My Favorite Things of 2016 - Day #24

I couldn't separate these two. So for today's entry in my list we have my two favorite TV shows of 2016.

There are certain licenses, certain stories, in particular from books and comics, that you never expect to make it onto TV or Film. Then there are those that you really don't expect to be made, let alone to be made in a way that genuinely manages to respect the original material. 

The opening season of AMC's adaptation of Preacher somehow managed to take the original material, and create a brilliant prequel episode (this first season pretty much ends where the comics started). One that understood the story, and what made the characters special.

It's irreverent, audacious, violent, gross, lewd, and everything else the comics managed to be, yet grounded by some great characters (who are brilliantly cast here), and sets up the themes and story-line from the original superbly. 

Preacher always defied easy description, and that's equally true here. On the surface it's the story of a preacher with a dark past seeking redemption, who ends up with his old flame, and a vampire, battling the forces of heaven and hell in very unexpected ways. It asks questions about humanity, faith, belief, and family, and challenges all of the bizarre characters that surround our anti-heroes.

The dialog is sharp and well written, and even though all of the central characters are undeniably reprehensible, you can't help but root for them. I loved Joseph Gilgun as the vampire Cassidy.

I don't want to ruin the ending of the first season, but I think most fans of the original comics were pleased with how they set everything up for season two. Essentially going for a prequel season was an interesting choice, and I think it paid off.  

Can't wait for season two!

Next up is a perennial entry on this list, BBC America's Orphan Black

The fourth season kept things moving forward by going backwards, as you learnt more about what happened prior to season one, while still moving all the plot points forward towards another tense climax.

It doesn't feel like they have run out of ideas for the show yet, and it has managed to avoid the LOST trap of having more questions than answers. Orphan Black chooses instead to constantly shift the status quo without having you lose track of what's going on. Given the complexity of their overarching plot, that's no small feat.

Much is made of the amazing Tatiana Maslany, who plays all of the various clones on the show. It's still a remarkable feat, and one she was honored for this year with the Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series. The rest of the cast though also deserve a massive amount of praise. There are great supporting turns throughout. 

It might seem a bit intimidating to start now and try to catch up with four seasons, but it's worth it!