STEELE PICKS: 12 Best Television Programs of 2014

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Rectify

Perfectly written and acted. dark. intense. riveting. Excellent cast and complicated story-lines. A thinking-person’s program.

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Homeland

S4 excellent. Now in Pakistan where Carrie Mathison [Claire Danes] serves as deputy director of the CIA. Claire Danes dazzles as Carrie Mathison. She depicts mental illness better than anyone I’ve ever seen. It’s not a crutch. It’s not a disability. It’s part of Carrie’s personality.

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Justified

there’s something off-the-reservation wild [and inherently sexy] about this show about U.S. Marshals in Kentucky. It’s quite masculine. It’s a male-dominated setting but there’s nothing sexist about it. Timothy Olyphant superb. Also I enjoy Alicia Witt’s turn as a bold, kick-ass law student who keeps defending her deadbeat trouble-maker redneck brothers.

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The Knick

medicine in the early 1900s. I’m in. It’s early days at the Knickerbocker hospital in Manhattan.

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Orphan Black

generally I don’t like sci-fi however this series about clones fascinates me. Plus Tatiana Maslany vividly acts out all the clones. They all have peculiarities that make it fun to watch.

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Orange is the New Black

everything to say about this show has been said. diversity, humor and pathos.

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Call the Midwife

Child-free by choice. Never wanted children. No interest in being pregnant but this female-centric show is wonderful. written by women, directed by women, centered on stories about women. friendships and careers.

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Mad Men

almost over and it’s as brilliant as ever.

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The Honourable Woman

a twitter friend asked me how this show was and I said it was complex and confusing. Stylish and powerful. In college I majored in Political Science and English. Took a class called The Arab/Israeli Conflict. That helps a bit. Maggie Gyllenhaal is phenomenal. All the women are power players and run this show from Gyllenhaal as CEO Nessa Stein embroiled in the Arab-Israeli conflict to Eve Best [Nurse Jackie] and Janet McTeer and Lindsay Duncan.

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Happy Valley

Sarah Lancashire is a genius. Here she’s a police officer in a small UK town. See also: Last Tango in Halifax a sweet and funny show about an aging couple who rekindle a high school romance.

Nurse Jackie

Nurse Jackie

flawed and caring Jackie. the outstanding Edie Falco. excellent writing by women because honestly who better to write such a layered, complicated female character than women.

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Getting On

Dry comedy about the day-to-day in a rehab facility. Aging and death couldn’t be handled any better than this. Maybe I can relate because I’ve worked in healthcare/eldercare. It’s smart and the troupe of actors including Niecy Nash, Laurie Metcalf and Alex Borstein is fantastic.

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