Here are my choices for the best TV dramas of 2015. Each of these shows has fascinating characters and a plot that kept me on the edge of my seat in 2015.
15. Game of Thrones (HBO)
This year Game of Thrones continued to be one of the most entertaining shows on TV. It had some stand out set pieces and epic visuals.
14. Suits (USA)
In its fifth season, Suits tackled its premise head on. Mike Ross and the other characters really wrestled with the fact that Mike realistically can’t keep his con going on forever– and probably shouldn’t, if he’s as good a person as he claims to be. They took some risks for the sake of character growth and made me more invested in Mike and Rachel than ever.
13. The Flash (The CW)
The Flash benefits from one of the most likable ensembles on TV. Everyone in the cast is a joy to watch. This year also benefited from fantastic guest villains like Hartley Rathaway and The Trickster.
12. How to Get Away with Murder (ABC)
This year, How to Get Away with Murder further developed Annalise Keating and she truly became one of the strongest protagonists on TV. The other characters also evolved and it’s been wonderful watching them.
11. Daredevil (Netflix)
With its distinct tone and focus on characters and relationship, this show managed to have its own voice while still fitting into the Marvel universe. With Matt Murdock and Wilson Fisk, they created a fascinating hero and villain who I can’t wait to see more of.
10. Quantico (ABC)
Yes, it’s made some bold decisions in its first season that I’m not confident will pan out. But, Quantico has stayed one of the most entertaining shows on TV by understanding the importance of strong characters.
9. Jessica Jones (Netflix)
Jessica Jones is a truly unique superhero show that explores issues of entitlement and toxic masculinity while still incorporating cool action scenes. Kilgrave is the most bone-chilling villain I’ve ever seen and the show is brilliant for writing the stand offs between him and Jessica as well as it does.
8. Empire (Fox)
Each member of the Lyon family is incredibly distinctive. It’s always interesting seeing what will happen week to week. The snappy dialogue and catchy songs are icing on the cake.
7. Better Call Saul (AMC)
While it’s not as flashy and entertaining as Breaking Bad, I think Better Call Saul is a better show in many ways because of the strength of the protagonist. Jimmy’s story is full of genuine emotional resonance that make it a powerful watching experience.
6. Arrow (The CW)
Arrow has taken a lot of risks in letting the characters develop slowly and, as the show unfolds, those risks are really paying off. I care more about these characters than I ever expected to.
5. The Fosters (ABC Family)
While The Fosters can get more bogged down in formula and returning to the Callie/Brandon relationship for conflict than I’d like, it remains one of the most earnest shows about teenagers on TV right now. I appreciate the way it puts emotional resonance above everything else and it feels very refreshing when so many teen shows rely heavily on snarky detachment.
4. Bates Motel (A&E)
This show continues to have some of the most unique characters, and the strongest dramatic performances, on TV. The story just gets more and more heartbreaking as it unfolds.
3. iZombie (The CW)
iZombie was a new show this year and it’s impressive how it grabbed my attention immediately. Liv Moore was defined as a sympathetic protagonist from the first episode and it’s been intriguing, and occasionally deeply sad, watching her story develop.
2. Devious Maids (Lifetime)
While many soaps start spinning their wheels after the first couple seasons, Devious Maids delivered a fantastic third season with a satisfying mystery.
1. Orange is the New Black (Netflix)
Piper’s storyline on this season of Orange is the New Black left me cold, but fortunately there were plenty of great things going on in the ensemble. Suzanne’s writing, the relationship between Poussey and Brook, Pennsatucky’s tragic plot and more made this another enjoyable season.