Last week, I published my top 10 list of shows that aired this year. It was a damn fine list. I’m happy with every single show that’s on it. But I was also very frustrated at all the shows I had to leave off. In Peak TV – as with the current state of the Baseball Hall of Fame ballot – 10 just doesn’t seem like enough spots to recognize all the deserved greatness.
So I planned to do an honorable mentions list with 10 shows I wish I could have made room for on the original list, but the second that was done, I realized there were 5 other shows I’d be annoyed to not mention, and then 5 after that, and pretty soon the damn thing had ballooned to 25 – and even there, it was missing things.
I’m going to keep it to a bonus 25 (technically 26, since I cheated and put two shows in one slot) for now – in alphabetical order, because rankings are all a blur at this point – and then mention in passing some of the others. At a certain point, there’s really no difference between this next 25 and the ones mentioned at the end, but there’s only so much praise I can dole out before it all starts to seem meaningless. (My friend James Poniewozik from The New York Times, who hates the Everybody Gets a Trophy approach to year-end superlatives, is likely cringing at the thought that this list goes, say, 5 shows past my original top 10.) Suffice it to say, though, if you try to say there’s nothing good on TV these days, you’re just not looking hard enough.