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Its a tricky prospect to break out a best-of list for television halfway through the year. Even with the traditional TV season virtually no longer existing, and streaming shows dropping whenever the heck they want, the majority of broadcast TV still spans from September to May. So when we took a look at making a list of the 10 best TV shows of so far , we aimed to look at episodes broadcast between Jan. That meant ignoring some shows that started strong and fizzled out by May, while others may have started slow, but built by their finales. And others - read cable, and streaming - just side-stepped the whole "controversy" by broadcasting their limited runs in one solid chunk and in one case, aren't done broadcasting.
Netflix's big-budget and ambitious undertaking of Queen Elizabeth II's reign over England can, at times, be a mixed bag. Handsomely produced with an incredible eye for historical accuracy creator Peter Morgan also wrote The Queen as well as the play The Audienceboth following his most favorite royal subject throughout vital moments during her reignthe series sometimes suffers from a distinct lack of drama. For Americans, there's only so much scandal to wring from a painting of Winston Churchill or Prince Phillip's flying lessons.
Yet it's incredibly watchable thanks to its gorgeous style and brilliant acting turns from Claire Foy and John Lithgow, along with superb performances by Matt Smith and Vanessa Kirby. It's the perfect show to watch with tabs of Wikipedia open on your laptop or iPad to verify that the events of the series truly did take place. I always tell people that The Good Wife isn't just a show for moms, despite what its title suggests.
Jul 07, The Best TV Shows of (So Far) By Alexander Zalben, Kaitlin Thomas, Liam Mathews, Tim Surette, Malcolm Venable and Liz Raftery Jul 7, PM EDT Now PlayingAuthor: Alexander Zalben. Dec 14, sucked, but at least TV didn't. It's a searing comedy from English thesp Phoebe Waller-Bridge, who adapted the series from her one-woman play.
And it's not your typical case-of-the-week legal procedural, either; while it started out as such, it became a more ambitious drama that rivals what you typically see on cable networks and boasting a tight narrative considering its episode seasons.
Wrapping up its seven-season run earlier this year, the final season was primed for failure-a fan-favorite had departed the series last season, and its producers hired two actors Cush Jumbo and Jeffrey Dean Morgan to replace the irreplaceable Archie Panjabi. The bet paid off, bringing protagonist Alicia Florrick a new legal partner and a new romantic partner.
But most importantly, the show offered network TV a stunningly flawed anti-hero-a female anti-hero, at that, whose ethics and morals were tested at every turn.
Television comedies tend to go to dark places these days. No show goes to such extremes as the anti-rom-com You're the Worstin which a handful of deplorable Los Angelenos fight and fuck and drink and destroy themselves and othersall while daring you not to root for them every step of the way. While its second season took a surprising turn when it honed in on Gretchen's Aya Cash clinical depression and the struggles her boyfriend Jimmy Chris Geere faced while trying to support and love her, the third season placed similar efforts into exploring Edgar's Desmin Borges posttraumatic stress disorder.
You're the Worst is about, well, terrible people-but terrible people deserve love and friendship, too, and this is a comedy that makes them undeniably affectionate and real.
The idle, commitment-phobic creator of a dating site, he's gotten rich off of other people's search for love. And, of course, the siblings' reunion reveals that the ghosts of their childhood still haunt their current relationships. But the show reached new heights in Season Two.
The latest batch of episodes finds Valerie, Laura, and Alex-three very different loners-struggling to make and keep friends as they continue courting romance.
Best dating shows 2016
Love triangles, heartbreaks, and old flames keep the storyline moving, as Casual begins to further differentiate itself from its largely hetero competitors with some of TV's subtlest portrayals of sexual fluidity.
The summer's breakout show came out of nowhere-not that it really should have surprised anyone. An eight-episode homage to '80s supernatural thrillers? A healthy mixture of Steven Spielberg and Stephen King? A John Carpenter-inspired soundtrack?
A ragtag group of misfits that rival The Goonies?
A supporting character who would go on to win the hearts of the Internet despite being onscreen for a manner of minutes?
Stranger Things is a postmodern masterpiece tailor made for our time, a hodgepodge of childhood nostalgia and escapism that, well, is much more entertaining than it is intelligent. In early February, before kicking off his third season, John Oliver told us he was finally ready to take on Donald Trump. As the loud anthropomorphized piece of dried fruit became an actual Republican presidential nominee, Oliver acted accordingly, picking his moments to hilariously and carefully analyze Trump's more dangerous qualities and there are a lot of them!
More importantly, this season, Oliver, as he told us he would, maintained self-control to not over-cover the election, choosing to focus on important topics like journalism!
This U. These suave adversaries and the beautiful locations where their intrigue plays out-Majorca, Marrakech, the Swiss Alps-make The Night Manager one of the glossiest spectacles on the small screen.
But Danish filmmaker Susanne Bier After the WeddingIn a Better World draws out the story's substance, too, underlining its political subtext with Olivia Colman's astounding performance as a righteous and pregnant!
For two seasons, Ilana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson were content with making one of the funniest shows on TV about two something best friends navigating a slightly surreal New York City.
Reality TV Awards: Love Island wins Best Dating Show as cast loses the award
But Broad City upped its ambition in Season Three, forcing carefree Ilana to finally face the consequences of her unwillingness to grow up. Dumped first by her job and then by her long-suffering non-boyfriend Lincoln Hannibal Buressshe learns from the crisis without sacrificing the joie de vivre that makes her so fun to watch.
Not that getting serious-or enlisting Hillary Clinton to make a guest appearance-prevented Glazer and Jacobson from creating some of the series' most hilarious moments to date, from an art gallery disaster in the season premiere to a recreation of Mrs.
Doubtfire 's famous restaurant scene that features a perfect guest appearance by Mara Wilson. No industry is more ripe for satire than tech, and no creator is better suited to the task than Mike Judge. Thankfully, you don't have to understand data compression to follow the three-season saga of Pied Piper, which has slowly become TV's best case study on the conflict between art in this case, the developers trying to make the best product they can and commerce the corporations and financiers trying to cash in on their innovations.
Season Three finds Richard Thomas Middleditch fighting for control of his own invention and highlights the absurdity of the cottage industries that prop up the tech world, from media to overseas click farms. But its real draw is a cast whose chemistry increases with every episode.
From T. Miller's boorish Erlich and Zach Woods' human non sequitur Jared to Suzanne Cryer's robotic but righteous Laurie Beam and constantly feuding frenemies Dinesh Kumail Nanjiani and Gilfoyle Martin Starrit's impossible to pick a favorite character on a show where everyone's a standout. The third season of Jill Soloway's groundbreaking series follows in the style of its first two seasons: the Pfefferman clan is still as mixed up and fucked up as ever, delivering a brilliant mix of comic highs and dramatic lows.
2. Mr. Personality
The latest season offered a shift from the Maura Pfefferman-centric storyline and allowed us to see the inner lives of other characters, who are just as nuanced as the family matriarch. Sarah Amy Landecker is at an emotional crossroads, and Shelly Judith Light searches for her own identity. But it's Trace Lysette and Kathryn Hahn who really shined this year playing outsiders to the Pfefferman family-two women who are both burned by son Josh Jay Duplass.
Now free of the cycle of despair that was Game of Thrones ' source material sorry George R.
Jul 27, 18 Most Outrageous Reality TV Dating Shows! When the granddaddy of all reality dating shows took it one step further by releasing the uncensored version on pay-per-view, the LOLs instantly. Dec 06, The 50 best TV shows of the full list in TV Our countdown of Guardian TV's favourite programmes of the year is completed by a wonder of nature, filled with drama and sumptuous beautyAuthor: Guardian Staff. May 24, Dating Shows to watch this summer: Coupled, Match Made in Heaven, and more at PM EDT and models Jessica White and Calum Best - living under the same roof as they go through a Author: Nick Maslow.
Martin, but you're depressing as fuckthe HBO series was able to heal some of the wounds it had inflicted in its first five seasons.
Yes, beloved characters died you're holding that door in our hearts, Hodorbut it also built up and empowered many of the women who had been unforgivably brutalized throughout the series.
Part redemption, part reward for fans who had suffered along with the show's characters, Game of Thrones finally delivered-both visually and conceptually. The news that the beloved webseries from co-creators Katja Blichfeld and Ben Sinclair would make its debut on HBO may have left some fans scratching their heads.
Dating Shows to watch this summer: Coupled, Match Made in Heaven, and more
How could the show's micro-storytelling-tiny slices of the daily lives of random New Yorkers, all of whom interact in some manner with Sinclair's aloof weed deliveryman known only as "The Guy"-translate into a minute cable comedy series? It worked pretty well, as it turns out, with the HBO version of the series capturing the heart and soul of its online predecessor.
But more importantly, it exposed a larger audience to Blichfield and Sinclair's tender, reverent look at a city full of people going out of their way-sometimes to hilariously disastrous results-to connect with the known and unknown faces that surround them.
The only political satire to outdo Veep in terms of completely ridiculous comedy is the actual garbage fire of an election currently playing out in this country. When both Democrats and Republicans are approaching Julia Louis-Dreyfus and congratulating her on eviscerating the other political party, you know she's making a powerful and balanced critique of our batshit government.
Breaking Bad never seemed like a show that needed a spinoff, but after two excellent seasons, Better Call Saul has done more than justify its existence. Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould's prequel takes us back to the days when crooked lawyer Saul Goodman Bob Odenkirk is still Jimmy McGill, a talented, tireless attorney who has the best of intentions but can't resist breaking rules.
While the heartbreaking origin story of another Breaking Bad fan favorite, Mike Ehrmantraut Jonathan Bankswas the highpoint of the show's first season, this year's episodes focused on newer characters.
By putting Jimmy's relationship with his successful, petty older brother Chuck Michael McKean under a microscope, Better Call Saul asked important questions about what it means to be a good person. It's their conflict that makes Rhea Seehorn's Kim Wexler the season's most crucial character, caught between her boss Chuck's moral rigidity and her sometime boyfriend Jimmy's kind heart.
Not since The Wire has a show-with such stunning and unflinching accuracy-detailed the horrors, flaws, and institutionalized failures of our criminal justice system. Here's to you, Tequila. You probably need the titular shot more than we do. With the same awkwardness of blind dates caught on camera and snarky pop-up video comments running along the bottom of the screen, the show transformed itself from quirky to shameful. Fox, Thank this two-hour special for the advent of reality TV nuptials.
The importance of thorough background checks, though, was its more critical legacy: Not only was groom Rick Rockwell's net worth questioned, it was also discovered that he had a restraining order against him.
No wonder bride Darva Conger annulled the union in less than two weeks. Staying faithful to your significant other? Aside from having one of the more inane titles - we kind of expected some juggling - this VH1 show seemed to exist solely to prove that middle-aged losers could still find someone to sleep with. The clock-obsessed, gold-grilled former hype man for Public Enemy started a legit thing by creatively naming all of his sex kittens - one of whom landed her own spin-off I Love New York that, in turn, spawned several more in Real Chance of LoveFrank The Entertainer in a Basement Affair.
It even introduced Oscar winner Jennifer Hudson to her future husband.
With a synthetic weave full of dreams, the woman known as New York leapt from Flavor Flav's reality TV universe into one of her own.
The farmer takes a wife, the farmer takes a wife, heigh-ho, don't make us watch any mo', the farmer takes a wife. Instead, viewers watched gay bachelor James Getzlaff romance 15 men; unbeknownst to him, almost half of them were just pretending to be gay.
Cruel, offensive, and worst of all, boring. See what Getzlaff is doing now. Thankfully, someone decided the world needed to see only two episodes of this series. Plus, with just 7. Who's gay, who's straight, who in their right minds knows any more? In this show, a woman had to pick a man who might actually like her back.
Of course, this man might actually be gay. What's worse?
Learning that the man of your dreams is gay, or being rejected by a totally straight guy because he's just not into you? While single gal Hayley dated dudes who looked like dopey rejects from Voldemort's Death Eater army, I engaged in my own private shame spiral for actually sitting through a show hosted by Monica Lewinsky.
A cross between American Idol and The Bachelorthe show had America vote for two people they thought were most compatible. And America is usually so right about stuff. The math didn't ever make it even, but the equation made sense: take two guys, two girls, then throw in a dark horse to stir things up.
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