The only good thing about living alone, away from home, is that I watched all the TV. Much respect to Margaret Lyons, Ken Tucker, Emily Nussbaum, Willa Paskin, and Matt Zoller Seitz (my first top five tv critics list!), but I feel qualified to have my own list.
1.Jane the Virgin- This fall was finally the moment when I pushed back against my distaste for telenovela stylistics and really gave into the show. This show fills the space that Gilmore Girls carved out in my heart. Its emotional relationships are also more realistic than any other show on TV . . . except (see next entry)
2. The Americans-this year’s season killed me with the daughter/mother dynamics. It is a crime that Felicity does not get all the awards. And somehow they made the question of whether to turn your kid into a sleeper-spy feel like a universal problem.
3. Hannibal- I’ve already gushed and apologized for this. Mads forever.
4. Crazy Ex-Girlfriend-I implore you to watch this show, which like Jane the Virgin, uses off-putting stylistics. But boy oh boy does it have a genuine heart, a radical approach to diversity, and truly catchy songs. Rachel Bloom did get nominated for a Golden Globe so I’m hoping that the second season is secure.
5. UnReal-pure pleasure. This is plotting done right: moving briskly but not slamming you over the head with surprises.
6. The Leftovers-Skip the first season, but the second season is premium tv gold. They had me from the Iris Dement song during the credits, and the season (which just ended) is a perfectly constructed poem to BIG IDEAS.
7. Mad Men-It is boring to say, but the last season was perfect. Surprising, satisfying, with images that will stay with me forever.
9. Mr. Robot-It had problems, but man did this show colonize my brain this summer. Particularly Rami Malek’s performance.
10. I’m running out of room! So let’s just assume you know how I feel about Playing House and Silicon Valley and reserve this spot for Being Mary Jane on BET. This will get its own post soon, but I just discovered this show which started last year (it’s all on Netflix). A preview of my review: the fact that every think-piece about race on TV does not mention this show demonstrates that white audiences and critics only care about people of color when they encroach onto white networks.
Honorable mentions: Jessica Jones (less plot, more Luke please!), Homeland (we just keep stumbling along together), Catastrophe (make me more episodes and I’ll put you on my list), The Good Wife (the lack of a divorce is becoming a major impediment to the show), Master of None (you were great, just not steal-my-heart great), Game of Thrones (You assembled the Daenerys squad, so why won’t you let us enjoy them?), Girls (finally giving us Fran makes up for a lot), Fargo (I know you are good, but ZZzzzz), Better Call Saul (the one show I can’t get on any of my streaming sites), sketch comedy and high quality animated shows (I can’t watch you alone).