If you stayed indoors a lot this year, odds are you were thoroughly entertained. Whether you chilled with Netflix or cleaned up the DVR, there was always something worth watching, and that was one of the few reassuring notions of 2016. There’s a reason for this: Hollywood is hipper than ever to at-home demands, which means more filmmakers, stars, writers, and producers are abandoning feature filmmaking for episodic television. Who can blame them? It’s a bigger sandbox.
Fortunately, the wasteland of network television has paved the way for cable and streaming platforms to start building empires — and they have. From HBO to AMC, Amazon to Hulu, it seems like they all have at least one must-see flagship show. But that also means there’s more content than ever. This year alone added a whole new batch of shows to the ever-expanding fold: American Crime Story, Full Frontal with Samantha Bee, Atlanta, Insecure, Stranger Things, et al.
Odds are they’ll all have flavorful second and third and fourth seasons, which means we’re really just adding lanes in our non-stop, year-long couch-a-thons. Eventually, we’ll never leave the television; the television will become us. Considering how much of it we watch on our phones — you know, basically our own digital appendage — that might have already happened. Alas, here are 25 of our favorite shows that we gave so much of our own lives to throughout this crappy, crappy year.
Agree, disagree, join us.