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The Best of Television 2016: Halt And Catch Fire, Life In Pieces, Atlanta

The best dramatic shows of 2016 included a number of sleepers. A largely ignored drama that survived crazy-low ratings and the persistent threat of cancellation to find its voice midway through season 3. A comedy that well-acted, funny, and touching…and won’t give you nightmares. And a genre-busting debut that sometimes does feel like a dream–or a nightmare. And that’s a good thing.

6. Halt and Catch Fire (AMC): The history of television is littered with good-to-great shows that for one reason or another lost their way after a few seasons. Chalk it up to Entropy. But how rare is it when, midway through its third season, a good series suddenly courts true greatness? (I could have said that “after years of smoldering Halt finally caught fire.” But I did not.) Given that there’s a decent chance you’re in the vast majority of viewers who’ve never seen a single episode of Halt, I won’t delve into Spoilerland. Suffice to say that the show’s move to the early days of Silicon Valley and social media gave one of television’s tightest ensembles—notably Cameron Howe and Donna Clark–a lot to work with. While the first two seasons of Halt remain worthy, if you’re in the mood for a mini-binge, you can’t do much better than a sprint through Season 3 of Halt. And, best of all, you can watch, safe in the knowledge that the AMC series gets a season 4 before it, um, halts.

5. Life in Pieces (CBS): A great television show can do any number of things, but one of the most underrated is the ability to simply entertain. And Life in Pieces is the most purely entertaining show on television right now. We know what Colin Hanks and Besty Brandt (formerly of Fargo and Breaking Bad respectively) have serious game when it

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