Art & Entertainment

Top Five TV Shows of 2015-16

     Last year I gave my opinion on the TV shows that I thought produced the best seasons in 2014/15, so I thought I would do it again this year. It’s interesting how my opinions of shows can change – many of last year’s picks aren’t on here, not because I don’t still like them, I do, but because there were other shows that had me more keen to watch them this year. Typically, once I start watching a show, I stick with it, even through seasons that aren’t as good, because I like to know how things progress and eventually end, so a show has to get pretty bad before I’ll give up on it entirely. And sometimes I can lose some interest in a show, though still keep watching, and be rewarded with a much better season again one year. This year, my list has some old favourites, and some new discoveries – my main criteria in choosing the shows featured here was how excited I was to see each week’s new episode. Also, just a point to note – yes, I’m aware these are all American shows, and that is what I watch for the most part. There is British TV that I enjoy too, but as it doesn’t fall into the same format of a 2015/16 season, I chose not to include them on the list, as I’d just confuse myself – that might be a top 5 for another post at some point!

TV screen image with white text "Top TV show of 2015-16"

5. New Girl
I’ve always enjoyed this show, with its quirky characters and hilarious situations, but over the last couple of years it slipped in my rankings; it was still good, but not outstanding. However, I feel this season has been stronger than the last couple, and has renewed my interest in the show. I’m not entirely sure why, but there’s a couple differences to note – I didn’t love Jess’s absence for those few episodes, but it did make me appreciate her more when she returned; and having the whole season build up to the wedding seemed to give it a little more purpose, and I like to see characters develop and grow up, even if in a short episode comedy series.

4. Limitless
This was a new show this year, and it certainly exceeded my expectations. I remember watching the original film of the same name, and not being awed by it or anything, but the idea of a unlocking full human potential is definitely an interesting one, so I was interested in seeing more. While the crime-solving and plot lines in general are good, where I think this show really shines is the character of Brian, and his humour. He is one of the most likeable protagonists you’ll ever come across, and even when he is the smartest person on the planet, he retains this simple, grounded, lovable quality, never seeking to rise above his station. And he is downright hilarious, particularly when we get those funny little scenes and voiceovers to see what is happening inside his head, which makes it a lot quirkier and more unique than the average crime show (which doesn’t really come across in this trailer though).

3. Supergirl
The other new show on my list this year; being a fan of Arrow and The Flash, it was pretty much a given that I would check this one out. And although cinema and TV are slowly becoming saturated with superhero shows (I’m definitely getting close to my limit), this one manages to shine. One of the most important things about it is that we are finally getting to see a female superhero take the lead; and even though she’s Superman’s cousin, and mentions him frequently, we never see him onscreen, and thus Supergirl’s power and importance are never diminished. And it’s not just female-led, it’s a female-driven show, with characters like Alex, Cat, and Lucy serving as examples of strong women, each in their own way, who don’t have superpowers, and who all have individual purposes, never reliant on men.

2. The Flash
It may have slipped one spot in my rankings this year, but The Flash is also the only show from last year’s list to remain in my top five. Many shows produce a stellar first season, but don’t quite match the same wow-factor in the second. The Flash is not one of those shows. I enjoyed it just as much as last year, and it has produced consistently good episodes. There’s enough new characters and storylines to keep us interested, but without overstuffing the cast, and everything I loved about it last year is still there. It’s development feels natural too, without any plots or character development feeling forced (which can often be the case when using iconic comic characters with established histories as source material).

1. Game of Thrones
Ah, Game of Thrones, one of the best shows out there, as many of us would agree. I’ve even put this on my list when the current season isn’t even finished yet! However, as with many other shows, my interest waned a little over the past couple of seasons. It felt like many plots were reaching a stand still, where events still happened but nothing seemed to be moving forwards, as so many characters remained in one place, doing their own thing, and there was no battling for the Iron Throne. But this season, things are lurching forwards again (which they need to if we only have a couple of season left!); characters are returning, characters are reuniting, and a certain Mother of Dragons may finally cross the Narrow Sea in the foreseeable future, and it feels like the war might finally kick off again. This seems to have given the show a new energy, making me more exited about each week’s new episode.

What have been your favourite shows this year? What would you change on my list? Let me know in the comments!