My Top 1o Favorite Television Series I Watched in 2016
Westworld Season 1 – Not a show just about man and technology, but something deeper about what it means to be human and the role suffering plays in our humanity. Check out my full review here.
Halt and Catch Fire Season 3 – Much like the character of Joe McMillian, Halt continually reinvents what it is. This season brought us the downfall of Mutiny but left the characters in a surprising and exciting new place. One more season to go on this incredibly overlooked gem.
Black Mirror Season 3 – What I loved most from this latest season was a shift away from purely Twilight Zone-style stories. There are still those stories here but so many new ways of exploring technology.”San Junipero” is one of the most wonderfully humanistic and positive things I’ve seen in a long while.
American Horror Story: Roanoke – I was little worried what the next iteration of AHS would be and Ryan Murphy delightfully surprised me. It wasn’t perfect but the risks it took and the ways it played with format and perception had me hooked. Check out my full review here.
American Crime Story: The People vs. O.J. Simpson – I didn’t expect to enjoy this series as much as I did. The choice to never directly state that Simpson committed the murder was very important to the suspense of the show. More important though was Sarah Paulson as Marcia Clark; respect and humanity for a real life figure that deserved it.
Stranger Things Season 1 – I had a good feeling about this from the previews and ended up enjoy it a lot. It may have been a bit overhyped by the Internet (no, really?), but it is a very satisfying and well-made show that evoke nostalgia without being pandering. My full review here.
Fleabag Season 1 – From the opening scene, the series moves like a lightning bolt through the life of the incredibly dysfunctional Fleabag. She is a character that exhibits total disregard for those around her and doesn’t respect herself much more either. But in this mess we see that not all characters have to be likable to be sympathetic.
Atlanta Season 1 – Magical and real at the same time. Donald Glover returned to tv with a series that feels even more like a long-form independent film than Louie. And while I love Louis CK’s style of comedy, Atlanta is a show with higher ambitions. Glover balances character and style so deftly. My full review here.
Baskets Season 1 – Baskets is another series that is film extrapolated into a series and it completely works. Zach Galifianakis is at home in this role as the sad sack rodeo clown. Even more wonderful is veteran comedian Louis Anderson as Mrs. Baskets, the title character’s mother. It was a role that could have simply been a “man in drag” joke but Anderson makes her one of the most complex and beautiful characters I’ve seen on television in years.
Veep Season 5 – Julia Louis-Dreyfus returned for another stellar season as Selina Meyer. In retrospect, I think this series will garner even more praise, particularly in our current political climate. I’m usually not a fan of fast-talking characters but the conceit of the busy staff in the White House is one that has that style make sense. Here the comedic banter is so dense and fun five jokes go by while you’re laughing at one.