10 best TV shows of 2016
- Henry Northmore
- 13 December 2016
Game of Thrones, Gilmore Girls, BoJack Horseman, Stranger Things, Planet Earth II and more in our TV countdown
It's December so time to look back and reflect on another year. It's also time for our annual top 10 TV shows countdown. For 2016 we polled a selection of The List's best writers and most dedicated telly addicts to bring you our favourite shows.
And it's been one hell of year. Brexit, then Trump vs Clinton dominated the news channels and satire shows but the biggest upset in TV land was Channel 4 snaffling The Great British Bake Off and the subsequent fall out as Mel, Sue and Marry Berry jumped ship.
It's impressive that programmes of the quality of Veep, NW, The Missing, Channel Zero: Candle Cove, The People Vs OJ Simpson, The Night Manager, National Treasure, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, The Night Of, Lady Dynamite, The Americans, House of Cards, Modus, Louis Theroux and Better Call Saul all received votes but not enough to crack the hallowed top ten.
10. Hillsborough (BBC Two)
A staggeringly moving and important documentary about the Hillsborough disaster of 1989, where 96 football fans tragically lost their lives. Made with real sensitivity by director David Gordon paying tribute to the victims and their family's fight for justice.
9. Trapped (BBC Four)
Iceland joins in the craze for the Nordic noir as a murderer is trapped in an isolated town closed off due to extreme arctic storms. A delightfully claustrophobic thriller.
8. Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life (Netflix)
The comeback everyone had been clamouring for didn't disappoint. Amy Sherman-Palladino was back in charge for four feature length episodes catching up with Lorelai, Rory, Emily et al.
7. Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Season 2 (Netflix)
Rachel Bloom stars in this clever subversion of the romcom as she quits her job as a lawyer in New York to follower her ex to small town USA. And it's a musical.
6. Flowers (Channel 4)
Quirky comedy with an emotional punch. Olivia Colman and Julian Barrat starred as nominal heads of the Flowers family as it disintegrated across six episodes in Will Sharpe's debut TV series that dared to tackle suicide and depression.
5. Stranger Things (Netflix)
An absorbing sci-fi mystery that tapped into our love of 80s nostalgia with hints of ET, Poltergeist and Close Encounters of The Third Kind.
4. BoJack Horseman, Season 3 (Netflix)
Satire on celebrity culture told via a cartoon horse (voiced by Will Arnett). Surprisingly sharp, insightful and strangely moving.
3. Fleabag (BBC Three)
Dark confessions from a dysfunction young woman (played by writer / creator Phoebe Mary Waller-Bridge). At times brutally honest but also painfully funny.
2. Game of Thrones, Season 6 (Sky Atlantic)
The opening episodes were all about getting the pieces into place, then came 'Battle of the Bastards' and 'The Winds of Winter' probably the best two episodes of GoT yet. Riveting viewing.
1. Planet Earth II (BBC One)
But the drama that had us hooked was Planet Earth II. A fascinating look at the wonders of the natural world in mind-blowing technicolour. A celebration of rich diversity of the flora and fauna that populates this planet. Terrifying racer snakes, rare snow leopards, caiman-hunting jaguars, desert lions and many more all brought to us by the BBC's peerless Natural History Unit and Sir David Attenborough.