Top 10 Television Shows January-March 2016

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Here was the final score for 2015.

1. Crazy Ex-Girlfriend (CW)
2. Baskets (FXX)
3. Girls (HBO)
4. Portlandia (IFC)
5. Better Call Saul (AMC)
6. Last Week Tonight (HBO)
7. New Girl (Fox)
8. Broad City (Comedy Central)
9. Love (Netflix)
10. Man Seeking Woman (FXX)

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend's burned through lots of story (someone Josh'ing Rebecca could have been a long arc) in that "we don't know if we'll get another chance" space.  The result, though, is the best show on television so far this year.  Baskets operates on its own frequency; it's the best ever use of both Galifianakis and Louie Anderson. This might be Portlandia's best season, certainly its most even; it hits the target each week. I'm at the high end of the Saul appreciation curve; my expectation is that the rest of the season will raise its end of the year ranking above this spot

(Note on the rules, I'm only considering what's actually on - so The Americans will have a couple of episodes before end of March, but it will be more properly evaluated in the second quarter.  Also, once a show has made a quarterly list I won't put it on another, but at year's end I'll consider it's entire body of work; Saul wont be on the list again this year but the full season will count at year's end).

Here's the ranking of the Daily Show leftovers.

1. John Oliver's show
2. Sam Bee's show
3. Larry Wilmore's show.
4. Not watching anything.
5. Trevor Noah's show.

That's mildly unfair, Noah's not bad, just pointless.

New Girls' had a really funny season, it's laugh/episode ratio is the highest on the list.  Broad City's Comedy Central's best show; Love's done a good job making neither of the two characters particularly appealing - a show like You're the Worst, which I like, clearly wants us to want the main characters to be together - there's no real indication we should prefer that outcome on Love and I enjoy that.  Girls is Girls.  Man Seeking Woman wasn't as weird as season one, which is a downgrade, but counterbalanced that by offering episodes focusing on the secondary characters in ways that really scored.  

Back at mid-year.

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