BY THE EDITORS
From Master of None and Black-ish to The Leftovers and Mr. Robot, The Atlantic’s writers and editors pick their favorite TV shows of 2015. (For those seeking a lengthier list, there’s also a roundup of the year’s best TV episodes).
In the four months or so when I was proselytizing Mr. Robot to anyone who’d listen, I didn’t really know how to describe it. Cyberthriller? Family drama? Hacker drama? Redemption story? Morality play? The first season of Sam Esmail’s stunning TV series for USA managed to meld several genres together while somehow transcending it all. The debut season followed the troubled hacker Elliot Alderson (played by the brilliant Rami Malek) as he got mixed up in an Anonymous-like collective in an effort to bring down a Google/Enron-like conglomerate. The show effortlessly embodied its contradictions: nostalgic yet futuristic, cynical yet idealistic, emotional yet stoic, dark yet vibrant. While Elliot suffered severe identity issues, the show always knew exactly what it was doing (even if the audience didn’t). Not since Breaking Bad had a series so fully seized my imagination with its artistry, confidence, originality, and a captivating (anti)hero. Season two can’t get here soon enough.