I do this weird thing where I break up shows into four categories for my awards. Drama, Comedy, Genre, and Limited. So, for Genre, I group in a bunch of shows that typically get overlooked, or their performances aren’t appreciated, from sometimes lauded shows like Stranger Things and The Boys, to less likely shows like The Orville and Locke and Key. So, if a show is missing, it might be there. I know, What We Do in The Shadows kind of feels like where does it go? But I think the focus there is a lot more on the comedy of the situations, and those characters just happen to be vampires, instead of a show about vampires, like Vampire Academy or Let the Right One In.
10) Julia (HBo MAX)
I was charmed by this show, and I didn’t expect to be. I thought the writing was strong, they managed a well rounded supporting cast, and everything felt so natural and just really well done.
9) Reboot (Hulu)
If I gave an award to a new series on concept alone, Reboot would win that. Making a show about the revival of an old sitcom, and actually putting that revival on hulu within the show, is almost like challenging the network each year to renew or cancel it. Within the show this year, they got lucky. Will they next season? Plus, it’s a show about writers in a writers room, which is kinda meta to be in this category.
8) Our Flag Means Death (HBo MAX)
This pirate comedy was another great left-field concept, and the writing for the show wasn’t just hilarious, but also really shaped the tone of the show.
7) Girls5Eva (Peacock)
I remember when this first came out, I put it on top. Not only are they writing hilarious dialogue, and creating great characters, but the songs in this are perfection. Season two, I think I wanted a bit more growth, but with this show moving to Netflix, because Peacock has a rule that they aren’t allowed to retain quality programs, I’m hoping that move is for the better.
Again, if this was “best episode”, Atlanta would win. That Goofy centric episode would win that award. I think it’s the best written comedy episode of the year. But, sometimes Donald Glover takes a swing, and it doesn’t always work for me. But, sometimes he swings, and knocks it out of the park, and out of the whole damn city of Atlanta.
5) Trying (Apple Plus)
A show that has consistently grown on me, as I’ve become more and more invested in this rather wholesome and quirky comedy about two people just trying to be parents. This past season, they really went through a lot, fighting to keep the kids they were lucky to foster at the end of last season. But now that they are a family, they are fighting to stay together, and so many perfect moments happened all season. I feel like this is an extremely undervalued writers room.
4) Abbott Elementary (ABC)
It’s weird to think that this show really basically is just a year old. Sure, it ran one preview episode at the dead end of 2021, before the show launched for real, but the meteoric rise of this program has just been one year. Yet it somehow feels like it’s been around longer. This is a great show, it just gets harder and harder closer to the top.
3) Hacks (HBo MAX)
Definitely one of the strongest written shows. That cruise episode alone was perfect. But somehow, I felt like there were memebers of the supporting cast, who because they didn’t go on tour, or go immediately on tour, suffered a bit in the evolution of their characters. We’ll see what Season 3 brings, but I’m sure it will be fire. Whatever it is.
2) What We Do in The Shadows (FX)
After the way Season 3 ended, I thought Season 4 was going to be a slump. Taking out Colin like that… but then… Colin was back. And in the weirdest, funniest way possible. Watching the evolution of Colin Robinson was such a highlight in a season that saw the opening of a nightclub, what happens when you reset someone’s memories too many times, a genie with more than three wishes, cloning, Guillermo’s family, and just a host of hilarious plots. Every episode worked, and I assumed that the ending of Season 3 would kneecap the show. They proved me wrong.
1) Breeders (FX)
Yes, I’m a blind critic, and the winner here has no audio description. And as much as I would love for Breeders to add audio description, this shows exploration of a family dynamic has really been something amazing. Starting from beginning to where we are now, so much has happened. This past season, couples almost broke up, a character almost died, relationships mended and broke again, and somehow these writers have perfectly captured the hardness and truths of so many marriages and what it means to be a parent. Breeders is my pick for the Best Writing for a Comedy Series, so if you think I follow trends and other critics… surprise. I think I’m the only one who keeps hyping Breeders.
Honorable Mentions: Mythic Quest (Apple Plus), Only Murders In The Building (Hulu), Ghosts (CBS), The Righteous Gemstones (HBO), Rutherford Falls (Peacock), The Marvelous Ms Maisel (Amazon), and Barry (HBO).