Noel and Kate continue their celebration of the best of TV in 2016 with The Televerse’s yearly Smorgasborgy, a Best Of bonanza covering every category we can think of (and a few we probably shouldn’t have). There is so much to discuss and celebrate this year, in fact, that for the first time, The Televerse will be presenting our Best Of Smorgasborgy over two weeks, starting with our awards for the best performances, production elements, writing, and music on TV in 2016. Post your thoughts on the year’s TV, and your picks for any or all of our categories, in the comments below, and come back next week for our favorite characters, sequences, moments, seasons, and more!
As 2016 winds down (and not a moment too soon), the List-ening begins! This episode, Noel and Kate count down their Top 20 TV Series (or TV Movies) of 2016. While plenty of other aspects of life have let many of us down recently, there’s been a plethora of terrific TV, so join us as we celebrate the 30+ shows we most enjoyed this calendar year.
We’re now well into April, so with 2016 a quarter of the way over, Noel and Kate thought it was time we checked in on our 2016 TV Resolutions. First, however, we look at a full week in TV, starting with the return from hiatus of The Amazing Race. Then we dive in with the comedies, including a disappointing The Carmichael Show, before moving on to the genre entries. Disappointment is a bit of a theme, unfortunately, as we dive deep on The Walking Dead’s irritating season finale and an underwhelming Arrow, but fortunately we cleanse the palate with a much stronger week in drama, including the fantastic conclusion to American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson and another strong Limitless. Afterward, Noel and Kate evaluate their progress with their 2016 TV Resolutions: Is Noel watching more documentary television, and which shows has Kate added to her lineup to ensure her viewing passes the Bechdel Test every week?
It’s a 2016 Televerse first this week, with Kate and Noel on opposite sides of this week’s DVD Shelf pick. First, though, we kick off the podcast with our week in comedy, including the premiere of Netflix’s The Ranch and wedding-themed episodes of Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Jane the Virgin, and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. Next up are the genre entries, including a punny Arrow and straight-up delightful Supergirl, and we wrap up our week in TV with the dramas, including the premieres of Rush Hour, The Path, and Grantchester. Afterward, we head to the DVD Shelf with Kelly Lawler of USA Today and The Mothership podcast to break down what does, and doesn’t, work for us about the hangout comedy Happy Endings.
Kate and Noel have recent DVD Shelf flashbacks this week, as LaToya Ferguson of The A.V. Club and The Televoid joins us on the podcast to dive in with McG’s Miami Vice for the aughts, Fastlane. Beforehand, though, we go through another full week of TV. First up are the comedies, including a preview of Archer season seven and the finales of The Venture Bros. and Younger. Then we move on to the genre entries, including a spoiler-tastic look at Daredevil season two and an Olicity-fueled Arrow, and we round out the week with the dramas, including Tyler Perry’s The Passion: New Orleans and the premiere of The Catch. Then it’s over to the DVD Shelf with LaToya to talk fast cars, pretty ‘splosions, and objectification galore on FOX’s one-season undercover cop series, Fastlane.
After responding to the outpouring of feedback from last week’s The 100 segment, Noel and Kate dig in for another full week of TV. First up are reality and comedy, including the Top Chef: California finale, a trio of premieres, and somewhat controversial episodes of The Carmichael Show and Broad City. Then it’s over to genre and drama, including a (mostly) spoiler-free look at the beginning of Daredevil season two, Supergirl’s Red Kryptonite episode, and another entertaining American Crime Story. Afterward, Jason Griffin of TVx3 and TheTVaholic returns to the DVD Shelf to whisk Kate off to the picturesque town of Cicely, Alaska to talk Northern Exposure.
It’s our lengthiest, most in-depth podcast yet, as Noel and Kate take deep dives on many of the week’s most interesting episodes. Of course we had to talk The 100 and “Thirteen”—and we went so long on that, with friend of the show Maureen Ryan of Variety, that it’s posted separately. What do Noel and Kate think of the rise of issues-based comedy? Should characters change over time? Can The 100 win us back, and what exactly happened on Adventure Time? Why isn’t God a character on Of Kings and Prophets, and why do we still belittle women for their hair? Did American Crime stick the landing and does it really matter either way? All of this and much more on this week’s supersized The Televerse.
The transition from winter to spring TV begins this week, as several series head into their finales and new ones debut, giving Noel and Kate plenty to discuss on the podcast. We kick things off with the comedies, including a check-in with Full Frontal with Samantha Bee and a look at the finale of The Muppets. Next up are the genre and drama offerings, including finale talk for Agent Carter and The Shannara Chronicles, a difference of opinion on SundanceTV’s new series Hap and Leonard, and yet more American Crime Story and American Crime discussion. Then we wrap things up by welcoming Kayti Burt of Den of Geek and Collider, among others, to the DVD Shelf to break down the short-lived and underseen zombie drama In The Flesh.
A lot of exciting TV is coming up in the next few weeks, including the series finale of Gravity Falls. In anticipation, Kate speaks with Gravity Falls composer Brad Breeck, looking at his composition process, development of the sound of the series, and collaboration with creator Alex Hirsch. But beforehand, it’s a full week of TV. Noel and Kate talk comedies first, including catch-ups with Childrens Hospital, Superstore, The Grinder, and the premieres of The Venture Bros. and Full Frontal with Samantha Bee. Next up are the genre entries, with a bit of a split on The X-Files, and we round things out with a little Top Chef: California discussion before diving in with the dramas, including eventful episodes of American Crime Story, Elementary, and American Crime.
At long last, The Televerse takes on the procedural juggernaut that is Law & Order! However before we dive in with returning guest Sarah D. Bunting and new guest to the podcast Mark Blankenship, both of Previously.TV and Extra Hot Great, Noel and Kate look at a full week in TV. We kick things off with the comedies, including the finale of Galavant, Grease Live, and the glorious return of Fresh Off the Boat, and then we talk genre and drama, including the much-hyped Darin Morgan episode of The X-Files and premiere of American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson. Afterward, it’s over to the DVD Shelf for a super-sized chat with Mark and Sarah, looking at what made Law & Order tick, and what kept it fresh for so very long.