Thursday, December 31, 2015

My List of the Top 10 Television Series of 2015

This is the first time I've made a list, which includes television on network, cable, and streaming.   Runners-up - superb but not quite making this list - include Chicago Fire (NBC) and Vikings (History Channel). Also worthy of Honorable Mention this year are Empire (Fox) and American Crime (ABC). But here's my Top 10 for 2015:

10. Deutschland 83 (Sundance): An unwilling East German spy undercover as a West German soldier at the height of the Cold War, i.e., 1983, and much easier to buy than The Americans. Outstanding.

9. Humans (AMC): The best android story ever on television, and likely in the movies.  Isaac Asimov would've loved this.

8. Rectify (Sundance): He has the heart of a poet and the native literacy of a Dylan.  Is there any chance he's guilty of the murder for which he's been released from death row on a technicality?

7. Mr. Robot (USA Network): A hacker show in a class by itself, that'll keep you on the edge of your seat in extreme suspense when you're not chuckling at the dark humor.

6. House of Cards (Netflix):  Not its best season, but still a masterpiece of political intrigue including murder.

5. Nashville (ABC): What can I say?  I just love the music.

4. The Good Wife (CBS): Easily the best show on network television, mixing up-to-date 2016 Presidential politics, NSA, courtroom drama, and romance, with its best season so far (sorry Will).

3. Fargo (FX):  Very loosely derived from the movie, but staking out a wacked-out intensely compelling territory all of its own.   This past season, for example, which had little in common with the first, had Ronald Reagan and a UFO as crucial parts of the story (well, the UFO anyway).

2. The Affair (Showtime):  The writerly life as realistically as it's ever been portrayed on television - plus a top-notch whodunnit, and then there's that hot affair.

1. The Man in the High Castle (Amazon):  Philip K. Dick's masterful alternate history of the Nazis and Japan winning World War II brought to the screen so effectively that, when you look away, you can almost believe that the reality we're now living in is the dream.

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