5 Favorite Episodes of 2016

#5. “Why is Josh’s Ex-Girlfriend Eating Carbs?” – Crazy Ex-Girlfriend

I didn’t expect to like Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, I really didn’t. Combine that title with the genre “romantic musical comedy-drama” and it’s a hard sell, but it knows how to use that to its advantage. Dripping with self-deprecation that comes from a place of deep understanding of itself and its genre, I find myself watching through it my fingers like a horror movie and laughing through every cringe-inducing moment. In its second season, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend has branched out to great success, and its fifth episode is my favorite. Here’s to more Triceratops themed ballet numbers on TV in 2017.

#4. “Winds of Winter” Game of Thrones

Game of Thrones is all about the slow burn. Storylines have been unfolding for seasons at a time, burning like a long fuse, slowly heading towards the endgame. Well something exploded (both figuratively and literally) in the season 6 finale, “Winds of Winter.” What was amazing about this episode was not just that it gave satisfying steps forward for every character, but that it did so with great filmmaking. From the score that swells as Cersei’s plot unfolds to the writing in the heartfelt conversation between Tyrion and Daenerys each scene is beautifully made. We may have to wait a couple more months for season 7, but rewatching this episode should tide us over until then.

#3. “B.A.N.” – Atlanta

On a show chalked full of moments that bend the medium, “B.A.N.” is the finest. Taking place entirely on a show within a show complete with satirical commercials, Atlanta took aim at issues of race, PC culture, and transgender identity. Its humor and commentary ran in perfect balance, pushing each other to new heights. I don’t think I’ve laughed harder at any other episode of TV this year. Lots more on this episode in tomorrow’s video!

#2. “Chloramphenicol” The Americans

While not a show known for the individual brilliance of episodes, I’d be remiss if I didn’t highlight what was another phenomenal season for The Americans. Constantly pushing forward through the consequences of past actions, its exceptional writing and acting are on full display as Philip and Elizabeth deal with a number of metaphorical and literal doomsday devices that are all slowly counting down to zero. If you haven’t watched this show, you are truly missing out.

#1. “eps2.8_h1dden-pr0cess.axx” Mr. Robot

Mr. Robot’s second season had its share of lows and highs, but when everything clicked, it was beautiful. The final 10 minutes of this episode aloe were the most engaging I saw this year but that’s not the only reason it’s here. There were three phenomenal long shots that each showed off the best aspects of Mr. Robot. The first showed off the phenomenal writing and acting with Philip Price’s monologue about being the most powerful man in the room. The second broke the fourth wall in a way that invited the audience to partake in the puzzle. The third capped off the episode with direction and story that would have made Breaking Bad blush. Put them all together and you have my favorite episode of 2016.

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