It’s been a rough year but television has given us more than its fair share of distractions from time to time. 2016 was another busy year for television (with no signs of slowing down). We were treated to some interesting twists and turns from our favorite returning shows and given new TV shows that have taken the place of shows that have since ended.
Check out part one of what the TwoCentsTV editors had to say about their favorite TV moments, new shows, and returning series from 2016!
A lot of our favorites here at TCTV shared quite a few big moments this year, from Chicago Fire and Arrow both closing out the year with their 100th episodes to Gilmore Girls return and Nashville getting saved!
Chicago Fire’s 100th episode gave fans the wedding they have been waiting for as Gabby and Matt got married surrounded by their friends. Meanwhile over on Arrow’s 100th episode, it was a “what if” episode courtesy of the Dominators that saw what life would have been like if Oliver and Sara had never gotten on the Gambit while also giving us an hour of growth for Oliver and some top notch emotional work from Stephen Amell and Willa Holland.
2016 was also the year of revivals and saves, from Gilmore Girls coming back to give fans four more episodes and a taste of a year in the life of the Gilmores. Nashville’s chances at ABC were not looking good and subsequently got cancelled by the network. They were ultimately saved by CMT and if that doesn’t count as an interesting milestone for the show, we don’t know what is!
Rounding out our milestones is The Big Bang Theory’s latest story had the Wolowitz’s expecting a new member of the family. Baby Wolowitz, Halley, was born this season on Amy Farrah Fowler’s birthday.
There are a few of our favorite returning shows that while they didn’t celebrate a major milestone, they still left an impact on us throughout the year. Grey’s Anatomy proved this season that the show has still got it, earning top TGIT ratings for Shondaland.
Netflix offered fans another season of Fuller House and brought the Tanners back for 12 more episodes. Disney XD’s Star Wars Rebels connected the big films and continued to expand the universe while entertaining everyone in the family.
While we’re in the midst of “peak TV”, there were quite a few performances that truly stood out among the rest. Those performances belong to the outstanding cast members on Outlander, Mr. Robot, and Westworld.
The second season of Outlander saw more heartbreak and uncertainty for Jamie and Claire, which was played so very well by Catriona Balfe and Sam Heughan that ended with a heartbreaking separation and left fans eagerly awaiting season three.
Mr. Robot continued its acclaimed run with another surprising twist and some interesting questions raised by viewers after it was revealed that Elliot was in prison and the unreliable narrator issue is brought up.
Meanwhile over on HBO, Westworld debuted this year and quickly has become a fan favorite, yielding plenty of fan theories to ruminate on over the hiatus. The performances from the entire cast from Thandie Newton and Evan Rachel Wood (both of which have garnered major nominations) to Anthony Hopkins and Ed Harris have helped the show gain its theory-worthy status.
The year also brought devastating twists to both new and returning series, from The Walking Dead to This Is Us and Pitch.
It comes as no surprise that one of the devastating twists comes from The Walking Dead. With Negan’s appearance at the end of the last season, came the inevitable demise of two favorites including Glenn Rhee. After six seasons, fans had to say goodbye to Glenn after he was on the receiving end of Lucille.
New shows like Pitch and This Is Us also added devastating twists to their debut seasons. Pitch’s pilot spent parts of the hour exploring Ginny Baker’s relationship with her father, Bill, only to reveal that he was dead the entire time and the man she was seeing at her first Padres game was a figment of her imagination. In later episodes, it was discovered how Bill Baker passed. Pure Genius also offered up a pilot twist as it was revealed that James has GSS and that’s why he built Bunker Hill.
This Is Us, NBC’s first family drama in quite a while, explored family dynamics through flashbacks and present day juxtaposition. Though we got to see most of the family in present day, there was one person missing…Jack. It’s revealed a few episodes in that Jack has actually passed at some point between the flashbacks and present day.
With over 450 series on the air (according to FX research and a result of Peak TV), it’s no surprise that there were a variety of new shows to pick up and binge. There were plenty of new shows that made it to our favorite new shows.
Network TV gave us our new favorites like baseball drama Pitch and NBC’s latest foray into the family drama, This Is Us. Both series have become top favorites for our editors and offer something different to the gritty dramas or superhero series that are available today.
In the comedy department, the big four have given us solid and different kinds of shows like Speechless which gives viewers a look into the DiMeo family, which includes J.J. a special needs son and a hilarious group of kids. The Good Place is also different in that it gives you a look at the after-life of a woman who dies and accidentally goes to “the good place”. The cast has amazing comedic chops. Both shows have fantastic amounts of heart and bring us back every week.
Atlanta on FX gave us a different kind of comedy from Donald Glover with a fun and entertaining cast of characters, a different kind of premise, and a surreal look at Earn’s life as he balances his goal to get into music management and his family (Van and their daughter).
HBO has given us the latest entry in the mega-series with Westworld which has given viewers not only great performances but endless amounts of story to theorize on over the season.
Over on Netflix, the streamer has given us series like the 80s sci-fi/fantasy series Stranger Things and Marvel’s latest entry in the build up to The Defenders series, Luke Cage. Both have grown in popularity since their debuts and have given fans (including the TCTV editors) plenty of quotable material and characters to root for.
It was an Olympics year so for a few weeks in August, the world had its eyes on Rio. There were so many milestones reached this year in Rio, from introducing the first Refugee Olympic team to the American women’s gymnastics team dominating (giving us the final five) and of course, Michael Phelps taking his final swim and adding to his gold medal count.
Meanwhile, baseball brought fans a pleasant October surprise as the Chicago Cubs made it to the postseason and for the first time in 105 years and came out World Series champs. The curse of the Goat is no more!
Check back tomorrow for the second and final part of our year in review!