Top TV of 2016

Monday, 12 December 2016 11:59 PM Written by 

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So here's the deal with TV critics and Top 10 lists: It's nearly impossible to make a "Best TV" list anymore because that would necessitate seeing everything and with more than 400 original scripted series on the air this year, that's simply not possible for me to do. There's not enough time.

Consequently, I have to go with my Top 10 Favorite series this year. There are plenty of shows I would like to have seen more of but I just ran out of time, so for my Top 10 list I had to go with shows I admired, enjoyed and actually watched. As usual, I also have a list of my Top 10 favorite new series and some honorable mentions that didn't make the cut.

Read my lists after the jump. ...

FAVORITE SERIES

  1. “This is Us” (NBC): Yes, it can get a bit schmaltzy and too in love with its own twists, but it’s great to have a warm family drama in prime time with storytelling ambition to spare.
  2. “People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story” (FX): The retelling of a crime story we didn’t know we wanted to see with standout performances by Sarah Paulson, Sterling K. Brown and Courtney B. Vance.
  3. “Game of Thrones” (HBO): An amazing season of death and rebirth capped by an explosive finale.
  4. “The Americans” (FX): As tense as ever as it explores the fraught relationships within a family of Russian spies.
  5. “Better Call Saul” (AMC): This “Breaking Bad” prequel deepened its new and returning characters and their relationships in its sophomore season.
  6. “Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life” (Netflix): Sure, it rendered Rory less likeable than ever but the Lorelai-Emily drama made this return to Stars Hollow entirely worthwhile.
  7. “Westworld” (HBO): A slow burn but the payoff was worth it with twisty time periods and surprising (and unsurprising) revelations by the last episode.
  8.  “The Good Place” (NBC): A smart, funny and surprising look at ethics in life and in the afterlife.
  9. “Full Frontal with Samantha Bee” (TBS): The hilarious voice of sanity we need in these politically fraught days.
  10. “Stranger Things” (Netflix): Longer than it should have been but perfectly captured the mood and tone of 1980s genre movies.

Honorable mention (in alphabetical order): “Atlanta,” (FX), “American Crime” (ABC), “Better Things” (FX), “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” (The CW), “The Crown” (Netflix), “The Exorcist” (Fox), “Fresh Off the Boat” (ABC), "Greenleaf" (OWN), “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver” (HBO), “Mr. Robot” (USA), “The Night Of” (HBO), “Preacher” (AMC), “Queen Sugar” (OWN), “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” (Netflix), “Underground” (WGN America).

FAVORITE NEW SERIES

  1. “This is Us” (NBC)
  2. “The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story” (FX)
  3. “Westworld” (HBO)
  4. “The Good Place” (NBC)
  5. “Full Frontal with Samantha Bee” (TBS)
  6. “Stranger Things” (Netflix)
  7. “The Exorcist” (Fox)
  8. “Better Things” (FX)
  9. “Atlanta” (FX)
  10. “The Night Of” (HBO)

 

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