Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Dean & David's 2015 Top 10 (Dean's version)


[DAVID: Last night I published my Top 10 Television shows of 2015. And so today, I am letting Dean spend more time telling me where I went wrong and why I'm missing most of #PeakTV. (But don't worry. I won't let his opinions go completely unchallenged.]

As always I will lead off this top ten list by naming a bunch of shows that I can’t justify to myself putting in my actual top ten, but want to note anyways. I had to leave off a LOT OF SHOWS. I wrote down 38 shows that could conceivably had made my top 10. This makes me unhappy. If I left off a show you love just assume it narrowly missed the cut and is one of my other 28.

The Grinder showed me how much I missed having Fred Savage on my TV screen and it is a pleasure to have him back each week.

The Chris Gethard Show helped me cope with depression and anxiety when it was pretty bad earlier this year by letting me hang out with a bunch of weirdos each week.

Nathan For You is doing something so deeply strange and unsettling every week that it’s a shame to leave it off.

Gravity Falls: This show is breaking my heart by ending after only two seasons. There’s something to be said for going out on top, but JUST LIMP ALONG UNTIL I NO LONGER REMEMBER WHY I LOVED YOU IN THE FIRST PLACE! IT’S FINE! EVERYONE ELSE IS DOING IT! I mean, Linda Cardellini and Jason Ritter have got to eat after all. (So does Kristen Schall, but she’s everywhere right now. She’ll be fine.)

And finally, if I could find a way to justify it, Going Deep with David Rees would be my number one show based on how much joy he brings me week to week. I reference one of the things he shows you how to do at least twice a week! But *sigh* this is a serious list for serious people. I cannot be so frivolous as to put Mr. Rees’s show at number one.
[DAVID: Was that a shot at my placing Limitless at Number 2? That was a shot, wasn't it? Well . . . I regret nothing.]

10. Man Seeking Woman: Surprisingly, this crowds out Broad City for the title of 10th favorite show. I hated the first episode so much I wanted to quit, but Rachael convinced me to watch the second episode, and it was so delightfully weird that it won me over. If you like Jay Baruchel this could be the show for you.
[DAVID: How could it be any good if I also disliked it and then abandoned it as well? We were both on the same page here, Dean? Why did you value your wife's opinion over mine?]

9. Deutschland 83: Deutschland 83 is Germany’s answer to the Americans. Instead of Soviet spies in America it’s about an East German spy in West Germany. Also it’s entirely in German! Is it actually better than the Americans? Probably not, but the tensions between East and West Germany were less familiar to me than what happened with American and the Soviet Union (Did you know Carlos the Jackal was likely an East German agent? I didn’t!) Also I find foreign language shows force me to pay attention instead of zoning out on my phone, so it gets extra credit for that as well.
[DAVID: Oh, man. WHAT?! If I wanted lots and lots of German, I'd go back to grad school. No . .  wait, that's a terrible idea. And these Germans probably didn't even have PacMan in 1983, so what was the point of even living. More Paige, less grim Communism!]

8. Silicon Valley: Kumail Nanjiani makes me laugh in everything. Andy Daly makes me laugh in everything. Martin Starr makes me laugh in everything. Zach Woods makes me eternally uncomfortable. This show is great and better than Veep. There. I said it and I don’t regret it. (Veep is also good and made my top 38.  I know.  Top 38 Lists aren’t a thing.)
[DAVID: If you're going to watch a show about computers, why not make it the new and improved second season of Halt and Catch Fire? I've finally started watching some of the episodes on my DVR and I'm liking it much more than my aborted attempt at season 1. And I KNOW you can't say no to Lee Pace, Dean.]

7. Rick and Morty: Hey, this show got real dark. Also I guarantee David will say this show is fake and doesn’t exist, but it does and it’s great.
[DAVID: Hey, I've heard you and Casey talk about this enough at lunch that I have come to trust Casey's views and can't call the show fake. Frankly, I'm surprised that I am recognizing almost all of these shows on your list so far. I thought all that time you spend watching stuff on Amazon Prime would make everything here incomprehensible.]

6. South Park: As the Simpsons slowly circles the drain into being completely unwatchable, the only show even remotely close to matching its longevity somehow put in one of its best seasons in a long
time. Also I finally got to see the Book of Mormon and it was great.

5. Crazy Ex-Girlfriend: I’m a sucker for musical episodes of TV. The only Buffy episode I’ve seen is the musical episode. I love the glorious mess that is Galavant! Somehow Crazy-Ex Girlfriend manages to put out three perfect songs on a weekly basis. Please watch it because its ratings are not great (even for The CW) and I don’t want it to be canceled ever. Just go watch the “Sexy Getting Ready Song” and if that doesn’t hook you we can’t be friends.
[DAVID: I also enjoy Crazy Ex-Girlfriend! (Just not as much as Limitless.) Unfortunately, your opinions are now rendered irrelevant, Dean, because you positively mentioned Galavant. You can leave your guest blogger credentials on my desk. 
Also, I thought about linking to a video of the "Sexy Getting Ready Song"--because it is great and I wanted to help the readers out. BUT, I chose NOT to do so. Now go set your DVRs to record new and rerun episodes. Go! Do it now. We'll wait.]

4. Better Call Saul: I love watching Bob Odenkirk. How can the guy from Mr. Show be this good of a dramatic actor? Vince Gilligan is my favorite showrunner.

3. Review: Every episode I think that Forrest MacNeil couldn’t have things get any worse and every
week I am proven wrong. And now he and Grant are dead and that…that will be hard to top.
[JON SNOW: Been there; done that; you know nothing.]

2. Justified: It managed to bounce back from what ailed it last season and ended strong. I thought that I would be devastated that it’s no longer on the air, but between the fact that there were 38 shows I realistically could have had in my top ten and the fact that I liked one show even better than Justified this year I think I’ll be OK.

1. Fargo: The reason I loved Justified so much was its blend of humor and drama that I haven’t found in most other shows. While Fargo’s first season did this a little, the tonal shifts didn’t always work that well. Somehow this season made it work perfectly and I am happy to have this show be my replacement for Raylan Givens and company. Especially now that Timothy Oliphant has is new gig as The Grinder: New Orleans.
[DAVID: Unsurprising agreement on number one. A great choice.]

Because David did it I also present shows I dropped this year:

Gotham: Ugh.
[DAVID: My Stockholm Syndrome prevents me from trying to explain . . .]

Heroes Reborn: I should have known better.
[DAVID: Fifteen minutes and I was out.]

Bastard Executioner: I dropped Sons of Anarchy and I dropped this too. So did everyone else though, it’s dead now. Just like every other character in a Kurt Sutter show.

Mad Men: I dropped this three episodes before the end and then saw the finale. I regret nothing.

Daredevil: So gritty and grim. Exactly what I don’t want in a show any more.

Girls: I’m pretty over Lena Dunham’s whole shtick. We have better female showrunners and actresses now so I don’t need to put up with Tom Brokaw’s daughter’s wooden acting (I still love Zosia Mamet though).
[DAVID: I wanted to get into this show, but lack of continuous HBO has made it hard. And you're probably right about all that you said. Except for the Brokaw bit. That was supposed to be a joke, right?]

Halt and Catch Fire: These people are miserable and need to get over themselves. Watching people be miserable isn’t entertaining any more. It’s been done too much and isn’t fun.
[DAVID: Nooooo!]

Probably a zillion other shows that I only watched one episode of because there are so many shows
on TV now. Shows like Manhattan which I liked but I only have so much time.