Year-end lists are the most self-imposed sources of stress this side of entering your medical symptoms onto Web MD. Everyone does these lists. No one likes writing them. Few enjoying reading them. But there’s this odd game of chicken where no one wants to be left out of doing them, so the cycle continues each and every year in all forms of pop culture media and criticism.
The fact that I’m doing a list at all proves I’m not above this bullshit. But when it came time to rank my favorite shows of the year, I just couldn’t do. Moreover, I realized I didn’t HAVE to do it. No one’s putting a gun to my head. No one’s paying me to list X number of shows out. And on top of that, this year featured so much great TV that reducing it down to a list seems pointless. I love that almost no two lists will look alike this year, which feels like a feature more than a bug. Having an encyclopedic knowledge of TV is impossible, even for those lucky enough to so this type of thing full time. For the rest of us who write about TV on top of regular jobs, it’s downright ludicrous.