It is that time of year again. The air is cool, the birds are beginning to migrate, and Hollywood is gracing is with their finest attempts at art. The biggest difference this year is that we have come to the end of an era known as the 2010’s. Therefore, instead of just doing the same typical categories we do every year, this year it seemed appropriate to also look back at the decade to remember what movies, music, television, and video games shined the brightest. Today, we start with the best in television and streaming. If you missed any of these shows then you know exactly what you need to watch after this long week.
12. Masters of None
This shows is so much more than one of the funniest currently streaming. It’s also a unique look at love and diverse cultures. Hats off to Aziz Ansari.
Timothy Olyphant and Walton Goggins were given the roles of a lifetime here a Raylan Givens and Boyd Crowder. Honestly, this show had the finest season finale of any show I can remember and I would gladly go back to these characters today.
10. Boardwalk Empire
This show would actually be near the top of the list if it hadn’t killed off one if it’s most compelling characters too early and then take a few seasons to rediscover it’s footing. Still, Steve Buscemi gives the performance of his career here and the drama was utterly riveting.
9. Masters of Sex
This show could have easily devolved into a simple soap opera with nudity. Instead, Michael Sheen and Lizzie Caplan made learning about the biology of sex an intriguing prospect. They also developed a chemistry that made the show utterly compelling and sexy.
8. Orange is the New Black
This show also would be higher on the list if it weren’t for the way it handled the aftermath of killing of one of its main characters. Still, this show is one of the most culturally, racially, and sexually diverse programs to ever come out. It embraces women of all shapes, colors, and sizes. And gives them a voice that truly illuminates on how certain life choices can easily lead decent people into prison. Not to mention shining a light on the for profit nature of the entire system. Truly, unforgettable.
7. The Crown
Stephen Daldry has always been obsessed with the current British Royal Family. However, nobody could have been prepared for this meticulously researched and insightful peak behind the closed doors of Buckingham Palace. You will almost certainly find sympathy for the difficult position of being a Royal and the strange traditions they find themselves tied to. Claire Foy was a breakout in this show that had the balls to actually jump forward decades in this new season and fill the roles with an entirely new cast. Can’t wait to see how it moves forward.
6. Mad Men
This show was part of the beginning of this new golden age of television and ended early in the decade, but their is no denying its lasting effect. Since leaving the air, most great shows have shifted to streaming as their main platform, but ‘Mad Men’ still holds up brilliantly. Don Draper and the gang closed out their tenure in memorable fashion.
5. When They See Us
This 4 part limited series truly hit home with individual episodes that played like their own genre. The second episode that made an inevitable trial feel like a rollercoaster ride of emotions and a finale that was as rough as any prison film I’ve ever seen. This amazing mini-series truly helped audiences feel the lives of the Central Park Five.
4. Stranger Things
A combination of Stephen King and Steven Spielberg nostalgia, coupled with some great characters, gave us the best supernatural horror show of the decade. Hopper and Eleven are easily two of the greatest characters in any medium.
3. Game of Thrones
There was a lot of controversy this year over the finale for this legendary show, but I thought it was fantastic. This show was consistently willing to circumvent expectations from season one. Yet, it all just made the moments of triumph that much more triumphant. However, what will stick with me going forward is the unforgettable characters, moments, and music that have raised the bar for the rest of television. This show was nothing short of revolutionary and should be applauded for helping to shape where television is going.
2. Breaking Bad
Probably the best running storyline in the history of television. Bryan Cranston, Anna Gunn, and Aaron Paul gave tour de force performances and took audiences into an underworld unlike any we had experienced on our television screens. Yet, the thing that will stick with most of us is the epic transformation of Walter White from a sympathetic guy, to an almost unrecognizable monster. Nobody who starts this show can stop and nobody who ends it will ever be the same. Masterpieces don’t get much better.
It is hard to say which season of this phenomenal show is the best. I’d likely go with the second, but I’d be shortchanging the brilliance of the first. Still, I’ll never forget the first time I arched the first episode of the second season. It wasn’t just a good looking piece of television with a great script. It transcended it’s own genre and made what was going on in cinemas feel like second fiddle. It was brilliantly cut, edited, and paced. It wasn’t simply interested in moving a plot along. It was art of the highest order. The kind of cinema that you used to only get from auteurs like Alfred Hitchcock or Stanley Kubrick. It raised television to a level I’d never seen. Nothing has come close since.
BEST OF THE REST
Show Me A Hero
The Night Of
The Normal Heart
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
House of Cards
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
Escape at Dannemora
Better Call Saul
The Walking Dead