Sunday, September 18, 2016

Must See TV: Emmy's 2016

Very few things have been able to pull me from my blog hibernation, over the past year, but the Emmy's can make me do anything. So, here I am, prepared to share with you my TV best-list from the 2015-2016 television season. For the record, only seasons of shows that aired between June 2015 and May 2016 are being considered for the list. Anything that has aired since May will be included in next year's list (I'm talking to you, Stranger Things).

Also, know that there are a number of great shows that I really love that didn't quite make the cut, this year. Fortunately, there is always hope for next year!

In case you are interested in comparing, here is last year's Top 10:

1. The Last Man on Earth (Season 1 - FOX)
2. Orange is the New Black (Season 2 - Netflix)
3. The Big Bang Theory (Season 8 - CBS)
4. Bloodline (Season 1 - Netflix)
5. How to Get Away with Murder (Season 1 - ABC
6. The Colbert Report (Season 11 - Comedy Central)
7. The Newsroom (Season 3 - HBO)
8. American Horror Story: Freak Show (Season 4 - FX)
9. The Celebrity Apprentice (Season 14 - NBC)
10. The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon (Season 2 - NBC)

Now, on to the good stuff...

10. Last Week Tonight with John Oliver
(Season 2 - HBO)

In a world with no Colbert Report and no Jon Stewart, John Oliver has happily filled a void that, in the midst of an insane election year, absolutely must be filled. While I do love British humor, Oliver has done a great job of Americanizing his humor for many years, and, for some reason, his passion for his stories truly feels stronger and much more serious than than the stories of Colbert and Stewart. Kudos to Oliver for finding his niche and giving America something to laugh at!

9. The Last Man on Earth
(Season 2 - FOX)

Last year, The Last Man on Earth topped my tv best-list and truly blew me away with its unique form of humor. Unfortunately, season 2 felt a bit drawn out and lacking in creativity (likely because of the greatness of season 1). However, the show was still fantastic and remains, in my opinion, the most creative show on any of the big four networks.

8. Mr. Robot
(Season 1 - USA)

I was extremely late to join the Mr. Robot bandwagon, but there is no doubt that USA has a gem on their hands. Not only is the story intriguing, but the show is so visually impressive that I would often get lost in a scene because of the impressive direction and camerawork. The hacker jargon goes way over my head, but the characters are so well-written that everything makes sense anyway. Mr. Robot is definitely worth the hype!

7. The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story
(Season 1 - FX)

O.J. Simpson has taken the world by storm, once again, and, while it might eventually get old, I'm kind of digging it! As a big fan of Ryan Murphy and his FX ventures, I was an easy target for American Crime Story, and, while this season was cinematically wonderful, I cannot wait to see what Murphy and crew have in store for next year's Katrina-based storyline. Hold on to your seats, folks! We've only just begun!

6. Life in Pieces
(Season 1 - CBS)

As the lone new network show that I enjoyed, in 2016, Life in Pieces provided viewers a new, fun family that everyone could love and laugh at. The show may not be breaking any giant molds, but the cast is so great that they really don't need anything else. Anyone else looking forward to Life in Pieces season 2?

5. New Girl
(Season 5 - FOX)

New Girl had totally lost its way in seasons 3 and 4, but, for the few that were able to hang in there through the disaster, season 5 brought a breath of fresh air. We can only hope that the show continues to get back on track with season 6, and, also, we can hope that FOX won't blow through all 20-ish episodes in three weeks, as they did in 2016. 

4. The Man in the High Castle
(Season 1 - Amazon)

The lack of Emmy recognition (or even snub-recognition) for The Man in the High Castle is absolutely baffling to me. Unfortunately, there probably weren't enough viewers to initiate a Mr. Robot-esque takeover of awards season, but the show is truly a masterpiece that keeps you guessing, throughout. There are so many television shows to choose from, right now, but very few of them leave you wanting for answers in the way that The Man in the High Castle does. Go check it out!

3. Master of None
(Season 1 - Netflix)

Master of None's success at stacking up Emmy nominations was a surprise to many, but I'm not sure why everyone was so shocked. This show is genius! While there were a couple of episodes that didn't quite work, the bulk of season 1 was near perfection, and that's coming from someone who isn't really a huge Aziz Ansari fan. Master of None has a little something for everyone, and I can almost guarantee that you will find at least two or three episodes that blow you away.

2. Orange is the New Black
(Season 3 - Netflix)

As is the case with every year, Orange is the New Black lags a season behind the awards show, because of its release date. And, while I really want to use this time to talk about how amazing season 4 is, let's focus on season 3, which really helped the show transition from Piper-world to prison-world. Kudos to Jenji Kohan for allowing the show to continually evolve into what is has become, rather than sticking us with hours of Piper, just to weed through to the good parts. If you gave up on Orange is the New Black because of Piper Chapman, please return. She's still here, but not NEARLY as much!

1. How to Get Away with Murder
(Season 2 - ABC)

I watch a number of new television shows, each and every year, and, while I do enjoy a number of them, the long term outlook for these shows isn't always as pleasant as the present. Upon the completion of How to Get Away with Murder season 1, I was 90% sure that this show would be a one year fling that completely loses its way in season 2. Fortunately, in my decision to question Shondaland's brilliance, I was completely and totally wrong. Not only was season 2 of Murder better than season 1, but it was my favorite show of the 2015-16 television season--by far! Nothing else comes anywhere close! And, unlike the ending to season 1, the ending to season 2 absolutely blew me away and established a murderous formula that I believe has a good chance of living on for a number of years to come. 

Another great TV year, in the books! Take a look at this list, and you'll know who I will be cheering on, during tonight's Emmy's ceremony. 

Isn't TV just the bomb?!?