Television is Much Better than the 2017 Emmy Nominations Would Have You Believe

Atlanta.jpg

For the Emmy nominations to “get it right” in 2017 — when there has never been more television shows or places to find them — they must reflect the landscape’s diverse options by rewarding shows that expand the boundaries of the medium or innovate within it.

With so much to choose from, it’s never been harder for the Emmy nominations to get it completely right. But it’s still not that hard for them to get it wrong. Case in point: Yesterday!

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2015 in Review: Great Episodes, July to December

My look back at the year in TV continues with episodes that aired between July and December. As I said in yesterday’s post for January to June episodes, I somewhat arbitrarily chose not to include episodes of shows that appeared on my Top 10 list. If I had, I might have included the Fargo thriller “Rhinoceros”; the Review stunners “William Tell, Grant a Wish, Rowboat” and “Happiness, Pillow Fight, Imaginary Friend”; the poignant “Parents,” perceptive “Ladies and Gentleman” and romantic “Mornings” from Master of None; and pretty much every episode of The Leftovers season two.

Another note: this list is by no means comprehensive. There are plenty of TV shows and episodes I liked this year that I didn’t include on this list, and there are many times more TV shows and episodes that I would have liked had I the time and energy to watch them. If your favorites aren’t on here, you either experienced something great that I haven’t yet, or we have different tastes. Both are more than acceptable.

And in case you missed them, read my ten favorite shows of 2015 and the first half of this great episodes collection.

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2014 in Review: Television is a Beautiful Mess

Transparent

When Breaking Bad departed from television in a trail of crystal blue persuasion last September, television lost its center of gravity. At the time, this development seemed troubling. Without a consensus show around which to rally on social media, television fans and critics alike had to search elsewhere to find a show worthy of their devoted attention and undying affection. But a year removed from Walter White’s final blaze of glory, the loss of Breaking Bad seems more like a gift.

The consensus about this year’s television is that there is no consensus. Continue reading

2014 in Review: The Year in Episodes

True Detective

This list is exactly what it looks like: a list of one great episode in each of twenty shows that I watched this year. I could have filled the entire list with episodes of The Americans and Hannibal, but I decided to impose a limit of one episode per show. This list is different from a list of my favorite TV shows of the year, though there’s plenty of overlap between the two. And if it’s not on this list, I either didn’t like it, liked it but preferred other things, or didn’t watch it.

And now, in chronological order, twenty of my favorite TV episodes of 2014.

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Back in Business

Summer

Remember when I used to post daily on this blog? It’s been a while. I’ve been consumed by schoolwork, extracurricular activities, and all sorts of other pursuits that you likely don’t care about. As a result, I’ve failed to do more than re-post the latest episodes of The M&M Report, and sometimes even those went up late.

But summer has arrived, and with it, some pretense of this thing called “free time.” I’ll spend some small part of that free time doing apparently important tasks like “eating,” “sleeping,” “spending time with other human beings” and, if I’m feeling particularly daring, “venturing into the outside world.”

But those tasks are far less interesting than the pop culture consumption I’ve got planned for the months ahead.

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The M&M Report, Episode 15: The Year’s Best Television

Orange is the New Black

Listen to Episode 15 here.

Happy New Year! 2014 promises to be an exciting year, but Devin and I decided to look back before we look ahead. On this week’s episode of The M&M Report, we talked about an amazing year in television. We looked back at six of our favorite shows, debated the merits of binge-watching, discussed the first-world problem of “too much TV” and gave thanks for this TV Golden Age we’re living in.

Keep in mind that we weren’t listing our favorite shows of the year – for instance, I didn’t even talk about Breaking Bad, the show of the year by many standards. Rather, we offered some suggestions of really good shows that we enjoyed and we think you might too.

Tune in to find out which show Devin’s mom abandoned, why Mark likes shows about interesting communities that seem to exist even when the cameras aren’t watching, and what happened to Devin’s plan to binge-watch the entirety of Breaking Bad over winter break.

Devin and I are really exciting to keep the podcast alive in the new year, and we hope you’ll take the journey with us. Thanks for listening!

(In addition to this podcast, you can find my thoughts on the year in television here, here and here.)

Stay tuned for the time breakdown:

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2013 in Review: My Ten Favorite TV Shows

Parks

Yesterday I offered an overview of the year in television. Today, check out my list of my ten favorite TV shows of 2013. A few caveats:

1. I haven’t seen everything. Here’s a partial list of shows I can’t include on this list because I haven’t watched them: The Good Wife. Game of Thrones. Enlightened. Bob’s Burgers. Girls.Veep. Eastbound and Down. Treme. Broadchurch. The Fall. Masters of Sex. Justified. Sons of Anarchy. Boardwalk Empire. I’m not paid to watch television. I’m doing the best I can.

2. I didn’t rank these ten shows because I didn’t have the energy. Why bother? They’re all great. I’d recommend any of them to people who love watching TV.

3. Making lists is fun but inevitably arbitrary. Tomorrow, I’ll post another list of shows that missed this list but still deserved recognition. Boiling things down to a list of ten is important for the purposes of making difficult judgment but meaningless for the pursuit of quality viewing.

And now, the list.

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