BY KEVIN FALLON
What was once heralded as the Golden Age of television is now being stressed over as #peakTV—there is so much good TV that your DVR would just about combust trying to keep up with it all. That doesn’t even include the streaming services churning out binge-worthy content! (And yet we still end up watching that marathon of Chopped, amiright?) But rather than complain, let’s celebrate all the excellence this year had to offer. Picking just 15 meant leaving some favorites on the cutting board. No show was as simple a pleasure as The Great British Bake-Off. Odd Mom Out announced Jill Kargman as one of cable’s sharpest new voices, while Black-ish’s Kenya Barris brought voice back to broadcast comedy. I still will never miss an episode of The Good Wife. And as for Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, The Americans, Orange Is the New Black, Parks and Recreation, Marvel’s Jessica Jones, and Jane the Virgin? There simply wasn’t room. There was room, however, for these 15 spectacular shows.
5. Mr. Robot (USA)
Mr. Robot was the best kind of new drama: surprising. Year after year, “the next Mad Men,” “the heir to Breaking Bad,” or “your next Game of Thrones obsession” premieres. These are three of the best dramas to ever be on television. Why not borrow Mad Men’s stylish period angst, or Breaking Bad’s morally shaded poetry, or Game of Thrones’s scope and ambition? The pleasure of Mr. Robot, however, was its singular, original creative voice. It’s a series that was tricky, but not confusing. Puzzling, but not frustrating. Compelling, but not masturbatory. Mr. Robot was as stunning visually as it was intense, resonant, and complicated: a vigilante hacker with possible Dissociative Identity Disorder grapples with morphine addiction while attempting to save the world with 1s and 0s. It’s bleak stuff, but oh-so thrilling. And as for breakout star Rami Malek? Hello, friend.