“Big Little Lies”
HBO’s summer hit, “Big Little Lies,” brings us into the lives of the suburban mothers of Monterey, CA as we investigate the events leading up to a gruesome murder in their idyllic seaside town. There are killer performances from the entire cast, but Nicole Kidman truly gives one of the best performances of her career. The entire show pieces together the crime so beautifully, keeping you guessing the entire time. But most importantly, the finale ties together all loose ends and will make you weep from the pure beauty of it.
“SMILF” follows Bridgette as she tries to navigate life as a young, single mother — and her own dysfunctional family and relationships don’t make it any easier on her. Bridgette is played by the amazing Frankie Shaw, who not only acts in it, but is the show’s creator, writer and director. Rosie O’Donnell plays Bridgette’s unconventional mom in the show and gives a fantastic performance. This is perhaps the biggest hot take of the list, as it knocked off several great shows from making my top five, but it’s been a long time since I’ve seen a show with such a strong first season.
In “Stranger Things” season two, we find both the parents and kids of Hawkins, IN dealing with the aftermath of the events that occurred in season one. Will Byers has returned, but his troubles are far from over. Now it’s up to his badass mom, Joyce, and his best buds to try and help him through his troubles. On a risky move, showrunners threw a new kid into the mix, Max, but Sadie Sink is just as charismatic and sweet as the rest of the cast and fits right in. Scene stealers this season were Noah Schnapp as Will and everyone’s dream boyfriend Joe Keery as Steve Harrington.
“American Vandal” was a surprise attack of great TV. It’s a parody of the true-crime documentary series, such as “Making a Murderer,” and follows two high school filmmakers who investigate an act of vandalism in their high school — someone spray painted dicks all over the faculty’s cars — and the boy who they believe was wrongfully convicted, Dylan Maxwell. Jimmy Tatro, who plays Maxwell, is really the breakthrough star of the series. The show is truly a love letter as well as a parody of true crime, and fans of the genre will feel as if they are in on a big inside joke when watching the show.
“Game of Thrones”
Putting “Game of Thrones” on a best TV list feels like a cop-out, but while it’s still on air, I’m still going to do it. Though this season was cut short due to the show winding down, and it did feel rushed at times, when it was on, we had some of the best episodes to date. There’s something so satisfying about finally seeing the storylines of characters we’ve been watching for seven seasons finally converging with one another. “Game of Thrones” gave us what we needed — the death of one of the most irritating characters, (SPOILER) Littlefinger — and gave us what we really didn’t need — I’m looking at you, Ed Sheeran cameo. All in all, it was just as much a spectacle as it ever is and has set us up for an incredible last season.
Honorable mentions: “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend,” “The Handmaid’s Tale,” “Broad City.”