10 Best TV Shows Of 2016 (So Far)

10. Preacher/Orange Is The New Black

AMC/Netflix

Look, I know these two TV shows don't really have any link for them being paired together, except this one: I'm about halfway through OITNB Season 4, while Preacher is halfway through Season 1. It's difficult to really judge them without the complete whole, but at the same time both are too good - so far - to leave out completely. So yeah, I'm tweaking the rules slightly.

Preacher, halfway through its first season, is proving to be one of the best new shows of the year. Based on Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon's comic, it focuses on Dominic Cooper's Jesse Custer, a small-town Preacher on a mission to find God. Imbued with special, er, powers, he's joined on his quest by an Irish vampire, his gun-toting ex, while it also includes a character called Arseface (because, well, it doesn't need spelling out). It could've translated horribly to screen, and indeed it is absolutely crazy - but the good kind. The series contains some great, violent action beats, wickedly dark humour, and plenty of mysterious otherworldly goings-on; Cooper gives the series a grounding, but it's Joe Gilgun's Cassidy (he's the vampire) who serves as the breakout star.

As for OITNB, there shouldn't be that much more to say about it in its fourth season, but the show continues to go from strength to strength. In terms of the sheer size of cast and number of engrossing storylines it can run parallel to each other, only Game of Thrones compares. No other show makes you care about so many people, and Orange is the New Black does an incredible job of fleshing out all of its ridiculous number of inmates. They're not all likeable, but they're all understandable. It's gone further into dramatic territory again, with storylines that are dark, weird, violent, and unpredictable, but also manages to retain a comic tone throughout, such as Taystee becoming a receptionist or Morello engaging in, um, simulated sex in the middle of a packed room.

Both of these shows are already great, and indeed if you've already finished watching OITNB you might make the argument for it being higher. That both already make the list is testament to their quality.

Contributor
Contributor

NCTJ-qualified journalist. Most definitely not a racing driver. Drink too much tea; eat too much peanut butter; watch too much TV. Sadly only the latter paying off so far. A mix of wise-old man in a young man's body with a child-like wonder about him and a great otherworldly sensibility.