thought bellowing "Puffed-up little shit" at a group of TV journalists and their camera people was a smart idea, I have no idea. Made great TV news though. She'd be my first pick for a local version of I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here.
Comedy of the year, local
Such a good idea, Coverband: a once almost famous Kiwi band reforms and becomes, yes, a covers band. Often sublimely silly.
Comedy of the year, international
Like the previous series, the third season of Veep, the Julia Louis-Dreyfus sitcom about a vice-president with more ambition than talent, started slowly but just kept getting stupider and madder and funnier.
Anticlimax of the year
I loved True Detective, truly I did. Terrific script, amazing performances. Utterly memorable. Until the last half hour. The more I thought about it afterwards the more I thought the whole running-around-the-maze-looking-for-the-killer thing was some sort of metaphor for a writer struggling to find an ending to a journey. Ace TV all the same.
Best journalism on television
3rd Degree can be excellent, so too Q&A and The Nation. But the hands-down winner is Campbell Live. If I believed in a god, I'd say they were doing his or her work.
The Colin Craig prize for a mystery, wrapped up in an enigma but with fewer laughs
Late Night Big Breakfast.
Most irritating network decision of the year
After screening 74 episodes - that's three full seasons! - of Star Trek: The Next Generation on Jones!, Sky TV moved it to its new sci-fi channel The Zone and then started screening it from the beginning! Damn you to hell, Sky TV, damn you to hell!
Best use of a Nick Cave song on television
Peaky Blinders for Red Right Hand. It's kinda odd using contemporary music in a show set in 1919, but for some reason it works. It's not the only thing to love about Blinders, Cillian Murphy is way cool. The show doesn't quite convince me, but nonetheless I'm hanging out for next season.
Best carnage in a snow storm
Any other year it would be Ice Road Truckers. But in 2014 it was Fargo, which also won second best drama of the year, best hat-and-puffer-jacket combination of the year, best bad guy of the year and best line of the year: "Heck of a lot of bullets for a fender bender."
Programme of the year
Once upon a time, John Oliver was just another Jon Stewart sidekick on The Daily Show. Then he got his own show. In one season the amazingly political, often amazingly rude and funny as hell Last Week Tonight has made the once mighty Stewart look like old, old news. What did Darth Vader say to Obi-Wan? Oh yes: "When I left you, I was but the learner; now I am the master." Or as Oliver would probably put it: this is the best f***ing late-night talkshow ever!
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