Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Best Shows of 2015-16 - Part Two

In comparison to last week's selections, part two of this list will probably look a bit more familiar to those of you who were around for last year's installment. But there's still a potential surprise or two in store.

Again, mild to moderate spoilers ahead:

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Best Shows of 2015-16 - Part One

Farewell, Transparent. I don't know if it was conversations with folks on social media that brought me around to the belief that this widely-praised show (which, in a decision that makes me cringe now, I placed at No. 5 on this list a year ago) rings fundamentally empty in most respects, or simply if season two was just so much worse at covering up that hollow, often offensive core. Either way, don't expect to see it anywhere on this year's version of my season-ending chronicle of the best in TV. As for fellow former top-five heavyweight The 100 . . . well, let's sum up what happened to this once-great series in two words: utter ruin. It joins The Good Wife in the illustrious hall of shame of shows that reached greatness, only to fall apart and (probably) never recover from a series of deeply horrible creative choices the following season. (Or maybe it will recover. I dunno. I haven't finished it, because final-semester-of-college obligations forced me to reduce my weekly viewing load a bit this spring. Suffice to say this show didn't merit inclusion in that group.)

The other major disappointment from this year's group of shows is the conspicuous absence of Jane the Virgin. Midway through the year, it seemed to have a spot all but sewn up, but the back half of the season has simply not been very good. Unlike The 100, it doesn't seem to be beyond salvaging (they haven't completely ruined two-thirds of the characters, for one thing), but it was kind of a rough year for The CW in general. (Two shows in the top 20 is still not too shabby, but early in the year it looked like several more were in play. And none ended up making the top 10.)

I could talk about the season's more pleasant surprises as well (of which there were many), but since a number of those shows are listed below, it's probably not worth hearing me sing their praises extensively here. Suffice to say they helped made it another great year in TV in spite of these various high-profile flops.

Part one after the jump (part two will post next week). Mild to moderate spoilers for some shows ahead: