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Top 10 TV Shows of 2015
I’m finally getting around to posting my Best of 2015 lists. Peak TV made me watch more TV than ever this year, which made is extremely hard to narrow it down to a Top 10 (technically it’s 11 since one slot is a tie between two programs). But I managed to do it and here’s the list…

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1. The Leftovers
*The first season of The Leftovers went through the entire plot of the book by Tom Perrotta. So Damon Lindelof really had to start fresh and create a whole new environment for the characters to exist. And he did it absolutely perfect. He kept the most interesting characters from the first season and moved them to a new location of Jarden, Texas. It was a risky move that paid off. Every week when I tuned into this show, I didn’t know what to expect and it was a happy surprise every time. I wish more shows would take risks like this, because it pays off for everyone involved.*

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2. Veep
*This show continues to improve every year and the fourth-season that aired back in the Spring was an absolute delight. Veep continues to envolve in its storytelling and the growth (or stagnation) of the characters we’ve gotten to know for four years. Selina as President provided so many new avenues for the show to explore our main character and how everyone around her reacts. The ensemble grew with the addition of Hugh Laurie and the increased presence of Sam Richardson and Sarah Sutherland. The characters are so clearly defined and well-drawn, there isn’t one false moment from any of them. It does make me concerned that showrunner Armando Iannucci is not returning next year, but he’s left such a great well of characters/actors that it shouldn’t affect it too much.*

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3. Project Greenlight
*I’m extremely surprised to have this back-from-the-dead reality series so high on my list. But I was absolutely fascinated by every single second of this show. The battle between new director Jason Mann and seasoned executive producer Effie Brown was one of the best rivalries ever put on television. Depending on your personal sensibility, determined whose side you fell on. But this show not only tackled the complicated production of a film. It also gave us further insight into other battles being fought in Hollywood: art vs. commerce; gender inequality; racial issues. This show perfectly encapsulated almost all of those topics.*

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4. The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst AND Making a Murderer
*I’m not even a fan of true-life crime drama, but these shows had me absolutely riveted to the television. Both of them were meticulously researched and extremely well made documentaries. Each series had a different approach to their storytelling, and they were both entertaining and informative.*

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5. Transparent
*Even though I ranked this lower than last year, I found this season to be even more satisfying. Creator Jill Soloway was not afraid to put the Pfefferman’s through the ringer this year. Every character had an uphill battle in their lives, and they all came out of it stronger people. The regular cast was never better, and all of the peripheral characters that were introduced only added to the complexity of Transparent.*

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6. Master of None
*I’ve really enjoyed Aziz Ansari’s stand-up and his non-fiction book that came out this summer. He has a great sensibility about how people communicate and find love in today’s world. With Master of None, he found a way to explore those issues through the fictional character of Dev and all of his connections. It was equal parts hilarious, heart-warming, and fascinating to watch him navigate the relationships in his life.*

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7. Fargo
*To be honest, I thought this season didn’t start off as strong as it’s previous one. But by the end of the season, I thought it ended up being a stronger overall product than the first one. The ensemble of this show is one of the best ever put on television. Not just in terms of actors, but it terms of the characters they played. Every character was so uniquely drawn and gave the actors a lot of juicy material to play. I’m sad most of them were killed because I think the actors and writers could have gone even deeper with them.*

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8. Last Week Tonight with John Oliver
*John Oliver is really the successor of Jon Stewart. He tackles the important issues and topics in the country and does so in a smart and hilarious manner. He’s able to play with the format too. Some episodes tackle more topics than others. Oliver always has a great grasp of everything he talks about and knows how to maintain the audience’s attention. It should be required viewing for every American.*

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9. BoJack Horseman
*The show had a solid first season, but it greatly improved in its second season. It built upon everything we learned about the characters and the alternative Hollywood universe in which they exist. It delved further into BoJack’s depression and how that’s affected every aspect of his life. While it dealt with serious issues, it never felt too heavy with the way they approached it.*

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10. Mad Men
*The last half of the final season of Mad Men allowed the show to go out on an extremely high note. Matthew Weiner gave one of the best series of all-time, a graceful exit that satisfied fans as well as surprised them. The ending of the series finale will be one of those iconic TV moments that no one will forget. For a show that lasted almost 8 seasons, I still wasn’t ready for it to be over yet.*

HONORABLE MENTION: Archer, Bloodline, Bob’s Burgers, Mom, Mr. Robot, Orange Is the New Black, Show Me a Hero, Silicon Valley, Survivor, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

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