Rachel Bloom in Crazy Ex-Girlfriend (Photo: Eddy Chen/The CW)

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend (The CW)

“It’s tough to imagine a musical comedy getting much darker after an episode involving grave vandalism, but Crazy Ex has done exactly that in its bruising third season. Bloom and her co-creator, Aline Brosh McKenna, promised from the outset that they would take the show’s title seriously and mine the pathos out of Rebecca’s wacky rom-com mischief. So when season two ended with Rebecca vowing revenge after Josh jilts her at the altar, there was nowhere to go but down, and season three is leaning hard into the aftermath. Crazy Ex has never been a carefree show, but it’s gotten especially poignant as Rebecca’s downward spiral tightens into a helix, culminating in a suicide attempt on a commercial flight. Yet somehow, the show continues to pull off its strongest depictions of mental health struggles and its tightrope act as one of television’s best comedies.”
See the rest of our picks for best TV of the year.


One Day At A Time (Netflix)

“Justina Machado gives a warm and powerful lead performance as Penelope, the Alvarez matriarch and proud member of the sandwich generation… This multi-generational Cuban-American family fights, hugs, and eats together, as all TV clans should. But what pushes One Day At A Time past serviceable sitcom is smart and timely takes on everything from immigration to gentrification, from queerness to the wage gap. Every earnest half-hour has plenty of laughs and a point. But One Day At A Time doesn’t just have its heart on its sleeve—it wears it like a badge.”
See the rest of our picks for best TV of the year.

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The Good Place (NBC/Hulu)

“Michael Schur’s phantasmagorical sitcom burst onto the scene in 2016 like a runaway column of shopping carts ready to carry a self-proclaimed selfish ass to her ultimate, unmerited reward, but its premise always posed a troubling question: Where can The Good Place go once it’s biggest secret is out? By the time the first-season finale aired in the early weeks of 2017, the show had answered that question several times over; it delivered its definitive retort in the form of a menacing cackle and a snap of the fingers from Michael (Ted Danson). The Good Place would, like its spiritual predecessor Lost, have to go back. And then it went back, and went back, and went back, forming a loop that doubled down on the first season’s devilishly funny head fake and crystalized The Good Place’s status as a supreme being among thoughtful TV shows that are also sort of about the process of making thoughtful TV shows.”
See the rest of our picks for best TV of the year.

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The Crown (Netflix)

“[This is] the second and final season for Claire Foy, who has done such an amazing, Golden Globe-winning job of embodying the young queen. (Broadchurch’s Olivia Colman is in the wings to take over for seasons three and four; no word yet on who the new Philip will be.) The queen’s public and private face are also almost indistinguishable from each other, as she is so used to keeping her actual feelings hidden. Yet Foy manages to portray the swirly storm of emotions the young queen must be experiencing while barely revealing anything outwardly past a wide-eyed stare and a stern lack of a smile. It’s an astonishing performance, and there’s no reason to believe the superlative Colman won’t also be up for the task.”
Read the rest of our season-two review here.

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Riverdale (The CW)

“As absurd and over-the-top—“campy” tends to be the buzzword—as Riverdale is, part of what makes that works so well is that it’s absolutely aware of it. If it weren’t, no one in the entire Blossom clan would even exist. Within this awareness is Riverdale’s own set of rules and logic, things this show can do (rooftop covers of “Milkshake”; again, see all things Blossom clan) simply because, well, it’s Riverdale. The same goes for Riverdale’s obvious influences, which it wears on its sleeve while still being its own special creation.”
Catch up on our Riverdale episode reviews here.

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