TV

The 50 Best TV Shows of the Decade

Did your favorites make the list?

The 2010s saw the advent of binge-watching.

Thanks to streaming platforms like Netflix and Hulu, it was suddenly possible to watch multiple episodes of a single TV series in one sitting without the interruptions of commercials. As the way we watched TV changed, so too did the kind of shows we watched. Gone was the overabundance of vapid, sugary-sweet sitcoms, and in came the era of political satire, dramatic comedies, and searing commentaries on everything from abortion to Hollywood. Summarily, the 2010s saw a golden age of television. Here are our 50 favorites, with the top 25 and bottom 25 listed in alphabetical order.

The Top 25 TV Shows of the 2010s

Atlanta

Atlanta Donald Glover

Atlanta first aired in 2016, with Donald Glover's Earn learning that his cousin Alfred has released a hit song under the stage name Paper Boi. Since then, the show has followed Earn's struggle to navigate different worlds as he takes over managing his cousin's burgeoning music career while also trying to be a good father to his daughter, Lottie, and to prove himself to Van, his ex-girlfriend and Lottie's mother. The show uses varying perspectives to flesh out the city of Atlanta and the complexities of being black in America with surreal touches that highlight the real-world absurdity. Yet despite the heaviness of much of its subject matter, it frequently manages to be among the funniest shows on TV.

Barry

Barry Bill Hader

For anyone who ever wondered whether or not SNL-alum Bill Hader could carry a serious TV show, Barry answers with an overwhelming "yes." To be clear, Barry is technically a dark comedy, or perhaps a crime comedy-drama, but Bill Hader brings a level of unprecedented seriousness to his titular character that oftentimes makes the show feel like a straight tragedy.

Playing a hitman who wants to leave his life of crime behind in order to pursue a career in acting, Bill Hader imbues Barry with an earnestness that makes us as an audience truly want him to succeed. This likability serves to make Barry's violent acts all the more disturbing. Barry's greatest success is its ability to effortlessly fluctuate between the quirks of life as a struggling actor in LA and the violent inclinations of a man who murders for a living and can never really escape that truth. It's one of the best character studies currently on TV and is sure to cement Bill Hader as an extremely versatile A-list talent.

Baskets

Baskets Zacj Galifianakis

Baskets premiered on FX in 2016, telling the story of Chip Baskets, an aspiring clown played by Zach Galifianakis, who is moving back to Bakersfield, California to live with his mother after a failed stint at clown school in Paris. Galfianakis' talent for melancholy slapstick makes the show by turns hilarious and touching, but it's his mother Christine Baskets—artfully portrayed by Louie Anderson—whose simple enthusiasm for small-town life makes the show one of the best of the decade. Watching Christine, Chip, and his twin brother Dale (also Galifianakis) heighten relatable family drama to exquisite absurdity never gets old.

Black Mirror

Nothing would be the same without Black Mirror. Though its later seasons have been inconsistent in quality, its earliest contributions were digital horror at its finest, with some of the episodes being downright visionary in terms of how accurately they predicted the near future. From the nostalgic visions of virtual afterlife in "San Junipero" to the eerie foresight of "Nosedive" and its digital ranking systems, Black Mirror made an indelible impact.

Bob's Burgers

Bob's Burgers

Whatever you've heard about Family Guy or South Park, Bob's Burgers is the true successor to the golden age of The Simpsons. The Belcher family offers an update to The Simpsons' satirical view on middle class family life that reflects how America has changed since the 90s—slightly more urban, with less overt child abuse and a lot more economic precarity. And just as with the best seasons of The Simpsons, Bob's Burgers maintains a touching core of familial love and solidarity amid the absurd hijinks and veiled political commentary. Throw in the added value of the frequently hilarious, occasionally moving musical numbers, and Bob's Burgers easily secures a spot as one of the best shows of the decade.

Bojack Horseman

Bojack Horseman

In terms of the quality of its writing, BoJack Horseman outdid itself season after season. What began as a parody of Hollywood's excesses quickly turned into a searing, and boundary-pushing meditation on depression, addiction, and what it means to change (or to be unable to). Increasingly self-aware and conscious of its hypocritical tendency to obsess over the misadventures of an evil but sympathetic celebrity, thereby glorifying them while criticizing them, BoJack Horseman is the political, devastating, timely, often hilarious show about an animated horse that none of us knew we needed. It's buoyed by the strength of its secondary characters, from the workaholic Princess Carolyn to asexual Todd to self-loathing Diane, and altogether the show takes deep-rooted fears that many share and refracts them in a funhouse mirror that's impossible to look away from.

Broad City

Ilana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson began producing an independent web series about their struggles to "make it" in New York City in 2009. Soon, Amy Poehler took interest in the series, and it moved to Comedy Central in 2014. The smash hit comedy was not only laugh-out-loud funny, but a beautiful portrait of a genuinely healthy, supportive female friendship—something TV has historically seen little of. Broad City can be credited for helping to usher in a new generation of female comedy creators and has become a cultural touchstone for millenials.

Catastrophe

catastrophe rob delaney

Catastrophe, created and written by the show's stars, Rob Delaney and Sharon Horgan, is one of the realest, grossest, and funniest takes on love and the mess of life. Two people entering middle age meet and hit it off, they spend a reckless night together, and when she gets pregnant, they decide to make things work—not realizing how complicated that will be. It's a simple enough premise, but the cutting dialogue and the absurd comedy that plays out as two near-strangers build a life together make Catastrophe one of a kind.

Fargo

Anthology series like True Detective and American Horror Story can be really hit or miss, but in the three seasons that have aired on FX since 2014, Fargo has been consistently great. Maybe it has to do with the leisurely production schedule, the all-star cast, or the near-perfect movie that forms the basis for its tone, but whatever the cause, Fargo delivers murderous midwestern tragicomedy better than any show on TV—and nearly as well as the original. Season three, which followed the rivalry of the Stussy brothers—as played by Ewan McGregor—deserves a particular call-out, with season four due next year and featuring Chris Rock, Timothy Olyphant, and Jason Schwartzman.

Fleabag

Phoebe Waller-Bridge's stage-play-turned-two-season-TV masterpiece took the world by storm at the end of the 2010s. In the series, the viewer is made into the protagonist's (an unnamed woman played by Bridge) confidante as she uses sex to cope with grief and complicated family dynamics. As the show progresses, the closely protected inner life of the protagonist begins to reveal itself. Many consider the second season to be an essentially perfect season of television, in large part because of the hot priest (played by Andrew Scott). Fleabag is a funny, searing commentary on what it means to exist as a sexual, complicated being in a world with ever-changing expectations of women.

Grace and Frankie

70 is the new 30, or 20, or whatever arbitrary year of life we as a culture are deciding to glorify for no reason, because age is just a number. If you weren't aware that Jane Fonda glowed with money or that Lily Tomlin is our collective spiritual mother, then Grace and Frankie enlightened you. When two septuagenarian women are told that their husbands are gay and in love with each other, the best phase of their lives begins.

Haikyu!!

Haikyu!!

It's almost 2020, the world is upside down, and yes, an anime about high school volleyball is genuinely one of the best shows of the decade. Haikyu!!, literally "Volleyball" in Japanese, is about the trials and tribulations of the Karasuno High School Boys Volleyball Team. Unlike pretty much every other high school sports anime out there, Haikyu!! takes a relatively realistic approach to...well...high schoolers playing sports. In doing so, Haikyu!! translates the genuine passion that goes into high school sports and the real dynamics of teamwork, better than any other show I've ever seen.

The protagonist, Hinata, isn't a superpowered Volleyball God; he's an extremely short boy who can't reach the top of the net, but works his butt off because he loves the game. Likewise, all the other boys in Haikyu!! have realistic strengths and weaknesses (both on and off the court) that they work to overcome with help from their teammates. Haikyu!! is an exercise in wholesomeness––there are no villains, just other kids at other schools who love the same sport our boys do––and in a decade full of so much bitterness, it's a much needed dose of medicine.

Hunter x Hunter

Hunter x Hunter

For anyone who likes long-running shonen anime, Hunter x Hunter is, without a doubt, the pinnacle of the genre. While the original manga began publication in 1998, and a previous anime adaptation ran from 1999-2001, the 2011 adaptation re-started the series from scratch and, most importantly, covered the Chimaera Ant arc (or season––kind of––for you non-anime watchers).

The entirety of Hunter x Hunter is fantastic, featuring likeable protagonists, dastardly villains, and a brilliantly creative power system called "Nen." But there's a reason the Chimaera Ant arc is often considered the greatest shonen arc ever, and that's because it's a total deconstruction of the genre's tropes and conventions. Everything from the "always optimistic protagonist" to "the ultimate evil villain" is turned completely inside-out. The Chimaera Ant arc is intensely brutal and ultimately poignant, making us question the very nature of what makes us human.

Killing Eve

Phoebe Waller-Bridge can do no wrong, and even if she could and did, I'd probably still clap. The combination of Waller-Bridge's cutting wit and Sandra Oh and Jodie Comer's flawless performances makes for a TV show that never quite lets you find your balance before sending you spinning again. It's dark and surreal, while managing to still be deeply human.

Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

Being a professional stand-up comedienne is hard, but being Midge Maisel is wrapping chaos in a designer dress. Created by the fast-talking husband and wife behind Gilmore Girls, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel created a stage for Rachel Brosnahan to showcase her comedic timing and Alex Borstein to be a solid, deadpan pillar within Mrs. Maisel's world of quippy, fast-talking, energy. Also Michael Zegen (Joel) is dead cute.

Mob Psycho 100

While One Punch Man might be manga artist One's best known series (and is fantastic in its own right), his other series, Mob Psycho 100, is profound in a way quite unlike anything else I've seen. The show revolves around Mob, an awkward, unconfident middle school boy with god-like psychic powers. Any other shonen anime would use this premise as a gateway to epic battles (and there are a few, and their animation is absolutely incredible), but Mob Psycho 100 focuses far more on the coming-of-age angle instead.

See, Mob doesn't like his psychic powers because they make him feel weird. So instead of focusing on the one thing he's innately talented at but doesn't like, Mob tries to improve himself in the ways he actually cares about improving––making friends, talking to girls, working out with his school's Body Improvement Club. If anything, Mob's incredible psychic powers are a backdrop for the show's larger message––that no person, no matter what natural abilities they may have, is better than anyone else. Mob Psycho 100 shows that everyone has their own struggles, and that the only person you should ever hold yourself up in comparison to is the person you were yesterday.

The OA

Brit Marling and Zal Batmanglij's labyrinthine show only ran for two seasons, but it managed to earn a cult following during that time. Deeply weird, profoundly earnest, and full to the brim with observations on the connections between the environment, parallel universes, and technology, the two seasons that we do have are irreplaceable and paradigm-shifting examples of what TV could become, if we let ourselves believe.

Orange Is the New Black

Orange is the New Black

Piper Kerman's post-grad rebellious stage went from a felony to a cultural touchstone. As Netflix's most-watched original series, OITNB boasted a female-led cast and cutting commentary on race, class, and the industrial prison complex.

PEN15

Those who didn't have a gruelingly awkward middle school experience are, by scientific evidence, simply inhuman. Maya Erskine and Anna Konkle tell it best in Hulu original PEN15, which co-stars the real-life BFFs (who also wrote and executive produced together) as 13-year-olds. Here, there's no sugarcoating the calamities of tweenhood, whether they're as trivial as thongs and AIM messaging or as weighty as race identity. All delivered with Erskine and Konkle's razor-sharp wit, it's absolutely hysterical to anyone who's lived past the seventh grade.

Rick and Morty

"To be fair, you have to have a very high IQ to understand Rick and Morty. The humour is extremely subtle, and without a solid grasp of theoretical physics most of the jokes will go over a typical viewer's head."

Okay, so first things first, we need to separate Rick and Morty from the Rick and Morty fandom. The Rick and Morty fandom is so annoying that memes making fun of them are barely distinguishable from the things they actually say. But, to be fair, Rick and Morty really is a great show full of smart writing, surprisingly deep characterization, and the exact kind of bizarre, abstract humor that lends itself perfectly to endless memes. No doubt, Rick and Morty will be the defining animated comedy of the 2010s.

Russian Doll

This tightly-wound and big-hearted thriller stars Natasha Lyonne as a jaded New Yorker who gets caught in a loop in time and has to relive the night of her 36th birthday party over and over again. A perfect blend of humor and seriousness, and riddled with quantum leaps and profound connections, it's as satisfying as it is provocative.

Shameless

Shameless

We fell in love with the trainwreck family the Gallaghers when it debuted on Showtime in 2011. William H. Macy brought so much toxic charm to the abusive and neglectful father Frank Gallagher that we actually found him, if not likable, then good television. Emmy Rossum managed to cause tears and laughter within the same scene, and the entire cast was as impressive as their characters were appalling.

Shingeki no Kyojin (Attack on Titan)

After the first season of Attack on Titan premiered in 2013, it received so much hype that even people outside of the anime community were raving about it. The show featured an incredibly high-concept premise, following the last surviving humans as they tried to fight back against giant, man-eating monsters called Titans. Had Attack on Titan stuck to that premise, it would have been top-notch action-horror, albeit not necessarily one of the best shows of the decade.

But Attack on Titan turned out to be so much bigger than its initial premise. As the seasons progressed, Attack on Titan reshaped itself time and time again, leading viewers through an increasingly complex, expertly plotted narrative featuring some of the most compelling characters and intensely emotional moments that I've ever experienced in fiction. At its core, Attack on Titan is a deeply thematic contemplation on war, othering, and humanity's will to survive against impossible odds, alongside the moral sacrifices they oftentimes make to do so.

Shrill

It shouldn't be revolutionary for a show to feature a fat female lead, but it is. Shrill, the brilliant Hulu adaptation of Lindy West's memoir, Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman, gave audiences a badly needed narrative about a woman who is actively seeking to change her life for the better, in ways that have nothing to do with her body. It's funny, it's heartfelt, and it shows a woman getting an abortion and finding it empowering. Woah. Hell yes.

Steven Universe

When Steven Universe first aired on Cartoon Network in 2013, it was a light-hearted and silly children's show with some super-powered action from the Crystal Gems and a lot of silly jokes from their sidekick—the childish titular character. Since then an entire galaxy has been fleshed out around the boardwalk of Beach City where much of the show takes place. Along with the alien gem creatures and their elaborate history, the show has introduced us to a cast of characters that have grown and changed—overcoming insecurities and facing complex questions of love and identity. While Steven matured and developed into a hero worthy of his last name, the show evolved to become one of the best of the decade.

25-50 Top TV Shows of the 2010s

  • American Horror Story
  • Archer
  • Big Mouth
  • Community
  • Homeland
  • Inside Amy Schumer
  • iZombie
  • Jane the Virgin
  • Jessica Jones
  • Justified
  • Last Week Tonight
  • Love
  • Stranger Things
  • Suits
  • The Good Place
  • The Newsroom
  • This Is Us
  • True Detective
  • Unreal

VeepThe 5 Worst TV Shows of the 2010s9-1-1

  • Chicago PD
  • Daybreak
  • Once Upon a Time
  • What/If
TV

The Failed Diversity of "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel" Season Three

We can't pretend the 1950s were this wholesome.

IMDB

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel continues to deliver the same nostalgia and retro fashion that's earned the show audience acclaim and three Golden Globes.

In season 3, married showrunners Amy Sherman-Palladino and Daniel Palladino (Gilmore Girls) continue their comedic schtick of having characters speedwalk and speedtalk their way through scenes of chaos and slowing down to emphasize the impeccable retro scenery and pastel color palette that defines the show's 1950s wholesomeness. But this season, there is an attempt to address the show's dire lack of diversity (namely the absence of any non-white character) with three new charaters, played by magnetic talents: Midge (Rachel Brosnahan) tours with the celebrated singer Shy Baldwin (Leroy McClain) and his overbearing manager Reggie (Sterling K. Brown), while her ex-husband Joel (Michael Zegen) finds a new love interest Mei (Stephanie Hsu). Ultimately, Mrs. Maisel sticks to its same old formula of clever quips and introspective soliloquies set against gorgeous vintage backdrops, giving the series a predictability that, to some, provides an enjoyable, easy viewing experience, while to others it cripples the show's thematic scope.

So does Mrs. Maisel pass the diversity litmus test? No, not in any meaningful way. The series gets props for including people of color without tokenizing them as helpful best friends or quirky side kicks. Shy Baldwin is a charismatic but temperamental starlet who may or may not be based on a real-life idol of the '50s (Harry Belafonte seems to be the Internet's favorite guess). Sterling K. Brown plays his loyal friend and strict manager who antagonizes Midge and Susie (Alex Borstein) just enough to underscore the season's soft theme that Midge is going to have to get used to a wider, more complex audience beyond Manhattan's Upper West Side.

Marvelous Mrs. Maisel Amazon Prime

But that's where the show rings hollow, only touching on and skirting around issues like the Civil Rights Movement and segregation, which would have deeply impacted Midge's national tour with a famous African American singer and his predominantly black band. For instance, we see the tour's flashy performances in three major cities: Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and Miami. It's not until Miami that Midge learns that Shy and the band often aren't permitted to stay in the flashy hotels she's staying in, due to the rampant systemic racism of the 1950s. Las Vegas, in particular, was so racially segregated in the '50s and '60s that even renowned black performers who were invited to perform (such as Harry Belafonte) were forced to enter and leave through back doors; simply, Las Vegas was called the "Mississippi of the West" during this era.

But anachronisms aside, the show earns a big win for its introduction of Stephanie Hsu, who plays Mei, the enigmatic young woman who helps Joel establish his night club in Chinatown. Aside from being the first speaking role an Asian actor has had on the series, Mei defies the era's stereotypes of women and the Asian community. After Joel encounters an illegal mahjong gambling parlor nearby, Mei introduces herself with the same fast-talking cleverness and self-assured air that define Joel's ideal "type" of woman, as his friend Archie tells him.

Most notably, 29-year-old Hsu is very aware of the (albeit small) step forward her character makes toward uplifting Asian American representation on American TV. The daughter of Chinese and Taiwanese immigrants, Hsu pursued acting (to her family's trepidation) and graduated from NYU's Tisch School of the Arts the same year as Brosnahan. Trained in experimental theater, Hsu was painfully aware of how few opportunities are given to Asian actors in the entertainment industry. As little as 1% of Hollywood's leadings roles go to Asian actors, while on Broadway, Asian-Americans only occupy 4% of roles. But Mei isn't just a rare opportunity for today's Asian performers; she's also a standout woman of the time period. "With Mei, to be a female in Chinatown and a medical student [in the 1960s] is one of the most badass things that a woman could possibly do," Hsu said. "It's not a stereotype at all, it's completely pushing the boundary of what was possible [at the time]. It was like a character I had never, ever seen or heard of on TV and, certainly, could have never even imagined."

Marvelous Mrs. Maisel Amazon Prime

Hsu uses her fluent Mandarin language skills to underscore many of Mei's cutting punchlines about Joel's ignorance about Chinatown. As one of New York's oldest and most insular communities, she's a conduit that "shines a beautiful light on this very integral part of New York culture that isn't often spoken about," according to Hsu. She adds, "I feel very honored to get to play [her]." She also told Teen Vogue, "I feel a certain type of obligation to be making more space for younger versions of me."

So while some critique, "It's good to see the show attempt diversity. But if all they're going to do is make jokes about gambling and Asian stereotypes, it's not helpful," that view loses sight of the overall context of the show. In episode six, the show forces Midge and Joel to hear from people of color exactly how the world works differently for them. When Joel pridefully confronts Mei about secretly helping him with his nightclub, she says, "Hey, John Wayne! If you haven't noticed, this is a very insular neighborhood. You can't get anything done if you don't have 'cousins'...Chinese 'cousins'...You don't know the language." She leaves while telling Joel off in Mandarin. Meanwhile, Midge is helping Shy recover from a very difficult night. While they're huddled in the dark together, Midge speedily offers ways she could improve his situation, including bringing him back to her hotel room. He gives her a sardonic, all-too-knowing look, "I can't go to your hotel. This is Florida; we don't stay in your hotels."

It's as if both moments, through language barriers and tense moments of silence, capture the show's dissonance between the wholesome retro-nostalgia The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel blindly offers viewers and the fraught social reality that it disregards.

TV

Phoebe Waller-Bridge Brings Her Brand of Psychopathic Raunch to "SNL"

The "Fleabag" writer shines brightest (in her usual vulgar way) in her opening monologue.

Phoebe Waller-Bridge has had a successful past few years, to say the least.

The Emmy-winning writer of Fleabag and Killing Eve brought her brand of unfiltered brashness to the SNL screen this Saturday in an episode that felt like a victory lap. Still, while worth watching for any Waller-Bridge fans, the show wasn't quite able to live up to the level of comedic brilliance we've come to expect from her.

The best part was probably Waller-Bridge's opening monologue, in which she stated that everything she writes has a "grain of truth" to it, discussed genit*lia for several minutes, and definitively explained why Fleabag's "Hot Priest" is so hot: It's because he actually listens. She discussed psychopathy, which is brought to the fore on Killing Eve, and theorized that she herself might even be a psychopath (or at least, everyone she knows is). She closed with some killer lines like, "Back then horny women were to be burned at the stake. Now they're given Emmys!"

Phoebe Waller-Bridge Monologue - SNL www.youtube.com

Unfortunately, the rest of the show took a slightly downward turn following that monologue. While it might be a bit harsh to call SNL an "aging, decrepit beast that should've been put out of its misery seasons ago," as Vice did in its review of this episode, several of this show's sketches faltered dangerously. Last week's debut episode was promising with its clever depiction of the Democratic presidential candidates, but then again, those jokes kind of write themselves.

At least this episode, despite no shortage of lackluster jokes, we got to see Phoebe Waller-Bridge use many different accents and play a couple of memorable roles, including a psychopathic war wife who gallivants around with Hitler in the sketch "Words of the War." That sketch was possibly one of the episode's best, mostly thanks to Waller-Bridge's excellent deadpan and the scene's escalating absurdity. Weekend Update was also a highlight, featuring Kate McKinnon's lovably aggressive Elizabeth Warren, a well-placed Pete Davidson joke, and a flamboyant Chen Biao, played by freshman cast member Bowen Yang. "Mid-Day News" was also excellent, bringing racial politics and stereotypes to the fore as South Floridian news anchors try to determine whether the criminals they're reporting on are black or white.

Weekend Update: Chen Biao on US-China Trade War - SNL www.youtube.com


Mid-Day News - SNL www.youtube.com

On the other hand, the odd sketch "Royal Romance" made fun of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry but never quite hit its stride, and its jokes pushed the boundaries between satire and racism. Then there was the painful "Kaylee, Crystal, and Janetta," a sketch which featured four women at a bar. Perhaps meant to be a subversion of the super-feminine, stereotypical Sex and the City type of girl gang, characters portrayed are loud, tattooed, mullet-wearing, totally unfeminine, and frequently violent women. But that sketch doesn't seem to do many favors for any of them, instead asking the audience to laugh off a sequence where they each attack an ex-lover, refusing the kind of self-aware nuance that makes Fleabag such a standout example of how to write a "difficult woman" character.

Kaylee, Crystal & Janetta - SNL www.youtube.com

It's hard to say exactly why SNL has struggled so much over the past few years. Comedy writing is incredibly hard, but with all the absurdity in the modern era, we need excellent satire now more than ever to put it all into perspective. Still, the show could benefit from more diverse perspectives, more boundary-pushing and nuanced comedy, and stronger characters—the latter of which, specifically, Waller-Bridge is so good at creating. One has to wonder what would've happened had Waller-Bridge been able to write a few sketches herself.

TV

"Game of Thrones" Win Proves an Emmy Is Worthless in 2019

Industry awards are all about industry politics.

Emmy Awards

I didn't watch the 2019 Emmy Awards.

It's not because I had more important things to do. I was home Sunday evening eating a cold pork bun and playing a mobile game while half-watching Great British Bake Off. If anything, watching the Emmys probably should have been my priority as an entertainment writer. But here's the thing: I just don't care anymore.

Hollywood award shows are meaningless. When you see a TV show tout their "Emmy Award-winning" status, all that really says is that they pulled off the best promotional campaign. The real secret is that industry awards are all about industry politics, and if the winner also happens to be great, well that's incidental. Case in point: Game of Thrones won the coveted "Best Drama" Emmy for what might have been the most bungled final season of any major television show in history.

Game of Thrones Emmys Emmy Awards

If the worst season of Game of Thrones can win the Emmy for "Best Drama," that means one of two things.

The first would be that Game of Thrones season 8 was genuinely the best season of any drama series, in which case, what a sad day for television. But I don't think that's true. The most recent seasons of both Better Call Saul and Killing Eve received far better critical and fan reception than Game of Thrones.

The second possibility is that HBO spent a massive amount of money on promoting their Emmy campaign because, oh, I don't know, maybe they have a financial interest in counteracting the overwhelmingly negative reception to the show's final season. The funniest Emmy-related article I read this morning was this one, about how people who hadn't finished Game of Thrones yet were mad that the Emmys spoiled the Night King's death. These poor people don't realize that the real spoiler is David Benioff and D.B. Weiss's writing abilities. But don't worry, they still got awarded for their terrible job.

Game Of Thrones Wins Best Drama Series | EMMYS LIVE! 2019 www.youtube.com

To be clear, plenty of Emmy Award winners are overwhelmingly talented and deserving. Fleabag swept the comedy categories this year and absolute earned every trophy it won. But for an industry award show to matter to me, at least in my capacity as a viewer, I want to feel like a show's quality isn't incidental to its victory, and for that to be the case, winners would need to display a certain level of quality across the board. Unfortunately, Hollywood, like any other industry, is all about money, which means art often takes a backseat to profit. So next time you plan to watch an "Emmy Award-winning" show, please understand that the bar is practically on the floor.

TV

Our Picks for the 2019 "Fleabag" Awards (I Mean Emmy Awards)

Phoebe Waller-Bridge can have my house, just take my house, take everything.

The 2019 Emmy Awards will take place on September 22nd, meaning you only have a few more days to re-watch all of Fleabag before it sweeps the awards.

If you're anything like us, you've probably been sleeping and living in your Fleabag jumpsuit for the last few months, so it's probably time to give that bad boy a quick dry clean in time for your Phoebe Waller-Bridge-themed Emmy watching party! To get you ready for Fleabag's big night, we've compiled a list of the expected winners in the major categories!

Outstanding Comedy Series

Barry (HBO)
Fleabag (Prime Video)
The Good Place (NBC)
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Prime Video)
Russian Doll (Netflix)
Schitt's Creek (Pop TV)
Veep (HBO)

Our Pick: While there are some stellar series on this list, it's really a no brainer who will be taking home the Emmy: Fleabag. While the other series may be funny, nothing can really compare to the funniest, most heartfelt show ever made. If you aren't convinced, just watch the opening scene of Season 2. Praise be to our lord and savior, Phoebe Waller-Bridge.

Fleabag Series 2: The Opening Scene www.youtube.com


Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series

Christina Applegate, Dead to Me
Rachel Brosnahan, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep
Natasha Lyonne, Russian Doll
Catherine O'Hara, Schitt's Creek
Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Fleabag

Our Pick: Are you even paying attention? It's embarrassing I even have to say it: Phoebe Waller-Motherf*cking-Bridge. How many times have you watched her monologue at the salon about the importance of hair? WRONG. The answer is not enough times.

"Hair is everything." Excerpt from Fleabag episode, Season 2. www.youtube.com

Outstanding Drama Series

Better Call Saul (AMC)
Bodyguard (Netflix)
Game of Thrones (HBO)
Killing Eve (BBC America)
Ozark (Netflix)
Pose (FX)
Succession (HBO)
This Is Us (NBC)



Our Pick: Okay, so this one is a really difficult call; after all, Waller-Bridge also wrote Killing Eve. But we're gonna have to go with...Fleabag. Yes, I recognize Fleabag isn't actually nominated in this category, but do you remember the scene between Fleabag and Belinda at the bar? DO YOU REMEMBER? Show me a more brilliantly well-crafted dramatic scene than this one. I'll wait.

Why You Should Look Forward To The Menopause | Fleabag Series 2 www.youtube.com

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series

Anthony Anderson, black-ish
Don Cheadle, Black Monday
Ted Danson, The Good Place
Michael Douglas, The Kominsky Method
Bill Hader, Barry
Eugene Levy, Schitt's Creek

Our Pick: I know, I know. Neither Phoebe Waller-Bridge nor Fleabag are in this category, and it wouldn't have even been possible for them to be nominated. In light of that, our official pick is...Hugh Skinner! Skinner plays Harry, Fleabag's meek boyfriend/ex-boyfriend, and is undoubtedly one of the funniest parts of the show. Remember when Fleabag tried to prank him in the shower? Watch it again, anyways.

Fleabag Season 1 - Clip: Prank | Prime Video www.youtube.com


Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series

Jason Bateman, Ozark
Sterling K. Brown, This Is Us
Kit Harington, Game of Thrones
Bob Odenkirk, Better Call Saul
Billy Porter, Pose
Milo Ventimiglia, This Is Us

Our Pick: Everyone knows This Is Us is one of the most dramatic, cry-inducing shows ever made, and it's hard to compete with anything Billy Porter does, but that's not gonna stop us from picking Andrew Scott! No, yes, Fleabag is technically not a drama series, and no, Andrew Scott is not eligible in this category, but I'm honestly tired of your negativity, so just shove it, okay? Watch the final scene of Fleabag season 2 and then try to tell me Andrew Scott doesn't deserve this award. Also, KNEEL.

Fleabag 2x06 - "I Love You" - Ending Scene (1080p) www.youtube.com


Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series

Emilia Clarke, Game of Thrones
Jodie Comer, Killing Eve
Viola Davis, How to Get Away with Murder
Laura Linney, Ozark
Mandy Moore, This Is Us
Sandra Oh, Killing Eve
Robin Wright, House of Cards

Our Pick: Look at me. Look at me. "Are you alright, Father?" "Oh, look at you calling me father like it doesn't turn you on just to say it..." Sorry, had to get that out of my system real fast.

Anyways, the Emmy goes to Phoebe-Waller Bridge! Also, can we throw a few of those golden statues Olivia Colman's way? She's just the best.

If you have ever questioned whether Fleabag was the best show ever created, let this revisitation of Waller-Bridge's confessional monologue set your mind at ease.

FLEABAG (season2 ep4) www.youtube.com


AOC is Ready for Showtime

Freshman congressional representative and speaker of truth to power, Alexandria Ocasio Cortez made a very important public statement on Wednesday: she will be the first guest on Desus & Mero, the new late night talk show from Desus Nice and The Kid Mero. AOC joins her Bronx brethren, whose pop-culture commentary first made waves via their podcast before evolving into a Viceland weekly, for the first installment of their premium cable iteration. Desus & Mero premieres February 21 at 11pm on Showtime.

Breaking's Back

Aaron Paul is stepping back into the lab as Jesse Pinkman in an upcoming, feature-length sequel to Breaking Bad. In an unconventional move, the movie will premiere on Netflix before moving to the series original home on AMC. Details remain largely unknown, but sources say the movie will be written and directed by creator Vince Gilligan and "will follow the escape of a kidnapped man and his quest for freedom," according to The Hollywood Reporter. No word on whether or not there will be a Walter White appearance, but Bryan Cranston has signalled he'd be there in a heartbeat. Yeah, bitch!

Amazon to Stay Marvelous

While Amazon may have ditched its deal for NYC headquarters, it's production arm, Amazon Studios, has no plan to get rid of the Marvelous Sherman-Palladinos. The studio has signed an overall deal with Amy Sherman-Palladino and Dan Palladino, the team behind Gilmore Girls and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. "We celebrate the critical success...and our extended overall deal with them, which will allow our Amazon Prime audience to continue to enjoy their groundbreaking show and future original series from this incredible duo," said studio head Jennifer Salke at the Television Critics Association winter press tour on Wednesday.

Eve & Villanelle Return

Addicted | Killing Eve Season 2 Teaser Trailer | BBC America youtu.be

Sandra Oh's killer hair will return in season 2 of Killing Eve, airing on both BBC America and AMC beginning April 7. The latest trailer, released on Thursday, promises more spiraling obsessions, knife porn, and Jodie Comer in comic-themed pjs. We're already obsessed.

And, Finally, Nick's Got Your Nostalgia Fix

Nickelodeon doesn't want their fans to outgrow them. The kids' network has announced plans to hang onto both Gen-Z and Millennial demos, according to Variety. New network president Brian Robbins revealed plans for a reboot of the '90s tween sketch comedy show, All That, to be executive produced by original cast member and current SNL staple Kenan Thompson, as well as potential spin-off shows that focus on Spongebob favorites Patrick, Sandy, or Plankton.


Rebecca Linde is a writer and cultural critic in NYC. She tweets about pop culture and television @rklinde.


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