I’ve got a lot to be thankful for this Thanksgiving: friends, family, health, happiness, etc. But, in addition to those things, TV plays a pretty big role in my life (and this is a TV blog), so I’d like to take a moment to celebrate all that I’m thankful for in the world of television this year.
- A wealth of new shows. This is the age of peak TV, and, while some believe there is simply too much of it out there, I’m of the mindset that you can never have too many options, even if it can seem overwhelming at times. This year, I started watching The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl, Blindspot, Master of None, and probably others I’m forgetting about. I like each for different reasons, and all have only made my love of good television grow.
- Challenges for couples that will hopefully make them stronger. This has been a tough year for ‘shippers in a lot of ways: Captain Swan, Caskett, Danny & Mindy, Juliette & Avery, etc. have all been put through the wringer in the last few months. And, while I’ve had issues with some of their obstacles (especially Castle and Beckett’s), others have been written in a heartbreaking but beautiful and realistic way (like Emma and Hook’s) that have only increased my love for the couple. Also, in most cases, I’m confident that the challenges the couple is facing will only make their relationship stronger in the long run.
- Relatable, realistically awkward leading ladies. Truth time: Like a lot of people, I can be ridiculously awkward sometimes. So it’s been really, really nice to see more women like me on television lately: women who don’t always say the right thing and don’t always have it together. Amy Santiago, Jane Villanueva, Felicity Smoak, and Kara Danvers are all great alternatives to the many stereotypical “cool” girls on television. These ladies are cool too, but in their own badass, original way.
- Large ensemble casts that allow for endless character combos. One of my favorite things about shows such as Once Upon a Time, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., and Grey’s Anatomy is that, with such huge casts, there’s an infinite number of ways to create new dynamics amongst characters. Some of my favorite recent storylines on those shows have come from grouping characters in ways I never considered, such as Mulan, Ruby, and Merida working together to save Merida’s kingdom, May and Hunter teaming up to infiltrate Hydra, and Richard acting as Arizona’s wingman. It’s also a great way to add life to aging shows; if the characters are still interested in creating new friendships and alliances, then I’m interested in watching them do it.
- Hot men with babies. For whatever reason, this has been the year for men and babies together on television, and I’m totally on board with it. The Originals, Jane the Virgin, The Mindy Project, and Nashville have all had angsty moments this season, but they’re a little bit easier to swallow when you see a guy like Elijah Mikaelson or Rafael Solano holding an adorable baby.
- Superhero shows. This time last year, the only superhero show I watched was Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Now I watch five (!): S.H.I.E.L.D., Agent Carter, Arrow, The Flash, and Supergirl. This may seem a tiny bit excessive, but, though all originate from the world of comics, these shows go far beyond that, creating unique worlds and characters of their own, all while staying grounded in the genuine emotion that makes a great TV show. They also each bring something different to the table, whether it’s grit and friendship (Arrow), a sleek spy world (S.H.I.E.L.D.), heart and humor (Flash), a film noir escape (Agent Carter), or a superhero for the every woman (Supergirl).
- Shows constantly redefining what they are. When Nina Dobrev and Patrick Dempsey left their shows last year, I’ll admit that I was a little nervous about the future of TVD and Grey’s. So, I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the creative resurgence in both of those this year. The flash forwards on Diaries and the taut, emotional scenes with Stefan and Damon, amongst other things, have made me more excited for each new episode than I’ve been in a long time. And, while I don’t think this is going to go down as my favorite season of Grey’s, I respect the way the writers are filling the void left by Derek, and the new sister scenes with Meredith, Maggie, and Amelia have struck a comedic and emotional chord reminiscent of the show’s glory days.
- Brooklyn Nine-Nine. Quite simply, for being my happy place. Each week, I tune into that show knowing I’ll be with characters just trying to do what’s best for one another and having a hilariously fun time doing it. Plus, with Jake and Amy together romantic-stylez, the show has never been sweeter or more romantic.
What are you thankful for this TV season? Let me know in the comments, and have a wonderful Turkey Day!