Best TV Shows of 2016
The number of new and returning TV shows seems to increase each year. Along with network television, we're now seeing more original programing on other platforms. With all the amazing shows, our DVRs were pushed to their limits.
Here are the best TV shows of 2016.
10. Luke Cage
Luke Cage makes our list by the invulnerable skin of its teeth. After making his debut on Netflix's Jessica Jones, Cage returns to deal with some shady and criminal activity in Harlem. This adaptation of the 1970's Blaxploitation comic book of the same name pays homage to its sometimes embarrassing roots and made diehard fans happy. The authentic feel of the Harlem setting, the soundtrack spanning '70s funk to modern hip hop, and the fearless references to slavery and racism changed the game of superhero depiction on television.
9. The Americans
Consider this a warning: The Americans has just two seasons left. If you haven't been watching, you need to catch up. Think of it as Full House, with a whole lot more family drama and if Danny Tanner was a Russian spy. As if that life wasn't complicated enough, their neighbor works for the FBI. It’s not a feel-good show by any means-it's a tense, Cold War thriller, full of anxiety and emotion. The Americans covers the professional work of Russian sleeper agents and the challenges of raising American children at home. How do they balance work and family life? Do yourself a favor and watch even though--spoilers--you already know how the Cold War ends.
The second season of Daredevil may not have been as strong as its debut, but it had some standout moments: the staircase fight and some standout characters like the Punisher. Frank Castle killed a whole bunch of people and made such a lasting impression that he’ll be getting his own spinoff.
A bunch of questions remained at the end of season 2: what was that giant hole in the ground, what happens to Elektra, will Karen still be pining over Matt Murdock, and so on. The most important question is: How long do we have to wait for Season 3?
7. Silicon Valley
Fans of HBO's Silicon Valley revel in both Richard Hendricks' successes and failures. During Season 3, Richard was stripped of his CEO title in favor of "Action" Jack Barker who ultimately took way too many liberties in his role and was ousted himself. Whether it's Richard's roller coaster life or Erlich Bachman's terrible ideas that somehow pan out, there's a lot to love about this show and past season. Will Pied Piper ever reach its full potential? Who knows, but it's a lot of fun watching it flounder.
6. Ash vs Evil Dead
The second season of Ash vs Evil Dead hit the gas immediately with revved-up chainsaws, fully loaded shotguns, and even a deadly puppet. It was crammed to the brim with gore, humor and unexpected twists. You honestly never know when or where Ash is going to end up next. Case in point: the moment when he was pulled through a corpse’s rotten anus.
As long as you can stomach it, Ash vs Evil Dead is a heck of a viewing experience, ludicrously funny, and sick at the same time.
5. Agents of SHIELD
Agents of SHIELD exists in a realm of low budgets and big expectations. Despite being jammed between numerous superhero show competitors and the Marvel Cinematic Universe taking the lead on major story changes, this show didn't run from the fight. This season burned the All-New Ghost Rider onto the screen and wove magic into the show for the first time with the inclusion of the Darkhold.
Anyone who loves comics can respect the brave story adaptations the show made this season. The showrunners are not strictly bound by every nuance from the comic and the departures have added fascinating twists.
4. Black Mirror
Does the future of technology and social media trouble you? Well here’s a show that will only accelerate those fears. Season 3 of Black Mirror continued its excellent depiction of our darkest fears in the digital age. If you're looking for a horror story on the dangers of virtual and augmented reality or a sharp satire on social media, this is a show for you. There's just one thing to consider when watching Season 3: Save "San Junipero" for the end because it finishes on a happy note--something that doesn't happen often on Black Mirror.
Here's the premise: Patrons pay 40,000 dollars a day to fulfill their deepest desires in a western-themed amusement park populated by robots. Westworld played with our minds more than any other show this year. Who's a host? What year are we in? What's this maze business?
So the hosts can think on their own and that means trouble for the human race right? Sure looks like it, but there are still a ton of unanswered questions. We can't for season 2, especially if we get to see more of that shogun samurai world!
2. Stranger Things
Stranger Things is a new science fiction show on Netflix that completely plays with our heart-strings by appealing to our sense of nostalgia. There were monsters, superpowers, Eggo waffles, and a collection of kids riding their bikes across the city, with parents not seeming to care much about where they were. It was like The Goonies meets E.T. meets the creepiest parts of a Nine Inch Nails music video.
Regardless, the show seemed to grip the nation as we all mourned the death of the most loyal BFF ever. We're looking forward to jumping back into the upside-down next season.
1. Game of Thrones
Game of Thrones comes in at our hotly debated number one spot. This season featured some of the best moments in the history of the show: Jon Snow woke up from his cold, long nap; the Battle of the Bastards; and Cersei's return to power in an explosive fashion.
The show is finally free from George RR Martin's literary shackles and has set itself up perfectly for the series' dramatic conclusion.