2016: TV

There’s too much TV. It’s impossible to keep up with everything and there’s always something new that people are talking about and telling you to watch. Of course, the plus side is that there’s something out there for pretty much anyone; you just have to find it. Here are some of the things I found in 2016.

Favorite returning shows:

  1. The Americans – This show just gets better and better. The acting, the writing – all of it is so consistently good and compelling. And while I’m sad the end is in sight, I’m thrilled beyond belief to know that the writers know exactly how many episodes they have left. I can’t wait to see what they have planned for the last two seasons.
  2. Brooklyn 99 – This and black-ish are pretty much the only sitcoms I can stand to watch. The cast is diverse, the characters are more than stereotypes, and most of all, the humor isn’t rooted in meanness. That feels so rare these days. Also, Andre Braugher as Holt is one of the greatest comedic performances in history.
  3. Jane the Virgin – I had fallen behind and was thinking I didn’t really enjoy this one as much as I used to, but then I watched 4 episodes in one day to catch up and remembered why I love it so much. The plots are ridiculous and over the top, but the characters are so human and real that the ridiculousness just becomes fun.
  4. Supergirl – My annoyance with the treatment of Jimmy Olson and the introduction of Conventionally Attractive White Male Love Interest aside, Supergirl is still one of the shows I tend to watch within 24 hours of it airing. It survived the move to the CW mostly unharmed and the Alex Danvers storyline was one of the best LGBTQ narratives I’ve ever seen. And it also provided a wonderful example of why positive representation is so important.
  5. The Flash – When it comes to comics and movies, I’m a total Marvel girl, but while I could never really get into Agents of SHIELD, I still love The Flash. It doesn’t take itself too seriously and has mostly avoided getting bogged down in complicated mythology, which actually makes it fun to watch. It’s consistently entertaining without requiring a lot of effort, which means it’s one of the few shows that rarely stacks up on my DVR.
  6. Honorable mentions: black-ish, Vikings, The Great British Baking Show

Favorite new shows:

  1. Queen Sugar – I don’t even have the words to describe how great this show is. Let’s put it this way: I willingly called DirecTV to find a way to add the network it’s on just for this show, and I haven’t regretted it for a second. Put Ava Duvernay in charge of all the things.
  2. Pitch – I was worried that Pitch wouldn’t be good, mostly because I so badly wanted it to be good. But it’s better than good. Ginny Baker is a wonderful, multifaceted character and the show manages to avoid pigeonholing her into any of the expected stereotypes. I don’t even like baseball and I love this show.
  3. The Get Down – While everyone else was obsessing over Stranger Things (which I watched and enjoyed), I was obsessing over The Get Down. The music is great, the story lines are great, the acting is great. It’s also just really fun to see the connections between the roots of hip hop and nerd culture and everything else that was going on in the late 1970s.
  4. Luke Cage – Luke Cage was the best thing Marvel did in TV or movies this year. As with many of the 13-episode shows that have premiered on Netflix in the past couple of years, there are a few episodes in the middle that feel like too much wheel-spinning, especially if you binge-watch, but the show as a whole is seriously entertaining. It’s got a seriously talented cast, some genuinely shocking moments, and the glorious, glorious Misty Knight.
  5. Leverage – Okay, I’m cheating. Leverage isn’t new (all 5 seasons are on Netflix), but it was new to me and I’m so glad I watched it. The character growth over the course of the series is phenomenal and it accomplishes the rare feat of coming to a completely satisfying ending. It’s clever, funny, and hopeful, and you should watch it.
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  • A collection of ramblings and musings on Jesus, life, education, family, and anything else that pops into my head.

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