The 2015-2016 TV Superlatives!

The time has come, my friends. The moment that maybe one person ALL OF YOU have been waiting for: the 2015-2016 TV Superlatives.

Rules are basically the same as last year, with a few little tweaks. To be eligible for these super duper prestigious awards, a show must have begun its season sometime between June 1st, 2015 and May 25th, 2016. This means that the first seasons of shows like Killjoys and Dark Matter (which came out last summer) are actually eligible for this year’s awards, as is the most recent season of Game of Thrones. Shows like Preacher, meanwhile, didn’t begun until after May 25th, so they won’t be eligible until next year. The only other shows outside this timeline that will be considered are shows that were completely unavailable to me prior to June 1st, 2015: Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries, for example.

I’m gonna be honest with you, guys: I could have done a better job of keeping track of these things over the course of the last year. There’s been a lot of frantic scrambling over the past few weeks to try and remember things like, “Shit, who had good season premieres again? SEPTEMBER WAS SO LONG AGO.” I am dedicated to creating a better system for myself next year. (But I’m pretty sure I said the exact same thing last year, so. We’ll see.)

For those of you who–like me–primarily watch genre shows that never get nominated for shit: well, my friends, these are for you.

DISCLAIMER:

You may find mild spoilers here–like, if you don’t want to know anything about a show you haven’t seen, be cautious–but Big Time Spoiler Awards (Best Death, for instance) won’t appear until the Spoiler Section. Peruse at your own peril.

FAVORITE SEASON PREMIERE

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“Laws of Nature” (Agents of SHIELD)

Agents of SHIELD faltered a bit for me in the second half–I never felt like Hive lived up to his full Big Bad potential, for starters, not to mention I’m still annoyed by one mid-season plot development–but this was a pretty great start to the season. There was so much going on, and I was invested in all of it: the spread of the Inhumans, the introduction of Rosalind and the ACTU, and–of course–that final scene with a devastated Fitz. Loved. So. Hard. I was instantly hooked.

Honorable Mentions: “Wanheda, Part I” – The 100; “AKA Ladies Night” – Jessica Jones; “Dulcinea” – The Expanse; “It’s Time To Move On” – How To Get Away With Murder; “Bangarang” – Killjoys

FAVORITE FIGHT SCENE

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Blaine vs. Ravi in the Morgue (iZombie)

This award had so many nominees. I think the only other awards with this many contenders for the throne (so to speak) were Best Female Character, Most Fabulous Fashion, and Worst Plan. (Jesus, you guys. There were so MANY awful, awful plans.) But while there were more serious fights on TV, more badass fights on TV, and probably more impressively choreographed fights on TV, nothing made me laugh like this scene between Rahul Kohli and David Anders. Set to the Cure’s “Friday I’m In Love,” this scene was comedic genius and an instant iZombie classic. I’m personally hoping for a rematch in Season 3.

Honorable Mentions: Captain Cold + Heat Wave + White Canary vs. Bar Patrons (Legends of Tomorrow); Round One Fight (RWBY); Lydia vs Eichen House Orderlies (Teen Wolf); Kira vs Tracy (Teen Wolf); Kira vs Noshiko (Teen Wolf); Sun/Capheus Street Fight (Sense8); Sun/Capheus Machete Fight (Sense8); Wolf/Lito vs. Joaquin (Sense8); Jessica vs Luke (Jessica Jones); Jessica & Luke vs Bar Patrons (Jessica Jones); Jessica + Trish vs Simpson (Jessica Jones); Daredevil vs Punisher, Round 1 (Daredevil); Daredevil Stairwell Fight (Daredevil); Punisher vs Prisoners (Daredevil); Lexa vs Roan (The 100); May vs Team – Pretend Fight (Agents of Shield); Daisy vs Bad Guys – Actual Fight (Agents of Shield); Bobbi vs. Bad Guy in Pool (Agents of Shield)

BEST BATTLE SCENE

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“The Battle of the Bastards” (Game of Thrones)

It’s not like there was a ton of competition out there or anything, but still. This battle scene very well could be the best battle scene on TV of all time. If you ever wanted to get a sense of what it would really be like to crawl on the ground dodging horses left and right, or try to crawl your way to freedom (and oxygen) amongst fighting soldiers and the literal suffocating weight of the dead–but, like, without ever having to actually live any of that shit–this is the definitely the episode to watch.

Honorable Mentions: “Battle of the Three Armies” – Galavant; “Battle of Beacon” – RWBY

CREEPIEST MOMENT

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Creepy Orderly With Catatonic Lydia (Teen Wolf)

There were a few disturbing moments during this television season, but I don’t know if anything bothered me quite as much as those first few minutes of Teen Wolf 5A, where the Creepiest Orderly of All Creepy Orderlies got way too close to Catatonic Lydia and seemed upsettingly satisfied by getting the opportunity to repeatedly and sadistically jab her with a syringe. Blarg. SO CREEPSOME.

Honorable Mentions: Lamprey-Wendigo-Hand Teeth (Teen Wolf); The Discovery of {Spoiler Redacted} Dead Body (The Expanse); Spider Crawls on Dead Body’s Face (Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries); The Execution Line-Up (The Walking Dead)

FAVORITE INDIVIDUAL SONG

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TIE!

“What’s Up” – Four Non-Blondes (Sense8) and “Spock” – VCMG (Hap & Leonard)

I could probably not have picked more diametrically opposed scenes than these two.

“What’s Up” in Sense8 is like the ultimate group singalong. You will never beat it. There will be no group singalong that ever achieves its greatness. It’s also nearly impossibly to watch without smiling yourself, even though not all of what’s happening is entirely happy. (Nomi’s storyline, for instance, is pretty dark at this point.) Still, there is a joy here that doesn’t feel cheesy or rehearsed, which is hard to do. It very well could be what I’d consider the defining moment of the series.

“Spock,” meanwhile, hits my fix for enjoyable music paired with lots of violence. One of the most striking things about this scene is that Hap & Leonard plays the entire song–and it’s not a short one, either, over five minutes of faux-80’s electronica. It works well too, moving from offbeat humor to serious tension, as Jimmi Simpson–one of TV’s greatest Weird Guys–enthusiastically white boy dances at a wholly inappropriate moment before sitting down and ominously threatening to torture {spoiler redacted} until he gets what he wants. It’s a fun, sinister scene, and it’s impressive how well the song beats and the scene beats pair together.

Honorable Mentions: “Bunsen Burner” – Cuts (Person of Interest); “Metamorphosis: Metamorphosis One” – Philip Glass (Person of Interest); “The Day the World Went Away” – Nine Inch Nails (Person of Interest); “Do I Move You” – Nina Simone (Person of Interest); “No Wow” – The Kills (Person of Interest); “Wild Ones” – Bahari -(Teen Wolf); “Blow Up the Outside World” – Alex Clare (Teen Wolf); “Friday I’m In Love” – The Cure (iZombie); “A New Season” – Galavant Cast (Galavant); “Ghost” – The Acid (How To Get Away With Murder); “Lights of the Seven” – Ramin Djawadi (Game of Thrones); “Hear Me Roar” – Ramin Djawadi (Game of Thrones); “Add It Up” – Violent Femmes (The 100); “Thousand Eyes” – Of Monsters And Men (The 100)

MOST FABULOUS FASHION

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TIE!

Kira’s Sword-Belt (Teen Wolf) and Barbara’s Arkham Asylum Dress (Gotham)

First, apologies for the totally gratuitous shot of Kira’s butt there. I just really wanted a picture of the belt in belt-form because this thing is amazing. It is a sword-belt. Is a belt that literally turns into a sword. There are no physics imaginable that would make this thing work, and I don’t give a damn. It is glorious, and I want it NOW.

On the other hand, there’s Barbara’s Arkham Asylum Dress, and people, I don’t even watch Gotham anymore; I gave up (again) halfway through this season with no plans to give the show a third chance, and I would still potentially cosplay Barbara because this is simultaneously the most amazing, hilarious, and surprisingly fashionable dress I have ever seen. It is gloriously ridiculous.

Honorable Mentions: Cersei’s “The Winds of Winter” costume (Game of Thrones); Ward’s Matrix-Inspired Coat of Evil (Agents of SHIELD); Blaine’s picnic blanket (iZombie); Liv’s crime scene tape dress (iZombie); Chrisjen’s Walking Through Snow outfit (The Expanse); Alex’s blonde wig (Supergirl); Peggy’s red sunglasses (Agent Carter); Peggy’s red dress (Agent Carter); Amberle’s dress/accompanying elf jewelry (The Shannara Chronicles); Amanita’s amazing hair (Sense8); Colonial Root (Person of Interest); Ballerina Root (Person of Interest); Root’s bunny slippers (Person of Interest); Basically anything Joan wears – but especially her coat in “Up to Heaven and Down to Hell”); Basically anything Angel wears – but especially her black leather outfit and Ziggy Stardust inspired makeup (Hap & Leonard); Helena’s raccoon hat (Orphan Black); White Canary outfit (Legends of Tomorrow)

FAVORITE SIDEKICK

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Ravi (iZombie)

Picking Favorite Sidekick is always a pain in the ass. For one, there are too many good ones. For another, it’s not always easy to draw the line between what constitutes sidekick: are they truly playing second fiddle to the hero, or are they simply a different hero? It’s subjective, is what I’m saying.

Ravi, though, is definitely Liv’s sidekick, and while he already tied for this award last year, I adore him just as much—if not more—in the show’s second season. He’s hilarious, intelligent, and a giant nerd, not to mention the damn sexy accent, of course. (What? It’s a vital part of playing a sidekick. Stop judging me!) He also has a few small serious moments towards the end of this season; they’re brief, but played brilliantly.

Despite the sheer number of great sidekicks right now, I suspect that Ravi will remain the guy to beat so long as iZombie remains on air.

Honorable Mentions: John (Killjoys); Amanita (Sense8); Cisco (Flash); Jarvis (Agent Carter); Foggy (Daredevil); Felix (Orphan Black); Amos (The Expanse); Richard (Galavant); Malcolm (Jessica Jones); Bullock (Gotham); Oliver (How to Get Away With Murder); Rose (Agent Carter); Mason (Teen Wolf); Dot (Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries); Noah (Scream)

SCENE STEALER

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Lyanna Mormont (Game of Thrones)

No question here. There are currently a bunch of fierce women right now vying for power in Game of Thrones, but if it were up to me? 10-year-old badass Lyanna Mormont would rule Westeros. You can’t say the kingdom wouldn’t be better off.

I swear to God, GoT. Don’t you kill her. I WILL FUCKING RIOT.

Honorable Mentions: Amanita (Sense8); Hernando (Sense8); the Android (Dark Matter); Mac (Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries); Amos (The Expanse); Mason (Teen Wolf); Rose (Agent Carter); Oliver (How to Get Away With Murder); Claire (Daredevil); Fiona (Elementary); Denise (The Walking Dead); Marcus (Elementary); Nora & Ren (RWBY); Cat (Supergirl); Tad Cooper (Galavant)

MOST IMPROVED CHARACTER

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Captain Cold and Heat Wave (Legends of Tomorrow)

They come as a team. They totally count as one.

It’s not that I hated Captain Cold and Heat Wave before. They were sort of funny, in their ridiculously over the top way, but sometimes I found their absurdity more annoying than amusing, and I thought making them main players on Legends of Tomorrow was just a recipe for disaster.

But I was wrong because Captain Cold and Heat Wave were consistently one of the best things about Legends (well, them and Sara Lance, anyway), and they made watching that show slightly more bearable.

Honorable Mentions: Barbara (Gotham); Two (Dark Matter); Felicity (Arrow); Ezekiel Jones (The Librarians); J’onn J’onzz (Supergirl); Iris (The Flash); Sansa (Game of Thrones)

WORST FEMALE CHARACTER

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TIE!

Caitlin Snow (The Flash) and Kendra Saunders (Legends of Tomorrow)

I just couldn’t pick between them.

Caitlin wasn’t my favorite character in the first season of The Flash, but good Lord, did she get worse in Season 2. Her storylines are terrible: they pretty much always and only revolve around a man, and while Ronnie was at least understandable, her insta-romance with Jay was pretty poorly handled. They had zero chemistry, not to mention that time when–moderate spoiler–Caitlin found out that Jay was slowly dying, and immediately made his illness all about her. And then there was that time where Caitlin suddenly became kind of a racist? Yeah. This was not her best season.

Meanwhile, Legends of Tomorrow has Kendra, and admittedly, I was annoyed from the very beginning that I wasn’t getting the Hawkgirl I wanted from JLU. Disappointment aside, however, there was no reason Kendra had to be this bad. And yet even in a show as deeply uneven as Legends, Kendra is easily identifiable as the worst part of it. Her stories also almost entirely revolve around men (and lord, are those romances lackluster indeed), and she makes SERIOUSLY questionable decisions near the end of the season. And by questionable, I mean she’s wrong, she’s wrong, holy shit, she’s wrong.

Berlanti does a lot of things right when it comes to superheroes, but his shitty handling of female characters remains a serious problem for me on almost every one of his shows.

Honorable Mentions: Robyn (Jessica Jones); Five (Dark Matter)

BEST FEMALE CHARACTER

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TIE!

Raven (The 100) and Root (Person of Interest)

There are so many awesome women on TV right now. I couldn’t just pick one.

In a show that’s featured a lot of interesting and badass women, Raven still manages to standout. She is tough and intelligent and doesn’t take shit from anyone; blessedly, she also never comes off as whiny or petulant, the way some young characters are written on television. (Cough, cough, anyone on a Greg Berlanti show.) Raven has a great arc this season, tying her struggle with chronic pain to the evil, world-killing ALIE, and Lindsey Morgan’s performance has been especially great. Clarke’s fine and all, but level-headed Raven is the best. Raven is the one I’d follow into battle.

Meanwhile, Root has been a fascinating character on Person of Interest for multiple seasons, due to great writing and a phenomenal performance by Amy Acker, but I may love her even more in the show’s final year. Always funny and often violent, Root’s grown a lot over the course of four seasons, and her relationships with Shaw, Finch, and the Machine give us such a nuanced look at her character. She is passionate and damaged and spectacular. I’m going to miss the hell out of her and this show.

Honorable Mentions: Malia (Teen Wolf); Lydia (Teen Wolf); Melissa (Teen Wolf); Dutch (Killjoys); the Android (Dark Matter); Dot (Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries); Annalise (How to Get Away With Murder); Laurel (How to Get Away With Murder); Naomi (The Expanse); Chrisjen (The Expanse); Lexa (The 100); Denise (The Walking Dead); Carol (The Walking Dead); Karen (Daredevil); Sansa (Game of Thrones); Cersei (Game of Thrones); Arya (Game of Thrones); Daenyrs (Game of Thrones); Amanita (Sense8); Rose (Agent Carter); Whitney Frost (Agent Carter); Peggy Carter (Agent Carter); Jessica (Jessica Jones); Trish (Jessica Jones), Nomi (Sense8); Joan (Elementary); Shaw (Person of Interest); Yang (RWBY); Pyrrah (RWBY); Nora (RWBY); Cat (Supergirl)

FAVORITE NEW CHARACTER (ON A PRE-EXISTING SHOW)

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Harrison Wells, Earth 2 (The Flash)

Okay, I hear you, people who think I’m cheating, but I’m not: Harrison Wells 2.0 might be played by Tom Cavanagh, but he’s literally an entirely different guy than he was in first season. And he is THE BEST. I love pretty much everything about him: his sarcasm, his taste in music, his near inability to call anyone but Barry by their first name. And the combination of him and Cisco? Oh my God. Pure magic. Such utter joy.

Honorable Mentions: Rosalind (Agents of SHIELD); Morland (Elementary); Patty (The Flash); Whitney Frost (Agent Carter); Jesus (The Walking Dead); Fiona (Elementary); Damien Darkh (Arrow); Curtis (Arrow); Hugo Strange (Gotham); Punisher (Daredevil); Agent Bozzio (iZombie); Lady Mormont (Game of Thrones)

BEST BROMANCE

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Harold Finch & John Reese (Person of Interest)

Stilted and reserved, Finch and Reese nonetheless have a lovely relationship that, over the course of five seasons, smoothly moves from employer/employee to partnership to obvious (if rarely verbally acknowledged) BFFs, and the last episode of the series gave that relationship a fitting and perfect conclusion. I’ve just re-watched all of Season 1 on Netflix, and seeing how their understated bromance has grown has been really enjoyable.

Honorable Mentions: Ravi & Major (iZombie); Hap & Leonard (Hap & Leonard); Scott & Stiles (Teen Wolf 5B); Galavant & Richard (Galavant); Tyrion & Varys (Game of Thrones); Captain Cold and Heat Wave (Legends of Tomorrow)

BEST LADYMANCE

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Trish & Jessica (Jessica Jones)

For as many awesome female characters as there are on television, there is a surprising lack of good female friendship stories to be found. Or any female friendship stories, honestly, since so many shows seem loathe to have an actual subplot where two women are involved. TV and Hollywood are heavily invested in the bromance, and there are a few quite decent platonic relationships if you know where to look, but it can be hard to find quality girl friendship stories if your favorite genres are action, fantasy, sci-fi, and horror.

That’s why Jessica and Trish’s fucking AMAZEBALLS friendship was such a welcome relief. These two have such a wonderful, intricate, and powerful dynamic. I was so impressed with both of them (especially Trish, TBH, who almost made Favorite Female Character a three-way tie), and it’s a huge factor in my love of the show. So if Jessica Jones Season 2 does a Daredevil and needlessly fucks it all up, I swear to God, I will flip my shit, and YOU will all suffer for it.

Honorable Mentions: Audrey & Emma (Scream); Liv and Peyton (iZombie)

BEST PLATONIC RELATIONSHIP

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Joan & Sherlock (Elementary); Root & Finch (Person of Interest); John & Dutch (Killjoys)

Speaking of three-way ties.

Sherlock & Joan and Root & Finch tied for this award last year, for reasons that have not largely changed. I can’t imagine there’s a single fan of Elementary who actually watches the show for its procedural cases; they watch it for Sherlock and Joan’s relationship, which is regularly funny, moving, and more than a bit interdependent. Root and Finch, meanwhile, have a considerably more complicated friendship, but it is, in its own way, very sweet and quite powerful, especially in this last season.

Finally, John and Dutch, the newcomers, are pretty much the epitome of the perfect platonic relationship. Like Sherlock and Joan, John and Dutch both work and live together, and there is not even the slightest hit of UST between them. They are much more like siblings; in fact, at one point, John picks Dutch over his actual sibling because their lives are so intertwined and she’s become so much more important to him. And the scene with them reading John’s comic? Perfection.

The first season of Killjoys made it very clear that John and Dutch aren’t heading anywhere romantic. If that changes further down the line, I will NOT be pleased. Fill in your own screaming with rage GIF here.

Honorable Mentions: Noah & Audrey (Scream); Michaela & Connor (How To Get Away With Murder); Naomi & Amos (The Expanse); Liv & Ravi (iZombie); Liv and Clive (iZombie); Peggy & Jarvis (Agent Carter); Mac & Daisy (Agents of SHIELD)

BEST SIBLING RELATIONSHIP

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Kara and Alex (Supergirl)

While the show has improved greatly since it began, I can’t pretend that I enjoy Supergirl either consistently or nearly as much as other people do. However, one of the things I do like about the series is how close Kara and Alex are. I wasn’t sure about this at first, but ultimately it feels like their sisterhood is the heart of the show, rather than, say, Kara’s deeply boring love life, which makes for a welcome change. Moreover, it’s also refreshing to see a pair of sisters who aren’t just awful, petty little bitches to one another all the time. The Total Opposite/We Can’t Stand Each Other thing gets really old after a while. I deeply prefer Kara and Alex’s more positive bond instead.

Honorable Mentions: Jon and Sansa (Game of Thrones); Ruby and Yang (RWBY); John and D’avin (Killjoys)

BEST DYNAMIC DUO

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Cisco and Harry (The Flash)

I’ve defined Best Dynamic Duo a few different ways in the past, but from now on take it to mean the best relationship between two or more characters that isn’t quite a friendship, or falls somewhere between friendship and ship-ship. Basically any dynamic that’s awesome but not easily categorized. There are some great dynamic duos on TV, but as previously mentioned, Cisco and Harry are just the BEST.

I’m not exaggerating when I say that I’d give serious pause about continuing to watch The Flash if either Carlos Valdes or Tom Cavanagh left. And it’s not like there aren’t other actors or characters I enjoy (Jesse L. Martin, obviously, is a goddamn treasure), but even when Caitlin is being Caitlin or Iris’s storylines continue to disappoint or Barry has yet another ridiculously stupid plan, I still find myself eager to watch The Flash every Tuesday simply because I enjoy The Harry and Cisco Show so much. They are snarky and grumpy and hysterical together, and I will be very unhappy if The Flash decides to abandon this dynamic in Season 3.

Honorable Mentions: Stiles & Lydia (Teen Wolf); Nomi & Will (Sense8); Claire & Jessica (Jessica Jones) Ren & Nora (RWBY)

BEST SINGLE EPISODE GUEST SPOT

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Grant Gustin (Supergirl)

(Just for clarification: I’m specifying Best Single Episode Guest Spot to mean a single episode this season, not this show. It doesn’t make a difference for Barry, but it does for some of the Honorable Mentions.)

I have concerns about Supergirl moving to CW, namely what that means for Calista Flockhart’s involvement in the show (because oh my God, we NEED her, we need her ALL THE TIME), but hopefully it means that there are more Barry and Kara crossovers, since the sheer joy of this episode, I mean, damn. People talk about how light and happy Supergirl is, how they feel good watching it, and I want to be one of those people too, but since so many characters regularly annoy me, it’s hard to really get those feel-good fuzzies . . . but this episode was perfect, exactly what I want Supergirl and The Flash to be. Grant Gustin and Melissa Benoist were wonderful on screen together, just charming and delightful, and not for nothing–they had far more chemistry with one another than either have with their respective current love interests. I’m telling you: I kind of ship it.

Honorable Mentions: Rob Thomas (iZombie); Kristen Bell (iZombie); Ato Essandoh (Elementary); John DeLancie (The Librarians); Wil Wheaton (Dark Matter); Jimmi Simpson (Person of Interest); Annie Ilonzeh (Person of Interest); Cicely Tyson (How To Get Away With Murder)

BEST MULTI-EPISODE GUEST SPOT

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TIE!

Bella Ramsey (Game of Thrones) & Betty Gilpin (Elementary)

We’ve already discussed Lady Mormont and why she’s so awesome, but I’ll take this time to also point out that Bella Ramsey, so effectively commanding and badass, is only twelve-years-old. So, you know. Good luck feeling pride in your life accomplishments.

Meanwhile, I’ve also really enjoyed Betty Gilpin as Fiona on Elementary. I liked her right from the start, and I thought she and Jonny Lee Miller had great chemistry in that one scene with the cats, so you can imagine my delight when she returned as Sherlock’s primary love interest. I ship Sherlock/Fiona pretty hard, like, way harder than I ship Barry and Kara. A lot of Hollywood/TV romances don’t quite work for me–as most of you are undoubtedly aware of by now. I like some, of course, but others are terrible, boring, forced, or just so generic that I feel like I can’t relate to them. You know, they all hit the same beats. Everybody responds the same way. Sherlock and Fiona, though, have something of a different sort of romance, and I find that engaging and even a bit relieving on both a creative and a personal level. I hope like hell Fiona is back next season, preferably in considerably more episodes, because I like her quite a bit.

Honorable Mentions: Enrico Colantoni (Person of Interest); BD Wong (Gotham); Cameron Monaghan (Gotham); Robert Knepper (iZombie); Eddie Jemison (iZombie); Bridget Regan (Agent Carter); Ken Marino (Agent Carter); Lesley Boone (Agent Carter); Mayko Nguyen (Killjoys); Natalia Cordova-Buckley (AoS)

FAVORITE SUPERHERO OR SUPERHERO-ADJACENT SHOW

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Agent Carter

I watch a lot of superhero shows. At least half of them are regularly frustrating. But Agent Carter remains (or, rather, remained . . . RIP, Agent Carter) consistently solid and entertaining throughout, with great dialogue, lots of humor, kickass women, and a wonderful cast led by the phenomenal Hayley Atwell. I will miss the hell out of this show; in fact, it’s also winning for MOST PAINFUL CANCELLATION, primarily because I feel like there was so much more story to tell. Only two seasons? That’s criminal, ABC. That’s criminal

Honorable Mentions for Favorite Superhero or Superhero-Adjacent: Agents of SHIELD, The Flash, Jessica Jones

Honorable Mentions for Most Painful Cancellation: Person of Interest, Key & Peele, Galavant

MOST IMPROVED SHOW

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Game of Thrones

Game of Thrones never got awful, exactly, but–not unlike the books–Seasons 4 and 5 were not its strongest: besides feeling a bit slow, certain elements in the last season annoyed the holy shit out of me, to the point that I wasn’t actually all that excited when April came around and Game of Thrones came back.

But that changed once Season 6 actually started because Game of Thrones decided to pick up the pace fast. While it did occasionally feel a bit too rushed at times (I don’t understand, did everybody learn how to teleport over summer break, or what?), it was nonetheless the most exciting season we’ve had since Season 3. HUGE plot developments happened this year. Stories came together, incredible battles were fought, multiple storylines improved, and Jesus Christ, how many major players died in the season finale alone?

Last June I was sort of relieved I could stop tuning into Game of Thrones for a while. This year, I’m like, “Goddamn it, why is April so far awaaaaaaaaaay?”

Honorable Mentions: Teen Wolf 5A, Galavant, Orphan Black

LEAST IMPROVED SHOW

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The X-Files

Daredevil, let me tell you: you dodged a fucking bullet.

There was nothing, nothing, I despised like the tenth season of The X-Files. While I’m prepared to accept the possibility that the show was never as good as I remember it being (the power of nostalgia, or whatever), there were definitely at least some great episodes, and anyway, I simply can’t imagine it was this bad.

But the tenth season of The X-Files was some of the worst television I’ve ever seen. I liked exactly one out of the six episodes that aired. Of the five lousy episodes: one was dull, another rushed and cloying, and then there were the last three, which were abysmal, full of huge retcons, insane plot conveniences, stories that made no sense whatsoever, and the occasional racist stereotype, just for good measure. It’s embarrassing, how bad these episodes were, and it’s even more embarrassing that all three were written and directed by the show’s creator, Chris Carter.

I don’t know if this show is ever coming back, but I have absolutely no plans to return myself unless Chris Carter has nothing to do with its future incarnations. And even then, I’m still not sure. It was pretty atrocious.

Honorable Mentions: Daredevil, Teen Wolf Season 5B, How To Get Away With Murder

MOST DISAPPOINTING NEW SHOW

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Legends of Tomorrow

I’ll admit, I wasn’t totally jazzed about Legends of Tomorrow when I first heard about it; the initial promos left me a bit cold, and I’m not sure I would have bothered to check it out if I didn’t already watch Arrow and The Flash. So, let’s be clear here: it’s not like I had this show on a pedestal made out of moonbeams and hope: this isn’t another Almost Human, or anything.

No, the reason I find Legends so disappointing is that it has so much potential and keeps failing to make good on any of it. An exciting idea will be thrown over the plate, and the show will weakly bunt the fucker every time. An epic romance spanning thousands of incarnations and years? Yawn. Whiny, unconvincing, and dull. The immortal Big Bad who personally refrigerated the lead hero’s wife and child? Double yawn. Zero presence or charisma. The thousand interesting places and times your characters could go when they’re on a time-traveling ship? Predictable. So damn predictable. The team dynamics rarely make sense and the characters are regularly making decisions so stupid that I’m left shaking with rage.

Legends DOES have a few characters I enjoy and some good moments here or there, but this is, at best, a C show that could easily be an A with someone else at the helm.

Honorable Mentions: Scream Queens, Quantico, Lucifer, Scream

FAVORITE NEW SHOW

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Killjoys

What’s funny about Killjoys is that I heard almost nothing about the show before it aired. I came across it completely by accident; Dark Matter was the show I’d actually been looking forward to. I only checked it out at all because I happened to catch a short trailer on Syfy and was pleasantly surprised to see Aaron Ashmore, who I adored on Warehouse 13. I don’t know if I was really expecting much, but I’m a sucker for space operas and bounty hunters, so I decided, Sure, I’ll try this out, I guess.

There were bigger genre shows that came out this year, and arguably better ones too. But Killjoys gave me basically everything I could ever want from a space opera: a kickass heroine, a great platonic friendship, complicated family dynamics, instant chemistry between leads, intriguing world building, awesome team building, a talking ship, pretty costumes, witty banter, and a bunch of fight scenes and shit getting blown up. It’s one of the most fun shows on TV; in fact, it also wins for MOST ANTICIPATED SHOW RETURN, which is kind of of funny, considering the second season has just started. Although, due to technical difficulties (like my malfunctioning satellite and total bullshit internet access), I haven’t actually been able to watch it yet as of this writing, which, yes, is driving me totally mad. (Hopefully this atrocity will be rectified by the time this post appears, or else just assume I’m in tears.)

Honorable Mentions for Favorite New Show: Jessica Jones, The Expanse, Sense8

Honorable Mentions for Most Anticipated Show Return: The Librarians, iZombie, Game of Thrones, The Expanse

Okay, that it’s for the mild spoilers. We’re getting into the Big Kids League in three . . . two . . . one . . .

SPOILERS

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Last warning, children. We’re going to jump straight into it starting . . .

. . . now.

BEST DEATH

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John Reese – Person of Interest

This was hard, guys. There were a lot of great deaths this year, from karmic to badass to shocking to heartbreaking. But ultimately I had to go with Mr. Reese’s last stand on Person of Interest, which, if you were wondering, fits squarely into that last category. I’ve watched it two times now and have dissolved into a big bucket of tears both times. It’s so immensely well-executed: the gorgeous Philip Glass music, the Machine spending its last moment at John’s side, John’s smile as Finch walks away. Mr. Reese, never one to be stopped by a mere bullet or five, eventually does fall due to his multiple gunshot wounds, but the poor bastard is still alive when the missile–yes, the missile–hits. It sounds almost ludicrously over the top when I write it out like that, but it’s a beautifully tragic scene and a fitting end for the Man in the Suit.

Honorable Mentions: Ramsay (Game of Thrones); Hodor (Game of Thrones); Walder Frey (Game of Thrones); High Sparrow (Game of Thrones); Donovan (Teen Wolf); Theo (Teen Wolf); Dr. Valek (Teen Wolf); Will (Scream); Vaughn (iZombie); Root (Person of Interest)

BIGGEST “JIMMY, NOOOOOOOOO!” MOMENT

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TIE!!!!!!

Root (Person of Interest) and Sinclair (The 100)

Root, of course, was always going to take this award. During an especially badass car chase, Root dies saving Finch’s life, and—heartbreakingly—the Machine chooses to take her voice, which was nicely set up and revealed. It’s a fitting choice, but it’s still a kick straight to the feels. Considering Root tied for Favorite Female Character, her loss hits especially hard.

Sinclair, meanwhile, is a considerably smaller character and never really stood a chance at survival, especially since he was both a mentor to Raven and, for a time, the only grown-up character with the group of kids. Obviously, his death was imminent. It was only a matter of time. But the scene itself was so incredibly sad: Sinclair was stabbed trying to protect Raven and dies while repeatedly, almost deliriously, telling her to get back in the SUV. The last thing that poor man sees is his attacker dragging Raven away, so not only does Sinclair sacrifice his life for Raven, he’s denied even the knowledge that she escaped to safety. It was horribly depressing, and the fact that I have a soft spot for Alessandro Juliani made it even worse.

Honorable Mentions: Pyrrha (RWBY); Lexa (The 100); Elias (Person of Interest); John (Person of Interest); Hodor (Game of Thrones); Margaery (Game of Thrones); Glenn (The Walking Dead); Denise (The Walking Dead); Gilda (iZombie); Captain Cold (Legends of Tomorrow)

WORST PLAN

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TIE!

Kendra chooses to not kill Vandal Savage because (supposedly) only Savage can de-brainwash Carter (Legends of Tomorrow); Barry agrees to Zoom’s terrible One Last Race plan, even though if he loses every other world in the multi-verse will be destroyed (The Flash); Rick decides to bring all of his heavy hitters on the road trip to Hilltop, leaving Alexandria in the capable hands of Father Gabriel. (The Walking Dead)

I narrowed it down to these three, and then just gave up.

A. Kendra regularly annoyed me on Legends of Tomorrow, but I straight up was like “Oh, HELL no” when she decided not to kill Vandal Savage, even though the entire reason everyone teamed up in the first place was to kill the evil immortal bastard before he could takeover the entire world. You need a very good reason not to murder Vandal Savage at this point; a brainwashed Carter Hall is absolutely NOT that reason. Partially that’s because Carter’s pretty unlikable, and I doubt anyone in the audience cared if he was cured or not. But it’s especially frustrating because our heroes have, you know, a time-traveling spaceship at their disposal; you’d think at least one of them might realize, “Hey, I bet someone somewhere has conquered brainwashing without the assistance of Vandal Savage. Maybe back in Star City; after all, people be getting brainwashed there left and right.”

And for Christ’s sake, Kendra’s only keeping Carter alive in the short-term anyway with this decision. After all, Vandal has to keep murdering every incarnation of Kendra and Carter to maintain his immortality, so yeah, I guess sparing Vandal’s life makes sense, if you’re cool with the fact that he’ll inevitably murder Carter five seconds after curing him.

B. Meanwhile, Zoom–you know, the bad guy–proposes that he and Flash settle their feud like men, or speedsters: whoever wins this one big race wins it all. It doesn’t exactly take a genius to figure out that the race is some kind of trap: in this case, it turns out that the combined speed of Zoom and Flash running long enough will cause some kind of devastating breach of the space-time continuum (or something) and destroy an infinite number of worlds. Let me say that again: an INFINITE number of worlds. And yes, Barry had a secret plan all along to trick Zoom. That’s swell. But Barry also didn’t bother to run that plan by anybody else on his team, either, and can you even imagine the sheer hubris that takes? Can you imagine how many people would have died if he had miscalculated, or if Zoom saw through his deceit, or any number of things that could have gone wrong with Barry’s shitty plan?

Try to think of it this way: as of 2013, the Earth had just over 7 billion people living on it. (At least, according to Google.) Do me a favor and multiply 7 billion by a 100. Then multiply by it another 100. Do it one more time, and then add 40, just for shits and giggles. Then subtract the measly seven billion who would have survived the total destruction of the multi-verse, and the number you come up with might give you some measure of how many people’s lives Barry actually put on the line . . . and even then, not really, because infinite means we can’t actually calculate the number of worlds or people who would have imploded had Barry failed. That’s right, Barry’s plan sucks so hard that it basically breaks mathematics.

C. Finally, we have The Walking Dead, and–look, I understand that Maggie’s incredibly conveniently-timed Pregnancy Illness needed to be treated by an OB/GYN, and the only one lives at Hilltop. That’s fine. But getting to Hilltop is a lot harder when you’ve seriously pissed off a group of big bad fuckers who do not mess around, isn’t it, Rick?

The truth about the apocalypse is that people have to make a lot of shitty choices. Maggie and the baby might well have died if they had stayed at Alexandria, and while that sucks, it’s still probably the safest option for the majority of the community. That being said, that’s a pretty damn cold choice to make, and I’m not going to say for sure I could have made it. So, yes, I totally could’ve been okay with one or two people trying to get Maggie to medical attention. But for every single big hitter that’s currently at Alexandria to go with her on what’s very likely a suicide mission, leaving the rest of the community with no real fighters and under the leadership of Father Gabriel? Dude, NO. I know the guy helped fight one time, in the show’s hideously rushed attempt at a redemption arc, but he’s also still the dude who let his entire congregation get eaten by zombies just to save himself. Father Gabriel has absolutely not proven himself worthy of leadership responsibilities just yet. This is an even worse plan than going after Negan in the first place, and that plan sucked donkey balls too!

Honorable Mentions: Rick’s group murdering a bunch of people in their sleep while trying to assassinate an evil man who they’ve never laid eyes on and who hasn’t tried to hurt them yet (The Walking Dead); Carl leaving Enid trapped in a closet (The Walking Dead); Barry entirely rewriting time to save his mother (The Flash); Harry giving Barry back his powers by redoing the particle accelerator experiment (The Flash); Team Flash immediately telling a stranger about Firestorm and then quickly trying to merge this stranger with Stein without bothering for followup interviews (The Flash); Barry taking Alternate Barry’s place in Earth 2 to see what the GCPD knows and then spending zero time at the GCPD (The Flash); Ray opening the door to fight Vandal Savage (Legends of Tomorrow); Lydia’s mom sending her daughter to Eichen House (Teen Wolf); Trusting Theo after the events of Season 5A, MALIA (Teen Wolf); Scott using Hayden as bait to try and capture a Dread Doctor (Teen Wolf); Johnny stupidly inserting the mental link device into his own head (Killjoys); Jim asking for a favor from Penguin (Gotham); Military creating a robot that will freak out if hit too hard, before asking Supergirl to hit it (Supergirl); Alex insisting on coming back to fight in finale, even though humans are being insta-brainwashed there (Supergirl); Sarah going alone to the island (Orphan Black); Girl requesting help from Facebook as she’s being murdered (Scream Queens); Just chilling out on a bridge when you’ve pissed off the Face-Changing League of Assassins (Game of Thrones); Reese refusing to tell Fusco about the Machine for WAY too long (Person of Interest); Oliver giving a hope speech like that will somehow avert the nuclear attack (Arrow)

WORST WTF MOMENT

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Flash’s Dad Leaves After Prison (The Flash), Mulder Sorta-Shrooms His Way Into Answers (The X-Files), Lydia’s Mistletoe Stuff Head Is Never Addressed (Teen Wolf)

I know. I know. Another three-way tie? I’m sorry, kids, but I’m afraid that’s just how it had to be today.

I was insanely angry when Barry’s Dad got out of prison and immediately left town because, like, he’d get in the way of Barry being a hero or something. Not because I had much investment in Henry Allen hanging around, but because–from the depths of my soul–I did not believe it. I did not believe that a man who has been separated from his one and only son (save some jail time visits) for, what, 15 or 20 years, would just abandon his kid the day after. And making it about Barry being a hero? That’s just the worst kind of ridiculous bullshit, the kind of reasoning that only happens with characters, never actual people.

Meanwhile, Mulder psychically connects to a brain dead terrorist by merely taking shrooms in his presence, which is just bullshit on a whole other level–and it only gets worse because it turns out they weren’t real shrooms, so Mulder only psychically connected to this dude through the power of suggestion. It makes no sense. IT MAKES NO SENSE. And maybe I’d be prepared to forgive that (or at least consider it more of an unintentionally hilarious moment rather than a terrible WTF one instead), but Mulder’s vision is far too long and painfully unfunny and just goes to show how out of touch Chris Carter is with modern television.

First, there’s the time when Lydia gets a lobotomy, is about to scream herself (and plenty of other people) to death, and is only saved with Deaton literally shoves a fistful of mistletoe in her head. The thing is, that’s not even the WTF Moment I’m complaining about. That’s just total Teen Wolf weirdness. I accept that. My problem is how no one ever addresses it again, like Lydia just shows up to school the next day with a great outfit and perfect hair, like she didn’t just have a mistletoe-cured lobotomy. I can only assume that she has to be careful about never tipping her head to the side, lest the mistletoe just start sprinkling out.  (This also wins Lydia THE RESSLER AWARD, given to the character who recovers from a serious injury ridiculously fast. Amusingly, Lydia was competing with herself here, because in 5A she got stabbed in one episode and was learning jiu-jitsu the next; also worth mentioning: Arya, for getting herself stabbed and then parkouring off rooftops after a single patch job in Game of Thrones)

Honorable Mentions for Worst WTF Moment: The multiple births scene (Sense8); Alfred slaps Selina (Gotham); Nobody warns the Grounders after Pike goes free, even though they all know what he’s going to do (The 100); Caitlyn is suddenly borderline racist (The Flash); The government is behind the abductions is all along (The X-Files); Dana Scully has no time for reason (The X-Files)

Also, a Special Honorary Honorable Mention will go to NCIS, a show I don’t actually watch anymore but definitely deserves a WTF mention here for killing off Ziva, and not just killing her, but doing it OFF SCREEN, just so Tony has a reason to leave NCIS: he has to go raise their secret love child. Yup. They killed off Ziva for the most cliche bullshit ever. Fuck you, NCIS.

BEST WTF MOMENT

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Enter King Shark (The Flash)

Clearly, The Flash irritates me sometimes, but one of the things I genuinely appreciate about this show is how it never shies away from the weird comic shit that you think no one on TV will have the balls to pull off. Another show might have made King Shark, like, a street name or something, but not The Flash. Nope, they actually had a shark man menacing the streets of Central City. That’s just amazing.

Honorable Mentions: Donovan’s lamprey-wendigo teeth (Teen Wolf); the Sensate orgy (Sense8), the co-ed Arkham Asylum, where everyone wears old-timey black and white striped prison uniforms (Gotham); Dr. Strange’s therapeutic techniques; (Gotham) Donnie, Allison, and “two spicy meatballs” (Orphan Black)

MOST UNINTENTIONALLY HILARIOUS MOMENT

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Naked Parrish Hangs Out At The Library (Teen Wolf)

As a general rule, Teen Wolf tends to do pretty well in this category. Seasons 5A and 5B provided ample opportunities for unintentionally funny moments, but possibly the one that made me laugh the most was when Parrish, naked and hurt, is just sort of sitting between the stacks of the school library. He’s really not making all that much effort at hiding, and yet all the students just happen pass him by; only Lydia, naturally, happens to see him. It’s hard to describe with words, just how funny this, but please trust me. I was cracking up.

Honorable Mentions: Emma hallucinates Split-Head Will (Scream); Scully’s super messy surgeries (The X-Files); ALIEN DNA (The X-Files); Team Flash’s total nonchalance about the dead body at Star Labs (The Flash); Kara and Alex barely eating pizza (Supergirl); Whitney Frost doesn’t notice the giant cannon behind her (Agent Carter); Oliver gives inspirational speech during nuclear strike instead of doing anything practical (Arrow); Zayde Wolf’s cover of “Save Tonight” (Teen Wolf); Mr. Yukimura goes free because “no body, no crime” (Teen Wolf); Allison’s French-Jamaican accent (Teen Wolf); Invisible Corey just chilling during the big battle (Teen Wolf)

BEST BOO-YAH MOMENT

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TIE!

Trish Takes Super Pills and Kicks Ass (Jessica Jones) and Sansa Feeds Ramsay To His Own Dogs (Game of Thrones)

Trish is pretty awesome right from the start–and what a relief that was; I was definitely concerned she’d be Super Annoying Friend Who Doesn’t Understand Priorities–but the moment when she takes Simpson’s Super Pills and kicks the shit out of him down the hallway? That. Was So. AWESOME. In fact, it might even have won outright if it had lasted a little bit longer. (Still, that “worth it” moment? I was SO into that.)

Meanwhile, Sansa getting revenge on Ramsay was one of those moments that GoT viewers have been waiting a long, long time for. It doesn’t make up for the gratuitous rape shit that happened last season, IMO, but it was still deeply satisfying. It’s so lovely to see a) Ramsay finally dead, and b) Sansa finally getting an active role in her own storylines this season.

Honorable Mentions: John killing Level 6 mutant (Killjoys); Dot getting the Catholic priest to change his mind about the wife’s role in a marriage (Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries); Joan telling Morland she won’t let him hurt Sherlock (Elementary); Lydia killing Valack by screaming his head open (Teen Wolf); Kira cutting off Tracy’s tail (Teen Wolf); Root taking out bad guy in that epic car chase scene (Person of Interest); Fitz breaking into containment (Agents of SHIELD); Fitz kills Giyera (Agents of SHIELD); May–“a tiny little Asian woman”–kicked bad guy’s ass (Agents of SHIELD); Lexa killing the Ice Queen (The 100); Foggy shuts down the D.A. (Daredevil); Jessica killing Kilgrave (Jessica Jones); Arya killing Walder Frey AFTER feeding his sons to him (Game of Thrones); Dany burning the Khals alive (Game of Thrones) 

WORST TWIST

Mason is The Beast of Gévaudan (Teen Wolf)

I thought for sure Scream had this one in the bag, but honestly? Mason being the Beast is one of the most predictable things I’ve seen on TV, like, ever. There were no other real suspects. And admittedly, I’m not any good at math, but it’s like . . . even I can count to one, you know? I expect better from you, Teen Wolf.

Honorable Mentions: Piper is the Killer (Scream); Jay is Zoom (The Flash); Elektra’s body was taken and put into the totally obvious Resurrection Machine (Daredevil)

BEST TWIST

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Hank Henshaw is Martian Manhunter (Supergirl)

Talk about a twist I didn’t see coming until the last possible moment. I was completely blindsided by Hank Henshaw’s true identity and also delighted by it; up until then, he had been an early Chief Asshat contender, a one-note jerk that I was profoundly unimpressed by. This twist gave him some much needed character development. It was also just exciting as a JLU fan; this was absolutely the moment where I was like, “Okay, Supergirl. I’ve been lukewarm so far, but you’ve officially hooked me for at least the season now.”

Honorable Mentions: “Hodor” means “hold the door” (Game of Thrones); Tracy is a kanima (Teen Wolf); Morland was nearly assassinated because he was a potential candidate for taking over for Moriarty (Elementary); the annoying lawyer was already dead when she went off the balcony (How To Get Away With Murder); Ezekiel is stuck in a video game, not Groundhog Day (The Librarians)

FAVORITE VILLAIN

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Kilgrave (Jessica Jones)

There are a number of good villains currently on TV, but I don’t think anyone came close to David Tennant’s Purple Man. He was an immensely successful bad guy, partially because he wasn’t anything like other villains we’ve seen from Marvel before, who are generally after revenge, world domination, or both. Kilgrave, meanwhile, actually represents male entitlement and rape culture, and he is fantastically disturbing at times. But he’s also pretty entertaining and often quite funny, which certainly works to make the show a bit easier to watch, but also sort of drives home the point that rapists aren’t just these cardboard cut-outs of Pure Evil that lurk in the shadows and jump out at unsuspecting women. Rapists can be funny or charismatic or even have sympathetic moments; none of that makes them any less rapists.

David Tennant puts so much energy into this performance. He won’t get nominated for any actual awards, of course, but he definitely should.

Honorable Mentions: Ward (Agents of SHIELD); Whitney Frost (Agent Carter); Soldier & Angel (Hap & Leonard); Vaughn (iZombie); Hugo Strange (Gotham); Samaritan (Person of Interest)

WORST VILLAIN

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Vandal Savage (Legends of Tomorrow)

No question here. Vandal Savage has very little personality, no charisma, and is not particularly intimidating. In 16 episodes, he did nothing in the least bit interesting or surprising, and his Ultimate Evil Plan was . . . underwhelming, to say the least. Not to mention, he was pretty easily defeated for being an immortal future tyrant dude. Plus, his hair is stupid and his momma dresses him funny.

Honorable Mentions: Piper (Scream); Andrew/Lash (Agents of Shield); Prospero (The Librarians); Astra and Nom (Supergirl); The Hand (Daredevil)

DOWNWARD SPIRAL CHARACTER

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TIE!

Bellamy (The 100) & Matt Murdock (Daredevil)

These guys. Oh man, these guys. Their downward spirals are so bad that they also both ended up tying for this year’s CHIEF ASSHAT. Let’s begin with Bellamy.

Bellamy began The 100 a total little asshole, but by the end of the first season had made some serious progress towards redemption, and by the end of Season 2 he was one of the best and morally complex characters on the show. And then Season 3 happened and it all went to hell.

Bellamy slipped back into his Chief Asshat ways, and by Chief Asshat, I mean he helped participate in genocide. The 100 has always been a show about hard choices (this isn’t even the show’s first genocide), but primarily, we’ve been able to understand where our heroes are coming from; they’ve landed somewhere at “morally ambiguous,” not “total fucknut.” But Bellamy’s participation in the Grounder Massacre isn’t nearly well supported enough for me to buy it, turning one of my favorite characters into, essentially, a two-dimensional villain.

Compared to genocide, Matt Murdock really doesn’t seem so bad . . . except that his heel-face turn into Asshat Territory came with even less motivation. At least Bellamy has genuine cause to hate and distrust the Grounders, even if that doesn’t excuse what he does to them. Matt, on the other hand, becomes a giant douchecanoe and ruins his friendship, partnership, case, and whole business for . . . what? Some supposed connection to an ex-girlfriend? Nope, not buying it. Matt falls from hero to total schmuck very, very quickly, and it makes me sad, because while I loved him in Season 1, I sort of hated him in Season 2. I’m sure I’ll watch Daredevil, Season 3–and, of course, The Defenders–but if I’m honest, I am considerably less excited about both than I was this time last year.

Honorable Mentions for Downward Spiral Character: Andrew (Agents of Shield); Jasper (The 100); Mulder and Scully (The X-Files); Sarah (Orphan Black); Ray (Legends of Tomorrow); Caitlyn Snow (Flash)

Honorable Mentions for Chief Asshat: Alfred (Gotham); Lydia’s Mom (Teen Wolf); Scott’s AP Science Teacher (Teen Wolf); Major Lane (Supergirl); Maxwell Lord (Supergirl); Nicholas (The Walking Dead); Jeffrey Blackwell (Person of Interest); High Sparrow (Game of Thrones)

MOST ANNOYING ROMANCE

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The Kendra/Carter/Ray Love Triangle (Legends of Tomorrow)

I couldn’t choose between Kendra’s boring ass relationship with Carter and her lame ass relationship with Ray, so I decided to group them together as one because pretty much every second of this love triangle is poorly executed. Kendra and Carter have the epic love story, the soulmates who are drawn to each other again and again, but they have absolutely no chemistry between them. This isn’t helped by the fact that Kendra’s kind of dull, and Carter is pretty much a giant ass. I suspect everyone else cheered when he died to, even knowing he would inevitably have to come back.

Then Kendra and Ray get together way too fast, and their relationship is so ham-fisted that it’s annoying to watch. The show actually does do something smart by stranding them in 1950 for two years, where their relationship can grow naturally off screen . . . but of course this potential is squandered almost immediately. Then Kendra and Ray break up; Ray feels like he’s playing second fiddle to Carter, and Kendra feels like she’s cheating on Carter with Ray. All of this drama falls flat, though, because we rarely ever see Kendra remembering her past lives and certainly never feel this connection she and asshole Carter are supposed to share. And don’t even get me started (again) on the poor life choices both Kendra and Ray make because of their supposed passion.

This didn’t have to be so awful. Actually, there’s a lot of potential for this to be a really exciting love triangle because some super interesting choices are brought up here: soul mate versus chosen partner, free will versus destiny. As is, though, the Kendra/Carter/Ray love triangle was regularly annoying and deeply unconvincing.

Honorable Mentions: Matt & Elektra (Daredevil); Matt & Karen (Daredevil); Hayden & Liam (Teen Wolf); One & Two (Dark Matter), Daisy & Lincoln (Agents of SHIELD); Will and Amberle (Shannara Chronicles); Jay & Caitlin (The Flash); Oliver & Felicity (Arrow); Flynn & Baird (The Librarians); Annalise & Nate (How to Get Away With Murder)

FAVORITE SHIP

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Shaw & Root (Person of Interest)

I know. At this point, you guys may be cottoning on to the idea that I enjoyed Person of Interest. Well, don’t worry. You won’t have to hear about it next year because it’s gone. *weeps*

Root and Shaw, you guys. ROOT AND SHAW. It probably will not surprise you to learn that these two also managed to win BEST KISS again. And their ship in this season alone, I mean  . . . Root’s unwavering dedication to find Shaw. Shaw’s repeated (and simulated) suicides to protect Root. Their reunion. A symphony. A straight line. An arrow. Oh, you guys. Oh, my fucking heart.

These two were the best. I know their story ended tragically and that this is an especially troubling trope right now, but I feel like the show still did right by their characters. Root and Shaw were epic. I ship them forever.

Honorable Mentions for Favorite Ship: Jack & Phryne (Miss Fisher); Oliver & Felicity (Arrow); Connor & Oliver (How To Get Away With Murder); Punisher & Page (Daredevil); Clive & Dale (iZombie); Mac & Elena (Agents of Shield); Yang & Blake (RWBY); Barry & Patty (The Flash); Barry & Kara (The Flash/Supergirl); Melissa & The Sheriff (Teen Wolf); Nomi & Amanita (Sense8)

Honorable Mentions for Best Kiss: Phryne & Jack (Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries); Lexa & Clarke (The 100); Peggy & Daniel (Agent Carter)

WORST SEASON FINALE

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“My Struggle, Part II” (The X-Files)

Let’s see. Between the pandemic that felt like it came out of nowhere, the episode’s weirdly anti-vaxxer vibe, the blatantly incorrect science, the totally boring sidelining of Mulder, the incredibly repetitious phrase “alien DNA,” and Scully–SCULLY–saying that there wasn’t enough time for reason? Yeah, it would have been quicker to tell you what actually did work about the episode. Here’s that list: NOTHING.

Honorable Mentions: “The Race of His Life” (The Flash); “Better Angels” (Supergirl); “And The Final Curtain” (The Librarians); “Ellcrys” (The Shannara Chronicles); “Legendary” (Legends of Tomorrow)

WORST INDIVIDUAL EPISODE

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“Babylon” (The X-Files)

You know, last year I didn’t even bother to make this category. But I did this time, mostly because The X-Files is primarily in competition with itself. That’s how bad the tenth season was.

It was a hard choice, but ultimately I decided to go with “Babylon” as being the worst thing I watched on TV all year. There were a lot of factors in this decision, although that scene with Mulder kinda-sorta-not-really tripping balls was a big part of it; it’s a really bad scene, and the writer in me is just offended by the mere idea that an FBI agent simply taking shrooms near a a brain dead patient is enough for him to psychically connect with said patient, even though the FBI agent has never been psychic before, nor shows any psychic abilities in the future. That’s not a plot hole; that’s a plot fucking canyon. It’s a plot abyss of cavernous despair.

There were, of course, other reasons I despised the episode. The shitty Muslim stereotypes were awful. The thematic shit at the end about faith, or whatever, was very poorly written. And the mysterious trumpet noises that prompted the investigation in the first place were entirely dropped; you know, the thing that would actually make this an X-Files case? Just gone. No explanation whatsoever. The writing in this episode hurts me, you guys. I AM WOUNDED HERE JUST THINKING ABOUT IT.

Honorable Mentions: The Race of His Life” (The Flash); “Ellcrys” (The Shannara Chronicles”); “My Struggle Part I” (The X-Files); “My Struggle Part II” (The X-Files)

FAVORITE SEASON FINALE

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“return 0”  (Person of Interest)

Any other year, and Game of Thrones probably would have had this one in the bag. But even an episode that packs 18 different awesome plot developments into a single hour has a hard battle against a well done series finale. And “return 0” was an excellent series finale.

Every character was believably in danger at one point or another, but it was ultimately John who died in the lovely sacrifice that I wrote about before. That scene, you guys. THAT SCENE. And the conversations between Finch and the Machine on the rooftop, I mean, holy DAMN. Those were some of the most beautiful moments in the whole show. Finch finally getting to be with Grace. (I’d love to hear how Finch tried to explain that one.) Root’s final message to Shaw. Shaw and Fusco at the diner. And the Machine survives after all, with Shaw (and possibly Fusco) still working for her. The action scenes were nice, but it was the character beats in this one that made “return 0” one of the best series finales I’ve ever seen. It was a lovely, touching conclusion to one of the most amazing SF shows that nobody watched.

Honorable Mentions: “The Winds of Winter” (Game of Thrones); “AKA Smile” (Jessica Jones); “Escape Velocity” (Killjoys); “Critical Mass”/”Leviathan Wakes” (The Expanse); “Dead Beat”/”Salivation Army” (iZombie); “The One True King (To Unite Them All)” (Galavant)

FAVORITE INDIVIDUAL EPISODE

librarians

“And The Point of Salvation” (The Librarians)

I know. You were probably suspecting something else from Person of Interest at this point. And there were absolutely nominees from that show, particularly that season finale I just mentioned. But . . . there was something about “And The Point of Salvation” that just worked for me on every single level (pun surprisingly not intended). The video game twist made completely sense but still totally took me by surprise. The story was alternatively hilarious and touching, and maybe best of all, Ezekiel Jones got some much needed character development in a way that I could actually believe. (There’s an especially nice moment between Ezekiel and Baird.) The whole episode was really a delight to watch and easily my favorite of the show thus far.

Honorable Mentions: “return O” (Person of Interest); “The Day The World Went Away” (Person of Interest); “Dead Beat”/“Salvation Army” – iZombie; “AKA Smile” (Jessica Jones); “The Winds of Winter” (Game of Thrones); “Battle of the Bastards” (Game of Thrones); “Beacon of Hope” (Arrow); “Dreamcatchers” (Teen Wolf); “A Novel Approach (Teen Wolf)”; “Aftermath” (Scream); “A Glitch in the System” (Killjoys); “Come the Rain” (Killjoys); “Episode Eleven” (Dark Matter); “Penny and Dime” (Daredevil); “And The Happily Ever Afters” (The Librarians)

Finally, a totally incomplete list of some of my favorite scenes that didn’t quite win anything or I didn’t already talk about, but still deserve some love and/or recognition

Coulson and his team give a silent, moving sendoff to Bobbi & Hunter (Agents of SHIELD)
Fitz breaks into containment (Agents of SHIELD)
Fitz rescues Jemma (Agents of SHIELD)
Jemma crying at dinner (Agent of SHIELD)
Stiles trusts no one/Scott trusts everyone (Teen Wolf)
Scott, Stiles, and Lydia’s hallucination flashbacks (Teen Wolf)
Kira and Lydia investigate (Teen Wolf)
Malia and Kira practice for Eichen break-in (Teen Wolf)
Stiles kills Donovan (Teen Wolf)
Stiles sees an injured Lydia (Teen Wolf)
The Sheriff wakes up at the hospital with Stiles (Teen Wolf)
John yells at D’avin (Killjoys)
Jack gets Phryne off his desk with a spider (Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries)
Annalise tells Nate she won’t pay for her sins by spreading her legs for him (How To Get Away With Murder)
Connor panicking when Annalise is shot (How To Get Away With Murder)
Nomi and Amanita playing Nancy Drew (Sense8)
Frank’s “Penny and Dime” monologue (Daredevil)
Any scene between Karen and Ellison (Daredevil)
Any scene where Oliver cooks or talks about cooking (Arrow)
Pretty much any Oliver/Felicity scene before the baby drama comes out (Arrow)
Sherlock trying to split up their partnership for Joan’s sake, and Joan saying nope in the premiere (Elementary)
Sherlock trying to split up their partnership for Joan’s sake, and Joan saying nope in the finale (Elementary)
Sherlock telling his father that if he had tried to assassinate Morland, Morland wouldn’t be alive (Elementary)
Sherlock and Fiona make-up (Elementary)
Cisco slurping, much to Harry’s annoyance (The Flash)
Cisco making Harry impersonate what Reverse Flash said before he killed Cisco (The Flash)
Ravi freaking out after killing hitman (iZombie)
Optimistic Zombie Major (iZombie)
Blaine’s SUPER theatrical trick against his dad (iZombie)
Liv finally tells Clive that she’s a zombie (iZombie)
Alfred and Bruce plot to blow up Thomas Wayne’s Secret Door (Gotham)
Ice Cream (Gotham)
Ice Cream (Supergirl)
Peggy rightly shutting Jarvis down when he blames her for his wife getting shot (Agent Carter)
The musical number (Agent Carter)
The men suffer from oxygen deprivation (Dark Matter)
Flynn trying to point out the Librarians’ wish-fulfillment lives make no sense (The Librarians)
Noah, Audrey, and Emma investigate abandoned hospital (Scream)
Monty/Jasper apology (The 100)
Raven as ALIE (The 100)
The return of Lexa (The 100)
All Amos scenes (The Expanse)
M.K.’s revenge on Ferdinand (Orphan Black)
All of Krystal’s investigations (Orphan Black)

Well, I think that’s quite enough for today, don’t you? If you indeed got through all of this, thanks for reading, and I’d love to hear any votes or nominees you have as well!

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4 Responses to The 2015-2016 TV Superlatives!

  1. Teacups says:

    Although the Sense8 singalong was awesome, I very slightly preferred the use of the song at the end of that episode. Mostly for that moment wherein Nomi starts mumbling it, and Arminita identifies the song, describes it as the “perfect soundtrack for a lobotomy,” and then softly joins in anyway. That was very sweet. Although I did also love some of the songs from Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend – particularly “Bunny and Kitty,” and “Getting Bi,” which got me coming back for Season 2 of UKS and checking out CEG, respectively – so IDK if I’d have to give the award to one of them instead.

    About a month after Root’s death, and only a week after the new season of Orange Is The New Black dropped, Wynonna Earp’s finale had a subversion of Bury Your Gays with recurring lesbian cop Nicole, whose tragic, violent death people had been predicting from her first appearance. Because this was all shot before the post-Lexa outcry, even the showrunner was like “Yes, we did want to thumb our noses at that trope, but HOLY CRAP was that some fortuitous timing.”

    On that note, holy crap has that show taken over my brain. I started watching it as a fun guilty pleasure that happened to include things I like – horror, lesbians, prominent sibling relationships, feminism, snark. But it turned out to be much better and more interesting than it initially appeared, and now I have three fanfics in progress for it because it’s on hiatus and I miss Wynonna and Waverly and their beautiful relationship so much. I was largely watching Supergirl for Kara and Alex, but the Earp sisters would take Best Sibling Relationship for me, easy peasy.

    The hiatus also convinced me to get my ass in gear and check out Killjoys, since it’s what the WE showrunner was working on previously. I like it! And yes, Johnny and Dutch’s friendship is the greatest. (I also liked that it was Johnny who ended up having the more significant bond with Pawter – not D’avin, who had a fling with her.) Oh, and I read a quote from the creator saying she has no interest in them becoming romantic, so until she leaves or Syfy forces the issue, I think we’re safe.

    I enjoy that, while the cast have done some pretty stupid things, they seem like in-character stupid things, that are meant to be bad ideas. (Can I just mention – it was fucking hilarious when D’avin went to follow Khylen, and Dutch immediately started preparing to go rescue him.) So that’s fine. I’m not having problems here like I do with the various Berlanti superhero shows.

    Speaking of, I think Barry’s plan was even worse than you said, at least to begin with. I could be wrong, but I got the impression that the time-travel cloning more of a last-minute addition, not something he was going to do all along. If he’d been planning it the whole time, he probably would’ve alluded to it when he was arguing with Joe and/or Team Flash. I think the initial idea really was just to win the race and hope Zoom buggered off.

    Unless I’m forgetting a scene, I think Lydia was only trepanned, not given a lobotomy. Trepanning’s where they drill a hole in your skull, and a lobotomy’s where they stick a thing through your eye and destroy your whole frontal lobe. (…Horror movies can be very educational about old-timey brain surgery.) Like, it’s still ridiculous – did she even get to go to the proper hospital to have the hole in her skull treated, or what? – but mildly less so.

    Argh, thank you for including Alfred hitting Selina in the “Worst WTF Moments,” runners up. I’ve only seen bits and pieces of Gotham, and me and a friend who loves the show argued about that scene for ages. Eventually she was explaining that it was meant to be a teaching moment for Selina, and I felt sick and had to ask if we could talk about something else. It’s kind of a relief seeing that someone who has the full and proper context (and whose opinion I hold in high regard) also apparently dislikes that scene.

    • I should have been more clear: I meant the use of the whole song, up to and including the bit at the end with Nomi and Amanita.

      I have heard nothing but good things about Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, which means I should probably get over my initial “NOPE” reaction to the first trailer and check it out. (I have no immediate plans to do that, though: there are so many things to watch. Maybe eventually?) I chose not to watch the second season of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, either. You think it’s worth checking out?

      I meant to watch Wynonna Earp, and then totally forgot about it. But everything you just said makes it sound pretty awesome. It might be a while before I can check it out, but I’d like to at some point. (This will almost certainly happy before CEG or UKS2.)

      That’s interesting, about Barry: I just assumed he had the secret plan but never told anyone for Dramatic Reasons. If he didn’t actually have the idea until the race itself, I want to beat him upside the head even more.

      About Teen Wolf, shit, you’re right: I’m always mixing up those terms. Apologies, trepanning definitely isn’t QUITE as bad as a lobotomy. But yes, still pretty ridiculous, though. 🙂

      There are things I enjoyed about Gotham (like, if it could just let itself be campy insane 100% of the time instead of 50% of the time, it would be much more enjoyable), but that scene wasn’t one of them. In fact, not to speak ill of your friend, but I think the scene is even worse when you have full context. I’m generally not in favor of adults slapping 13-year-olds for any reason, but if one murdered your dear friend, you know, I could at least understand that. But that’s not really what happened here. Rob Bricken summed up my reaction pretty perfectly on io9: “I have to say I was at least as shocked as poor Selina, and I was even more shocked when Alfred explained why he slapped her: for killing his pal Reggie last season, which almost makes a little sense until you realize that Reggie almost killed Alfred, he was spying on Bruce for Wayne Enterprises execs, he was a heroin addict, and he was literally threatening Bruce’s life when Cat gave him a helpful push out the window. You’d think Alfred might be a little understanding here—or at least refrain from physically assaulting a child—but nope! And while Selina holds her cheek in shock, Alfred takes the moment to tell Cat she’s horrible and Bruce Wayne’s life will be immeasurably better without her in it.”

      • Teacups says:

        CEG is funny, and I love Rachel Bloom and the musical numbers. (I was also a big fan of “Feeling Kinda Naughty,” which was basically Rebecca’s terrifying stalker version of “I Kissed A Girl” – though I’m kinda biased here, because Katy Perry is my musical nemesis and I particularly dislike that song, so I’m probably going to like *anything* that parodies it.) But I’m kind of struggling because of all the secondhand embarassment and awkwardness whenever Rebecca makes a ass out of herself. This happens often, and because Rebecca is a much more pitiable crappy person than the characters of say, Peep Show or It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia, I find it much more cringeworthy than I do on those shows.

        I liked Season 2 of UKS more than Season 1 on the whole, I think. Now that Kimmy’s gotten some out-of-bunker experience and made more of a life for herself, the show’s delving a lot more into all of her emotional issues and residual bunker trauma, which I am right into. And Tina Fey plays her therapist, which is a much better use of her than the damn lawyer was. But I’m still not nearly as interested in Titus or Jacqueline as I am in Kimmy – though at least Titus’s storyline often comes with his new boyfriend Mikey, who’s a total sweetheart.

        Yeah, I made most of those arguments. (Also, that Bruce himself had been about to kill Reggie, too.) Okay, maybe Reggie was more of a desperate schmuck than actually evil, but that doesn’t change any of his actions or mean he couldn’t get Bruce killed. That was about when we got into the Teaching Moment stuff, which I realised I should ask about, actually?

        Okay, so my friend was arguing that aside from revenge for Reggie, Alfred also hit Selina because she goes around acting like a adult and he wanted to show her that as a consequence, she’d be treated as an adult. Which I actually find more horrifying a motive than just revenge, on multiple levels – but the thing is, I really didn’t get the slightest whiff of that myself? Or from anything else I’ve seeen, read and heard of or about the show. So my question is, so far as your trained TV geek eye can see, am I just missing something here ’cause I don’t really watch the show?

        ‘Course, two people can watch all of an entire show and still disagree about a character’s motivations, but yeah.

        • Ooh, yeah, that sympathetic embarrassment is hard to get past. I feel bad for not watching highly rated but under-watched shows, but I suspect I won’t check out CEG unless someone forces me to. That second season of Kimmy does sound more interesting, though, so maybe I’ll try it out at some point when I’m not behind on EVERYTHING.

          As far as the teaching moment goes . . . it’s an interesting idea, but no, I can’t say I saw that anywhere in the scene at all. Personally, I don’t think you’re missing anything. 🙂

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