Haven’t seen: The Jinx, Inside Amy Schumer, Broad City, Jane the Virgin, Crazy Ex Girlfriend, South Park, Casual, Catastrophe, Bob’s Burgers, Halt and Catch Fire, The Flash, Looking, Steven Universe, Doctor Who, Ash vs. Evil Dead, Outlander, Key and Peele, Manhattan, The 100, Adventure Time, Gravity Falls, Making a Murderer, F Is For Family, American Crime, Fresh Off the Boat, Getting On, Wolf Hall, Agent Carter, Black Sails, Agents of SHIELD, Inside Amy Schumer, Empire, House of Cards
Honorable Mentions: Louie, Transparent, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, UnREAL, It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia, Master of None, Silicon Valley, Shameless, Veep, Orphan Black, Better Call Saul, Narcos, Strike Back, The Affair, Marvel’s Jessica Jones, Homeland, The Last Man On Earth, The Knick, Arrow, iZombie, The Man In the High Castle, Continuum, Masters of Sex, Game of Thrones, True Detective, Penny Dreadful, Childrens Hospital, Orange Is the New Black, Community, New Girl, Archer, Togetherness, Parks and Recreation, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, The Good Wife
The most notable honorable mention: Fargo (I prepare for your wrath)
19. Rick and Morty
16. Mr. Robot
15. Show Me a Hero
14. Please Like Me
13. Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp
11. You’re the Worst
10. The Americans: Anchored once again by brilliant performances from Matthew Rhys, Keri Russell, and Holly Taylor, season 3 of The Americans handles a key revelation with poise and delivers one of the biggest emotional impacts with “Do Mail Robots Dream of Electric Sheep?”
9. Bojack Horseman: Along with You’re the Worst (and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, from what I hear), television is exploring depression in more nuanced and complex ways. Bojack can be hilarious, but its real power lies behind masterful episodes like “Escape From LA”.
8. Review: This show takes a unique concept to absurd levels, but also maintains an undercurrent of humanity. Andy Daly is turning in one of the best performances on television here.
7. Mad Men: One of the driving forces of this recent “golden age of television” is this show right here. It bows out with a wonderful seven-episode run that does justice to all of its characters, and episodes like “Time & Life” remind us of seasons past while looking forward. One of the most polarizing questions of the year–“Did Don make the Coke ad?”–is perhaps best left unanswered.
6. Nathan For You: Like Review, this show finds poignant human moments in absurd scenarios, and “The Movement” and “The Hero” are two of this year’s greatest television accomplishments. Also, Nathan Fielder is the best.
5. Banshee: Like I said in my “Best Episodes” list, this season feels like season finale after season finale. It’s an awesome, badass, and absolutely thrilling ride all around, and it’s not just an action show; it has interesting characters and themes as well.
4. Hannibal: The fact that this lasted three seasons on NBC is impressive. Nevertheless, season three is magnificent yet again, both closing off the Mason Verger storyline and introducing the Red Dragon. “Wrath of the Lamb” is as perfect of a series finale as we could’ve asked for.
3. Rectify: A beautiful show in every way possible. Heartbreaking and uplifting, and affecting on a level that most shows never reach. Plus, the entire cast delivers Emmy-worthy performances each week.
2. The Leftovers: I loved season one, but I understand why season two has been met with so much more acclaim. It really turns it up a notch here, moving to a new setting and expertly combining character studies with supernatural elements. And once again, I’d be remiss not to mention the excellent cast.
1. Justified: Now, we get to my favorite show of the year (following Breaking Bad in 2013 and Hannibal last year). The admittedly weaker fifth season probably lowered opinions about the show as a whole, but it without a doubt rebounds–and more–in its final season. It’s a near-perfect final run, and the new characters are integrated nicely into the story as the lovable main cast gets one final spotlight. And of course, it all culminates in that beautiful and satisfying series finale. “We dug coal together” indeed.
Photo credits: FX, Justified, Banshee, Cinemax, Netflix, Bojack Horseman, WHAS: First Day of Camp, Mr. Robot, USA, Comedy Central, AMC, Mad Men, Nathan For You, The Americans, Hannibal, NBC, Mad Men, HBO, The Leftovers