I mentioned in my post on the 30 best TV shows of 2014 that I had culled that list down from an even larger list. It was an insanely great year for TV, to the degree that when I made this supplementary list of another 30 shows I liked and would have been proud to slot into that list somewhere, I still had to cut 20-some shows from the list.
So if you don't see a show you love here, assume I either forgot about it, just cut it, or haven't seen it.
Here are 30 sentences on the 30 runners-up to the best TV shows of 2014, listed alphabetically. On to 2015!
The 100 (The CW): This dystopian sci-fi show is one of TV's hidden treats, a deeply compelling story about the sacrifices that must be made when the world winds to a close.
The Affair (Showtime): Though it never lived up to the promise of its pilot, this series about an extramarital affair turned out to be one of TV's best considerations of class and privilege.
Arrow (The CW): The start of season three this fall has been a glorious mess — and kept this from the top 30 — but spring's late season two episodes were TV comic book action at is finest.
Bates Motel (A&E): This Psycho prequel turned up the dial on disturbed psychological drama in its second season, and the finale was one of the best episodes of the year.
Boardwalk Empire (HBO): It was easy to be skeptical that the mob drama would wrap up all of its stories in a final season of just eight episodes, but the show managed the feat surprisingly well.
The Bridge (FX): The wild, twisting crime saga set on the US/Mexico border became more baroque and compelling in its second season — and was canceled for its troubles.
Brooklyn Nine-Nine (Fox): Yeah, a wacky comedy about police officers suffers a bit from the unfortunate timing of cracking jokes when police brutality is a very real question in the world at large, but Brooklyn Nine-Nine rises above that with ace jokes and great characters.
The Chair (Starz): The year's best new reality show took a look at what happens when two directors make a film from the same script with fascinating results.
Community (NBC): It's weird to think of this quirky sitcom as an old warhorse, but that's what it was in a creatively revivified fifth season.
Enlisted (Fox): This military-set sitcom was another bold, funny show that was canceled by its network because no one could quite figure out what to do with it.
The Flash (The CW): This super-fun superhero show just missed my top 30, and it's some of the most enthralling TV out there right now in its depiction of the sheer joy of super-speed.
Game of Thrones (HBO): The fourth season of the fantasy drama was more scattered than the previous three but still deeply entertaining stuff.
Key and Peele (Comedy Central): TV's best sketch series isn't perhaps as consistent as it once was, but still provides some top-notch laughs every week.
The Knick (Cinemax): Despite storytelling you could see coming from a mile away, director Steven Soderbergh's arrival on TV with this period piece medical series was a cinematic delight.
The Middle (ABC): Though a bit long in the tooth — as any sitcom in its sixth season would be — The Middle remains TV's funniest take on families struggling to live without enough cash.
The Missing (Starz): A miniseries about two parents haunted by the disappearance of their son in different ways, this was stark television that somehow never quite gave in to despair.
Moone Boy (Hulu): This Irish/British import about a young boy and his imaginary friend (played by the irrepressible Chris O'Dowd) makes for a perfect, easy afternoon binge.
Mozart in the Jungle (Amazon): Though it took a bit to get going, Amazon's comedy about musicians in a modern orchestra hit some perfect, fizzy notes as it wound to a close.
Nathan For You (Comedy Central): This elaborate prank show — in which a comedian "helps" struggling businesses turn it all around — would belong here if only for the "Dumb Starbucks" episode.
New Girl (Fox): Yes, this has lost its step a bit from its brilliant season two highs, but the Zooey Deschanel vehicle is still capable of stunningly funny episodes more often than not.
Outlander (Starz): Adapting Diana Gabaldon's best-selling books about a woman who travels through time and falls in love could have been a disaster, but in the hands of showrunner Ron Moore, it made for sexy, thoughtful TV.
Peaky Blinders (Netflix): A dreamy, moody mob thriller, Peaky Blinders hails from the United Kingdom and is one of the best series in terms of stunning visuals out there right now.
Penny Dreadful (Showtime): Over-the-top gothic camp usually isn't my bag, but Penny Dreadful makes it work by treating the emotions of its monstrous (as in, literal monsters) characters seriously.
Please Like Me (Pivot): The second season of this comedy about a young gay man coming out sometimes bit off more than it could chew, but by the end of its run, it was hitting moments of emotional truth most shows can only dream of.
The Roosevelts (PBS): Ken Burns's look at Teddy, Franklin, and Eleanor Roosevelt worked so wonderfully because it presented them both as important figures in history and as intimately realized human beings, with deep wells of feeling.
Silicon Valley (HBO): This was not the most sophisticated comedy out there, but boy was the tech world send-up one of the funniest, a necessary corrective to all those swooning profiles of the business titans of our age.
True Detective (HBO): The last couple of episodes of True Detective let me down, but around the middle of the show's season, I was as into this as anything else out there, which has to count for something.
Veep (HBO): I've always been cooler on this Washington-set farce than a lot of people, but even I could admit the third season was a hilariously great piece of TV comedy.
Vikings (History): Treating the world of the Vikings as a strange, almost alien landscape has paid off nicely for this series, which remains one of TV's least likely successes.