We came across some gems on the small screen this year. I don’t get around to watching much television any more, choosing to dedicate my precious hours to only the best it has to offer. With so much good on, I didn’t really catch too many eyesores. Check out my list and let me know your thoughts!
The Walking Dead
The Walking Dead barely got on the good list for me. It would’ve been on an “average” list if I included it. Okay, maybe it wouldn’t as I’m nuts about this show in a good way. The back half of the last season built up to a nice finish. “Richonne” fans finally got their payoff and we were introduced to the dreaded Negan. The current season started with a bang, falling a bit in terms of quality until the mid-season finale. Night Of was a great one-off season on HBO. A cerebral look at the justice system and an interesting mystery all the way until the end. Black Mirror continues to prove itself worthy of carrying the baton of Twilight Zone. The episodic series has some bumps in its storytelling and presentation but hasn’t failed yet in entertaining audiences. Luke Cage is a strong Marvel entry on Netflix. Like Daredevil and Jessica Jones before it, we’re introduced to various comic book creations in a realistic and relatable portrayal. Of all the series, I feel this one went on a bit too long and wasn’t served well by having as many episodes as its predecessors.
American Horror Story
The X Files
Before there was The Walking Dead or Game Of Thrones, there was The X Files. I dabbled in Star Trek a bit growing up, but The X Files cemented my status as a geek. It arguably spread and connected geek culture like no other, having risen around the same time as the internet. It’s no secret the last few seasons of the series weren’t the best. That didn’t stop fans from hoping the revitalized series would somehow meet our impossible expectations. Not only did they miss the mark earlier this year, the episodes were just bad. I don’t feel too awful saying it in retrospect. Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny are amazing actors and I follow their work in other series. I’ll still tune in if they try to right the ship for another season. American Horror Story: Roanoke bored me from beginning to end. I found nothing shocking, entertaining or redeemable about the latest iteration of the series. I love Ryan Murphy’s work in general and all the actors involved in Roanoke. The storyline and the premise just didn’t work in any way for me.
The Presidential Election
This year also reminded the rest of the world how lucky they were to NOT be Americans. We were faced with two questionable choices to lead the free world. Forget the fact that third-party candidates sounded more sane than the vomit spewing from the nightly debates. I guess we’re still voting with blindfolds on, only listening to which one of two major party candidates are running regardless of what is said or done. I could go on and on with all the craziness of what led up to the presidential elections. If you live abroad and didn’t tune in too much, consider yourself lucky. News stations and even pop-culture oriented shows kept it very alive. I couldn’t even watch a football game without some sort of crap about the elections or candidates. Here’s hoping they develop a cryo-chamber I can slumber in for four years prior on January 20th…
Game of Thrones
Mr. Robot exploded onto small screens as a fascinating creative piece with each episode worthy of being a film unto itself. The story weaved each episode into a remarkably simple and elegantly paced plot. The depth came in the character portrayals and thematic resonance hidden in each frame. The second season continues the shows brilliance. Though somewhat diminished by the extended season, the story still manages to pack a punch. They experimented with different story telling styles, reminiscent of how X Files used to weave its “mythology” episodes, comedic and monster of the week storylines into one cohesive picture. Game of Thrones is a personal favorite of mine. The last season was sure to win over anyone who doubted the series or was bogged down by all the “positioning” of characters throughout. Westworld was a brilliant show, also sharing a home on HBO with Game of Thrones. It took few episodes for me to get into it, but the payoff is worth it. I found myself rooting for characters I didn’t know I’d care about. Stranger Things probably had the biggest splash of 2016, hitting Netflix this past summer. It deserved every bit of hype. Channeling nostalgic movies of the eighties and providing some truly terrifying plotlines, it overshadowed anything else on TV in my opinion. Although I’m not sure where they could go and how succesful it would be in a season two, Stranger Things manages to wrestle the title of being the best thing on the small screen from the likes of Thrones in 2016.
Let us know your thoughts!