The Most Tremendous And Horrendous TV Moments Of 2014

It’s the most wonderful time of the year: listicle season! Listing is the most non-denominational fun you can have this time of year, the cheapest and, somehow most emotionally-charged way of organizing what in the last 12 months rattled, inspired, or amazed you. There’s no season like early-to-mid-December for power-ranking every song, every show, every movie, every celebrity feud, every hashtag, every Instagram, every last crumb and morsel of cultural deliciousness until the plate of 2014 is licked clean and we can start the new year with a blank space.

Our ThinkProgress listing has already begun — you can check out our list of 2014′s most thought-provoking pop culture here — and today’s mission is a zoom-in take on the Golden-Age-iest medium of our time: TV. What were the best and worst moments on television this year? Read on for our (moderately scientific, highly subjective, fight about ‘em in the comments) choices.

The Most Tremendous And Horrendous TV Moments Of 2014
“A Very Realistic Military Game” on Inside Amy Schumer
It was difficult to choose the best sketch from Inside Amy Schumer, which has been firing on all the smart-funny cylinders this year. Schumer knows where the devil is; she pays attention to details. Her series has so much voice, confidence and insight. She’s also managed to craft a show that is, more often than not, about the inner lives of women and the ways women relate to each other when men aren’t around. (This shouldn’t be such a rarity, but here we are.) Schumer’s sketches are packed with keen, hilarious-because-they’re-heightened-but-true observations. The usually three-minute scenes are imminently rewatchable; they are brash and sharp and surprising and fantastic. I loved, in no particular order, “The Foodroom,” “A Chick Who Can Hang,” “Calling the Cable Company,” and her interview with a 106-year-old woman.

But “A Very Realistic Military Game” takes the top prize. Schumer tackles one of the trickiest comedic tropes of all: the rape joke. The scene is expertly constructed, from the harmless-seeming setup to the meta moment when her boyfriend doesn’t believe what happened to her video game character. (“No, that’s never happened to me. You must have pressed the wrong button. That’s not part of the game.”) Schumer never loses track of who the targets of the joke are: namely, the military and the doubt and hardship rape victims face when they report. And, like everything else on Inside Amy Schumer, it is very, very funny.
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