Another year has passed which means we have another year’s worth of television to judge. This year I’ve done away with the boring old list to bring you the first ever Mainville Report Awards! The awards nominated and chosen solely by me in the categories that I choose, a.k.a. the awards Hollywood has been clamoring for.
And, to make it extra fun, take a shot every time I describe something as perfect. Unless you’re at work. Or planning on driving anywhere in the next three to six hours.
So, without further ado…
Best Show. Period.: Mad Men (AMC)
I feel like everyone should understand by now that I love Mad Men. Some may say to an unhealthy degree. It is my favorite television show of all time and, unlike every other critic in the world, I loved it right up until the very end.
Best “You Couldn’t Make This Stuff Up”: The Jinx (HBO)
2015 will go down in history as the year a man admitted to multiple murders on a TV show that was his idea. But even starting the show knowing that’s how it ends doesn’t take away from the sheer insanity of watching the story unfold.
Best Summer Surprise: TIE UnReal and Mr. Robot
Usually summer TV means nothing but reality shows and baseball, but this year we were treated to two shows that would have been breakout shows in the fall, but became full on phenomenons thanks to limited competition.
UnReal (Lifetime), which followed the inner workings of a Bachelor-style reality show, had every opportunity to lapse into cliché and shmaltz, but instead delivered a pitch perfect dark comedy that never once shied away from the dirtiest bits of show business.
Meanwhile, Mr. Robot (USA) served up pure art with this pseudo-thriller tale revolving around the not always reliable mind of Elliot, played by Rami Malek who deserves all the awards.
Catastrophe is quite possibly the most charming show ever created that begins with a week long sex scene. The six episode season feels more like a long movie than a TV show, but the perfect performances and undeniable chemistry between Sharon and Rob (Sharon Horgan and Rob Delaney) make it a most enjoyable three hours spent on the couch.
Best Reality Show: Big Brother (CBS)
Big Brother has become a certified staple of television, but this season really outdid itself. It had romances, show-mances and a master player coming this close to winning it all.
Best Returning Comedy: Broad City (Comedy Central)
I honestly think these girls could make reading the phone book hysterical. I also think they would try it.
Honorable Mention: Silicon Valley (HBO)
The first season of Fargo was near perfect, so clearly the only way to follow up was with absolute perfection. From the bottom up, everything from the production design, costumes, writing and performances came together for a truly spectacular season of television. It balanced violence with the darkest of humor and it all worked better than it had any reason to.
Honorable Mention: The Affair (Showtime)
Best Guilty Pleasure: Quantico (ABC)
Move over Scandal and How to Get Away with Murder, there’s a new twisty soap opera in town and it has national security on the line!
Best New Comedy: Crazy Ex-Girlfriend (CW)
On paper, a musical comedy about a woman with serious mental health issues sounds misguided at best. In reality it is absolutely adorable and endlessly entertaining. This is thanks in large part to the insanely talented cast, led by Rachel Bloom.
Honorable Mention: Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (Netflix)
After years of drowning in male centric superhero stories it was about damn time we got a lady superhero. And what a superhero we got! This noir style drama not only gave us a female superhero, but a completely female point of view, which is rare enough in pop culture, let alone a superhero story.
Honorable Mention: Better Call Saul (AMC)
Best Series Finale (Besides Mad Men): Parks and Rec (NBC)
Series finales are a tricky business. It’s hard to strike a balance between finality and staying true the tone of the show you’re saying goodbye to. Parks and Rec struck that balance perfectly. It said goodbye to every character, big and small, that we had come to love with its signature heart and magical touch of Leslie Knope.
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Filed under: TV: Editorial