[2015 Critics’ Picks]

Best of 2015: TV

Master of None

1. The Americans (FX) The adventures of a pair of Soviet sleeper agents in 1980s America got even more suspenseful and anguished this season with the potential recruitment of their daughter, and stars Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys made the audience feel every agonizing decision.

2. Mad Men (AMC) All the way to the end, Matthew Weiner’s period drama about advertising and ennui remained inscrutable, unpredictable, powerful, affecting and hilarious, and it should be remembered as one of the greatest TV series in history.

3. You’re the Worst (FXX) The second season of this comedy about cynics reluctantly falling in love retained its biting sense of humor while offering a clear-eyed, often heartbreaking depiction of dealing with clinical depression.

YouTube star Rachel Bloom co-created and stars in Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.

4. UnReal (Lifetime) A TV drama about manufacturing TV drama, UnReal explores the behind-the-scenes manipulation that goes into creating a Bachelor-esque reality show, holding nothing back in its portrayal of amoral fame-seekers and those who enable them.

5. Crazy Ex-Girlfriend (The CW) Star and co-creator Rachel Bloom makes unhealthy romantic obsession and likely mental illness funny and endearing in this musical dramedy about an unstable yet highly intelligent and self-aware woman who moves across the country to follow a childhood crush.

6. Jane the Virgin (The CW) Although its breakneck telenovela-style structure has gotten a little unwieldy at times, Jane remains an infectiously fun and upbeat show about people in outrageous circumstances, led by Gina Rodriguez’s magnetic performance as the title character, now dealing with motherhood.

Taylor Schilling, center, portrays Piper Kerman, whose memoirs are the basis for the Netflix series Orange Is the New Black.

7. Master of None (Netflix) Aziz Ansari revealed hidden depths in his thoughtful comedy about an Indian-American actor in New York City, taking on issues of race, gender and generational differences with a healthy dose of knowing pop-culture humor.

8. Orange Is the New Black (Netflix) Although its third season lacked a central narrative drive, this dramedy set in a women’s prison still found numerous ways to explore the diverse lives of the inmates, with literally dozens of fascinating characters populating a unique setting.

9. Fargo (FX) The second season of Noah Hawley’s Coen brothers homage was more grandiose than the first, peppering its Midwestern crime story with odd mysticism, and while not all of it worked, the ambition was backed up by stellar acting and a consistently engrossing plot.

10. Younger (TV Land) This bubbly comedy about a 40-year-old woman (Sutton Foster) pretending to be 26 to land a job in publishing is one of the most likable shows on TV, with winning characters, engaging romance and warm humor, all wrapped up in tragically hip designer fashions.


Josh Bell

Josh Bell is the film editor for Las Vegas Weekly, where he's been writing movie and TV reviews since 2002. ...

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