Award season is upon us, with the Golden Globes just in the rearview mirror and the Oscars upcoming. It’s the one time of year we allow ourselves to move away from music and dip our toes into movies and TV. We are still very much in the golden age of television, and these 10 shows are just the tip of the iceberg of all the great TV out there.
10. Mr. Robot
Mixing the anxiety of today’s hacker culture with the mood and energy of Fight Club, Mr. Robot was one of the most fresh and exciting new shows to come around in a while, all led by an incredible performance by Rami Malek.
9. Game of Thrones
It was probably the second best season of Game of Thrones, which tells you just how great this year of TV was that it sits at 9. The shocking end of the season was one of the biggest surprises yet in a show full of surprising deaths and plot twists.
8. Jessica Jones/Daredevil
This is cheating a little, but Marvel’s Jessica Jones and Daredevil both exist in the same universe (Hell’s Kitchen) and therefore feel like companion pieces. Both were incredibly well-done and mature takes on these comics, with Jessica Jones being the more fascinating and affecting of the two.
My personal favorite show of 2015, there still isn’t anything like Rectify on TV. It’s beautiful and gracious sliver of life, serving as counter-programming for what’s been the age of the anti-hero on television.
6. Broad City
Ilana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson are probably the best non-animated duo on TV, with one of the funniest and most experimental comedies on TV.
I’m not sure there is a better-made TV show than Fargo, which feels like every single shot was thoroughly thought through, ever person on screen was intentionally cast, and every episode is better than the last.
4. Rick and Morty
Rick and Morty is downright outrageous, maybe the wildest 22 minutes of TV with each episode exploring a new cranny of its wild multi-verse.
3. Better Call Saul
The initial idea of a Breaking Bad spinoff seemed like a questionable one, since the list of spinoff mistakes is endless. But it turned out incredible thanks to the masterful direction of Vince Gilligan.
Completely defining all categories (it’s TV’s best comedy that usually isn’t all that funny), Louie is the unadulterated creative output of the best standup around who also happens to be one of the best filmmakers.
1. The Leftovers
Call us surprised. The Leftovers first season was certainly an interesting idea to explore and had a couple near-perfect episodes, but it was as up-and-down as TV can get. Season two made all the right shifts, mixing the heavy and fascinating spiritual material with a sense of humor and filmmaking joy to make for this year’s very best show.
Wes – Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
From the unshakable theme song to its very strange but hilarious gaggle of characters, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt is wall-to-wall fun.
Todd – Master of None
Taking a chapter from Woody Allen and Louis CK, Aziz Ansari made a surprisingly thoughtful and not surprisingly funny series in Master of None.
Austin – Hannibal
The last season for a show that had far too short of a life, there has never been anything like Hannibal: somehow the most disturbing and experimental show on television running on network TV (NBC).