These TV Shows Ruled My 2016!
Geekdom spreads far and wide. Some geeks enjoy creating elaborate costumes for cosplay. Some geeks love playing video games for hours upon end. One thing that is almost unanimously loved throughout our culture is our beloved television programs. Almost everyone, geeks and non-geeks alike, have a favorite show that they like to sit down and watch week in and week out. With that being said, I’ve decided to forgo a traditional top 10 list. There are so many great programs on TV right now that it didn’t seem right to rank some above others when everything on this list, in my opinion, is great in its own right. With that being said, here you go geeks, here’s my list for the best TV shows of 2016!
**DISCLAIMER! I’m going to do my best to avoid spoilers for some of these shows, but it’s not possible to do some of them justice without some spoilers, so proceed at your own risk!**
The Walking Dead (Video clip is NSFW!)
The Walking Dead has been wildly inconsistent this season. It gets included on the list for one reason, and one reason only: Negan. I could easily make a case that Jeffery Dean Morgan played the best villain on TV in 2016.
Aside from the premiere, penultimate episode, and the mid-season finale, the show has been really slow so far this season. (Think back to Herschel’s farm.) That speaks to the level of greatness that Jeffery Dean Morgan has achieved with his portrayal of one of my favorite comic book characters of all time. He carried the show in 2016, and with the All Out War arc starting now, he’s only going to get better.
I have to admit something…the Supernatural bandwagon almost completely passed me by. I only started watching it this year, but I binged watched up to the current season and have been keeping up with it on the CW. You could argue that the show is too formulaic to be considered as one of the best shows on TV, but the main cast has some of the best chemistry on TV when they share a screen.
Sam and Dean spent the first couple of episodes dealing with the fact their mother is back from the dead, and that the English Men of Letters seem to want them dead. The English MoL are still at large, but Mary seems to be meshing well with the rest of the cast. I do miss Mike Pellegrino as Lucifer, but Rick Springfield (yes THIS Rick Springfield) did a much better job in the role than I expected him to.
Barry Allen just can’t seem to get anything right, well, except the fact that he has one of the best shows on television. The Flash has managed to do something that makes most shows fall flat: on the surface it’s action-packed and a ton of fun, but at its core it delivers on an emotional level too.
Grant Gustin doesn’t get nearly enough credit for his portrayal of Barry. His natural charisma and acting chops make this show worth watching week in and week out. It’s a consistently great show, unlike its mother-show Arrow. If you haven’t watched it, go check seasons 1 and 2 on Netflix. I can promise you that there isn’t a show on television that can make you laugh, cry, and cheer all in one 30 minute episode.
Speaking of innovative shows that do something other shows have failed to, Mr. Robot can be added to the list. Not only have no TV shows portrayed cyber-security as accurately as Mr. Robot, most major films have as well.
Rami Malek is a big reason for the show’s success. He was the first minority actor in 18 years to win an Emmy for best leading actor in a drama series, and for good reason; the show is phenomenal. The best thing about Mr. Robot is that everything that happens is entirely plausible. With hackivist groups like Anonymous around and the fact that the show uses real computer techniques, it stays grounded in a reality that most drama series can’t pull off.
Sweet Christmas! Luke Cage was even better than I expected. I knew I would love the soundtrack, but Marvel got pretty much everything right with their Netflix adaptation of the classic Hero for Hire. Luke Cage was so highly anticipated, that it literally broke Netflix.
A lot of Marvel-heads always want to point out how far ahead Marvel is in the movie race, but DC has been the television/animated king for a few years now, but if Marvel keeps producing shows that are on par with Luke Cage, they’ll close the gap fast. Of course, you can’t mention a Marvel-made Netflix show without mentioning..
Season 2 of Daredevil introduced us to the MCU’s Punisher. (Portrayed by John Bernthal) The show has more than made up for that atrocity that was the Ben Affleck Daredevil film, but it’s also shown us that Marvel has the ability to go dark and gritty just like DC does with Batman and Arrow.
Marvel changed the TV game when season 1 of Daredevil came out, and in that sense, DC has some catching up to do. Now, we geeks don’t have to wait to see our favorite heroes week-to-week; we can sit down and binge watch them for hours on end. Daredevil has also set the table to introduce fans to Marvel’s Defenders. Only time will tell which company will end up ruling the small-screen in 2017. Who will it be? DC or Marvel?
How great was Stranger Things? The show seemed to set the world on fire overnight, and honestly, season 1 left us with more questions than answers. Fear not adventurers, season 2 will be here before you know it. We’ve already heard some details on it.
I thought the show would have more of a horror element to it, but it really doesn’t. It actually does something entirely new for TV and film alike: it tells a horror story mostly through the eyes of the children involved in it. Instead of an impending feeling of dread and doom when watching the story unfold, you see it more with a sense of wonder and adventure that makes a show a lot more fun than something that’s as dark at its core as this one is.
Game of Thrones
I’m afraid for season 7 of Game of Thrones. Season 6 ended on…a positive note. Knowing George R.R. Martin, everyone we know and love is going to die in season 7 and the White Walkers are going to rule the land. With that being said, season 6 has been my favorite season of the show to date.
We got to see Jon Snow come back to life, Ramsay Bolton finally got what was coming to him, and Dany is finally on her way to claim what belongs to her by birthright. No one should be surprised that the best season of the show also contained the best episode as well. The Battle of the Bastards contained one of, if not the best battle scene we’ve ever witnessed on television. In fact, it pulled off the battle better than a lot of movies do too. If you don’t believe me, check it out:
Yeah, it was pretty intense.
Honorable mentions: Westworld, The Get Down, American Horror Story, House of Cards, Black Mirror, This is Us.
If I left out any of your favorite shows, trust me, I meant no offense. There are so many great shows on TV right now that it’s impossible to keep up with all of them. (Which is why there are a few in the honorable mentions. These are shows I mean to watch, but haven’t caught up on them yet!) Of course I’d love to hear why you think they’re great, so join in on the conversation in the comments below! Feel free to drop your own “best of 2016” lists in the comments as well!