TV Guide Magazine‘s December 19, 2016-January 1, 2017 issue features the best of TV 2016 with This Is Us topping the list. The show’s stars Mandy Moore and Milo Ventimiglia are featured on the cover.
Top 10? Really? Would you consider a Top 100? The quantity and quality of TV have never been greater, which made senior critic Matt Roush’s job harder than ever this year. “I should note how weird it is not to include such past and current faves as Game of Thrones (if only for the epic ‘Battle of the Bastards,’ capping an uneven season), Veep and Mr. Robot, and terrific limited series like The Night Of and The Night Manager,” Roush writes. “But the following are the top shows that truly defined TV in 2016 for me. Can’t wait to see what 2017 will bring.”
1. This Is Us (NBC)
This feels like a miracle: a family drama that values emotion, warmth and humor over contrived melodrama, able to make the heart soar and break, usually at the same time. This is the sort of show critics often have to plead with viewers to watch, since it lacks a criminal, legal or medical procedural hook. A rare ray of light in an industry all too eager to go dark, This Is Us is the year’s most refreshingly unexpected and welcome instant success. It strikes a powerful chord with an offbeat structure that tells the affecting story of the Pearsons over two timelines: Jack (Milo Ventimiglia) and Rebecca (Mandy Moore) raise their three kids (one adopted at birth), while the adult versions of their offspring, now in their thirties, still wrestle with skeletons and secrets of the past. Manipulative? Sure. Effective? Absolutely. Each episode should come with its own box of tissues.
2. The People v. O.J. Simpson (FX) and O.J. Made in America (ESPN)
3. Crazy Ex-Girlfriend (The CW)
4. The Americans (FX)
5. Westworld (HBO)
6. The Crown (Netflix)
7. Atlanta (FX)
8. Full Frontal With Samantha Bee (TBS)
9. Stranger Things (Netflix)
10. black-ish (ABC) [along with Fresh Off the Boat, The Real O’Neals and Speechless]
Photo Credit: Maarten de Boer for TV Guide Magazine