Anniversary 2016: The Top 5 TV Shows of the Past Year (For Whatever Reason) – Best Of
Let’s just say it wasn’t a good year for good TV on I Just Hate Everything.
But on the plus side, my snipes and swats here will make up for my positive-only movie list.
Like the movie list, I’m loosening the selection criteria for the TV list this year.
I’m still keeping it only to shows aired within the range of I Just Hate Everything’s yearly cycle (7 May to 7 May). Because TV reviews are more inclined to keep to a schedule.
But I am going to include, for the first time, a TV show I didn’t review. Because it really is that good.
And now, the honourable mentions:
- Bates Motel: Two consecutive years on the list, but now you’re out, bitch. Because you’re boring and destroying my faith in life.
- The Vampire Diaries: You shouldn’t have lost Kai. And for Containment? What the hell, CW?
- Damien: Awful, but it’ll be gone soon. And without leaving any lasting scars. Or impression whatsoever.
- And the shows I didn’t review (except the one that got promoted to the list): Supergirl, Banshee, pretty much every new show from Syfy, Broad City, and Slasher, a better Scream series than the Scream series we got.
We’ll start with the outlier, and the best show of the year.
Much like Mad Max: Fury Road, I resisted reviewing Crazy Ex-Girlfriend because I simply couldn’t find a bad thing to say about it. A shoestring-budgeted musical comedy called Crazy Ex-Girlfriend on the CW had no right to be this good. It should have been ideal I Just Hate Everything fodder. But dammit, it’s perfect.
Who knew, in a world where Glee did absolutely every single thing possible to destroy the credibility of the television musical comedy/drama (I’d put Smash in there, too. But I, and anyone else in the world, would have needed to actually watch Smash to get the reference), that this gut-punching, hilarious triumph could be born?
You lose, again, Ryan Murphy.
Ah, but with Ryan Murphy, there’s always more to lose.
Scream Queens may have been a trash fire, but that was a (kind of) new property. American Horror Story finally reached the inexcusable peak of its utter, utter unwatchability this past year with American Horror Story: Hotel. You thought Coven was boring? Aww, that’s cute. You thought Freak Show was a meandering, overwrought mess? That’s nice.
Hotel was awful. Simply, undeniably awful. I discontinued my reviews of it after the premiere, but I assure you, I kept with it out of morbid completionism and curiosity. And nothing from the swamp of devolving garbage of Coven and Freak Show could have prepared me for what Hotel turned into.
I honestly do question whether or not I actually enjoyed the first two seasons.
But, with the risk of them being as bad as their successors, I have no desire to go find out.
The other show on this list that I discontinued after the premiere. And for much the same reasons as American Horror Story: it was barely-watchable rubbish.
But whereas American Horror Story was infuriating in its seeming joy in wasting such a fantastic cast, Under the Dome took the nonsensical elements from season 2 and turned them up to eleven. Season 2 was included on this list last year because it was bad. Season 3 was fucking bonkers.
And the cast appeared to be in on the joke, which was nice. Mike Vogel, Dean Norris, and Rachelle Lefevre were collecting those paycheques, but they were collecting them with gusto. The politics and survival focus of the solid first season were completely replaced with alien pod people egg weirdness and spooky amethysts.
I imagine American Horror Story’s team thought they were doing an amazing, artistic job (and their sycophantic supporters would agree); Under the Dome’s team rammed this thing into the ground on purpose.
If you’re gonna go out on bottom, go out all the way to the bottom.
From the horrifyingly awful and bafflingly bizarre, to a rejuvenated New Orleans. The Originals came back, baby.
Season 2 suffered from a no-tension conflict entirely surrounding the baby. And a CW show isn’t going to kill the baby. But with season 3, little Hope is barely an afterthought, and only occasionally trotted out to be a Deus Ex Machina.
My heart may still be broken from my favourite character’s death this past week, but that is only testament to how invested The Originals has made me in their characters. Instead of introducing random new shit (or, God forbid, yet more long lost relatives. Hi, season 2), they played to the strengths of established TVD-verse vampire lore, and utilised new characters to mine drama from the existing ones.
And way to shame The Vampire Diaries out of the race. Vote Mikaelsons.
PLL almost didn’t make the list this year. I’ve tried to put it and its slew of evil twins, magical hologram spaceship computers, evil transgender siblings/cousins, implied incest (but not the good, Bates Motel kind), and Sara bad hair days out of my mind.
But then I remember how ridiculous Pretty Little Liars is. How they finally resolved their seasons-upon-seasons mystery, but still had a season and a half to go, so introduced an eye-rollingly similar new mystery.
The only show on the I Just Hate Everything roster that’s more out of touch with its viewers is Arrow, but at least Arrow still manages to put up a few decent action sequences every now and then. I can’t imagine who PLL is even being made for, anymore. It hasn’t got the action of Arrow, the “art” of American Horror Story, or the absent fan base that allowed Under the Dome to self-immolate without anyone kicking up a fuss.
PLL is mocked universally.
And I’m happy to add to that mockery.