2016 has been an incredible year for news, sports, technology, celebrity gossip and film.

While everyone has been abreast with the latest, some have been glued to our tv screens or laptops as television and streaming services have been belting out shows that produced gripping narratives, deceiving characters and fantastic places have taken us.

So whether real-life dramas intrigued you or laughed away with some late night comedy shows, these are our top picks of shows we loved, cried and at times, got real mad (and salty) at in no particular order:

The Americans (FX) 

Source: Twitter/@TheAmericansFX
When the show started back in 2013, it didn’t quite start well within its first two seasons. Now, in its fourth season, the show has produced something that’s worth watching. With the intriguing family bonds and fantastic action sequences, the show is finally picking up the pace and the fans are sure responding well to it.

Atlanta (FX) 

Source: Twitter/@AtlantaFX
Storytelling at its best is what FX’s Atlanta has been such a hit with fans this year. Created by its lead star, Donald Glover as a manager of an up-and-coming rapper, the show employs an unconventional narrative style that slightly nuanced everyday life events. Remaining one of the freshest shows of the year, even if you’re not a hip-hop fan the show’s characters will keep you hooked on every word and action.

Game of Thrones (HBO) 

Source: Twitter/@Variety
What would this list be without the year’s most highly anticipated season from HBO’s Game of Thrones?

After season 5, many struggled to answer questions that the show couldn’t provide, hoping for them in season 6. Well, this season not only gave us more unanswered questions, more characters got killed off (and one brought back to life), shocking plot revelations, plenty of backstabbings (thanks, Cersei) and a horde of memes. As we count down the days till season 7 in April 2017, the only thing left for us to is to HOLD THE DOOR!!!

Westworld (HBO) 

Source: Twitter/@Variety
Another fantastic show from the folks at HBO, the show debuted this year and is a hit with fans across all boards, even softening the pundits. The sci-fi drama, not only was breathtaking but was intriguing and puzzling at times. Sir Anthony Hopkins was spellbinding as the director of Westworld while Evan Rachel Wood and Thandie Newton delivered staggering performances and badassness for the ladies.

American Crime Story: The People vs. OJ Simpson (FX)

Source: Twitter/@FXNetworks
FX’s true crime drama, American Crime, delves into the mystery surrounding some of the most high-profile crime stories in US history. Its first season, which focuses on the murder trial of O.J. Simpson, was widely received by critics which found success at this year’s Creative Arts Emmy Awards and last year’s Primetime Emmys. Both second and third season are in development which explores the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and the assassination of fashion designer Gianni Versace.

Better Call Saul (AMC) 

Source: Twitter/@Variety
AMC’s spin-off of Braking Bad, Better Call Saul explores events of a small time lawyer Jimmy McGill before Breaking Bad as Saul Goodman. Witty and charming, the show feels like shows of the past, applauding its script writing with many citing its better than Breaking Bad.

Stranger Things (Netflix) 

Source: Twitter/@EW
Paying homage to pop culture of the 1980s, Stranger Things garnered attention for script work, characterisation and its soundtrack. A boy who mysteriously disappears sees the arrival of a girl with telekinetic powers. With this powers, she assists the boy’s friends on their pursuit to finding clues surrounding his disappearance. While many critics stated that there’s quite nothing like Stranger Things, it will keep you on the edge of your seat. Be prepared as season 2 will air in the new year.

Steven Universe (Cartoon Network) 

Source: Twitter/@StevenAccount
Writer Rebecca Sugar developed the concept for Steven Universe while worker as a writer for Cartoon network’s hit animated series, Adventure Time. Little did she know that Steven Universe would attract millions of viewers since its debut on the network in 2013. The show follows Steven Universe through his journey with his friends and his Gems, three humanoid aliens as he assists them in protecting their kind. The show is the first to be created by a female for the network, but has received praise for its narrative, storytelling, voice over work music, art design and characterisation. Renewed for a fourth season, Cartoon Network has surely found its gem in Steven Universe.

The Walking Dead (AMC) 

Source: Twitter/@TWD_ES
A show with one of the largest fan base and cult following, the zombie apocalypse horror has anger and excited us at the same time. When a sheriff wakes up from a coma, he learns that the world is been run by zombies and as he embarks on a journey to survival, he encounters survivors who band up to take on zombies and other survival groups. A show with one of the best costume and hair/makeup design, The Walking Dead has produced some of television’s greatest moments with a few surprises and deaths along the way. With season 8 on the horizon, one question we certainly must ask, “Do you fear the walking dead?”

While we have produced a list with the best of the best, a few show did miss the list but do still deserve a thumbs up: Marvel’s Luke Cage (Netflix), Silicon Valley (HBO), Transparent (Amazon), Veep (HBO) and Mr Robot (USA Network).

Here’s to an incredible year of television as we anticipate great stories, riveting plots and magical characters in 2017 (and happy repeat watching).

Categories: Entertainment