Top TV of 2016


2016 has been one of the most pivotal years for Americans. After all the conflict and debate, it’s nice to see at least one aspect of our lives seems to still be intact and we can all agree; this year produced some good television. Here at Sider Press, some of our staff weighed in on their picks for the best shows of 2016.

1- Westworld
Westworld debuted this year on HBO, and was immediately deemed the next Game of Thrones. The futuristic plot includes a theme park where the wealthy in society can go to Westworld, a Wild-West theme park where “hosts”, who are robots created by the park directors and scientists, have the sole purpose of providing for and interacting with guests so they can play out their wildest fantasies. Our very own Mr. Howley weighs in on why he chose Westworld as his favorite show of the year.

“What was great about Westworld is its use of literary quotes and the concept of creation. It examines the implications of creating something that exists beyond you. Also, the characters are fantastic, each discovering themselves along the way and coming to the same conclusions through very different arcs.”

2- Stranger Things
One of Netflix’s most successful debuts of 2016, this show was a huge hit among both youths and adults alike. Receiving praise from some of the most respected in the horror genre, such as Stephen King, and reminiscent of movies such as Stand By Me, Stranger Things has been chosen as one of the best of the year and is up for many nominations this award season. One of our own writers, Ashley Bentsen, describes why Stranger Things was her pick for the year.

Stranger Things brings back the 80’s with extremely likable leads. The child actors are fantastic and Winona Ryder plays the role as Will’s mother very naturally. It’s scary and also will make you laugh at the same time. I definitely can’t wait for the second season.”

3- Grey’s Anatomy
Grey’s Anatomy, running on its thirteenth season, has consistently still pulled in strong ratings since its creation. Shonda Rhimes, the creator of Grey’s Anatomy, among other shows such as Scandal and How to Get Away With Murder, tends to write her shows heavily with drama and plot twists, which keep viewers waiting for the next episode. Even with the departure of Patrick Dempsey as Derek Shepherd, one of the leads, the show has managed to keep viewers interested. Sider Press member Justin Sguera tells us why Grey’s Anatomy was his favorite show of 2016.

“I’ve been watching Grey’s Anatomy on Netflix for a very long time and it’s mainly about its protagonist Meredith Grey, her journey through life and her hardships. When I was going through my own hard times it helped me with all of its own inspirational words and the quotes they use at the end of each episode; it’s a really life changing show. It’s also dramatic and comedic.”

4- Shameless
Shameless, one of the most popular shows on air and adored by critics, is in its seventh season on Showtime. After the shows debut on Netflix, it received a surge in popularity as new viewers now have the chance to start the show from its first season and catch up to current episodes. Based off the British version, this show focuses on a lower-middle class Chicago family with an alcoholic father and a daughter who has to take care of the rest of her family. It focuses on class issues in a comedic manner and still has a strong fan base in its seventh season. Writer Melanie Krieger tells us why she picked Shameless as her favorite show this year.

Shameless is my favorite television show because it’s something I can escape to every Sunday night when I’m busy doing homework. It’s just a good reminder that people have it worse, and things could be worse, even though it has a melancholy vibe to it, Shameless still is very funny and entertaining. It’s just a great overall program and the actors, especially Emmy Rossum, are fantastic.”

5- Designated Survivor
Designated Survivor, one of the new shows ABC debuted this year, is a political drama that has been a critic’s favorite of the year. The protagonist, Kiefer Sutherland, is a low-level cabinet member that ends up becoming President of the United States after an accident kills the previous president and several of his cabinet members. Dylan Rosenthal tells us why it’s his favorite show of 2016.

Designated Survivor, is about the Capitol Building being attacked by terrorists and everyone, including the President. The President picks a random ‘designated survivor’ just in case of an attack, and it’s the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. It’s a show full of suspense and a lot of cliffhangers, and it’s kind of scary because it’s really realistic, so, it kind of gets you thinking, ‘Are we vulnerable to this kind of attack?’ There’s a lot of action, and it’s pretty freaky.”  

2016 was a year filled with great media, and 2017 seems to be a year that will be filled with more great television. Us here at Sider Press are eager to see what other programs will debut and catch our attention.