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Big Bad Voodoo Lou
Jan 1, 2006

10. The Meltdown With Jonah and Kumail, Season 3 - This won't be a popular choice, since it's a stand-up comedy showcase on Comedy Central that just ended after three way-too-short seasons. I thought about choosing Daredevil or Mr. Robot, which both disappointed me with their second seasons, Limitless, which went from mediocre to great and then got canceled, or Lethal Weapon, which started with a bang and is consistently entertaining, but The Meltdown made me feel like I was at those live weekly comedy shows in the back of a Los Angeles comic book store. I saw some fantastic comedians kill, I saw a few bomb with weird, experimental material, and I saw a few people who were just terrible. But I'll miss Kumail Nanjiani and Jonah Ray's banter (Kumail is always great in everything; Jonah seems like he'd be insufferable on his own), producer Emily V. Gordon's adorableness (Kumail is a lucky guy), and the hilarious backstage bits with all the comedians hanging out and riffing off each other in the green room.

9. iZombie, Season 2 - One of my favorite shows that got overshadowed due to not returning in the fall. Probably the most lovable cast on television since Parks & Recreation ended, where every character is the best character. Plus, characters stopped lying to each other (a pitfall for the other CW comic-based shows) and shared their secrets, leading to better relationships and plot development. The season ended with a bang, significantly raising the stakes and changing the entire status quo of the show for Season 3, which can't get here soon enough.

8. Stranger Things, Season 1 - What can I say that hasn't already been said? A perfect pastiche of Stephen King and Steven Spielberg. I'm an '80s kid myself, and a comic book and action figure nerd, but I never realized I had this much fond nostalgia for the era -- never liked E.T., even as a kid, and never saw Goonies until I was in grad school. But this series hit all the right notes for me, right down to that amazing synth theme music, with the perfect '80s paperback horror novel title font.

7. Agent Carter, Season 2 - This show was too great to last. Hayley Atwell, Enver Gjokaj, and James D'Arcy were delights, the late '40s production design was glorious, and we got one of the best villains ever from the Marvel Cinematic Universe: the lovely and lethal Whitney Frost, played sympathetically by Wynn Everett and based (very very loosely) on glamorous actress and genius inventor Hedy Lamarr.

6. Luke Cage, Season 1 - The final villain was corny as hell, but Mike Colter was awesome in his return as Luke Cage, Harlem's bulletproof black hero in a hoodie, and the rest of the cast was great, too. Loved Misty Knight, loved the triumphant return of Claire Temple, and thought Cottonmouth and Shades were terrific bad guys. The soundtrack was my favorite of the year, and I loved what an unwavering, stand-up guy Luke was, and how he inspired everyone around him to do better, and to be better -- kind of like what Captain America and Superman do. When Luke joins up with Jessica Jones, Daredevil, and Iron Fist to form the Defenders, he's definitely going to be the heart of the team.

5. Game of Thrones, Season 6 - I was pretty sick of this show as Seasons 4 and 5 devolved into "misery porn," but this season brought me back into the fold, giving our good guys some much-needed, long-overdue victories. I'm in it for the long haul now, for sure.

4. Atlanta, Season 1 - Maybe the most interesting new show of the year. Brilliant showrunner/star Donald Glover compared it to Twin Peaks, but I have to compare it to Louie -- one man's singular, iconoclastic vision. It's not a sitcom, but some parts are uproariously funny. It's not a straight drama, but some parts are serious as a heart attack. And it's certainly not a thriller, but there's a sense of doom and dread permeating everything, which is such a way of life for our young, black protagonists that they barely even notice it. It's weird and artistic and boundary-pushing, and I'm so impressed that it exists, and it's as good as it is. But I've been a fan of Glover for years -- not just Community (which I think was just okay), but his stand-up career (saw him live in 2012) and his music career as Childish Gambino. He can truly do it all.

3. Person of Interest, Season 5 - I came to love this show while binge-watching the first four seasons last year, and I'm so glad we got a short season to see our friends Finch, Reese, Root, Shaw, Fusco, and Bear off. The stakes could not have been higher, and our heroes never stopped fighting, never surrendered. Some survived, some didn't. And the world they saved will never know everything they did, everything they gave.

2. Better Call Saul, Season 2 - The Greek tragedy / supervillain origin story continues, making us empathize that much more with Jimmy/Saul/Gene, while also pitying him and screaming at him in frustration and anguish. And yet, Jimmy's brother Chuck, the antagonist of the series for sure, brings out the same emotions in us. This show is slower and more contemplative than Breaking Bad, but in some ways, it's superior.

1. Westworld, Season 1 - Simply one of the best shows I've ever seen. An introspective sci-fi mindfuck about free will, memory, consciousness, and what makes us human, for better or for worse. Brilliant writing, acting, production design, and everything. We haven't seen the finale yet, but I have no doubt it will be satisfying, even if it leaves us with more questions than answers.

Big Bad Voodoo Lou fucked around with this message at 15:59 on Dec 3, 2016


Big Bad Voodoo Lou
Jan 1, 2006

He also deals with pretty severe PTSD, so that accounts for his stoic, reserved behavior.

Thank you, Rarity, for going to all this trouble. I'm glad I'm not alone in having good taste! When I try to talk about the shows I love with co-workers, I'm met with blank stares and subject changes back to reality shows, baseball, and Fox News.

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