As we start 2017, I’m here with my Top 10 TV shows of 2016 list! This year brought us a lot of great TV shows, and though I don’t watch most of the most popular shows, I think that makes this list unique! You get to see my favorites of some of the lesser watched shows without all the same titles that you see on everyone else’s top 10 lists! Why did I wait until 2017 you ask? Because I’m lazy as hell and didn’t even think about this until last night.
That’s also why the numbers are arbitrary and they aren’t at all ranked, this is just the top 10 in no specific order:
#1 – Stranger Things (Netflix, Season 1) – My Rating: 9/10
I’m gonna start this off with one of the shows that I’m certain will be on most people’s Top 10 lists, Netflix’s hit show, Stranger Things. Netflix made the 80s into a science fiction miniseries about a group of kids, a group of teenagers, and some harried parents. If you’re thinking “Huh, that sounds like The Goonies!” then you’re probably the type of person who would love Stranger Things! Everyone that watches this show knows that when the lights start flickering, it’s time to buckle up, because there’s a message from the Upside Down coming your way!
#2 – Halt and Catch Fire (AMC, Season 3) – My Rating: 9/10
Since we were already in the 80’s, let’s get into Halt and Catch Fire! This is a criminally under-watched TV show that comes on AMC in the summer, and I’ve been watching since season 2. I only heard about this show because Lee Pace stars in it as Joe MacMillan, an openly bisexual businessman who defies all stereotypes (so, right up my queer little alley). It is under-advertised and barely anybody seems to have even heard about it, and yet it’s habitually on the best shows of the year list in most publications. Anyways, this show is about the evolution of computers in the 1980s, and in Season 3, we’ve crossed into the early 1990s. Season 1 was slow to get going and Season 2 was great, but Season 3 this year was phenomenal. With some of the best writing on TV, some amazing acting, and by far the best cinematography of any show I’ve ever seen, Halt and Catch Fire is the one show that everybody should be watching but they probably aren’t.
#3 – Black Sails (STARZ, Season 3) – My Rating: 10/10
Sticking with the ‘queer protagonist’ theme, Black Sails tells the story of Captain Flint, the famous pirate, in a prequel to the novel Treasure Island. The whole show was amazing, but Season 3 was, without a doubt, the best TV I’ve ever seen. I never rate things 10/10, but this one got a 10/10. These actors are easily the best of the best, the characters all have very amazing story arcs that make you love them one episode and hate them, hate them and then love them. The writing is amazing, the film work is astoundingly good, and it’s a show about pirates. PIRATES! There’s violence, and mayhem, and beautiful plots, and absolutely mind-blowing storytelling. It’s just the best show.
#4 – Kingdom (Audience, Season 2) – My Rating: 9/10
Along the route of ‘violence’, I discovered Kingdom flipping channels since it’s a DirecTV channel and I have DirecTV, and it’s really fucking good. It’s a really harsh show to watch sometimes, because it’s really heavy, but it’s amazing. Kingdom is about a family of MMA fighters and their gym and their friends and their lives. It involves very heavy subjects, which makes sense since the show is about MMA fighting and the world that revolves around it. The characters, though. These characters are probably the most human characters I’ve ever encountered. They’re all flawed and even the ones you love you want to strangle and the ones you hate you want to hug. It’s a world I never would’ve thought I’d enjoy and yet the characters make it so compelling that I wait on edge for the next episode every time the latest one ends. I cannot wait for it to come back for season 3, because I’m dying without knowing what happens next in the lives of these people.
#5 – Daredevil (Netflix, Season 2) – My Rating: 8/10
I must confess that season 1 of Daredevil isn’t nearly as good as people think it is. I didn’t like it at all until about the second to last episode. That all changed with Season 2! Much like Kingdom‘s draw being the characters, Season 2 of Daredevil is basically only so amazing because of the introduction of The Punisher. I didn’t care about Elektra, I still didn’t care about Matt Murdock being boring, I already liked Foggy before Season 2, and Karen became interesting in Season 2, and it’s all because of Frank Castle. The actor, this story line, the way this character is written, the way he speaks, the way he’s filmed, everything about him is compelling and interesting and real. I cannot wait until his spin-off series, because it will be the best addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe yet.
#6 – Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D (ABC, Season 4) – My Rating: 8/10
While there’s no MCU films on my Top 10 Movies list, there’s no shortage of Marvel TV shows on this list, and to keep the ball rolling we’re going with the first Marvel TV show of the series, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. The reason that this season makes the Top 10 list is because this first half of Season 4, the Ghost Rider story arc, has been most likely the very best story arc that show has ever had. It’s absolutely astounding and Gabriel Luna playing the Ghost Rider is the best thing this show has ever done, and you guys know I’ve loved this show from the beginning. Ghost Rider is what made this show worthy of the top 10 spot this year, for sure.
#7 – Preacher (AMC, Season 1) – My Rating: 9/10
Speaking of supposed demonic possession, Preacher! Man, this was a weird fucking TV show, and yet I loved it! I would say that the best part of this whole show was easily Tulip O’Hare! Also amusing, Ruth Negga was on the previous show on this list as well in its earlier seasons. Preacher is a show that cannot be explained. At all. All you can hope for is to watch it and follow along. It’s about a preacher, a vampire, and a con-woman, and some crazy ass supernatural shit. Just trust me, watch it, and have fun. You’re gonna love it for sure.
#8 – Agent Carter (ABC, Season 2) – My Rating: 9/10
Another Marvel TV show, another show that was tragically cut short, and another show, like our previous one, with an amazing female character that is bad ass and genuine instead of some Strong Female Character trope that we all hate! Agent Carter is the last hurrah of Peggy Carter and our favorite Hayley Atwell. Season 2 of Agent Carter went west coast and still did not disappoint. Even with its frustrating ending because it got cancelled before its time, the ending was still satisfying enough that it’s worth watching it even if you’ve never watched it before. It’s full of humor, and beautiful character moments, and a woman who isn’t afraid to be A WOMAN even in the 1940s. It’s going to be on my list of the best TV shows ever for a very long time, no matter what the viewer ratings shortcomings said.
#9 – The Night Manager (BBC, Season 1) – My Rating: 9/10
From a comic book secret agent to a spy thriller for a more adult audience, but still with a marvel star, funnily enough, we go to The Night Manager. Based on a spy novel, The Night Manager is easily the best mini-series of the year. When a hotel night manager played by the illustrious Tom Hiddleston gets involved in a cat and mouse spy game to stop an international arms dealer from the inside, the suspense never lets up from beginning to end. Award winning direction, amazing acting, very thrilling plots, and one of the best espionage series I’ve seen in years, all of this is what you get from The Night Manager. Its characters were very complex and well told, and the many cogs in the machine of this story all fit together so expertly that it really is one of the best mini-series you will ever come across.
#10 – Yuri!!! On Ice (SunTV, Season 1) – My Rating: 10/10
I really debated about whether or not this one should even be considered a contender because it’s an anime series, but I thought that if something like Bob’s Burgers can be considered a TV show, why not anime? Yuri!!! On Ice is the anime sensation that had made serious waves all over the world. Everybody has been talking about this series. It tells the story of Katsuki Yuri, a top Japanese figure skater, and his journey from the cusp of giving up to working towards becoming the best skater in the world with the help of his childhood hero, new coach, and eventual fiance, Victor. I admit, when I got into this show, I hadn’t watched anime since I was 13 years old and every kid in school loved Dragon Ball Z and Gundam Wing. However, this show has some of the best story-telling I’ve ever seen employed in any fiction ever. It deserves that 10/10 because rarely do you ever find any fictional series that so perfectly utilizes character building that makes such three-dimensional characters, employs such amazingly done unreliable narrator, and brings such real gravity to character’s choices. Even the ‘cinematography’ of the animated scenes (forgive me, I know nothing about animation) is like something you would see from a top-notch DP. This show DESERVES that 10/10 and I cannot stress enough that even if you don’t like or have never tried anime, this is one worth giving a shot.
So yeah, there you have it! My Top 10 TV shows of 2016! I would add that an honorable mention goes to Longmire (Netflix) and to The Musketeers (BBC) for both having amazing seasons this year. They both were VERY HARD to cut from this list!!!
What do you think about my list? Did you do a Top 10 list? Have you watched any of these shows and want to scream with me about them? Let me know in the comments!