When you're searching Google for a particular TV show, do you ever think about how many other people are searching for that exact same thing? (Just without "boobs" at the end of it.) Luckily, you don't even need to Google that information, because we have it for you right here...thanks to Google. It's a small world, right?
If you wanted to know that Mila Kunis was the most searched celebrity pregnancy of 2014, or that Walmart was the most searched place on Google Maps, that's for an entirely different conversation. (And go here for the top movies.) But if you want to know what the ten most trendy TV shows were in 2014, just keep reading.
There was a good chance that even when you were trying to search for Ebola symptoms (another #1 choice), you accidentally typed out Game of Thrones, because this show's popularity seems to know no bounds. The show's massive ratings, no mean feat for a premium cable show, would be even higher if all of the pirated episode views were legit ones. I wonder how much of the epic series' traffic came from illicit intentions.
We didn't have to go very far to find the first surprise. In a perfect world, a show where Paul F. Tompkins and Henson Alternative Muppets chat about hot topics would be at the top of this list. But little did I know our world was perfect enough to see the delightfully odd talk show No, You Shut Up make it to the second slot. I wouldn't be surprised if a lot of the series' searches came from people wondering if it played anywhere besides Fusion yet.
There was a time when every single character on True Detective, no matter how small, found himself or herself in the middle of an Internet fan theory about why that person was the killer and also God and Satan and whatnot. Between the creepy cult murders and Matthew McConaughey's nihilistically complex dialogue, people on social media didn't know what to do with themselves for a while besides scour the Net for fan theories.
Netflix cemented its spot on the map with Orange is the New Black, a comedic drama about a women's prison and the interesting inmates surviving therein. Season 2 was released to much acclaim in June of this year, and audiences couldn't get enough background information about actresses such as Laverne Cox and Uzo Aduba, who was recently nominated for a Supporting Actress Golden Globe.
And now for our second big surprise: the Bravo reality series Blood, Sweat & Heels, which follows six New York City female socialites as they...I have no idea, since I didn't even know the show existed until I read it on this list. The series, which is gearing up for a Season 2 next year, has never seen ratings topping 2.5 million people for a live airing. So who is behind all this popularity? Genuine, non-snarky question.
Seeing The Following on this list is a half-surprise. There's no denying that the Kevin Bacon-fronted cult drama has been popular in the past, but its second season saw a big decline in ratings as time passed. (With an exception or two here and there.) Having been renewed for a third season while in the middle of Season 2, The Followinghasn't even been on the air since April, which makes me wonder what the hell people are looking it up for.
Something tells me a good chunk of House of Cards' web traffic came in the minutes following viewers' time with the first episode of Season 2, which ends things quite dramatically for a regular character. Such is the life of Frank Underwood. Even if this hugely popular Netflix political drama didn't have the numbers to legitimately make it the seventh entry on this list, Frank would have found a way to get it there.
The concept of a Batman series without a Batman in it seemed like a stretch in the months leading up to Gotham's debut, and fans were keen to let their opinions known all over the Internet. But the Fox crime drama has proven itself quite the arresting experiment, keeping Internet-ready viewers interested with pulpy storylines and a revolving door of comic book villains.
It was a huge year for South Park, which recently ended the faintly cohesive Season 18 with jokes about Bill Cosby, Eric Garner and holograms. Series creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone also saw their long-gestating video game South Park: The Stick of Truth get released to largely positive reviews. Plus, there was that bit of controversy behind Hulu purchasing the exclusive streaming rights for the series, leaving non-subscribers with only a limited supply of free episodes to watch. South Park needs its own news channel.
With all the boasting that series co-creator Ryan Murphy was doing about how scary the Twisty the Clown character would be in American Horror Story: Freak Show, it's no surprise that people kept the series high on their list of web-friendly subject matter. But I'd assume this show would have been a little higher on the list had it not started to suck terribly following Twisty's exit. Those musical acts certainly helped, though.
Which of these shows did you look up the most in 2014?