In addition to unveiling its Movies of the Year list, the American Film Institute announced its TV Programs of the Year selections on Monday (December 8) and let's just say that the group is intriguingly distracted by shiny new things.
Your AFI TV Programs of the Year:
“Game of Thrones”
“How To Get Away With Murder”
“Jane the Virgin”
“Orange Is The New Black”
It's an interesting and eclectic list and not without merit, but it's also not without its intriguing absences.
While the AFI list contains six new shows, it's missing “True Detective.” And who would have guessed there'd be a list of TV's best in which the lone network legal drama was “How To Get Away With Murder” and not “The Good Wife”?
The only returning shows from last year's AFI list are “The Americans,” “Game of Thrones,” “Orange Is The New Black” and “Mad Men,” with “Mad Men” and “Game of Thrones” the only returnees from the 2012 list. And because “Mad Men” was off in 2011, only “Game of Thrones” has made the AFI list four straight years.
HitFix unveiled its Annual TV Critics' Poll on Monday and it overlaps with the AFI list on six shows, but the AFI list has “HTGAWM,” “Jane the Virgin,” “The Knick” and “Silicon Valley” in the place of Critics' List favorites “The Good Wife,” “True Detective,” “Louie” and “Broad City.”
From my own Top 10 list, there are five points of intersection with the AFI list. Another three of the AFI shows are guaranteed a place in my Top 11-30 listing and “Jane the Virgin” will either be there or in my Honorable Mention list. Only “How To Get Away With Murder” seems absurdly out of place given the TV landscape. It is, however, a massive freshman hit for ABC, so there's probably no harm in the AFI acknowledging popularity, I guess.