'A Lot Going On': Critic David Bianculli Picks The Best TV Of 2016 Fresh Air's TV critic says that mini-series and anthology shows are expanding the types of stories that can be told on the small screen — and the benefits to the viewers "are huge."
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'A Lot Going On': Critic David Bianculli Picks The Best TV Of 2016

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'A Lot Going On': Critic David Bianculli Picks The Best TV Of 2016

'A Lot Going On': Critic David Bianculli Picks The Best TV Of 2016

'A Lot Going On': Critic David Bianculli Picks The Best TV Of 2016

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/506473070/506609811" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

The third season of the Netflix anthology drama, Black Mirror, featured six different stories that centered on technology. It comes in at No. 2 on David Bianculli's list of favorite TV shows in 2016. David Dettmann/Netflix hide caption

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David Dettmann/Netflix

The third season of the Netflix anthology drama, Black Mirror, featured six different stories that centered on technology. It comes in at No. 2 on David Bianculli's list of favorite TV shows in 2016.

David Dettmann/Netflix

TV critic David Bianculli says that 2016 wasn't a great year for broadcast TV — but that's OK, because audiences had a lot of streaming, cable and Web options to make up for it.

"The things we're getting out of Amazon and out of Netflix and out of Hulu, it's increasing our options and they're trying some pretty good stuff," Bianculli tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross.

Bianculli notes that mini-series and anthology shows are expanding the types of stories that can be told on the small screen. "U.S. television is ... adopting the British model more aggressively and doing shorter things that are self-contained, and the benefits to this are huge," he says.

Looking ahead, Bianculli is optimistic about the future of TV. "There's always a lot going on," he says. As for this year, here are Bianculli's picks for the best TV of 2016. You can click each list item below to learn more about the show.

1. Better Call Saul (AMC)

2. Black Mirror (Netflix)

3. The Night Of (HBO)

Tied for 4 and 5: The People v. O.J. Simpson (FX) and O.J.: Made in America (ESPN)

6. The Night Manager (AMC)

7. Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO)

8. Shameless (Showtime)

9. Game of Thrones (HBO)

10. Horace and Pete (Louis C.K. website)

11. Veep (HBO)

Click the audio link above to hear Bianculli talk about his 2016 TV picks — as well as the the parallels between this year's presidential election and the first season of Survivor.