Category Archives: TV

The New Golden Age: A TV Meta-List Update

There seems to be a critical consensus that we are living in a new golden age of television.  The quality of TV productions now rivals film, and actors and actresses now migrate between TV and film frequently and without stigma.  So it made sense to me that it was time to update the meta-lists of Best TV Shows of All Time, which I last updated in 2019.  The new updated lists have lots of additional TV shows, most of them from the last decade.  The top three shows of all time (in a tie) remain the same: The Simpsons, The Sopranos, and The Wire.

Here are links to the lists:

Best TV Shows of All Time – Ranked
Best TV Shows of All Time – Chronological

Oddly, the lists I found to create the meta-list do not contain any foreign language TV shows, even though there is quality television being made all over the world.  I hope that “best tv shows” listers of the future will remedy this glaring omission.

Speaking of omissions, quite a few  of my favorite TV shows (including productions from France, Germany, Poland, and Israel) didn’t make the list, so I’m providing Make Lists, Not War readers with my own list of favorites that didn’t make it onto the meta-lists (listed chronologically, of course):

  1. The Ernie Kovacs Show (CBS: 1952-1954; DuMont 1954-1955, ABC 1961-1962)
  2. The Outer Limits (ABC: 1963-1965)
  3. Get Smart (NBC: 1965-1969; CBS: 1969-1970)
  4. Nova (PBS: 1974- )
  5. Kolchak: The Night Stalker (ABC: 1974-1975)
  6. SCTV (Global 1976-1979, CBS 1980-1983, Superchannel 1983-1984)
  7. Austin City Limits (PBS: 1976- )
  8. Fernwood 2 Night/American 2-Night (Syndication: 1977-1978)
  9. Nature (PBS: 1982- )
  10. Eyes on the Prize (PBS: 1987, 1990)
  11. The Kids in the Hall (CBC TV/HBO: 1988-1993; CBC/TV/CBS: 1993-1995; Amazon Prime Video: 2022)
  12. Dekalog (Poland, 1989) (also released as a film)
  13. The Civil War (PBS: 1990)
  14. The Ben Stiller Show (Fox: 1992-1993, Comedy Central: 1995)
  15. Pride & Prejudice (BBC: 1995)
  16. Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist (Comedy Central: 1995-2002)
  17. Mad TV (Fox: 1995-2009)
  18. Jazz (PBS: 2001)
  19. Joan of Arcadia (CBS: 2003-2005)
  20. Extras (BBC/HBO: 2005-2007)
  21. The Comeback (HBO: 2005, 2014)
  22. Flight of the Conchords (HBO: 2007-2009)
  23. Shtisel (yes Oh/Netflix: 2013-2021)
  24. Lovesick (Channel 4: 2014-2015; Netflix: 2016-2018)
  25. Call My Agent! (Dix pour cent) (France 2/Netflix: 2015- )
  26. Love (Netflix: 2016-2018)
  27. Unorthodox (Netflix: 2020)
  28. Feel Good (Channel 4/All 4/Netflix: 2020-2021)

The Best of 2022: The End-of-Year Lists

I have compiled meta-lists of the best movies, TV shows, music, and books of 2022 by combining multiple end-of-year lists published in magazines, newspapers, and websites.  These lists provide a critical consensus of the year’s best.

Here are links to the lists:

Best Films of 2022
Best TV Shows of 2022
Best Music of 2022
Best Books of 2022

As a sneak preview, here are the most-listed items in each category:

Film: Aftersun
TV: Better Call Saul
Music: (tie): BeyoncéRenaissance and RosalíaMotomami 
Book: The Candy House. By Jennifer Egan

Thank You, Next: The Best of 2021

I’ve published meta-lists of the best films, albums, TV shows, and books of 2021.  I made these lists by combining numerous “best of” lists I found online.  Here are the links:

Best Films of 2021
Best TV Shows of 2021
Best Music of 2021
Best Books of 2021

The most popular and the most critically-acclaimed rarely line up and 2021 was no exception.  There was very little overlap between the bestselling films, books and music and the critics’ favorites.  An exception was television, where the critics and audiences seemed to appreciate the same shows.

For example, the top grossing movies globally were:

  1. Spider-Man: No Way Home (US, Jon Watts)
  2. The Battle at Lake Changjin (China, Chen Kaige, Tsui Hark & Dante Lam)
  3. Hi, Mom (China, Jia Ling)
  4. No Time to Die (UK/US, Cary Joji Fukunaga)
  5. F9 (US, Justin Lin)
  6. Detective Chinatown 3 (China, Chen Sicheng)
  7. Venom: Let There Be Carnage (US, Andy Serkis)
  8. Godzilla vs. Kong (US, Adam Wingard)
  9. Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (US, Destin Daniel Cretton)
  10. Eternals (US, Chloé Zhao)

But the top critically-acclaimed films were:

1. Licorice Pizza (US, Paul Thomas Anderson)
2. Drive My Car
(Japan, Hamaguchi Ryūsuke)
3. The Power of the Dog (UK/US/New Zealand, Jane Campion)
4. Dune (US, Denis Villeneuve)
5. The Souvenir Part II (UK, Joanna Hogg)
6. The French Dispatch
(US, Wes Anderson)
7. Summer of Soul (US, Ahmir Khalib Thompson)
8. The Worst Person in the World (Norway, Joachim Trier)
9. Petite Maman (France, Céline Sciamma)
10. The Velvet Underground
(US, Todd Haynes)
11. The Card Counter (US, Paul Schrader)
12. Annette (France, Leos Carax)
13. The Green Knight (US/Canada, David Lowery)
14. The Lost Daughter (US, Maggie Gyllenhaal)

The most popular songs of the year were:

  1. Save Your TearsThe Weeknd ft. Ariana Grande
  2. MONTERO (Call Me By Your Name)Lil Nas X
  3. LevitatingDua Lipa feat. Da Baby
  4. Blinding LightsThe Weeknd 
  5. drivers license Olivia Rodrigo
  6. good 4 uOlivia Rodrigo
  7. Kiss Me MoreDoja Cat ft. Sza 
  8. StayThe Kid Laroi ft. Justin Bieber
  9. PositionsAriana Grande
  10. PeachesJustin Bieber ft. Daniel Caesar & Giveon

But the most critically-acclaimed albums were:

  1. Floating Points, Pharoah Sanders, and the London Symphony OrchestraPromises
  2. Tyler, the CreatorCall Me if You Get Lost
  3. Dry CleaningNew Long Leg
  4. LowHey What
  5. Little SimzSometimes I Might Be Introvert
  6. Arlo ParksCollapsed in Sunbeams
  7. Olivia RodrigoSour
  8. The Weather StationIgnorance
  9. Japanese BreakfastJubilee
  10. TurnstileGlow On

For books, the story was similar.  Here are the year’s bestsellers (book published in 2021):

  1. Dog Man: Mothering Heights. By Dav Pilkey
  2. The Four Winds. By Kristin Hannah
  3. American Marxism. By Mark R. Levin
  4. The Last Thing He Told Me. By Laura Dave
  5. The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse. By Charlie Mackesy
  6. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Big Shot. By Jeff Kinney
  7. A Court of Silver Flames. By Sarah J. Maas
  8. The Judge’s List. By John Grisham
  9. Twelve and a Half. By Gary Vaynerchuk
  10. The Real Anthony Fauci. By Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.

The list of top critically-acclaimed books is very different:

1, Empire of Pain: The Secret History of the Sackler Dynasty.  By Patrick Radden Keefe
2. Harlem Shuffle. By Colson Whitehead
3. Detransition, Baby. By Torrey Peters
4. Great Circle. By Maggie Shipstead
5. Crying in H Mart: A Memoir.  By Michelle Zauner
6. How the Word Is Passed: A Reckoning with the History of Slavery Across America.  By Clint Smith
7. A Little Devil in America: Notes in Praise of Black Performance.  By Hanif Abdurraqib
8. Crossroads.  By Jonathan Franzen  
9. Hell of a Book. By Jason Mott
10. Cloud Cuckoo Land. By Anthony Doerr
11. No One Is Talking About This. By Patricia Lockwood
12. The Love Songs of W.E.B. Du Bois.  By Honorée Fanonne Jeffers
13. Klara and the Sun.  By Kazuo Ishiguro
14. The Prophets.  By Robert Jones Jr.
15. Afterparties: Stories. By Anthony Veasna So