Thursday, 12 January 2017

The NSV Awards 2016: Television

Hello all,
Yes, I'm a lazy person who hasn't done a blog post for ages, but it would be remiss of me to miss my awards, so regardless of their lateness, I hope you enjoy my TV awards for 2016!
   I don't think this ever seen as much TV in one year as I did in 2016. With 55 new series and 19 classic, it was a smorgasbord of seriously good television. However, 2016 was also the year I realised that my current model of doing television may not be the best way to do it. Currently, I do TV shows when they come to DVD and binge them, but increasingly in the age of Peak TV, some shows never come to DVD or when they do are far behind their US counterparts. It's a sizable issue in the industry, and especially for a weird TV obsessive like me who compiles year-end lists which would be more suited to 2015 than 2016. So, in 2017, I will be changing my mode of viewing to something more manageable. Hopefully, it works out. Maybe I'll have time for even more. Who knows.
  But enough about my life goals, what about this list? In 2016, TV became even more of an escape for me, and many of the shows on this list are representative of that goal. In the age of Trump and Pulse, dark, bleak TV is beginning to lose its appeal. It's like the problem House Of Cards is going to have in 2017. Why the hell would we watch Frank Underwood and his murderous schemes when the real-life alternative is significantly scarier? The most endearing shows on this list are those that may be bleak, but are also hopeful, or which are just pure fun. This is the year I gave into fun TV.
   Like the previous few years, I also completed a number of classic series (shows that are finished but which I'm finally getting around to watching), but I have decided to make them ineligible for my list. For the record, I completed three more seasons of The Simpsons (meaning I am sadly approaching the end of the so-called golden age) and started The Venture Bros., Soap, The Wonder Years, The Powerpuff Girls, Touched By An Angel, Monty Python's Flying Circus, Sealab 2021 and finished Seinfeld and The Legend Of Korra. Of those, The Simpsons was the most likely to make the main list, as it continued to be both a funny and penetrating insight into a world with lovable characters and iconic plots. In 2017, I am planning to catch up with Mad Men, The X-Files, The Twilight Zone, Batman: The Animated Series, The Fairly OddParents, The Avengers and Community.
   As 2016, was such an incredible year, I would like to nominate just a few series which I think were great, but just missed out being on this list, which you can check out after number 1. So, without further ado, I present my top TV shows of 2016!

HM. Stranger Things
Status: Ongoing
No. Of Seasons: 1 (Season 1 viewed)
Despite being a slice of glorious 80s-esque entertainment, Stranger Things' first season never really seemed as great as the hype that surrounded it. Don't get me wrong, there's a lot to love here (the soundtrack, Winona Ryder's performance, some memorable imagery, Eleven), but I think the downsides really pulled me out of it. The decision to kill off the most relatable character left a bad taste in my mouth that was hard to shake and there was a lot of unanswered questions which on a first viewing feels like poor writing. However, there's no denying that this is entertaining, I just think it could've been so much more.

20. Class
Status: Ongoing (?)
No. Of Seasons: 1 (Season 1 viewed)
With minimal promotion (I initially missed the first two episodes simply because I didn't know it was going to be on) and a confusing target audience (it's a Doctor Who spin-off seemingly aimed at teenagers, but the gore and level of violence is shocking), Class seems destined to be forgotten. That's a real shame, because this might just be one of the most radical shows on television. Featuring a wonderfully diverse cast (including an adorable yet complicated gay couple) and brimming with brilliant ideas, it's both seriously entertaining and thought-provoking. While it could easily benefit from a lot of extra episodes (these are complex characters), when it works, it works brilliantly. The episode focussing on Ms. Quill is one of the best of the year, filled with beautiful shots and ideas, while the finale is both satisfying and making me desperate for a second season that may never come. Even if it doesn't, I'm glad the BBC took a chance on such a unique and wonderful series. Watch it!

19. Mom
Status: Ongoing
No. Of Seasons: 3 (Season 2 viewed)
Mom is always going to be an overlooked series. It's a show that deals with three generations of recovering alcoholics from the makers of Two And A Half Men and The Big Bang Theory, backed with an irritating laugh track. But to skip over this series is to miss something exceptional. Firstly, it stars Allison Janney and Anna Faris, so there's some serious talent already. But what makes this show so good, is that it's a comedy that's not afraid to go dark, as the show's second season (which I caught up with this year) attested to. One of the characters falling off the wagon doesn't sound like the stuff of great sitcoms, but Mom transcends that by making it both heartbreaking and hilarious. I'm reminded of the scene where one of the character has to make amends for all the lies she's told. She is sorry but commends herself on telling them so well, because "doing something well is its own reward." It's a sad line, but it's hopeful, just like the show itself.

18. Orange Is The New Black
Status: Ongoing
No. Of Seasons: 4 (Season 3 viewed)
With every passing year, Orange Is The New Black seems to grow more controversial. While I have yet to catch up on the fourth season, the third season clearly showed there was room for improvement. Piper remains one of the most annoying characters on television and the show lacked a clear endgame. But this remains a character-driven show and when it remembers that, it's unparalleled. The third season's final 10 minutes are easily the most beautiful scenes this year, showing a rare glimpse of hope, soon to be taken over by hellish new conditions. On the basis of that sequence alone, Orange Is The New Black justifies it's place on this list.

17. Fargo
Status: Ongoing
No. Of Seasons: 2 (Season 2 viewed)
Fargo's second season was a masterpiece. It's a complex mediation on fate and choice and features aliens and gun fights and chases. It features great performances from the likes of Ted Danson and Kirsten Dunst and Bokeem Woodbine, but it also left me feeling a little cold. It left me at an emotional remove and I'm not entirely sure why. It's a great show and you should all watch it, but it's one that has left me more bewildered than anything else. Maybe I need to re-watch it someday in the future, but for the moment, this remains in the great but odd section.

16. Hannibal
Status: Cancelled
No. Of Seasons: 3 (Season 3 viewed)
The cancellation of Hannibal remains one of the greatest tragedies in the history of television, but after viewing the third season, I have mixed emotions about a desire for it to come back. The first half of the season gave into the show's most artful impulses, which made for some beautiful (albeit horrific) imagery, but was so dreamlike that it was often hard to keep up with what was actually happening and what was fantasy. While the second half picked it up masterfully, I understand why some viewers were turned off by it. And any wish of a fourth season was kinda neglected by the end of the final episode which puts a beautiful (albeit violent) end to the key relationship in the show, that of Will Graham and Hannibal Lecter. That said, the idea of a fourth season with Ellen Page as Clarice Starling, makes me want it back. Even if it never does come back, Hannibal leaves an incredible legacy as the most artfully violent, beautifully murderous show ever made.

15. Better Call Saul
Status: Ongoing
No. Of Seasons: 2 (Season 2 viewed)
After a strong first season (coming in at fifth in last year's list), Better Call Saul expanded its focus, making for another stellar season. The expanded focus on the trials and tribulations of Rebecca made for some of the most gut-wrenching television of the year, while giving more to Mike and Hank is always a good idea. However, the real reason to watch this show is to witness the sad yet oddly thrilling descent of Jimmy McGill, shown most clearly when he doctors one of Hank's documents in a glorious, lengthy montage set to Little Barrie's 'Why Don't You Do It'. It's thrilling and quietly sad in equal measure.

14. Parks And Recreation

Status: Finished
No. Of Seasons: 7 (Season 7 viewed)
I didn't really want to say goodbye to the people of Pawnee. For seven seasons, they made me laugh and cry and become swooningly romantic and wormed their way into my heart. Leslie Knope, the great feminist icon and waffle obsessive. Ron Swanson, the gruff softie and breakfast obsessive. April and Andy, the couple that should never have worked, but eventually became one of the screen's greatest pairings. And that's just the tip of the iceberg (love you Tom, Donna, Gerry, Ann, Ben, Chris). But what a sweet goodbye this ended up being. Propelling the show forward a couple of years was a genius ideas, allowing us to have Leslie and Ron's sweet fight and reconciliation, and allowing all of the characters to have a happy ending. While that can sometimes seem cheap (looking at you Glee), Parks And Recreation made it the perfect reward for all their hard work and well-earned character development. So, while I will miss them terribly, we'll always have the wonderful memories and the happiness they all brought. Especially Little Sebastian.

13. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
Status: Ongoing
No. Of Seasons: 2 (Season 1 viewed)
One of the most fun shows I watched this year, Kimmy Schmidt is just a burst of happines. Which is odd considering the premise. A woman finally breaks out of an underground apocalypse cult and makes her life anew with relentless optimism and outdated pop culture references. It could easily be a dark prestige drama on HBO, but Netflix has made this one of the most uplifting and funny shows on TV, with just the right amount of underlying sadness. Unfortunately, the show was embroiled in controversy after the second season (which I've yet to see and makes me wary), but I can't wait to see more of fun characters like Titus Andromeda (his song 'Peeno Noir' is one of the funniest things you'll ever see).

12. Please Like Me
Status: Ongoing
No. Of Seasons: 4 (Season 3 viewed)
For four seasons now, Please Like Me has been the greatest representation of queer lives and mental illness currently airing. While I'm a season behind, the show's third season was arguably the show's best since it started. With Josh in a relatively stable relationship with Arnold, the show was able to explore depression and social akwardness in a truly moving way. These characters aren't defined by their sexuality or their mental illness, but by their connection. While it ended in a devastating Christmas episode that broke my heart, no show I've seen has understood the pain of being an outsider as much as this one.

11. Jane The Virgin
Status: Ongoing
No. Of Seasons: 3 (Season 1 viewed)
I've been hearing about Jane The Virgin for a few years now, but I was still shocked by how much I loved this show. It's a story about family and friendship and love, but with plot twists galore, making for a truly packed season. Gina Rodriguez is wonderful as the virginial Jane who never comes across as pious, but as warm and human, but the show's true secret weapon is the narrator. The Latin Lover's welcomes us back to this world, acting like a viewer, invested in the characters and shocked at the outrageous twists. He makes the show so inviting that it's frequently difficult to leave, and makes this one of the most addictive and entertaining shows on TV.

10. The Killing Season/Hitting Home
Status: Stand-Alone Documentary Series'
This pair of documentaries hosted by Sarah Ferguson was some of the most brilliant television of the year, cementing the ABC presenter as one of this country's finest journalists. What's amazing is that they're completely different. The Killing Season is an awe-inspiring autopsy of the Labor government in-fighting that led to the frustrating flip-flop between Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard. With access to many of the key figures (including both Rudd and Gillard), no-one comes across looking particularly well, but it does give an incredible amount of insight into the chaos of politics, which eventually led to the election of Tony Abbott.
   However, it's Hitting Home that's the real reason Sarah Ferguson should be cherished. In just two episodes, she examines the domestic abuse crisis in Australia with devastating clarity. Through interviews, we get to see the bravery and suffering victims of domestic abuse have managed to overcome. It's a series that is both infuriating (listening to the men justify their crimes is horrific, but it's also insightful) and utterly, utterly soul-destroying. While the story of one woman killed by her boyfriend is heartbreaking, the film's most unbearably sad moment is a woman telling the story of what her boyfriend did to her and having to stop, overcome by tears. She cries "how could you do this to someone you love?" In that line, we see years of hurt and the core of what makes this such a devastating epidemic, and even now, I find myself becoming overcome with emotion. No series this year was more penetrating or heartbreaking, and we should thank the stars for Sarah Ferguson's compassion and these women's bravery in coming forward to truly show that this crisis needs to be over. Essential viewing.

9. Mr. Robot
Status: Ongoing
No. Of Seasons: 2 (Season 1 viewed)

This year, I finally got around to watching Fight Club, but I found it incredibly frustrating. It was a rant about consumerist culture and gender roles, but seemed to play into some of the ideas it was trying to fight against. It was brilliant from a stylistic point of view, but it comes across as hollow. In a lot of ways, Mr. Robot is like Fight Club: the TV series, and that's both a blessing and a curse. It, too, came across as empty ranting, especially in its first few episodes, but where Mr. Robot succeeds, is its emphasis on character. The centre of the story is a man who tries desperately to do good, to take down soulless capitalism, but who must fight against his own mind in order to do so. The moment we realise just how deeply messed up Rami Malek's character is, is absolutely devastating, in a way that Fight Club's uber-cool attitude would never provide. While I'm not sure how long the show can do this balancing act, as long as it maintains its focus on character, it makes this show brave, moving and incredibly addictive.

8. Rick And Morty
Status: Ongoing
No. Of Seasons: 2 (Season 2 viewed)
Rick And Morty's first season was an excellent, wonderfully clever science-fiction series that was also deeply, incredibly bleak. It's most memorable scene featured a character stating that "Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everybody's gonna die. Come watch TV." It established itself as the most bleakly funny series currently airing and the show's second season does nothing to challenge that opinion. If anything, it doubles down on it, with at least one moment in every episode that is so relentlessly depressing that it took my breath away. While this could make this show challenging, it also made it wonderful, especially in those moments where we can laugh through the darkness, or be amazed at the show's brilliant approach to science fiction. While other shows treat it as a background detail, Rick And Morty delves into clever concepts with wild abandon, demonstrated most memorably this season by 'Total Rickall' (an episode that introduces many memorable characters and ends on a surprisingly shocking moment of true darkness). But it's the character details and the bleak realisations about these people's fucked up lives that make the most impression, ensuring that the show's exceptional, deeply sad final moments, aptly set to Nine Inch Nails' 'Hurt' are some of the most memorable I watched all year.

7. Penny Dreadful
Status: Finished
No. Of Seasons: 3 (Season 2 viewed)
Penny Dreadful's first season was a frustrating mix of good ideas paired with terrible ones. It had a strong premise (famous literary characters such as Victor Frankenstein and Dorian Gray meet up and fight beasties), looked gorgeous (as any horror series set in the 18th century should), was gifted with a very good cast (the likes of Timothy Dalton, Billie Piper, Josh Hartnett and especially Eva Green), but often fell prone to its own storytelling (a supposed 'twist' was signposted too strongly and left and bad taste in the mouth) and an inability to develop its characters beyond their stereotypes. In its second season something miraculous happened. It became incredibly gruesome, but also really, really fun and easy to watch. This was a horror show, yet it was easy to set back and enjoy being grossed out by it.  But then, something even more incredible happened. Penny Dreadful decided to care about its characters, revealing layers and layers of emotion to them. These are flawed, monstrous characters, yet they still crave love, even though they know they don't deserve it. It's a desire they all express at one point or another, but the variations on the idea are beautifully done, making even the most loathsome character sympathetic and vulnerable.
    It helps that the cast is truly incredible. This has always and always will be the Eva Green show. As the conflicted Vanessa Ives, she can show pain or joy with the most subtle movement, or the slightest inflection in her voice. She's a heartbreaking character but Eva Green transforms her into something so watchable. However, the actor that really astonished me was Billie Piper. She was arguably one of the first season's weaker elements, saddled with an unconvincing accent and a dull romance plot, but her rebirth triggers something in her character. Her monologue in 'Memento Moria' (the show's best episode to date, and it doesn't even feature Eva Green) solidified this show's place on this list; a well-written, devastating, angry and terrifying scene, performed by Billie Piper as if her life depended on it. While I have yet to see the show's third season, on the basis of this show's second year, I don't think I've ever seen a show pull off such an incredible recovery. It transformed from something messy to something beautiful, complex and one of the best shows on television.

6. Rectify
Status: Finished
No. Of Seasons: 4 (Season 3 viewed)
No show on television was quite like Rectify. It's a crime mystery that isn't all that invested in finding out the truth about the crime. Instead, it does something far more radical, it slows down the pace and allows you to get into these character's heads, to really, truly know them. In its third season, Rectify pared down its focus even more strongly, focussing on the connections between the Holden family as Daniel makes a choice about his future, and it allowed for some of the most beautiful, subtle storytelling going around. This is a show not afraid to stop and smell the roses, to appreciate the beauty of dust dancing in the sunlight. But more than that, it's one of the most moving character studies ever made, most notably demonstrated by a devastating final exchange between Tawney and Daniel in the season finale 'The Source' which was thrilling and left tears streaming down my face. With the fourth and final season now finished, I am looking forward to it, knowing that it will undoubtedly be a bittersweet experience, but a very, very rewarding one.

5. American Crime Story: The People V. O.J. Simpson
Status: Ongoing (as anthology)
No. Of Seasons: 1 (Season 1 viewed)
As the OJ Simpson trial began two months before I was born, I had less expectations of this show than others may have. Don't get me wrong, I did do some quick research on the trial, but nothing can compare to the sheer iconic nature of the case. I was only aware of the car chase because of the Seinfeld parody and didn't have as much vehement hatred for Marcia Clark as those who waited patiently for a seemingly obvious verdict. But what's fascinating about this series is what it manages to accomplish. It manages to tell a story about race, gender, justice and celebrity in a complex, detailed way without forgetting about character. It transforms these iconic figureheads into real people, especially Marcia Clark. As portrayed by Sarah Paulson, she's a stunning character, a woman who was passionate about her job but was thrust into a harsh and unforgiving spotlight. The haunting, unforgettable 'Marcia, Marcia, Marcia' is a powerful examination of gender and the expectations on women, which will forever change the way you hear 'Kiss From A Rose'. However, The People V. O.J. Simpson's greatest achievement is the fact that it refuses to provide any answers. We can see that O.J. Simpson is (probably) responsible but the case became far more about his race and celebrity status than it was about the actual crime. It made for a haunting, unforgettably sad true crime series.

4. Steven Universe
Status: Ongoing
No. Of Seasons: 4 (Season 1 viewed)
Speaking of stunning character work, Steven Universe is arguably the strongest cartoon on television. On a first viewing, it's a fun, pastel coloured, summer-y series that goes by at a breeze. But the cumulative effect is stunning as the series' true colours are revealed as one of the most quietly subversive shows on TV. It challenges gender and sexuality stereotypes at every stage. Steven, the lead character, is adorable and quite unlike any other male character on TV, strong yet emotional and with a strong core of happiness. Garnet is incredible and whose entire existence only occurs because two female characters love one another. Amethyst is fun, yet hides a sadness. But it's Pearl who is the most complex character. Initially, she comes across as bossy and kind of annoying, but as the show goes on, we learn who she really is and it's deeply moving and queer positive. Even some of the side stories are centred around queer themes (as the existence of the very cool Stevonnie attests to), making this one of the most proudly and wonderfully queer shows on TV. It's subversive in a way that doesn't call attention to itself and for that it's truly inspiring.

3. Broad City
Status: Ongoing
No. Of Seasons: 3 (Seasons 1-2 viewed)
No show in 2016 made me laugh as much as Broad City. Abbi and Illana are two New York women. Both are pot-smokers and in their twenties and enjoying life, despite being very different. They find themselves on strange quests, like getting money for a Jay-Z concert by any means necessary or trying to work out who pooped in someone's show when the power got cut, or retrieving a letter from the creepy Garol on an isolated island. And they made me laugh till I cried, every single episode. There's so many memorable moments that it's hard to pick just one, even in the weakest episodes. However, the show's shining moment so far has to be the second season episode 'Knockoffs', which initially seems centred around a dirty joke but eventually reveals itself to be more concerned with the different ways people find sexual pleasure. But that's secondary to the sheer number of jokes this show packs in to its short twenty minute episodes. This is one the funniest, yet warmest and filthiest shows on TV. It's also one of the very best.

2. The Knick
Status: Who Knows? (But probably finished)
No. Of Seasons: 2 (Season 2 viewed)
The Knick seems destined to fall through the cracks. It's first season was celebrated as the return of Steven Soderbergh: auteur and as an uber-violent and disturbing period medical drama. Like if Grey's Anatomy was set in the early 1900s and had the violence turned up to 11. But in its second season, premiering in very late 2015 (too late for many awards lists), the show deepened, expanded and became even more bleak and beautiful.
   After overcoming his drug addiction, The Knick's second season shows Dr. Thackery working at the peak of his skills and it's often exhilarating to watch, but his is a dark and disturbing world, one where characters you like can drop dead due to inappropriate medical procedures. Nothing feels safe when you watch The Knick and that's a thrilling place to be. A lot of that has to do with Steven Soderbergh's incredible direction, complemented perfectly by Cliff Martinez's anachronistic electronic score, full of instantly iconic themes and moments.
    There's the moment where a man preaches hate while the camera circles around him, the score like a thrilling heartbeat, before the Theremin comes in, transforming a disturbing scene into one of the greatest moments of the year. The moment we learn one of the show's most likable characters has betrayed his friend in a brutal and distressing way. Or the cold, crushingly brilliant finale that somehow doubles down on the hell that had been, leaving the more likable characters broken and defeated and the hateful characters successful. And it all culminates in one of the most shocking moments of television I've ever witnessed, the death of a main character portrayed with such weight and depth that it's impossible to shake long after you've watched it. While this leaves it difficult for a third season (although Soderbergh wants to do one, there has been no news for months, and though I cling onto hope, it's fading fast), it made for a thrilling, near perfect ten episodes which should be commended for being truly like nothing else on television.

1. The Leftovers
Status: Finishing
No. Of Seasons: 2 (Seasons 1-2 viewed)
The Leftovers is one of the most controversial shows on television. People have called it misery porn, something that is too difficult and emotionally draining to watch. But I ask the question, surely you knew what you were getting into. The premise of the show is that one day, with no warning 2% of the world's population just disappeared, without a trace, leaving those that's left to deal with this unimaginable trauma in any way that they can. Of course it's sad. This is a show that is about trauma and faith and the desperate need to find hope in a situation where none looks forthcoming. But that's what makes The Leftovers such a brilliant and timely show. Because it's easily the most devastating program currently airing, but it's also one of the most hopeful and quietly profound, as these characters find a way forward. It's cast is unbelievably talented, such as Carrie Coon's Nora (a woman who lost her entire family in the Departure and slowly comes to terms with it and find a new life for herself) is the show's most exceptional character, while Paul Theroux, Ann Dowd, Amy Brennan all play beautifully rendered characters. The storytelling is simple, yet richly symbolic as each episode is filled with tragic little moments or thrillingly tense confrontations, all scored by Max Richter's impeccable, poignant music. No show made me cry more or made me believe in hope for a better future. Because if these broken, desperate people can find connections and a way to move forward, then maybe we can to.

And, some of the other shows I watched this year:
How To Get Away With Murder s1: It's first season was flawed, but Viola Davis more than made up for it with a stunning central performance. The show's second season (which I have just finished) was an incredible step-up, making it an early contender for the awards this time next year.
The 100 s1-3: I get the love for it, but too often it goes for shock over character dynamics to be truly effective. The central death of the third season was understandable but still an almost fatal mistake.
Inside Amy Schumer s1-2: Liking Amy Schumer is not the most popular thing nowadays, but her sketch show was a funny, occasionally cutting examination of gender roles and expectations.
Grey's Anatomy s11: It's eleventh season was flawed, especially in its handling of the major death at the season's conclusion. Apparently it has led to a new renaissance for the show, so that bodes well for this long-running series.
Show Me A Hero: An incredible examination of power, politics and race, it deals with similar themes to the superior The People V. O.J. Simpson, and the focus on Oscar Isaac's character was done at the expense of the more interesting minor characters. It's final scenes, set to Bruce Springsteen's 'Lift Me Up' are almost unbearably powerful though.
Catastrophe s1: This fun British comedy was entertaining (with a scene-stealing performance from Carrie Fisher) and clever, but at six half-hour episodes, also felt a little slight.
Bloodline s1: A strong Ben Mendelsohn performance and menacing tone can't save this series from a bloated length and snail's pacing.
UnREAL s1: It's a clever satire of shows like The Bachelor, but for all it's good work, it's middle-section is ludicrous, and the show never quite recovers. Constance Zimmer is mesmerising in this, though.
Orphan Black s4: The show's fourth season is it's best since the first with an increased focus on Sarah, leading the series to its final bow which should be excellent.
American Horror Story s3: I finally, finally finished Coven, which was fascinating and entertaining, but eventually fell prey to its impulse to kill off characters, only for them to come back shortly after, sapping away a lot of the tension.
Regular Show s4-5: In the show's fourth and fifth season, Mordecai and the series grew up, making for some fascinating storytelling.
The Girlfriend Experience s1: A love it or hate it experience, I happened to fall into the latter category. The potential for this to be a good show is there, yet it seems content to be vague, frustrating and pretentious. One of my most infuriating viewing experiences of the year.
The Goldbergs s1: The show that came closest to being on this list, this was a deliriously entertaining, 80s infused slice of pure, candy-coloured fun. It doesn't do anything new, but hits those tried and true notes so well that I couldn't help but love it anyway.
The Walking Dead s6: It's like an abusive lover. You want to leave, but occasionally it'll pull you back with a moment of greatness, before ripping everything good away, making you hate yourself for putting up with its shit. If I hadn't sat through six seasons, I would be giving up, but I feel like I've wasted too much time to give up now. For those considering starting it, I have one word of advice: don't.
Angie Tribeca s1: A very silly comedy series starring Rashida Jones, this endlessly quotable and bonkers series is like Flying High!: the series. Everyone I've shown this to loves it and you will too.
The Night Of: This crime series started off so well, but focussed on the wrong characters (why the straight white male with eczema, when Naz's family is so much more interesting) and made so many dumb moves. Worth it for some great insights about the justice system, but they get buried by the frustration that this could've been much better.
Scream Queens s1: Look, it's terrible, but I kind of loved it anyway. Emma Roberts, Lea Michele, Billie Lourd, Jamie Lee Curtis and Glen Powell are wonderful, but it's often stupid and has too much of a fondness for its characters (kill some of them off, dammit!). Still, it's good for campy entertainment.

And, there you have it, my best TV of 2016! Hope you agreed with my choices, or found some fun new shows. I am hoping to eventually get around to doing a similar post but with anime, so expect that before the end of January. Hope you've all been good, talk soon.
David Gumball-Watson