The Best Television Of 2015 - NPR

BY ERIC DEGGANS

NPR TV critic Eric Deggans spoke to Carrie Kahn on Weekend Edition Sunday about the plethora of television available on broadcast, cable and streaming outlets, and you can hear that conversation at the top of the page. Eric has, however, picked 12 shows that rose above the rest for this year-end wrap.

You may see a lot of teeth-gnashing from critics in year-end pieces lamenting how the flood of TV shows this year undermines the industry and makes picking out the best stuff of 2015 nearly impossible.

Don't believe it.

True, the TV business is getting tougher. And there is a sense that some TV outlets are making shows without a sense of whether they can profit off them. But for fans, it's easier than ever to build a diet of media focused exactly on what you love and care about.

Thanks to the "Peak TV" phenomenon — according to one study more than 400 series aired in 2015 — with a little effort and some help from technology, you never have to watch a second of television you don't want to experience.

But it also raises the stakes for year-end lists.

So my year-end Best Of list is going to inch up the bar a bit; for the most part, shows on my tally aren't just good, they're great.

Here's my list of The Best Game-Changing TV of 2015.

1) Mr. Robot (USA) – On the surface, this series is a snaky, unpredictable drama about a disturbed hacker attempting to break the world's biggest corporation. But Rami Malek's performance as hacker Elliot Alderson is a masterpiece of detached charm. You start the series believing this is a story about an eccentric prodigy exposing how corporations control the world. But Malek's Alderson is an unreliable narrator, turning the series into a darker, more intimate mystery airing on a cable channel once known for slighter "blue sky" adventure dramas and mysteries. This is what the face of modern cable TV drama should look like: surprising, revolutionary and revelatory.

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