Features TV/Movies

Ron’s Favorite TV Shows of 2016


For this post, I feel like it’s only fair to break it down in two ways. First I’m going to highlight the best currently running shows of 2016 and talk about my favorite episodes. Then, I’m going to talk about the newcomers.

Before I even get started, I don’t watch Thrones. So…yea, sorry.

Current Shows

Mr Robot

Mr. Robot - Season 2

Was this even a surprise? Mr. Robot’s season 2 picked up where season 1 took it to a new level. I don’t know how this show became more nerve-wracking but it did. Every answer that season 1 asks will be answered but replaced by a whole new set of questions. What I like the most about this season is that it took even bigger risks. Not all of them pay off but for the most part, this show is easily the most creative and visually stunning show on TV.

  • Where to watch: USA, Amazon Prime
  • Favorite episode: 10. eps2.8_h1dden-pr0cess.axx

Silicon Valley

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This show is my favorite sitcom on TV. Most sitcoms are dramedies these days anyway so I can state that with full confidence.

  • Where to watch: HBO
  • Favorite episode: The Uptick

 

Girls

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Ok, hear me out here. Girls have a great first season but have been pure, steaming trash since then. And yes, I know we all hate Lena Dunham. But I gotta admit, she did her thing with this season of Girls. Idk why she decided “less of me, more of them” but less screen time for Hannah and more focus on other cast members opened this show up to broader possibilities.

  • Where to watch: HBO
  • Favorite episode: The Panic in Central Park

I’d like to state that this is a top 5 episode of the year. Any TV show. Period.


You’re the Worst

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I admit, I wasn’t in love with this season as much as I loved the previous two. Still, there is a lot to love about this show. Season 3 wraps up with a crazy plot twist that’s worth sticking around for.

  • Where to watch: FX, FXX
  • Favorite episode: The Inherent, Unsullied Qualitative Value of Anything

*See note up top about “Top 5 TV episode”. It applies here too


Black-Ish

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This show still continues to surprise me with how accurately it portrays the black family dynamic.

  • Where to watch: ABC/Hulu
  • Favorite episode: Hope

Even if you don’t watch this show, watch this one. It’s soooooo good


Rectify

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Ok, I still haven’t seen the final season yet. I’m in no rush. I’m not ready for the heartbreak. I just wanted to tell you that there’s still time to catch up on this beautiful show

  • Where to watch: Sundance Channel, Netflix
  • Favorite episode: The one that’s not going to make me sad when I finally watch this season

New Shows

Fleabag/Crashing

Pheobe Waller-Bridge might be my 2016 crush. Might could be. She’s vile and borderline disgusting but she’s hilarious. She kinda owned 2016 with Fleabag and Crashing. Fleabag can be viewed on Amazon and has been receiving critical acclaim. Crashing flew under the radar but if you dig Fleabag, you should definitely check it out on Netflix

  • Where to watch: I just told you
  • Favorite episode(s): Fleabag: Episode 3 Crashing: Episode 6

This is Us

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I usually don’t dig shows like this. I hate shows that come on ABC/NBC and have 39 episodes a season with a winter break. But This is Us has a great cast and they all deliver powerful performances. You should definitely binge this show before it returns in 2017

  • Where to watch: NBC/Hulu
  • Favorite episode: Pilot

Atlanta

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There’s so much to say about this show. I could talk about it all day if I wanted. In short, Atlanta is the best new show of 2016. Brilliant writing, even better acting and a great soundtrack is what makes Atlanta standout from others. I’m going to tell you now, it’s incredibly hard to pick just one episode as my favorite. But if I had to…

  • Where to watch: FX
  • Favorite episode: The Club

Search Party

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This is going to come as a surprise but you heard it here first: Don’t sleep on TBS’ shows. They’re building quite and impressive slate. Search Party is definitely their hit, though. This show came out of nowhere and I didn’t hear anybody even talking about it. I just saw viral ads on twitter and thought it looked interesting. Plus, Alia Shawkat…it has to be good, right? This show is probably my rookie of the year for 2016 since Atlanta is the best show overall. It’s a mystery show for people who like David Lynch but listen to Beach House (or Purity Ring, in this case).

  • Where to watch: TBS
  • Favorite episode: The Secret of the Sinister Ceremony

Quarry

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There’s nothing flashy or inventive about Quarry. It won’t blow your mind. But if you want a good ass crime show, this is it. It takes place in 1970s Memphis and it just feels like one of those crime novels you picked up out of the $1 bookstore. It’s a story about an out of work Vietnam vet who has to become a hitman to pay off a debt.

  • Where to watch: Cinemax (I know, who has Cinemax? Better stream it during that free trial)
  • Favorite episode: Nuoc Chay Da Mon

High Maintenance

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It late to the party when it comes to this show but late is better than never. Plus, this party has a lot of weed heads so no one is on time anyway. High Maintenance just works. It’s a show about a weed man but each episode is through the eyes of his customers. Since it’s based in New York, there are a lot of stories to share (and each episode is a different story).

  • Where to watch: HBO. I watch pretty much every HBO show if you haven’t noticed
  • Favorite episode: Grandpa

Insecure

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I like this show for two reasons. The first reason, it’s a good show. The second reason, it’s a success story. I remember years ago when my friends showed me videos of Awkward Black Girl. It was funny, but never did I think that same woman would have a show co-written and produced by Larry Wilmore with Raphael Saadiq and Solange as music consultants. These things don’t happen! But it happened to Issa and there’s not a person who is more deserving.

  • Where to watch: HBO
  • Favorite episode: Insecure AF …simply because of “Broken Pussy”

Stranger Things

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This show came out at the perfect time. We miss our old cartoons, we’re playing Nintendo again, and we want to relive the glory of the 80/90s. Stranger Things takes us back to that era. This creepy show made us all feel like a kid again.

  • Where to watch: Netflix
  • Favorite episode: Honestly, don’t have one. I’m cheating by calling this show an 8-hour movie.

Love

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This show is nothing you haven’t seen before. It has a lot of the same Judd Apatow brand of humor. It has a lot of the same themes as Master of None and You’re the Worst. It takes a few episodes to get rolling. But it turns out to be a very funny show.

  • Where to watch: Netflix
  • Favorite episode: The Table Read

 

 

Miniseries/Anthologies

The Girlfriend Experience

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Most comedies these days are dramedies, so the half an hour episode format works perfectly. Now for a pure drama, I’ve always thought a full hour was conventional. Nope, Girlfriend Experience clocks in at 30 minutes an episode. In a way, this helps move the story along. It tells you everything you need to know and nothing more. If you haven’t guessed yet, this show is about a young woman who goes into the world of being a high-end escort. Season 2 will feature a new cast and story but this is the world that has plenty of room for exploration.

  • Where to watch: That same network as Power
  • Favorite episode: Fabrication

American Crime Story: The People vs OJ Simpson

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This show had the easiest job ever. We all know about the OJ Simpson case. This show could have played it safe and it would’ve still been entertaining. Well, this show was better than being simply entertaining, it was great. I had no clue this show was going to be this good but I was blown away. This stellar cast delivered some of the best performances of the year. I’m not sure if season 2 of American Crime Story will stack up but this anthology series might be on the right path.

  • Where to watch: FX
  • Favorite episode: Marcia, Marcia Marcia

The Night Manager

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In my mind, The Night Manager is Tom Hiddleston’s James Bond audition and he passed with flying colors. If that doesn’t excite you, you have Dr. House as a Bond villain. The Night Manager is only 6 episodes so you can binge right away.

  • Where to watch: AMC
  • Favorite episode: 5

The Night Of

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The Night Of is essential watching for 2016. If you listen to nothing else I tell you, please listen to this. This show is an in-depth examination of the criminal justice system disguising itself as a whodunit. If the first episode doesn’t draw you in instantly, I’ll buy your dinner (This offer is only redeemable on February 30th, 2017). That’s really all I can say about the show without spoiling it so I’ll stop here. Riz Ahmed for president.

  • Where to watch: HBO
  • Favorite episode: The Beach. Although John Turturro’s courtroom scene in “The Call of the Wild” is making me reconsider

My favorite movies of 2016 list are coming but it’ll be late. Like really late. Like 2017 late. But it’s coming, that’s all that matters.

Don’t see your favorite show of this year? Feel free to send suggestions. Hopefully, you see something you want to check out too. Use that little thing called a comment box. It’s there for you.

 

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