Although the previous year had many negative things happen, with some nasty surprises, in one way it was the BEST Year Ever.
And wow, never thought I’d be saying that. I don’t watch typical network programming, disliking stale dramas, unfunny comedies, modern talent shows and scripted “reality” shows.
So you have to look for the little nuggets of wonderful among mountains of crap. But precious nuggets are there, and so rewarding when you discover them.
Since personal tastes differ, a number of folks won’t like some of the shows here. Not going to argue the merits, your dislike is for you, and that’s fine. For some of these, I not only found entertainment value, I found some profound messages, and amazing acting as well. So I’m presenting something positive, which we all sure could use. If you haven’t heard of a show or two among these, give them a try. Netflix, Amazon, your local library, whatever, they’re worth tracking down.
Because story matters, and these had good stories that kept me engaged.
First up are the final seasons of two wonderful, deep-thought shows, The Americans and Rectify. Just astonishing presentations, both well worthy of many awards. So sad we won’t have more of these.
Two fun favorites continued on: Game of Thrones and Agents of SHIELD still kept my interest, though some folks love to bash these on occasion. Fantasy in both cases, different time periods.
All the rest were completely new to me.
Stranger Things took the world by storm, and was a good time. Westworld was a chilling view of humanity and AI combined. Ash vs. Evil Dead was just stupid, bloody fun, with lots of laughs.
For culture, Mozart in the Jungle just warms me whenever we watch. They unabashedly love good things, and there’s so much going on, it’s a lovely ensemble.
Now the rest of these are all pretty dark, but oh, so compelling. Jessica Jones takes a Marvel character and makes her interesting, and The Man in the High Castle is adapted from a novel by Philip K. Dick, about an alternate history that is so chilling, and might give us a clue as to what we’re in for the next few years. And Mr. Robot shows us even more of that, bleak and frightening.
But the topper, scarier than all the rest, is a British show, Black Mirror. Yes, it holds us up to a vision of ourselves sliding down a path to our own particular hells. It’s like crossing The Twilight Zone with modern themes and fads. Will chill you to the bone if you’re paying attention.
One could write a thick book about just this handful of shows, and how they stand head and shoulders above anything the major networks provide, how they perceive story, and what the effects on the viewers might be.
What gems did you find this last year?