When you watch the high number shows of that people who review television do, you get a ton of surprises, but you’re also often reminded of the greatness of a show that you may have underestimated in the past. This year shows like Westworld, The Night Of, and Stranger Things really surprised me. Whereas I was reminded how great BoJack Horseman and House of Cards can be.
I watched a lot of shows this year, and some of those seasons weren’t from 2016. I especially loved You’re the Worst, Rectify, and Mr. Robot, but the 2016 seasons of those shows haven’t reached Denmark yet, sadly, so they won’t be on this list unless I update it in the future.
Some of the shows I would’ve liked to see make it on the list, but sadly didn’t make the cut, were Daredevil: Season Two, which introduced the Punisher this year, and Silicon Valley: Season Three, a show that is still one of the funniest shows on air. Let’s get to the list.
#10 – Stranger Things: Season One – Netflix
Stranger Things was a great surprise. It came out of nowhere, and I didn’t expect it to be as good as it was. This first season became the one Netflix show that everyone talked about this year, and it’s easy to see why.
#9 – The Crown: Season One – Netflix
To be honest, I was a little bit worried about The Crown. I think I was nervous for Netflix. I believe this is the most expensive Netflix season ever produced, and I really want Netflix to take those chances. I want them to produce ambitious shows and films. Thankfully, The Crown was much better than I thought it would be.
#8 – House of Cards: Season Four – Netflix
The third season of House of Cards got a lot of criticism and rightfully so. It just wasn’t as good as it once was. Thankfully, what was once the best Netflix exclusive show is great again. If you stopped watching after season three, then consider taking a look at the newest season. It’s worth it.
#7 – Veep: Season Five – HBO
Veep has always been a great comedy show, but I think they had one of their best seasons this year. I certainly loved the show this year more than I had ever loved it before, if that makes any sense. I also think that it had its best episode ever this year with the excellent Kissing Your Sister episode.
#6 – The Night Of – Limited Series – HBO
The Night Of was a great surprise for me. I was just excited to see Riz Ahmed in a big role, after I was impressed by him in Nightcrawler a few years back. The Night Of ended up being a great limited series that I still hear they’re considering giving a second season somehow. I loved that it was never really a ‘whodunnit’ as much as it tried to show the problems with the U.S. criminal justice system.
#5 – Westworld: Season One – HBO
At some point in time Game of Thrones will end, and HBO will have to replace it with another show on Sunday nights. And, well, Westworld is that show. I don’t know how long it’ll run for, but this first season was incredibly ambitious and satisfying at the same time. Like Stranger Things and Game of Thrones, it became a show everyone talked about in 2016.
#4 – Game of Thrones: Season Six – HBO
This was a season that could’ve completely ruined the show. Now the writers of Game of Thrones were moving forward in the story. They were now ahead of George R. R. Martin. It could’ve easily gone wrong. It could’ve easily felt too easy or untrue. But this last season of Game of Thrones was exceptional, and one of the most exciting they’ve ever done.
#3 – Better Call Saul: Season Two – AMC
I’m still not sure whether or not this season of Better Call Saul was better than season one. What is clear, though, is that Rhea Seehorn has never been better. Her performance is what made me put this show in the top three and not ‘just’ in the top five shows this year. I’m excited to see what’s next for Jimmy McGill.
#2 – Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Season Three – HBO
Shows like Last Week Tonight are always needed in an election year. You shouldn’t just get your news from late night talk shows, but the great ones have opinions, state them clearly, and challenge decision-makers. Oliver’s show does all of that, and it is no longer just a good work-in-progress late night talk show. It is a must-watch show and John Oliver is a great host.
#1 – BoJack Horseman: Season Three – Netflix
I love BoJack Horseman, and yet it’s a show that keeps on surprising me. I think I tend to forget that it isn’t just another animated show for adults. BoJack Horseman is a very dark and harsh look at the rise and fall of a celebrity, and this last season was definitely the best yet. If you never checked out BoJack Horseman, or if you only saw the first season and then dropped it from your TV watchlist, then please consider taking another look at it. It hasn’t just gotten better, it has become a great, must-watch television show.
What was your favorite TV-show of 2016? Sound off in the comments.
– Jeffrey Rex