The Top 5 TV Episodes of 2015 So Far

Photo Credit:

Continuing on our mid-year lists, we get to some of the more individual achievements in television. Shows with rough seasons can have some great episodes, so this list won’t just cover the same of our favorite shows. Though there are obviously some crossovers, some of the best shows will naturally produce the best episodes, but sometimes a 20-minute piece of comedy from a show can outmatch everything else it has ever done. Here’s our five favorite episodes of the year so far.

Matt’s Take:

Photo Credit: Community: “Emotional Consequences of Broadcast Television” (Season 6 Episode 13)

Community‘s sixth season finale may or may not also be the series finale. If it was, this was a series finale for the ages. The gang sits around imagining a season seven, allowing loose plot strands to come to a head and give way for some truly touching moments between the characters. If it isn’t the series finale, it stands as one of the show’s most emotional and rewarding episodes.


Photo Credit: Louie: “Bobby’s House” (Season 5 Episode 4)

About once a season, Louie tackles a social issue so incredibly well that it reminds you how much he deserves all the awards for everything. Season five had a striking (literally) examination of gender roles when Louie gets beat up by a woman at the bus stop. His daughters and girlfriend make fun of him, all leading to the latter dressing him up as a lady for them to switch roles in the bedroom. It all leads to the best punchline of the season, as Louie cries and mascara drips down his face.


Photo Credit: Broad City: “Wisdom Teeth” (Season 2 Episode 3)

When I was picking my favorite Broad City episode for this list, I ended up rewatching half the season. Each episode is a classic. But Abbi’s drug fueled trip to Whole Foods stuck with me. As a display of pure and genuine physical comedy, Abbi and Ilana prove themselves as the millennial versions of Lucy and Ethel. Plus, Bingo Bronson is pure genius.


Photo Credit: Inside Amy Schumer: “12 Angry Men Inside Amy Schumer” (Season 3 Episode 3)

Schumer’s sketch comedy show is mostly hit or miss, with maybe one or two sketches working per episode (for a 22 minute episode, that’s a decent enough ratio). But this episode-long parody of 12 Angry Men was different. Featuring an all star cast from Paul Giamatti to Jeff Goldblum, the episode takes on gender equality through the lens of classic cinema. It’s not long before people are waving around dildos (in place of the knife) while hilariously taking down important topics.


Photo Credit: Game of Thrones: “Hardhome” (Season 5 Episode 8)

Five seasons in, Game of Thrones had more than a few tedious moments this year, considering none of the main characters are even near each other and the promise of winter has never seemed less important. That all changed with “Hardhome,” and episode that may come to define when the series started to pull itself back together. We have two excellent scenes shared by Tyrion and Daenerys, who never met before. Then there’s the finale 20 minutes, where winter finally arrives. The series has never felt more focused or even that we are in fact getting somewhere.



Mike’s Take:

Photo Credit: Empire: “The Devil Quotes Scripture” (Season 1 Episode 3)

Have you really been a part of the cultural conversation this year, if you haven’t been talking about Empire? TV’s buzziest new show never strives for realism, but it wins major points for completely reinvigorating the nightime soap on network TV. The third episode of the season is particularly entertaining, as a dinner party at Lucious’ (Terence Howard) house brings out the best and worst in everyone. Scene-stealer Taraji P. Henson is absolutely magnetic as Cookie, giving the world’s greatest side-eye to everyone that displeases her. It’s impossible not to get hooked.


Photo Credit: Inside Amy Schumer “Last F*ckable Day” (Season 3 Episode 1)

When you’re able to get the likes of Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Tina Fey, and recent Oscar winner Patricia Arquette to guest star on your show, it’s safe to say you’ve made it. Amy Schumer is an expert at brilliantly skewering society’s view of women, and her sketches in this season have been especially sharp. The premiere features the comedian meeting her idols—the aforementioned celebrities—who are celebrating Louis-Dreyfus’ “last f*ckable day,” a right of passage for every female actress once she turns a certain age. That, a music video sketch with Amber Rose, and an absolutely hilarious Friday Night Lights spoof with Josh Charles help solidify Schumer as one of the great comic voices of our generation.


Photo Credit: Broad City “Knockoffs” (Season 2 Episode 4)

This episode of Broad City presented us with two plot points that seemed primed for some typical comedy: Ilana spends the day with her mom (the wonderful Susie Essman), and Abby finally goes on a date with her crush Jeremy (Stephen Schneider). Of course, being Broad Citythings end up being anything but typical. Jokes about pegging, nipple clamps, and a truly genius wall-twerking sequence are a thing to behold, but the real magic of this episode is its message of open-mindedness. Who knew this show could be equal parts hilarious and insightful?


Photo Credit: Looking “Looking for a Plot” (Season 2 Episode 7)

Doris often gets the short end of the stick on Looking for being the guys’ token straight friend. That’s why this episode, which centers around her father’s funeral, is so special. Lauren Weedman delivers an incredible performance as a woman grieving, but even better is the  profound effect this loss has on her relationship with Dom (Murray Bartlett). Their friendship is one of the show’s highlights, and his consoling of her is truly beautiful. Add in the fact that her loss allows him to make peace with his own feelings toward his father, and you’ve got one poignant episode of television.


Photo Credit: Orange is the New Black “Trust No B*tch” (Season 3 Episode 13)

Orange is a fun, funny show, but it’s always quick to remind you that its characters are in captivity. The season 3 finale is a testament to how much these women have been through, as Sophia remains trapped in solitary, Piper fully immerses herself in prison culture, and Alex runs into some serious trouble. It’s a dark way to end things, but the final sequence is pure bliss. Watching these people we’ve come to know so well splash around in the river during a brief period of freedom is beautiful, and an excellent reminder to never give up hope.


What are you favorite episodes from this year? Let us know in the comments!


By Matt Dougherty and Mike Papirmeister

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