Best TV shows of 2016 so far

The series we've loved in 2016 include Game of Thrones, The People v OJ Simpson, Flowers, Louis Theroux and Derren Brown

Best TV shows of 2016 so far

The Night Manager

As the Emmy nominations are announced (with Game of Thrones leading the pack with 23 closely followed by The People v OJ Simpson: American Crime Story with 22) it's seems like the perfect opportunity to look back at our favourite telly of the year so far. Some shows started strong then faded with every episode (sorry Vinyl) others got better and better as the season progressed (such as GoT and Veep). Here's our ten best shows of 2016 (in alphabetical order in case you are wondering):

Derren Brown: Pushed to the Edge
Edge of your seat TV as mentalist Derren Brown attempted to manipulate a total stranger into pushing a man to his (apparent) death. Absolutely fascinating watching the tricks and linguistic programming used to slowly wear down someone’s moral code.
Available on All4

What started as a quirky comedy turned into a hugely emotional examination of a family disintegrating before your eyes. Anchored by wonderful performances from Olivia Colman and Julian Barratt, Flowers was an unexpected heartbreaking treat.
Available on All4

An uncomfortable but powerful documentary on the Hillsborough disaster. The first half delt with the day itself then second half followed the slow and agonising search for justice. A moving tribute to everyone involved handled with incredible sensitively by director Daniel Gordon.

Game of Thrones: Season 6
It deserves those Emmy nominations. George RR Martin's fantasy juggernaut powered into new territory by over taking the books. It was a solid if unremarkable start but 'Battle of the Bastards' and 'The Winds of Winter' were probably the two best GoT episodes of all time.
Sky Atlantic

Louis Theroux: Drinking to Oblivion
Another difficult but necessary documentary from the BBC as Louis Theroux looked at the devastating effects of alcohol addiction in the UK. Incredibly insightful and slightly scary. Theroux's doc on people living with serious life-changing brain injuries (A Different Brain) is also well worth catching.
Available at BBC Store

The Night Manager
Slick espionage thriller that gripped the nation. So what if there were a logical gaps in the story Tom Hiddlestone glided through every scene oozing pure class.
Available at BBC Store

Orange is the New Black: Season 4
The season 3 finale lost the show a lot of fans, with many believing it was corny, cheesy, and a little too arty to be edgy. There's no corn in season 4, though (except the ears that Red, Kate Mulgre, grows in the garden). It's darker than ever and full of tragedy, with one-time protagonist Piper (Taylor Schilling) taking something of a back seat, allowing the rest of the show's extraordinary ensemble to shine.

The People v OJ Simpson: American Crime Story
Even though everyone already knew the outcome of this infamous case somehow P v OJ was utterly gripping. Breaking down the case and showing how each side approached this grisly high profile murder was fascinating viewing. Sarah Paulson in particular deserves praise for her role as head prosecutor Marcia Clark.
On DVD from Mon 5 Sep

Veep: Season 4
It's hard to choose between Veep and Silicon Valley as the best US comedy of 2016 so far. The political satire just pips its geeky rival for Julia Louis Dreyfus' desperation as she tried to hang on as the US president after a tie vote (and for Timothy Simmons no holds barred portrayal of Jonah Ryan's unhinged rise to power).
Sky Atlantic

War & Peace
Tolstoy's intimidating novels adapted into six sumptuous episodes of period drama perfection. Huge in scope but instantly accessible.
Available at BBC Store


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