Best of 2016 — TV Series


We've come to the end of another year, and it's time for me to look back. In this first post, I'll offer my five favorite Comedy Series and 10 favorite Drama Series of 2016.

Comedy:
5. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Season 2
About: It wasn't quite as good as season one, in fact I thought it hit its high point early in the season, but this is still one of the funniest shows on TV. That's a credit to Ellie Kemper and Titus Burgess, as well as the writers.

4. The Good Place, Season 1
About: The season isn't over, but this has proven to be one of the funniest and most thought-provoking series of the fall. Kristen Bell and Ted Danson are great, and this show has a very high concept premise that it's made work well.

3. VEEP, Season 5
About: Where was this show going to go after Selina Meyer ascended to the Presidency? The answer was a glorious campaign run that ended in a way no one expected. Julia Louis Dreyfuss is great, as is the supporting cast. Now the only question is where Season 6 will go.

2. Silicon Valley, Season 3
About: This is the upstart comedy for HBO and in its third season, it took the mantle as the best comedy on the network. I loved what the show did and the subtle way that it puts everything together. Paired with VEEP each year, this is a comedy power block.

1. Life in Pieces, Seasons 1 and 2
About: This is my favorite comedy on TV, and I think it's the best comedy on TV. CBS has a certain kind of niche for its comedy, and "Life in Pieces" doesn't fit the typical mold, and that's part of what makes it so great.

Drama:
10. Good Behavior, Season 1
About: This is a new series (as of this writing only eight of the first season episodes have aired). And I can't explain why I like it, but I like it a lot. I think the performances are great, particularly Michelle Dockery, and the writing is solid. I can't wait to see how this one plays out.

9. Black Mirror, Season 3
About: There is nothing on TV like "Black Mirror." The series originated in England and moved to Netflix for an expanded third season. Not all six episodes were great, but they were all thought provoking. And a couple of the episodes were among the series' best.

8. The Crown, Season 1
About: This series follows a young Queen Elizabeth II as she takes the throne and adjusts to life as the Queen of England. Great performances from Claire Foy and John Lithgow help make this series great, as does the writing from Peter Morgan. This is a great addition to the Netflix Library.

7. Westworld, Season 1
About: This was a high concept swing from HBO, and it worked. Jonathan Nolan and his wife, Lisa Joy, did a great job of adapting this film from Michael Crichton. I liked the way this show came together. It was a fascinating premise and it really found its stride by the end of the season. It also features some great performances.

6. The People vs. OJ Simpson, Season 1
About: This is the first installment of the new anthology series, "American Crime Story," and I liked the way this story was told. We almost all remember the OJ Simpson Trial, but the way this brought the story to life and rounded out information on all the key players, particularly Marcia Clark, was great.

5. The Americans, Season 4
About: "The Americans" has always been one of the better shows on TV, but it really found its stride in season four. Matthew Rhys and Keri Russell are great in the lead roles. The season also set in motion the path to the conclusion of the series.

4. Stranger Things, Season 1
About: This new series from Netflix is set in the 1980s and has a very fascinating concept. It featured great performances, even from child actors, which is a tough trick to pull off. The series was a fast-paced eight episodes and had a great story and resolution.

3. OJ Made in America, Season 1
About: OJ was big in 2016. The scripted series was one of the best on TV, but this six-part documentary on ESPN was the best look at not only OJ's life and trial, but his impact on the culture. It was must-watch TV this summer.

2. Bosch, Season 2
About: This is the best series on Amazon Prime. Eric Overmeyer does a great job adapting these books from Michael Connelly, and Titus Welliver is incredible in the lead role. "Bosch" has a great slow burn and the second season was even better than the first.

1. Game of Thrones, Season 6
About: Just when you think "Game of Thrones" can't get any better, it does. The sixth season was the series' finest, and nearly every episode could end up on a best of life for 2016. This has been the best show on TV for the past few years, and it proved that with what it did in season six.

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