TV, I love you, but you’re bringing me down. It’s not like writing these articles has been a cakewalk in years past, always requiring the same preface blurb that lists off “Best of” caveats numerous enough to warrant their own Top 10 (#10: Subjectivity! #9: I need sleep!). But it’s in the year that we finally put a name to the intimidating volume of television being produced right now that #PeakTV quickly morphed from phenomenon, to joke, to status quo. Even with just Netflix committing (threatening?) to double its original content releases in 2016, the faucet, like your flat-screen, won’t be turning off anytime soon.
There has never been more television being released on more platforms from more different creators and studios than there is today. The number of hours in any given day, unfortunately, remains stubbornly fixed. One seldom found themself caught up on everything good back when just terrestrial programming was fighting for your attention, but the proliferation of digital platforms, coupled with buffet-style release models, has turned us all into Lucy in the chocolate factory. Even as I type that last sentence, two new Netflix series are releasing in mere hours; I hear they’re both pretty good.
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The entertainment machine inexorably spins on, and there’s no end in sight. Does more TV automatically mean better TV? I’m inclined to say yes; or at least, better at ensuring a viewer’s entertainment hours are filled with something that speaks to them on a personal level. Five of my favorites from 2015 are holdovers from last year, and four are totally new (to me at least, in one case).
With rare exception, though, the following choices could have easily been bumped off to include any number of other great series, old and new, that wowed, moved, or satisfied me in other ways. Remembering what I picked and what spot it got will be hard to remember a year from now –probably because I’ll be too busy worrying about what I missed in 2016.
Until then, a toast to the following, which I thought were the top 10 TV shows of 2015: