Depending on who you ask 2016 was a rotten year full of death and tragedy, but if you ask a television fanatic they’ll say that it was also an amazing year for television. Today we’re bringing you the best new shows that premiered in 2016!
10. THE GOOD PLACE
Sitcom fans rejoice, Kristen Bell and Ted Danson top our list with their quirky take on the afterlife, in The Good Place. Due to a case of mistaken identity, Eleanor Shellstrop winds up taking another woman’s spot in heaven, despite her selfish past and she must hide her true colors from a cast of do gooders.
9. HORACE AND PETE
Louis C.K. fans might have missed his surreal tragedy with a star-studded cast, because C.K. opted to independently release the series online. While fans of the stand-up heavy weight might be expecting nonstop laughs, Horace and Pete is actually more likely to put you in the crying mood. The series takes place within a Brooklyn dive bar where nothing goes right and happy endings are few and are between.
Horace and Pete isn’t for everyone, but fans of poignant theatre praise the show as a heartbreaking masterpiece.
8. THE CROWN
As Netflix’s most expensive series to date, the Crown explores Queen Elizabeth’s sudden rise to power. The sudden death of King George the 6th thrusts the carefree princess into the political spotlight, where her life plans are abandoned for her duties as a monarch.
The Crown is lavish and perfect for history fans interested in seeing modern England unfold out of the British Empire.
2016 was the year Issa Rae took the comedic chops she honed in her break-out web series Awkward Black Girl to HBO with the acclaimed Insecure. Thoughtful and witty, Insecure is a millennial women against the world comedy with a honest approach to relationships and race, warts and all.
This year Netflix got to explore the origins of hip hop with the musical drama, The Get Down. Overseen by the lavish director of Moulin Rouge and icons of hip hop like Grandmaster Flash, The Get Down is both historically accurate and electrically entertaining.
5. The People verse OJ Simpson: American Crime Story
In February 2016, the first session of the true crime anthology American Crime story took ahold of TV fans with the dramatic retelling of the People verse O.J. Simpson. Despite everyone knowing the trials verdict, American Crime was able to capture audiences with top notch acting and the fleshing out of major players in the case apart from OJ Simpson himself.
The show went on to win several Emmy Awards and its second season will tackle the tragedy and politics behind hurricane Katrina.
4. THIS IS US
As far as heart-string pulling family dramas, This Is Us has it all. Seemingly independent storylines interconnect to tell a multi-generational story that is equal parts joyous and tear-inducing. This Is Us prides itself in being a relatable drama about the struggles of real people as opposed to other network dramas that really on special agents, explosions, and high-stakes politics.
For all its gooey sentimentality, This Is Us is powerfully effective at making you want to be the best version of yourself possible.
Atlanta is not only Donald Glover’s glorious return to television, but a humorous showcase of black culture from a lens that isn’t exploitative. Telling the story of a father hustling to get his cousin’s rap career of the ground, Atlanta plays with prejudices both towards and within the black community. Atlanta isn’t afraid of using surrealistic humor to make audiences think about race, such as having a black actor play pop star Justin Bieber.
2. WEST WORLD
As Game of Thrones reaches its Twilight, HBO has been looking for a tent pole replacement, and this years West World may be just what the doctor ordered. Set in the near distant future, West World explores consciousness in a sprawling theme park with robotic hosts on the brink of self-awareness. Filled with action, mind blowing twists, and philosophical quandaries West World took the later half of 2016 by storm.
That’s it for our top ten new television shows of 2016, let us know what shows you think deserve to be on or cut from our list in the comments, and don’t forget to like and subscribe for more pop-culture countdowns!