THE BEST TV I'VE WATCHED THIS YEAR
I am late to a lot of these parties. Here's what I've completely adored and devoured recently.
- •Transparent (Amazon)I avoided this for a time because someone very dear to me recently came out as trans and I didn't think I was ready to see a raw, onscreen portrayal of the challenging and beautiful and painful process of coming out. This show is phenomenal and gut-wrenching--the best I've seen in years--and I think I would write that even if I didn't feel connected to the material. What it says about family and sex and gender and secrets is meaningful and unique and somehow also universal.
- •Silicon Valley (Amazon)I made a whole list of why I shouldn't like this show (very few female characters! tech industry!) but boy do I love it. Maybe the funniest show on TV right now.
- •Bob's Burgers (Fox)Didn't think I could truly enjoy an animated series (I love human bodies!), and it took me a couple episodes to be charmed, but Bob's Burgers has become my go-to feel-good comedy. It's funny and perverse and warms your bones like steel-cut oatmeal.
- •UnREAL (Lifetime)Scripted show about producing a Bachelor-like reality competition. Totally fucked up and delicious. Shiri Appleby is great as the smart, complicated, manipulative yet vulnerable lead.
- •Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries (ABC- Australia)This show. Watch this show. Essie Davis plays a brilliant, fierce (in dress and spirit), freelance lady detective in jazz age Melbourne. SO MUCH SEXUAL TENSION with male detective. So many fabulous outfits. I'm not being very articulate just please watch it. Watching it feels like eating a perfect chocolate soufflé.
- •Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (Netflix)Dark yet cheerful, charming, and hilarious. Incredible performances. "Pinot Noir" is still on constant rotation in my apartment.
- •Playing House (USA)I'm not just including this because one of my best friends (@amyjean) works on this show. This show is funny and sassy and full of heart. It is also run by women and starring women--an all too rare occurrence in today's media.
- •The Americans (FX)The third season was not my favorite but even a lackluster season puts this show above almost any other show.
- •Inside Amy Schumer (Comedy Central)The Friday Night Lights and 12 Angry Men parodies were on a whole 'nother level in terms of blending humor, attention to detail, and point of view.
- •The Comeback (HBO)I would take a bullet for Julia Louis-Dreyfus but Lisa Kudrow deserves all the awards. She is unparalleled as Valerie Cherish.
- •Twin Peaks (ABC)2015 was the year I finally watched, and fell in love with, Twin Peaks. Moody, creepy, cheesy, hilarious, perfect. I've got to be honest: I'm struggling to finish the 2nd season. Once the main storyline is wrapped up, it's hard to stay captivated.
- •Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp (Netflix)Funny, delightful performances and story. Didn't want it to end.
- •Show Me a Hero (HBO)Not sure if I've googled any single phrase more than "Oscar Isaac girlfriend." Besides the point of like, his face and body, he must be one of the best actors working today. I'm halfway through this series and his performance is characteristically powerful. The writing and story are also subtly masterful. Makes a public housing dispute feel urgent and meaningful (as it should be, since the same racially-charges debates rage today)
- •Better Call Saul (AMC)Makes it a little easier to live in a world without Breaking Bad. Shows you what a great performer Bob Odenkirk is
- •Broad City (Comedy Central)Not really anything new to say about the genius of Broad City. I still think about the My Best Friend's Wedding references in "Citizenship" almost every day. Few things have stuck with me like "I've got moves you've never seen."
- •Documentary Now (IFC)This is such a cheat because I'm behind and have only seen the Grey Gardens ep but that was so expertly done as to merit a placement here