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Best of 2016: TV

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The Americans”

JOSH BELL

1. The Americans (FX) In its fourth season, this drama about undercover Soviet operatives in 1980s suburban America grew richer and more complex, expertly balancing its espionage thrills, historical detail and family drama, with both tragic and thrilling results.

2. Crazy Ex-Girlfriend (The CW) Co-creator and star Rachel Bloom continues to dazzle with this musical tragicomedy about mental illness, romantic obsession, female friendship and the power of an awesome song.

3. You’re the Worst (FXX) Another comedy about mental illness, YTW spent its third season delving deeply into the messed-up-ness of its various characters, revealing the damage behind their often reprehensible behavior, while remaining consistently biting and funny.

"The Good Place"

4. The Good Place (NBC) This high-concept comedy about a slacker (played by Kristen Bell) mistakenly admitted to heaven is much more than a fish-out-of-water sitcom, exploring deep philosophical ideas while keeping its plot moving at an impressive pace and delivering a barrage of smart/silly jokes.

5. Fleabag (Amazon) Creator and star Phoebe Waller-Bridge goes to some dark places in this uncomfortably funny, self-aware comedy about a massively screwed-up London singleton, who’s like Bridget Jones if Bridget Jones talked way more about anal sex and suicide.

6. Search Party (TBS) Self-involved Brooklyn hipsters attempt to solve a missing-persons case in this hilariously deadpan black comedy, featuring a lead performance from Alia Shawkat that digs into the entitlement and rootlessness of the overeducated and underemployed.

7. Orange Is the New Black (Netflix) The cast of this women’s-prison dramedy keeps growing, yet the fourth season balanced ongoing character development with new storylines, handling both light comedy and serious concerns with care and consideration.

"Atlanta"

8. Atlanta (FX) Donald Glover’s exploration of his hometown’s hip-hop underground gets pretty weird at times, switching from low-key naturalism to baffling surrealism, but it’s always grounded in its sense of place and community, with characters who make even the weirdest moments relatable.

9. Galavant (ABC) A live-action musical parody of Disney-style fairy tales was probably never going to be a hit, so bless ABC for giving the world two seasons of this puntastic, unabashedly goofy series, featuring exuberant performances and catchy songs that measure up to their inspirations.

10. Marvel’s Agent Carter (ABC) The only Marvel superhero show to get canceled (thus far) might have been the best, with a capable, take-charge protagonist played by Hayley Atwell, a colorful and vibrant 1940s setting, some wonderful supporting characters and stories that didn’t get bogged down in Marvel continuity.

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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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