Best TV Episodes of the 2010s

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CREDIT: YouTube Screenshots

In assembling my picks for the best TV episodes of the past decade, I noticed that I was leaning heavily on the comedy side. This was unsurprising, as I tend to watch more sitcoms than dramas. But the difference was even more pronounced than usual. I think that makes sense, because on average, comedies tend to be specifically designed on an episodic basis moreso than dramas.

I should also note that I did not limit shows to any prescribed maximum. You’ll notice that certain programs keep popping up, like Community and Nathan for You. They deserve it, as they’re the types of shows that revolutionized themselves on the regular.

So here are the television morsels from the 2010s that shine within the context of their full works and also stand brilliantly on their own.


Best New TV Characters of 2015

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Rad Cunningham

1. Rad Cunningham (Will Forte), Moonbeam City – On an underseen show, Will Forte worked his indelible powers of empathy and open-mindedness to birth another one of his beautifully pathetic creations. In the patently ridiculous Moonbeam City PD, Rad is the most ridiculous, and the most childish, but also the most profoundly human.


What Won TV? – December 13-December 19, 2015

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In this feature, I look back at each day of the past week and determine what shows “won TV” for the night. That is, I consider every episode of television I watched that aired on a particular day and declare which was the best.


Sunday – The Last Man on Earth
Monday – Fargo ended Season 2 on its own terms.
Tuesday – Jeopardy!
Wednesday – Jeopardy!
Thursday – Billy on the Street (but Honorable Mention to The Big Bang Theory for its most tender episode ever)
Friday – Jeopardy!
Saturday – Lola Fabray performing “12 Days of Christmas” after putting 12 shots of rum in her eggnog on SNL

Best Episode of the Season: The Last Man on Earth Season 1

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“Alive in Tucson”
Actors often note the difficulty of acting opposite nothing, but in the pilot of The Last Man on Earth, Will Forte proves how powerful a lone wolf performance can be. True, there have been other great cases of solitary acting, but as Phil Miller, Forte’s performance is the sort that seems like it is meant for acting opposite others. This debut episode sticks completely to a premise that should not work according to how television is normally understood, but it proves to be a successful experiment.

2015 Emmy Nominations Predictions and Wishlist

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For my detailed thoughts on my predictions and wishlists in the major Drama, Comedy, and Variety categories, check out these links:

Guest Actor, Comedy
John Hawkes, Inside Amy Schumer
Michael Rapaport, Louie
Chris Gethard, Parks and Recreation
Dwayne Johnson, Saturday Night Live

Guest Actress, Comedy
Susie Essman, Broad City

Guest Actor, Drama
Mel Rodriguez, Better Call Saul

Guest Actress, Drama
Allison Janney, Masters of Sex
Linda Lavin, The Good Wife

Directing, Comedy
Rob Schrab, “Modern Espionage,” Community

Directing, Drama
Adam Arkin, “The Promise,” Justified

Writing, Comedy
Dan Harmon and Chris McKenna, “Emotional Consequences of Broadcast Television,” Community

Writng, Drama
Thomas Schnauz, “Pimento,” Better Call Saul

Animated Program
Bojack Horseman – “Downer Ending”
American Dad! – “Dreaming of a White Porsche Christmas”
The Simpsons – “Treehouse of Horror XXV”

Android – “Friends Furever”

Host – Reality/Reality Competition
RuPaul, “RuPaul’s Drag Race”

Interactive Program
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver

Main Title Design
Man Seeking Woman

Single-Camera Picture Editing, Comedy
Bojack Horseman – “Downer Ending”

Short-Format Live-Action Entertainment Program
Too Many Cooks
Billy On The Street With First Lady Michelle Obama, Big Bird And Elena!!!

Stunt Coordination for a Comedy Series or a Variety Program

Special Visual Effects in a Supporting Role
Man Seeking Woman – “Traib”