Your favorite TV shows from 2016


#1

So we do this for Games and Movies. I’m not sure why we don’t do it for TV shows. What were your favorite TV during the year? This could be comedy specials, dramas, sitcoms, variety shows, documentaries, you name it.

I’ll have to give my own list some thought. But I’m certain I’ll have lots of Netflix shows on there this year.


#2

The Crown was easily my favorite show of the year. Claire Foy, Matt Smith, Vanessa Kirby, and John Lithgow were amazing in it. Who knew that watching someone’s struggle to not be dramatic would be engaging TV?


#3

I found myself really enjoying Lethal Weapon this past year, along with The Expanse.

Are we limited to new shows in 2016? Or just anything we liked?


#4

My favorites that come to mind immediately:

Stranger Things - I loved the music, the acting, the story. It was an exciting summer romp. What amazed me was that even my wife loved it, and she doesn’t even like watching TV! After it was over she asked if we could watch more shows like Stranger Things, and that really stumped me. I don’t think there are other shows like this are there?

The OA - I heeded everyone’s warning about a weak ending, so I only watched seven episodes. But those 7 episodes were excellent. Not since Connie Willis’ Passage have I dwelled into Near Death Experiences. Excellent show.

Silicon Valley - Another excellent season from the Mike Judge show. The one scene that’s seared into my brain from this season is that last scene from an episode set in a click-farm in India. I guess there’s another scene seared into my brain involving horses, but I’ve been trying to get that out of my head.

Great British Baking Show - I’m saying this from my perspective here in the U.S. I saw this on PBS. What a delightful show. It’s such a shame that I discovered this show right as they stopped making it. It was such a contrast to most U.S. reality shows where even in cooking shows you see this kind of competitiveness and nastiness towards others. In this show, everyone just wants to bake the best, most delicious things possible, and they all get along with one another.

Better Call Saul - I’m going to cheat and assume that Season 2 of this show was as good as Season 1, which came out last year, but I only saw in 2016. I’ll be watching Season 2 when it comes out on Netflix in 2017, but from all accounts it’s as good or better than Season 1! I can’t wait.


#5

Anything that first aired in 2016. It doesn’t have to be new shows. It could be returning seasons. But just like with the movie and game lists, restricted to only 2016. But that should include episodes in the second half of a season that started airing in 2015. For example, one show I enjoyed a lot in 2016 was The Good Place, which I forgot to mention in the list above. Excellent show. But I haven’t seen the 2017 episodes yet. But I imagine the 2017 episodes will be eligible for next year’s lists.


#6

I don’t watch a ton of TV, at least not directly, but my wife does. And therefore I get a taste of a bunch of things. My standard for judging is things that I either choose to watch in my limited time, or things my wife is watching that draw my attention away from what I was doing. If a TV show can pull my interest, it’s doing something right.

In no particular order…

Star Wars Rebels - What if I told you the best hour of Star Wars in the last year and a half was released on a Disney XD cartoon March 30th, 2016? Well I am telling you this, so go watch, if nothing else, Twilight of the Apprentice.

Daredevil season 2 - So it does some things I really like, but others I felt were better in season 1. However the Frank Castle story did a lot to tease out some depth in ways I liked, and provided a nice contrast between grey and darker grey. Which in a show as dark as this one can be is one way to lighten things up I suppose. ‘Sure it’s dark, but its not as dark as it could be with this guy’.

Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life - I’ve vented elsewhere about things that bugged me (damn you Rory), but I loved many of the individual stories and moments. Perfect? No. But I enjoyed much of what was on offer. Forget story arcs, I’d watch the hell out of a series that was just the banter between the 3 generations of Gilmore Girls at dinner.

I’ve seen bits of this, my wife watched it, but never sat down and watched it myself. Usually she had it on while I was making dinner or something.

And I really need to get on The Expanse, it seems like definitely my kind of thing.


#7

Lucifer was my favourite show. Really enjoyed season 1 and itching to get in to season 2. I think if you don’t like Tom Ellis in the role then it doesn’t work as well but I think he makes a great lead and is my go to show.

Stranger Things I also enjoyed not as much as I thought but it was pretty good viewing.

The Grand Tour is excellent Clarkson, May and Hammond back to their best, love watching this show with my kids who also love it.


#8

More detailed explanations to follow, when I’m not at work. No particular order.

Black Mirror - While only a handful of the episodes this season were among the best it has to offer, it was still a fantastic continuation of one of my all time favourite shows

Better Call Saul - There’s nothing else quite like it on TV. A laconically paced study of a character who just can’t help but fuck things up for himself and the people he cares about. Properly Shakesperean tragedy for the modern age.

The Expanse - About the closest thing you’ll get to hard sci-fi on mainstream US TV.

Narcos - Gripping stuff, even with the dumb voiceover.

Lady Dynamite - It’s Maria Bamford, it’s structurally groundbreaking, it’s challenging, it’s great.

Fleabag - Deeply dark comedy (?) about a woman’s life falling apart. Utterly brilliant.

Last Week Tonight - The Daily Show, but with more room for segments to breathe and even more righteous indignation. I’ll never forgive Oliver for abandoning the Bugle, but this is the next best thing.

Full Frontal - One of the latter day Daily Show’s best correspondents gets her own show, knocks it out of the park.

Planet Earth II - The BBC doing what it does best, bringing you beautiful, novel and startling nature footage. The snakes and the iguanas may be the most talked about TV moment of the year, but there are plenty of others that stand out.

Stranger Things - Ultimately this didn’t really rise above a nostalgia trip. but boy was it fun.

BoJack Horseman - Rapidly overtaking Archer as the best adult animation on TV

Drunk History - What’s not to like? Comedians getting shitfaced and telling stories, while others act them out, burps and mistakes and all.

Another Period - High concept show — what if Downton Abbey was a reality show — with an amazing cast - Rikki Lindhome, Natasha Leggero, Paget Brewster, Brett Gelman, Brian Huskey,Christina Hendricks etc

Silicon Valley - Structurally this is a bit too classical for my tastes, but there’s no denying the quality of the writing and the cast.

Not Safe… With Nikki Glaser - Sadly cancelled, this show provided some of the biggest laughs of the year. Feeding lines to porn stars and Tinder tapout are two of the best segment ideas of all time.

Didn’t see enough to judge but would probably be in the list:

Atlanta
Catastrophe (season 2)
Veep
The Americans
Comedy Bang Bang!


#9

Ohhh, great idea for a thread! Let’s see…

Supernatural - I mean, obviously. Seasons 11 and 12 have been surprisingly fun given how long the show has been on the air.

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend - We fell in love with this show hard. Really hard. The writing is sharp, the songs are amazing, and the characters are fantastic.

Luke Cage - This was shockingly great after the borefest that was Jessica Jones. Loved it.

Last Week Tonight and Full Frontal - These weekly comedy commentary shows continue to make us super happy.

Most of the stuff we watched this past year is pre-2016 stuff though, like West Wing or DS9 or Parks and Rec.


#10

Right, I didn’t think to include them. However, had I, they definitely would have gotten a shout out.

Also not included, but something I enjoyed greatly, The Flash and Supergirl. Espeically their team up episodes. I know, I know, CW shows. I’m not claiming they are particularly great, well written, or consistent. Just that I love the two leads.


#11

Huh. . .

The Magicians, which more or less aired in 2016 (barely). Angsty grad school Harry Potter + Cruel Intentions + Narnia? Mmkay! Kinda hate almost every character in it and love it anyway.

The Expanse S1, which was absolutely incredible from start to finish. Best scifi I’ve seen in ages. I loved the noirish detective bits even more than the hard scifi space survival stuff! Whaa?

Mr Robot (S2), which wasn’t quite as good as S1, but is still some of my favorite TV of all time. I’m more than a little obsessed with this show. Everyone in it is amazing. I’m still waiting for the hidden Stein’s Gate link to be revealed, tho ;-)

Arrow (S5), which was such a huge improvement over S4 that even though it wasn’t great, it still gets a nod. Better fight scenes, better flashbacks, better villains. . . I’m very okay with how it’s going now.

The Flash (S2 + 3), which just keeps getting better and features one of my favorite casts on television. Tom Cavanaugh is a national goddamned treasure, and Grant Gustin is the 2nd most delightful thing on TV!

Supergirl (S1 + 2), which really took off in the back half of its first season and is off to an amazing restart on The CW. I miss Cat Grant terribly, but everything else is changing for the better in year 2. And team ups!!!

Legends of Tomorrow, Supernatural, and the chunk of Gotham I made it through were all fine, but not really on the level of the above. The distinct lack of Rick and Morty, Doctor Who, Community, and Hannibal was keenly felt all year long; not sure if any year of TV can really compare to 2015 for me. . .


edit oh no I forgot

Daredevil (S2), which wasn’t quite as good as S1, as nothing can really replace Kingpin, but was still very entertaining, full of kung-fu nonsense, and had the amazing Frank Castle storyline.

Luke Cage (S1), which might barely edge out either Daredevil season for me, although I don’t like it quite as much as Jessica Jones. I actually had hoped to see Jessica in it, but frankly, Luke carried it well by himself.


#12

This season has definitely been more fun than the last, but that’s not saying much.

God damned right. I hope we get a new Wells each season. ;)


#13

Another just missing the cut. Wife is watching that currently, and is about episode 10. I’ve see probably just over half of the show (between cooking/ playing Twilight Struggle while she watches). Seems good, has interesting ideas, but not paying enough attention for how things play out to get the full story impact. It could be secretly terrible in the main story and I wouldn’t know, just that their idea of magic is neat.

Also holy fuck, I just told the djinn to have him go slob some other knob, and I saw foxes out the windows (i.e. I am surprised by the amount of fucking swearing and sex on a Syfy show)


#14

I mean worst-case scenario we can have up to 52, right? ;-)

I have kinda been looking for where I can easily watch it uncensored, cuz, uh, there’s a lot of stuff to censor. lol


#15

Do they censor the swearing on Syfy? Because while there has been no direct nudity (though plenty of implied/ shadowy side nudity), the use of blod and fuck has been almost HBO levels. Pan the camera down a few inches during many of those scenes, and it basically would be.

We’re watching on Netflix, so that’s been relatively uncensored.


#16

Suddenly, I’m interested in watching The Magicians.


#17

It’s censored noticeably on the Canadian network I, uh, definitely pick up with my…rabbit ears.


#18

Well, given the episode that my wife just watched, I will attempt to channel a Kelly Want Magicopsis

[spoiler]So some first year students who totally are already magical experts because in this universe the teachers are so inept that you basically learn nothing after your first semseter, attempt to solve some magic mysteries around the school. However, because they accidentally killed Scooby with cancer anyhow, and the mystery machine broke down, our crew must do so without the use of plucky sidekicks and charming pop culturalisms. Which is good, because these spooks aren’t just men in masks up to no good.

Anyhow our heroes make bad decisions because two of the heroes won’t just go and fuck, while all their friends keep saying to them ‘will you two just fuck already’. Which is fine because the dude is super bad at this anyhow, making bad decisions with female friends is his specialty. And Not Hermoine Grainger is too bookish and insecure to make the move herself. One dude also has the ability to read minds and teleport himself anywhere, so is naturally the most realistic person in the cast since he has figured out he would rather have the power to get women to take off their clothes.

So some crazy Russian teacher whose name I didn’t catch, so lets call him Boris, decides that what he needs is for these two to start paying attention in his class, so he finds some magical blizzard and kicks them out of the classroom without their clothing. Which naturally means that we need to replace ‘screw like rabbits’ with ‘fuck like foxes’. Unfortunately they are not very good shapeshifters so every student knows exactly who they are, so basically got a free HBO show, which is what this show wants to be.

So apparently everyone has sex ed between when they leave Hogwarts and enter the University, as apparently why use magic to animate oragami birds, when you can instead just use magic to get laid.[/spoiler]


#19

Suddenly, I’m back to not being interested in The Magicians.


#20

Is that how many multiverses there are?