So many great shows so little time. I remember a day when I had to struggle to find good shows. A time when My Name is Earl and The Office was the most solid block of TV available all week. Times have changed. Every day we have more and more ways to watch great television. I hate to say it, but I think TV has finally edged out movies and I don’t see it ever going back. But can there be too much of a good thing? As I ponder this question why don’t you check out my list of shows that I actually watched and enjoyed.
Need to Watch
Atlanta – I watched the pilot. It was a little more solemn than I anticipated but the cast was good and the premise intriguing. I’ll get around to it.
The Americans – I like America (sometimes), so I would like this, right?
Channel Zero – I watched and enjoyed the first episode of this SyFy show based on the infamous “Candle Cove” Creepypasta. Not sure why I never watched any other episodes. It’s scary (just look at the tooth monster picture above) and it has Mark Brendanawicz!
The Night Of – I Have HBO NOW. I have no excuse.
Most of these blurbs are going to be me struggling to remember what happened in the previous season… Hillary Clinton, right? That was crazy. I also recall a bit where Abbi had to pretend to be Ilana. I remember that being embarrassing but in the funny kind of way. All that matters is this is the best comedy duo on TV right now.
If you haven’t forgotten, we recently elected a super villain as the leader of the free world. To help cope with this I started watching Last Week Tonight with John Oliver and it has been cathartic, to say the least. Moreso than The Daily Show I feel like real journalism is being done and presented to the world with wit and class. Additionally, I enjoyed John Oliver’s dissection of pyramid schemes, which I think everyone should watch. I’m not sure anyone delivered a better “F#@k You!” to 2016 than Oliver did on the season finale.
I’m not going to lie, Westworld can be boring, but it’s a unique show. The mysteries are airtight and the reveals always satisfying. Anthony Hopkins is the best he’s been in a long time, the same goes for Evan Rachel Wood, Thandie Newton, well, basically everyone on the show. I’m curious to see where they can take it. Futureworld, perhaps?
I always put off watching Better Call Saul because the stakes don’t ever seem high enough to warrant a whole show. Yet this show has some of the best writing anywhere. Better Call Saul never rushes anything. It takes as much time as it needs to progress the story and develop the characters. Not to mention it actually makes the world of lawyering interesting and not stupid sexy bullshit. I’m talking to you Suits!
It makes me cringe and it helps me learn about the tech industry and how it’s all bullshit. Silicon Valley is one of those shows where everybody is your favorite character and yet you’d never want to hang out with any of them.
Gravity Falls ended this year and that made me sad. I appreciate Alex Hirsch deciding to end his beloved supernatural animated series on a high note but I’m going to miss it. The town of Gravity Falls, Oregon was such a developed world, I could have spent years there. I loved the cast of characters; Dipper (Jason Ritter), Mabel (Kristin Schaal), Soos (Alex Hirsch), Wendy (Linda Cardellini) and my personal favorite Grunkle Stan (Alex Hirsch) and I will miss all of them dearly. If you never saw this show because it was on Disney XD aka “TV for Babies” I highly recommend it. Gravity Falls is a show for all ages and will live on forever as a cult classic.
The best anthology show since The Twilight Zone, Charlie Brooker’s Black Mirror is a terrifying portrait of society’s increasing dependency on technology. Some of the techno-frights (Note to self: trademark “Techno-frights”) in season 3 include a world where everyone is constantly rated through social interactions, an idyllic town stuck in the 1980s, a horror video game that blurs the line between reality and fantasy, and a teenage boy who is blackmailed by texts after being caught doing the no-no via webcam. Black Mirror is social commentary at its best and considering the dark times our world is entering, I’m sure Black Mirror will continue to have stories to tell.
The best Stephen King TV adaptation to date. I’m not usually a fan of James Franco but his aloofness makes him pitch perfect as mild-mannered Jake Epping/Jake Amberson, a creative writing teacher who travels back to the sixties to stop the Kennedy assassination. The history is fascinating, but it’s the fish out of water story that makes this show from Bridget Carpenter, Bryan Burk, and JJ Abrams shine. I pray other King works get this kind of treatment in the future.
The infamous fall of the Simpson dynasty is more relevant than ever. ACS is both a biting satire and a fascinating look at race relations, sexism, the media and more. Sarah Paulson gives the performance of a lifetime as prosecutor Marcia Clark, but that’s not to overshadow a marvelous ensemble including; Courtney B. Vance, Sterling K. Brown, Cuba Gooding Jr., and David Schwimmer.
Ryan Murphy has demonstrated a gift for putting together the right people. I eagerly await his next show, Feud about the rocky relationship between Joan Crawford (Jessica Lange) and Bette Davis (Susan Sarandon) during the making of Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? Who knows what it will teach us about the people involved and ourselves.
What GoT did last season is amazing. After a half-assed season 6, that relied on whatever table scraps were leftover from the books, season 7 was totally off book. The result? The show’s best season yet. GoT season 7 had its share of big moments including the Battle of the Bastards and smaller, sadder moments i.e. “Hold the Door” and never failed to keep me on the edge of my seat. It’s a fearless show, exciting and beautiful to look at. This season it became one of my top ten favorite shows of all time and that’s why it’s number one.