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 Lists
12.02.19 TV of the Decade 10.18.19 Top 20 Jimmy Eat World
07.31.19 Top 20 Circa Survive07.23.19 10 Years of By The Throat
07.07.19 Best Bridges Part Two 03.13.19 blew a tyre out on the highway blues
03.06.19 top 10 national01.16.19 top 20 R.E.M.
12.06.18 Rowan2018 12.01.18 unappreciated wu-tang verses
10.06.18 top 20 c[o]h[eed]oruses 06.24.18 Wyoming Albums Master Playlist
05.21.18 Top 10 Stephen King03.22.18 The Be(x)t-Files
03.07.18 Best/Favourite Bridges* [UPDATED] 12.27.17 rowan2017
11.08.17 Rowan's Six Years on Here 09.19.17 ranked: all of bojack [2ND LAST UPDATE]
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TV of the Decade

pretty much what the title implies, broken down by season. no I haven't watched Fleabag. no I will not add Game of Thrones
1The National
Alligator


Bojack Horseman, Season 2

Potentially my favourite season of my favourite show - Bojack Horseman hit an early peak with its knockout second season. The genius of this is how it convinces you with slapstick gags and puns that this is the life of its characters, even when you know better, so when the drop finally comes it hits you right in the guts. Animation's best team and voice cast take you on a guided tour of rock bottom, once again, and it never feels any less than brilliant and essential TV.
2Childish Gambino
Because the Internet


Community, Season 2

I'll defend s6 as the most consistent of Community's seasons, but there's no denying s2's peaks and influence on the TV landscape. With the vestiges of the standard sitcom of s1 fully shed, it became something else entirely in the pop culture scene; there's a three-episode run in S2's first half that stacks up against anything I've ever seen in the medium. But great reference and meta-humour don't make a #2 show of the decade even with a cast this good. Like Bojack after it, Community at its best could transcend genre by exploring the mental health inadequacies and self-hatreds of an entire generation through painfully specific detail. It's telling that the most memorable episodes of Community are those associated with words like 'paintball' and 'Ass Crack Bandit', but the moments that make me well up just thinking about them are people talking in a room while Ludwig Goransson's score sighs in the background.
3St. Vincent
Strange Mercy


Twin Peaks: The Return

Absolutely the greatest comeback of our times. I could just point you to Episode 8, acknowledge that this aired on national broadcast TV and conclude my case here, but that somehow fails to sum up The Return's dedication to both horrifying psychodrama and heartwarming goofiness that calls back to the OG Twin Peaks charm. I mean, how else but with uncut Lynch could you get Dougie Jones and Janey-E banging it out in the same season as “this is the water, and this is the well”? I'm a FWWM man till the day I die, but nothing like The Return had ever or will ever happen again; I wouldn't want anyone else to even try.
4...And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead
Lost Songs


The Leftovers, Season 3

As good an eight-episode package as TV has ever given us, Season 3 saw The Leftovers' transformation from goofy sci-fi book adaptation to lyrical, measured prestige TV complete. Funny, haunting and excoriating in equal measure, building to what is very possibly the finest finale of the entire decade, The Leftovers earned a spot amongst HBO's best, and a cult fanbase who will back up all the things I just said with fevered intensity. Plus it had Carrie Coon.
5Flying Lotus
You're Dead!


Atlanta, Season 2

'Twin Peaks for rappers' was the pitch Atlanta s1 began from; 'horror short films for comedy freaks' seemed to have been the MO as it moved into the second. Robbin' Season took the funniest cast on TV and isolated them well outside the comedy zone, pitching full-blown horror in one episode only to pivot to truly haunting ripples from a cast member's family loss in real life the next. You still laugh at Atlanta, sure, but nervously, always looking behind your back for the other shoe to drop. And all the while decade-best director Hiro Murai ensures you never want to look away, even for a second.
6Queens of the Stone Age
...Like Clockwork


Better Call Saul, Season 4

Somewhat like its parent show Better Call Saul began with tonal inconsistencies, splitting its narrative evenly in half yet contrasting goofy cartoon violence against self-serious prestige drama. 3 seasons on and BCS is a tonal masterpiece. This is by far the most well-oiled machine on TV; every editing choice, directorial flair and narrative piece a vehicle for truly decade-best material by Bob Odenkirk and Rhea Seehorn, giving life to characters more complex and nuanced than anything Breaking Bad ever achieved. I'm thrilled to see where this show can go, but remain unconvinced anything could top s4's queasy, nerve-shredding trainwreck in slow motion.
7Chance the Rapper
Acid Rap


Gravity Falls, Season 2

There are moments in this show that stack up amongst the greatest I've ever seen in animation. The climactic Author reveal; the Dreamscaperers episode; some truly horrific and messed-up Armageddon shit that somehow snuck itself onto what was nominally a children's show. But that often derogatory term was actually Gravity Falls' strength. As the stunning, lyrical 20 minute epilogue to one of the greatest finales of the decade spun out, one thing became clear; Alex Hirsch was grappling with, and even making peace with, the irreversible loss of the magic of childhood in a way that most 'adult' shows had never even attempted.
8Crowded House
Time On Earth


Halt and Catch Fire, Season 4

Closest to The Leftovers on this list, Halt and Catch Fire had a long evolution to go through, beginning as a comically transparent throw-Breaking Bad-and-Mad Men in a blender, but like, with computers attempt by AMC. By the end it was the kind of show that should have raked in critical acclaim, with stunning performances and subtle, measured writing – and would have, had the bad rep of those early seasons not hung around like a bad smell. It's a damn shame, but it doesn't overshadow the quality; here including the most heartstring-tugging visual rendition of death, and the messiest, most brilliant examination of what happens to those of us who get left behind, I've ever seen in the medium.
9Killswitch Engage
Alive or Just Breathing


Barry, Season 2

Barry is just so fucking good. I'd be more than content to just watch Bill Hader react to things for 22 minutes a pop each week, but an outstanding supporting cast (feat Henry Winkler, somehow, at the top of his game) and a magnificent directing team nail week after week the delicate tightrope of the show. It's unfair, really, that a show this blackly funny can tease out moments of suspense, dread and drama that sit with the very best of the non-comedy on this list. And one surreal, experimental departure in s2 suggests the possibility that it's far from done, leaving the door open for it to become the most formally inventive, tonally diverse show about a hitman trying really hard to be an actor on TV.
10Nine Inch Nails
The Downward Spiral


Mr. Robot, Season 3

My favourite run on this show is actually the second half of s2, where with the necessary (but silly) twist out of the way Esmail ramps up the tension to almost suffocating levels. The “best” is most likely s1, a more accessible techno-thriller with a true whopper of a twist and a clear narrative throughline. I'll split the difference here and nominate s3, which made time for Esmail's surreal asides and experiments in form and structure while still ensuring to pump up the adrenaline and dread week-by-week like no other show can. Sometimes goofy writing aside, Mr. Robot deserves a spot on any list due to directorial excellence alone.
11Death Grips
No Love Deep Web


American Vandal, Season 1

I truly never thought a show where dicks and poop burglars are namedropped as a matter of regularity could leave me barely holding back tears. Of course, American Vandal's brilliant coup was always, always treating its (superbly cast) characters like human beings, even in the face of mountingly ridiculous investment in their situations. This stubborn dedication to three-dimensionality, in tandem with the show's superb production design and storytelling intuition, marked AV as Netflix's best live-action of the decade by far (good job hanging onto that one, fellas).
12Radiohead
The King of Limbs


Legion, Season 1

Do not talk to me about what a fucking mess this show became. Before it bombed its entire narrative and sacrificed its characters' interior lives for cheap shit, though, there was a narratively tight, thrilling debut season of a show called Legion. Its visual panache and Pitchfork-core needledrops were welded tight to an exciting, suspenseful mystery, and the narrative maneuvering left time for the growth of a surprisingly lovable supporting cast. There's still flashes of stupidity here and there, but moments of Legion – a soundless haunted house sequence, a silent movie-subtitled monster attack – undoubtedly rank up there with the best.
13James Blake
Assume Form


The Good Place, Season 2

TV's cosiest, good-vibiest ethics lesson in the form of a show somewhat sadly hit an early peak. It's still very good, for sure, even if I'm largely watching to see William Jackson Harper react to stuff each week. But there was a truly thrilling run in s2 where the status quo was completely upended literally every episode, and there was the undeniable feeling anything was possible. For a brief moment The Good Place was electrifying, unpredictable and brilliant in a way that no sitcom has ever been.
14Leonard Cohen
You Want It Darker


True Detective, Season 1

Somewhat dumb ending aside, and highly questionable and unlikable creator/writer even more aside, True Detective's alchemical reaction of Cary Fukunaga's direction and the slowly mounting cosmic dread just out of sight was impossible to deny. In hindsight it's kind of pretty clear that these tantalising threads are basically leading to a dead end, albeit a brilliantly acted and directed one. At the time, there was nothing more thrilling and unsettling week-to-week than this.
15Jeff Rosenstock
We Cool?


30 Rock, Season 7

This show's peaks happened in the previous decade, there's no doubt. But for an excellent and surprisingly moving final season, 30 Rock reignited the creative fires and recaptured some of the magic which made it the warmest, most lovable hangout sitcom on TV.
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