by Hiko Mitsuzuka @thefirstecho
This was a tough one as 2015 marked the year I found myself frustrated by HOW MUCH good TV there was to enjoy in just 365 days. With over 400 scripted shows available at my fingertips in today's on-demand-streaming world, there were some I simply couldn't get to...and some I had no interest in sampling (and for good reason -- for they're now cancelled). Here's what I couldn't get enough of. (And for the 744th time: I don't watch Game of Thrones.)
1. Master of None (Netflix) - According to E. Alex Jung over at Vulture.com, Aziz Ansari's truly groundbreaking show "has deftly tackled the issues of race: Its easy, conversational tone belies how cleverly it dismantles racial tropes. Moreover, it manages to acknowledge systemic racism toward people of color while refusing to be defined by it." And not only has this 10-episode first season so brilliantly tackled other issues like gender discrimination, rape culture, parenting, and online dating, it has finally given Ansari a well-deserved spotlight to shine. While some moments aren't perfect, there is no other show that feels so necessary for today's American culture. And chances are, if you're a first-generation American, no other TV show resonated as hard as Master of None.
2. Togetherness (HBO) - This observational slice of L.A. life from the Duplass brothers is full of charm, wit, and authentic moments of perfect imperfections, thanks to its highly charismatic cast (Mark Duplass, Amanda Peet, Melanie Lynskey, and Steve Zissis).
3. Mr. Robot (USA) - Star Rami Malek is a true breakout in this paranoia-driven thriller that hums with an unsettling energy you can't quite get out of your system after watching its brilliant first season. Each episode is like a Fincherian short film, cinematic and sinister with every carefully staged shot and subtle development. Binge with caution.
4. Inside Amy Schumer (Comedy Central) - The third season of this sketch series cemented its status as a legit force of serious funny business. And it picked up an Emmy in September, mostly in part for its standout episode, a biting spin on Twelve Angry Men.
5. Crazy Ex-Girlfriend (The CW) - Not since the first season of Glee has a show demonstrated pure unadulterated joy. Star and co-creator Rachel Bloom is destined for breakout status, bringing depth and likability to the often debated title role:
6. The Jinx (HBO) - Call it the Serial Effect. True crime junkies got their fix with this highly addicting docuseries that studied the bizarre and mysterious case of millionaire Robert Durst.
7. Broad City (Comedy Central) - It's what HBO's Girls wished it could be, a hilarious, near-satirical take on the Millennial Experience in a New York City we rarely see portrayed on television.
8. Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO) - Leave it to a British nerd to break down how truly screwed up things are in the world, particularly here at home in the States. In this second season, the Daily Show alum found his groove and delivered viral-worthy segments filled with deliciously worded rants.
9. Please Like Me (Pivot) - Creator and star Josh Thomas continues to paint a poignant and so-real-it's-funny portrait of a twentysomething coming to terms with his challenging family, his eclectic friends, his new love, and most importantly, himself. The most charming show on TV you're probably not watching (because you can't be bothered to find Pivot).
10. Empire (Fox) - Not since Melrose Place has Fox delivered a crazy-sexy-ridiculous sudser like this. Toss in a hot soundtrack of original tunes and Taraji P. Henson giving us 2015's best new character, and it's a no-brainer why this dishy drama is giving EVERYONE life. That said, I give it a few more episodes before it loses its fire.
HONORABLE MENTIONS: Younger (TV Land), Difficult People (Hulu), Catastrophe (Amazon) and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (Netflix).
A MYSTERY WORTH OBSESSING OVER: How To Get Away With Murder's edge-of-your-seat Who Shot Annalise?
A MYSTERY WORTH DELETING FROM YOUR DVR: Scream Queens's cartoonish Who Is The Red Devil?