Allyson Johnson’s Top 10 TV Shows of 2016
1. Bojack Horseman – Bojack Horseman is doing something revolutionary when it comes to how storytelling in television is presented and it’s time for more people to stand up and notice. Having mastered the ability to to blend introspective drama and farcical comedy, the Netflix original series has no shortage of laughs while also allowing a peak into a wildly dysfunctional mental state. It’s masterful, and its third season offered up just the right amount of comedy and tragedy to create something that from each end of the spectrum is something enlightening.
2. iZombie – People don’t seem to take notice of iZombie. That, or they purposefully ignore it based on the title alone, and either option is a disservice both to the show and the viewer. Season two was even better than its first with clever, pun heavy scripts, a wonderful leading lady and stellar supporting cast and relationships that feel real and lived in, creating even high tensions than there might have been otherwise.
3. Catastrophe – Rather than losing its bite in its second season, British import Catastrophe grew only more toxic as Rob and Sharon were forced to deal with parenthood, suspected infidelity and aimlessness that comes with not loving your job. Sharon Horgan and Rob Delaney are remarkable as the leading couple, allowing us as the audience to both understand their attraction to one another but also the forces that could drive them apart.
4. Crazy Ex-Girlfriend – Few shows have jumped into audiences’ screens with as much energizing urgency as Rachel Bloom’s Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. A musical, a dramedy, a critical look at incessant sexism, the show has it all, and season two has only continued to improve.
5. Superstore – Long gone it seems of the workplace comedies for blue collar America, with shows such as Malcom in the Middle seemingly increasingly far away. This is just one of the reasons why Superstore has become such a must-watch. With a diverse, incredibly funny ensemble cast, the show understands the ratio of jokes to storylines while also introducing a will-they-won’t-they dynamic that doesn’t feel trite or tired.
6. Brooklyn Nine-Nine – I have long been talking and/or writing about just how consistently amazing Brooklyn Nine-Nine is, and if people aren’t fans yet, they likely will miss the train all together. However, four seasons in, Brooklyn Nine-Nine shows no signs of stopping or even slowing down. With the best ensemble cast on television as well as the best cold opens, Brooklyn Nine-Nine’s greatest asset is its longevity.
7. Supergirl – After season one, despite my general enjoyment of the series, I never would’ve guessed it would end up on my end of the year best of list, especially above The Flash (which doesn’t even make an appearance). Yet here we are, and Supergirl isn’t just the best superhero show currently on air, but one of the best period. Melissa Benoist continues to shine as the titular character, but the real highlight comes with her sister Alex, who is going through a beautifully portrayed coming out storyline.
8. Game of Thrones – After a few seasons where annoyance was the most commonly attributed emotion towards the HBO series, season six of Game of Thrones reminded viewers (book fans and otherwise alike) just why the series was so addicting in the first place. Jon Snow took a more monumental stance on the shows standing, Cersei lived up to her villainous potential, while Arya and Sansa reminded us why the Starks will always be the family to root for.
9. Casual – Despite debuting in a time where the “dramedy” is at its peak popularity, Hulu’s Casual hasn’t seemed to be able to catch on like its counterparts. A shame, since season two was a wonderfully introspective look at three damaged, funny, people and how their lives turned out to be as royally messed up as they did.
10. The 100 – I, like the majority of its viewers, had a lot to complain about for season three of The 100 – and a lot of legitimate complaints including the death of a LGBTQ character and POC. It’s something that going forward the show is going to have to pay greater attention to in order to rectify their wrongs. However, it still handles a wonderfully diverse cast, a bi-sexual leading lady and the type of science fiction antics that are so widely appealing and are far and few in-between these days on television.
(Note: I’m still catching up on Atlanta, Better Things and Horace and Pete, if that sways people’s opinions of me…)