Which one is the best TV show in any given year? Is it the one that receives the most prizes? Is it the one that has the most viewers? Is it the one that’s the longest-running? Well, depending on which you judge them, each TV show is the best at something. Just as a fish is best at swimming and a monkey is the best at climbing a tree.
The media is constantly pushing out its top10 must-watch TV series this year taking into account any and all of the above. But does this tell potential viewers anything about the series’ true worth? Maybe – but maybe not. Subjective reviews are perhaps the best way to really judge a show – knowing what others enjoyed or hated about it can be much more valuable than knowing what a panel of critics and fellow filmmakers say. So, without further ado, here is a totally subjective list of the best TV series released this year, telling you what its maker enjoyed the most about them.
American Gods (Starz)
A totally different take on deities, somewhat similar to the Supernatural episode where all the ancient gods gather at a motel to dine and discuss their future (Hammer of the Gods, season 5, episode 19, aired in April 2010). It follows Shadow Moon (Ricky Whittle), a freshly freed convict who sees his world crumble when he finds out that his wife (Emily Browning), for whom he took the fall in the first place, died while cheating on him with his best friend. Soon, he has to suspend everything he believed about how the world works when he finds out that he has a role in a war between the old gods – Votan (Ian McShane), Czernobog (Peter Stormare), and their likes – and the new ones, like Technical Boy (Bruce Langley), Media (, and Mr World (a part that’s a perfect fit for Crispin Glover). His short affair with a lucky coin taken from a leprechaun brings his lost lover back among the living – sort of, at least – which leads to even more troubles. And all this culminates in… well, see for yourself.
The first thing to say about this series is that it’s different. Its visuals are stunning, its actors are awesome, its story is intriguing, and it has one of the best kicks in the balls ever put on film.
The Orville (FOX)
This is the TV show with possibly the most deceptive trailer ever created. Watching it gave the impression of the show being a Star Trek spoof. Watching the show, in turn, will prove that it’s not that at all: it’s a loving homage to one of the most extended science fiction universes ever created. It does have its humorous moments – sometimes a bit forced, like when captain Mercer (Seth MacFarlane) tells Lt. Kitan (Halston Sage) to “open this jar of pickles” for the nth time, but most of the times completely natural.
“The Orville” is a must-see for anyone who loved Star Trek: The Next Generation. It has interesting stories, it has a lovable crew, and the most over-the-top practical joke one can think of. Hopefully, it will get renewed for at least as many seasons as the TNG had.
Philip K. Dick’s Electric Dreams (Channel 4)
The stories told by Philip K. Dick were very popular among filmmakers in the 1990s and the early 2000s – we’ve had the chance to see adaptations like Total Recall, Screamers, Impostor, Minority Report, A Scanner Darkly, and Paycheck. Last year, another of his works got a major adaptation, this time on TV – The Man in the High Castle is a critically acclaimed alternate history series nominated for about every award you can imagine. It was obvious that, especially after the announcement of a sequel to 1982’s Blade Runner, more of his works will emerge. And they did.
“Electric Dreams” is an anthology series reaching out to stories that weren’t put on screen to this day. While it had its shortcomings at the beginning, the series has what it takes to become a great one, on par with the likes of Black Mirror and The Outer Limits.