Editor’s Note: While we always encourage our readers to listen to the Water Cooler podcast, we realize many of you have much competition for your entertainment time during the holiday season. As such, we are including abbreviated versions of our individual Top Ten lists on the site. The podcast is where it’s at though. Enjoy!
According to my list, it was a good year for Fox (well, at least the beginning of the year), Comedy Central, and Lifetime. Here are my 10 favorite shows of 2015:
10. Empire (Season 1) and Last Man On Earth (Season 1)
Even though their second seasons aren’t as illustrious, both of these shows experienced top-notch first seasons, transcending genre and expectations.
Lifetime is typically known for two-hour movies starring the likes of Meredith Baxter or Nancy McKeon, so this sudsy summer show came as a surprise. Constance Zimmer and Shiri Appleby star in this show about the behind-the-scenes of Everlasting, a Bachelor-esque reality show. This show has sex, murder. . .and naturally, a second season.
8. The Jinx
It’s sensational storytelling, but it’s good sensational storytelling. While it might not be as thorough as Netflix’s Making a Murderer, it’s more entertaining.
7. Parks & Recreation
Of course this show would go out on top with a finale that does in comedy what Six Feet Under did in drama. And they didn’t even need to humblebrag about it.
You won’t find a better cast on television. And even if you pick a favorite, you feel bad for not singling out another actor, the bench is that deep. Now if only it would have stuck the landing.
5. Another Period
While Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp got a lot of attention in 2015, this show was more reminiscent of the comedy Wet Hot performed back in 2001. Sometimes icky (Garfield’s rape scene), but always absurd and hilarious (Christina Hendricks’ character is simply known as “Chair”).
4. You’re the Worst
The best show you’re not watching went deep this season with Gretchen’s (Aya Cash) struggle with depression. And yes, it was on the same network as It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia and The League (not that that’s a bad thing!). The show’s leads are great, but its supporting players often steal the spotlight. Give Kether Donohue, who plays the spoiled-but-affable wifey Lindsay, any award there is to give. She deserves it.
3. Wayward Pines
Some may have missed this Fox show over the summer, which is good because maybe they don’t yet know the big spoiler. The only bad thing about this show is that it’s getting a season 2. It’s perfect just the way it is with season 1.
2. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
NBC famously passed on this show, but did air Mr. Robinson and Truth Be Told in 2015, so clearly UKS didn’t fit with the network’s current Must-See lineup of crap. Ellie Kemper is a delight, and Tituss Burgess is a revelation. Can’t wait for season 2!
It’s the Breaking Bad of comedy. This Comedy Central series has drama (Forrest blackmails his new girlfriend. . .because he *has* to), heartbreak (Suzanne is remarrying as a-hole!), and edge-of-your-seat thrills (will he be able to perform a William Tell on his son?). Never has a show been so absurd and yet complicated with human emotion. All it takes to right his wrongs is a simple “no,” but Forrest’s ego dictates all of his decisions. Five stars.