Best New TV Shows of 2016

Before you know it, 2016 will be over, and for some, not fast enough.

Despite the dour feelings this year seems to invoke in people, television was definitely a bright spot.

From a sci-fi gem bursting with 80s nostalgia to a refreshingly different take on a superhero tale, here are the series that stood above the rest.

The Best New Series of 2016…

Atlanta (FX)
Atlanta is one of the most innovative shows released this year. Donald Glover plays Earn, a broke guy who decides to be manager to his aspiring rapper cousin Paper Boi. The show was a refreshing take on rap culture and the “dirty south.” It’s real. It’s raw.

Westworld (HBO)
Westworld could easily make the list of most confusing shows of 2016, if such a list exist. The show takes place in a theme park that allows people to live out their fantasies with artificially intelligent hosts. With each episode, viewers are urged to question what’s real and what’s not and what it means to be human. Because of its high-concept, complex characters and overall mystery, HBO’s sci-fi juggernaut is among the best.

Stranger Things (Netflix)
No “best of” list would be complete with mentioning sci-fi phenomenon Stranger Things. Ripe with 80’s pop culture and nostalgia, Stranger Things tells the story of The shows young stars are the real bright spots. Eggos have never been more popular.

Luke Cage (Netflix)
A day after Luke Cage was released, Netflix experienced major technical issues. No surprise, it was one of the most-anticipated Marvel show to hit the platform. And, Luke Cage didn’t disappoint. With a top-notch cast that included Alfre Woodard, Mike Colter and Mahershala Ali, the show told a very different kind of superhero tale. Luke Cage tackled issues of race, culture and faith.

The People v O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story (FX)
The O.J. Simpson trial was the must-watch event of 1994. In The People v O.J. Simpson it’s easy to see why. Starring Cuba Gooding Jr. (Simpson), the show follows the entire trail and its colorful cast of characters.  Even though the show ventured too far over the melodrama line, it’s hard to argue that it wasn’t compelling television.

The Crown (Netflix)
This historical drama allegedly cost Netflix $100 million. Money well spent. For anyone remotely interested in Britain’s royal family, particularly Queen Elizabeth, The Crown is the series to watch. It’s lavish backdrops, lush costumes and talented cast create one of the most emotionally complex dramas on television.

Better Things (FX)
Here is a show that didn’t get enough love or attention. Starring Pamela Adlon as Sam Fox, Better Things is an unflinching, complex and humorous look at motherhood. Sam has to juggle three hectic daughters while trying to maintain her own life.

The Night Of (HBO)
This gripping eight-part crime drama debuted in the summer. Set in New York City, the series takes a broad view of the American criminal justice system, race and religion. It’s a slow burn, perhaps too slow for some viewers. The biggest complaint about The Night Of is its finale, which offers a hefty build-up without a satisfying resolution.

Preacher (AMC)
Although it took a while to find its footing, AMC’s comic book adaptation eventually managed to live up to the hype. It’s an unconventional story of a bumbling preacher who embarks on a journey to find God in a world inhabited by hellish characters. Preacher contains enough gore and action to satisfy fans of that other AMC show.

The Exorcist (FOX)
Reboots and adaptations of popular films have become the norm. So, it wasn’t a surprise when Fox decided to adapt one of the most iconic horror films into a TV series. What is surprising is how good it turned out to be. Starring Academy Award-winner Geena Davis, The Exorcist is full horror and plot twists. The acting is impressive. The cinematography does a great job of capturing the tone of the series.

Ashley Carter
Ashley Carter
News junkie by profession, pop-culture junkie in life. A self-described TV fanatic, Ashley watches more television than should be humanly possible. Some of her favorites include Game of Thrones, Black Mirror, Mr. Robot and Stranger Things. She'll also watch almost anything from the BBC. When not watching TV or writing about it, you can find her at Disney World; she practically lives there.