The M&M Report: “Master of None” and “The Americans”

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Devin and I discuss our conflicted reactions to Master of None season two (0:00-26:45). Then we spar (as only we can) over The Americans season five (26:45-end).

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2015 in Review: My Ten (Okay, Eleven) Favorite TV Shows

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Diversity of many varieties was on the brain for many spheres of television this year. Network executives, showrunners, critics and audiences alike engaged in thoughtful discourse about what it means to make diverse television in 2015. There are more places than ever to watch TV, and more places than ever to distribute it. It makes logical sense that TV offerings this year would touch on a wider range of issues, feature a wider range of character types and demographics and explore a wider range of stories and universes than ever before.

But with great power comes great responsibility. My favorite shows in 2015 were the ones that used the expanding boundaries of what’s possible on television to their fullest advantage, crafting rich and surprising worlds, telling stories that dovetail with the themes, ideas and controversies guiding our daily lives. In relatively arbitrary order of preference (who’s to say whether a dark comedy about an animated horse is superior to one of the most beloved drama series of all time?), here are my ten favorite shows of 2015.

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“Parks and Recreation”: Future Perfect

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(Warning: This blog post contains spoilers for the sixth season finale of Parks and Recreation.)

As NBC’s beloved Parks and Recreation nears the end of its glorious seven-year lifespan, a predictable narrative malaise has begun to set in, even among the show’s most passionate fans. Leslie Knope has overcome one adversity after another, Ron Swanson has eaten his weight in bacon more times than can possibly be healthy for his cholesterol, and the show’s deep bench of supporting characters has coalesced into a cohesive unit as a result of Leslie’s tutelage. Rob Lowe and Rashida Jones triumphantly took their leave in the middle of the season, further contributing to the sense that the show had reached its agreeable, if slightly less remarkable, twilight.

That is, until “Moving Up” catapulted the show into uncharted territory.

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