As always, it’s that time of the year again – where we revisit Nick’s predictions about the entertainment level of the previous year of television. The original predictions are available here. Let’s see how fantastically or poorly I predicted my level of entertainment from the slate that I mentioned:
- The Good Place – Easily one of the best television shows of the year, which was a sorely needed injection in the comedy genre. The best twist all season was revealed in the final episode of Season 1, and I can’t wait to see what happens in Season 2. It’s been far too long since we had a good Kristen Bell or Ted Danson show and The Good Place checks both of these boxes off.
- Designated Survivor – Kiefer Sutherland seamlessly pivoted to an elder statesman role, while the revival of 24 crashed and burned. I think it’s safe to say that the entertainment value came from Sutherland, not the premise behind 24. Drawing upon today’s political landscape, it’s almost eerie how our country could very closely become the one depicted in this drama. Sometimes that’s not always a good thing. But you know what’s a good thing? This show! Designated Survivor is destined to become one of the best political dramas in a while, perhaps rivaling even The West Wing. It’s also got more than just political suspense, but actual action and major milestones that allow the cast of characters to both lose and gain talent as the events unfold.
- This Is Us – I think it’s safe to say that This Is Us has already permeated the cultural zeitgeist just from its first season. We’re presented with an interwoven story about a single family from various points in the timeline, the 1970s, the 1980s, the 1990s, and present-day. The familial dynamics feel familiar, and often hit close to home. The entire season is worth binge-watching, but saps your energy. Definitely worth spending your time watching the entire run – you don’t want to miss an episode here or there. The story arc about the relationships within the family itself is also fantastically told.
- Scream Queens – Well, it’s about time I whiffed on something. The magic just wasn’t there. And it’s safe to say that most of America agreed with my conclusion. The series got cancelled. Season one was magical and Season two was terrible from the opening episode. I gave it two episodes before deleting the series from my DVR to free up room for more episodes of The Challenge.
- Time After Time – The premise had such promise. Poorly executed and eventually cancelled. I also gave this one just two episodes, but that’s probably because I knew it was already going to be cancelled. There are a few cancellations that I bemoan year over year, but this one was a merciful end that was sorely needed.
- Legends of Tomorrow – I was afraid that after season 1 concluded its arc, that there wouldn’t be more intrigue for season 2. I shouldn’t have worried. The Legion of Doom superbly picked up the “baddie of the season” title and went with it. I do however, worry about season 3. There’s only so many twists and turns they can give this series before introducing more series regulars. As long as the core cast remains, I think this series can be a safe bet for a few more seasons.
- No Tomorrow – Oof. What a miss. What a train wreck. And yet I looked away.
- Emerald City – This was well worth the multi-year wait. A darker retelling of The Wizard of Oz, and yet it achieved what it set out to do. The traditional story is still there. It has its own elements. And I’m surprisingly fine with how the series ended, especially given that there will be no season 2. At least we got a true masterpiece that I’ll eagerly purchase on Blu-Ray or another format to rewatch someday. I can only hope that someone else picks up the mantle and tries to continue this series another day.
- Quantico – Somehow this series just gets better with time. That isn’t always the case with most shows. Some of them have drifted away from what made them successful (The Blacklist). Some of them exhausted their storylines due to executive decisions, and cancellation was really the only option left (Person of Interest). But Quantico has always been an ensemble case, with one main character. When it’s really centered around just one person, it’s easier to keep the storyline fresh with characters rotating in and out as needed.
- Timeless – This is a wonderful show, kept the fans guessing with every twist and turn. And the fans really kept this show from being cancelled. It was actually cancelled, but after an uproar, NBC reversed course and renewed Timeless for another season. I gave this one a 50-50 chance of survival, and only watched 75% of the season, so I’m counting this one as a miss – but will definitely give it another chance with the upcoming season.
My .700 average has dipped to .600 over this past year. It didn’t help that I gambled too heavily on time-travelling shows, but there’s only so many shows that can utilize that concept and still succeed. I still bemoan the loss of Terra Nova – now, that’s a show I would have sorely liked to see flesh out its world and tell more stories.
Some of the best television of the past year has once again come during the summer. The Challenge, Are You The One, KillJoys, and Dark Matter continue to do the heavy lifting during the dead period of television. There’s always American Ninja Warrior and of course the slate of shows you can find on streaming services and premium cable channels, which is outside the scope of these television reviews.