Something You Said’s top 10 TV shows of 2016

There’s been some great telly in 2016. We’ve tallied our contributors’ favourite shows and come up with our top ten:

Making a Netflix subscription worthwhile all on its own was Stranger Things, the excellent supernatural thriller set in the 1980s. Dripping with nostalgia from that decade, it drew influence from The Goonies, ET and from the 90’s took The X-Files as its inspiration. Boasting a fantastic cast, a stunning soundtrack and a compelling story, Stranger Things is a must see. It won our end of year poll by an absolute mile. Believe the hype! Gary Page

Saul Goodman, everyone’s favourite dodgy-as-hell lawyer, returned for a new outing which built on the foundations it laid in the first season and introduced some more familiar faces. In Bob Odenkirk, the show has one of the most likeable and engaging lead men around. Bobby Townsend

It’s difficult to sum up in a few sentences quite what an epic and simply brilliant show this is. Having been a fan of the original 1973 film I was intrigued to see how this would translate to a 21st Century TV show. It did not disappoint! Robot hosts, the wild west, sex, violence, shootouts, mysteries, multiple timelines and stories, the maze, flashbacks, amazing scenery, the man in black, audience manipulation and an awesome soundtrack featuring haunting piano covers of legendary tracks. Not forgetting Anthony Hopkins in one of the roles of his career. This season is supposedly just the prologue to the actual story of the rising of the robots. It’s going to be a long, patient wait for Season 2 (not due till 2018), which leaves plenty of time for repeated viewing. 25ThC

Fleabag‘s lashings of black humour and deadpan straight-to-camera pieces are part of what makes this show so damn good. It’s achingly funny and heartbreaking all at once. Almost every character you meet could be described as a bit of a fleabag, but the central, never-named fleabag’s cynicism and sarcasm is strangely endearing, even though her behaviour often leaves you wincing. The writer of this stage-show-turned-TV series, Phoebe Waller Bridge is a genius and I’m desperate to find out what happens next. Jayne Cheeseman

Charlie Brooker’s creation, set in the dystopian near future, returned for a third season, this time offering six stand-alone episodes with much of the action taking place in the US. While the stories didn’t always hit the heights of the first two seasons, Black Mirror always makes for an experience that is equally absorbing and difficult to watch. As a indicator of the direction in which our society is heading, it’s desperately depressing. Bobby Townsend


I was introduced to the world of The Great British Bake Off this year and it was glorious. I don’t think a TV show has ever given me such excited butterflies. Until now. Let’s bake! Jayne Cheeseman

South Park forever! With so many of my beloved shows hitting double decades, you can imagine how hard it gets trying to maintain such a high quality script. With South Park episodes sort of taking on more of a narrative throughout each season instead of just a static arrangement, Trey Parker and Matt Stone are still taking the piss. Deliberating on the forefront of human and social rights, pop culture and, mainly in this season, the presidential election, the boys give insight in the most South Park way ever. Travis Jordan

The Family Law was an enjoyable series based on Benjamin Law’s autographical book of the same name. It’s sort of this quirky coming-of-age comedy that highlights the challenges of growing up as the outsider whilst still retaining your charm and innocence. For myself, the series is more than just the story of a dysfunctional Chinese-Australian family living in Queensland. It’s a move towards the well deserved on-screen representation of a ‘minority’ who make up a significant part of Australian society, those who identify as Chinese-Australian, LGBTI, who come from a working class migrant families, and those who come from families that don’t really fit the mold of what is traditionally portrayed on screen. I commend to production of The Family Law in promoting onscreen diversity through the normalisation of the outsider in what is and should have always been a more accurate representation of Australian society on television. Addy Fong

Despite being a 20 year old story, American Crime Story: The People V OJ Simpson, could only be made in 2016. In the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement and outright fear and disgust in the U.S. justice system, American Crime Story offers a window into the humans working on all sides of the system, and how it’s stacked precariously, constructed to fail those most at risk. Riley James

This comedy-drama series starred Peep Show’s Olivia Colman and The Mighty Boosh’s Julian Barratt and was D-A-R-K. It dealt with the subject of depression through the prism of the most dysfunctional family, and did so thoughtfully and with plenty of laughs. Not an easy task, but it was carried off brilliantly. Bobby Townsend