Let it be known: I didn’t read the synopsis for Criminal Justice, the British show HBO’s The Night Of is based off of, and I am notoriously bad at guessing series finales.
[spoilers for the premiere episodes of Mr. Robot, Stranger Things, and The Night Of to follow]
Summer TV used to be a joke. But now there really isn’t the traditional cycle of television anymore. Sure, there are still the heavy hitters released in the fall, but thanks to streaming services and premium cable, seasons don’t matter anymore. Three terrific shows had premieres this week: the second season of Mr. Robot, the entire first season of Stranger Things, and the miniseries The Night Of. They’re three shows you’re going to have to treat yourself to this summer.
We’re halfway through 2016 and that means every pop culture site is going to make a “Best of 2016 (So Far)” type of post. I respect them. They help me catch things I may have missed. I also like to do one for my friends to enjoy. However, I never claim my list has the “best” of anything. Just my favorites, because I can admit something that isn’t meant to be a pinnacle of pop culture is my favorite. Like School of Rock being one of my Top 5 Recommended Films and Casablanca isn’t listed. Savvy?
This year has seen some of the best television ever in existence: Game of Thrones or Orange is the New Black to name a few. Those aren’t on my list, though. They’re maybe the “best” but my heart belongs elsewhere. Before I get into the list, I want to give a shoutout to the Marnie/Charlie episode of Girls. “A Panic in Central Park” was technically a bottle episode of a love it or hate it type of show, but it was more so an extremely well done short film. If you don’t watch Girls read Wikipedia to learn about the characters and then watch that episode.
Now for the list:
My mom loves Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. She just celebrated her 58th birthday and only likes Glee, Criminal Minds, Bones, and White Collar, but watched all of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt with me. We started with season one a few months back and she was desperate for a second season. After trying to explain numerous times how Netflix original series release an entire season on one day, we set time aside to watch a few episodes at a time together.
She loves it so much. The slapstick, the goofiness, the singing. She likes it for how simple it is, which is part of the show’s genius. I, on the other hand, like it for… Well, read the title of this post.
Horace and Pete is the most culturally significant piece of art 2016 has produced so far. It’s going to take a titan later in the year to dethrone it. I feel comfortable in saying that won’t occur.
Confession: the only season of Girls I watched as it aired was the first season and I really didn’t enjoy it at the time. While everyone praised the show, I thought it was lackluster. My sister told me I didn’t understand it because I wasn’t a girl. She claimed that the show really captured what it was like to be alive in your twenties and a female.
That’s probably true. I didn’t understand the subtle nuances that the show depicted.
The first quarter of 2016 had a lot of standout moments in pop culture. Here are a few of the shows, books, films, music, and moment
Here are the standouts of pop culture from January 1 through March 31, 2016.
The first season of Marvel’s Daredevil on Netflix was one of my favorite new shows last year. It was dark and gritty, but more importantly, it was a good representation of an important canon comic hero with enough interpretation to make it feel fresh.
The second season, which comes after Marvel’s better Netflix series – Jessica Jones – is still good. But it’s not as good as the first season, and it comes nowhere close to JJ.
Here are the pros and cons of the second season of the blind vigilante’s show.
There have been a lot of bad reviews about Netflix’s Fuller House. I haven’t read the reviews, but I understand the general feelings from critics. They’re right: it’s not a good show. But that’s okay. It’s meant to be a beat-for-beat revival of Full House. It’s a cheesy family/kids show that doesn’t need to rely on plot or acting or anything that makes a good show a good show.
The revival is cringeworthy at times. There are awkward lines, bad kid acting (and some bad adult acting, too), and cliche plots. The show is worth watching though. It’s one of those “it’s so bad, it’s good” type of shows. I binged the entire first season in one sitting with my mom. We both laughed at some of the jokes and I found myself saying “it’s cute” over and over. That’s the number one reason to watch the show. The terrible jokes that barely land are cute. It’s a cute show that is totally worth watching, even if you don’t admit it. It’s cute enough to be renewed for a second season!
We’re in the peak of the golden age of television. Or something like that. Here are a few new shows, including new seasons of anthologies, retooled projects, and sequels to classics.