The Best And Worst Shows On TV In 2016

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Photo: Netflix

1. Peaky Blinders

This is another show that I initially missed out on in its first season, and boy, do I regret that decision. About half-way through bingeing the first season, I scolded myself, “I could have been watching Peaky Blinders all along!”

This period drama is about a family of gangsters in Birmingham, England in the 1920s. It’s the coolest show about the coolest characters, and I just feel cooler for having watched it. The British gangster drama set almost 100 years ago is scored by the likes of Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds, The Arctic Monkeys, and PJ Harvey, and it feels more modern and stylish that anything else on TV.

It’s about the Shelby family, composed of three brothers and an aunt (and all their respective wives and children). The Shelbys run a gambling enterprise that started as a seedy, back alley operation, but turned legit and extremely lucrative. Their success is mostly due to the ruthless and unflinching patriarch, Tommy, played by the thrilling and icy Cillian Murphy.

Steven Wright is both creator, showrunner and primary writer, so the show feels consistent without being claustrophobic and the characters are reliably authentic without being predictable. It’s good in all the traditional ways a show can be: characters, writing, directing, but it’s the quality of the atmosphere that I find most exceptional. Gritty with black smoke billowing and smoky soft lighting, Peaky Blinders is a total sensory experience.