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17 Things We're So Grateful TV Has Given Us This Year

Jessica Jones, Outlander, The Good Wife, Inside Amy Schumer

Jessica Jones, Outlander, The Good Wife, Inside Amy SchumerCBS/Netflix/STARZ/Inside Amy Schumer

Wait, wait, before you dig in to the mountain of food on your plate, we have to go around the table and say what we’re thankful for this year.

And for E! News’ TV Scoop Team, it’s all about the small screen. OK, so we’re thankful for our family and friends and whatever, too, but come on, TV is just so much more fun, right?

Each Thanksgiving, the members of our team reveal what they’re thankful for on TV this year, from beloved shows to standout stars. After all, TV is the thing that unites all of us, right? Right. So, pass the mashed potatoes and join us in giving thanks…to all the great TV we’ll be talking about with our families in an effort to avoid chatter about politics and what we did to our hair. Be sure to tell us what TV you’re thankful for too.

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Scream Queens, Glen PowellSkip Bolen/FOX

Kristin Dos Santos

Chad Radwell (Glen Powell) of Scream Queens: Single-handedly the greatest breakout TV comedy star of 2015. And if you don’t agree with that, you probably haven’t been watching. Glen Powell’s first TV role as the hilariously douche “Dickey Dollar Scholar” Chad Radwell had us laughing so hard we sometimes couldn’t breathe—especially when paired with the unstoppable FORCE that is Emma Roberts. He “porked” everyone in sight, said and did unspeakable things (one time with a goat), worked a space-saver packing machine like nobody’s business, and even took a baseball bat to a chainsaw-wielding Red Devil like the douchiest jackass that ever lived. And yet somehow, we love him? We have no idea how this f—ked-up love affair happened, but thank you, Glen Powell, Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk and Ian Brennan for all the laughs and the best-written and performed TV comedy character in a very long time.

Outlander and Its Cast: Talk about a lightning bolt of awesome. Outlander‘s first season was a stunning thrill ride of emotion, as book fans finally got to see their beloved Jamie and Claire on screen after decades of deep adoration, and new fans got to discover this fantastic new world. Thanks to the genius minds of Ron Moore and Diana Gabaldon, and the fearless and fierce work of leads Caitriona Balfe, Sam Heughan and Tobias Menzies, Outlander moved viewers perhaps more than any other show this year. And while the first year of any TV success can turn even the most decent people into…not so decent, Outlander’s cast and crew stayed grounded and true to themselves and their fans, taking all that positivity and using it to support some fantastic causes and do some good in the world. Just a WIN all the way around, and for that I am grateful. (Though I will never, ever, EVER forgive Black Jack.)

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Degrassi On Netflix, TwitterTwitter

Tierney Bricker

The Anti-Sophomore Slump Brigade: Thanks The Flash, for giving me a sense of child-like wonder. And seeing that kids are dressing like up Barry Allen, not just The Flash, on Halloween? Yeah, I’m feeling all warm and fuzzy right now. Also, The Affair, for forcing me to pay attention and keeping me on my toes, and How to Get Away With Murder, for keeping me up on Thursday nights with TV’s most delightfully insane show.

Netflix OK, so I have yet to watch Orange Is the New Black, House of Cards, Daredevil, etc. etc. (I know, I KNOW! I did binge the crap out of Master of None though!), BUT Netflix is the house that saved my beloved Degrassi: The Next Generation (with Degrassi: Next Class set to premiere in 2016, with a colorful new look) and for reviving Gilmore Girls and reuniting me with some of my oldest and dearest friends. Where they lead, I will follow…

Jason Crouse: Oh. My. Good Wife. Seriously, I cannot handle/deal/emotionally handle Jeffrey Dean Morgan‘s swagger as the CBS hit’s new private investigator, who has provided a most-welcome air of fun and mischief to the show. And his chemistry with Alicia? I am CRAWLING out of my skin because of the sexual tension as I watch. (No, I’m not proud. Yes, I need them to bone. Don’t Finn Polmar me again, Robert and Michelle King!)

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Getting OnHBO

Chris Harnick

Getting OnThis little HBO show is so brilliant in all the right ways. Laurie Metcalf, Alex Borstein and Niecy Nash deliver so much with their performances. I hate that this is the final season, but at the same time I’m happy to know that 1. The show lasted for three seasons and 2. We can get some closure and a proper ending. From poop explosions to Miss Birdie eating an orange with Nash’s Nurse DiDi, I am so thankful Getting On graced my TV screen for three years 

Jessica JonesThis show has been in development for what feels like forever. It was originally set up at ABC in the early days of Marvel TV, but thankfully things fell through and Netflix became the home to this excellent superhero show. There’s no pandering to the audience and no stunts to try and get more viewers. Marvel’s Jessica Jones tells its story and tells it well. Plus Krysten Ritter is superb. 

Difficult People: Thank you Billy Eichner and Julie Klausner for filling the hole in my heart that’s been unoccupied since Curb Your Enthusiasm last aired new episodes. Difficult People spoke to me—and then some. From the countless Smash references to The Good Wife nods and beyond, the first season of the Hulu show was a laugh riot.

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You're the Worst FXX

Jean Bentley

You’re the WorstSeason one of YTW was amazing and hilarious because it painted such a true portrait of a certain kind of late twentysomething/early thirtysomething life—the very real struggle of getting your s—t together when a lot of your peers are being responsible and starting families (ew)—but the way season two has handled main character Gretchen’s clinical depression (and Aya Cash‘s incredible portrayal of it) has taken it to another level. Between YTW, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend and Master of None (two other shows that speak to me on a deep and true emotional level), I’ll be on my couch feeling all the feelings forever.

The Flash: As someone with no particular affinity for comics at all, it was incredibly surprising to realize that my favorite show on TV—the one I watch live, the one I tell everyone I adore, the one I can’t wait to see each week—is about a super-fast superhero and the motley crew helping him keep his city safe. It’s funny, exciting, and has just the right amount of heart to make it appeal to literally anyone. Moms, grandpas, annoying cousins, drunk divorcee aunts—everyone should (and will) love The Flash.

Time Jumps: OK, this is a weird thing to be thankful for, but hear me out—I think this is a really creative way to get around issues plenty of TV shows run into time and time again. Want to transition your high school show out of school but avoid the dreaded college slump? Skip it altogether! (Looking at you, Pretty Little Liars.) Need to creatively shake up your series after six seasons and the loss of your main character? Jump three years in the future and introduce a new mystery for your cast to solve. (Hi, Vampire Diaries). Picked up for season two after an highly acclaimed first season, and want to live up to the hype? Set it in the past! (Fargo, you da best.) It all works, and it’s all great. And don’t even get me started about the timeline of How to Get Away With Murder

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Rami Malek, Mr. RobotPeter Kramer/USA Network

Billy Nilles

The Women of Comedy Central: Somehow, the home of South Park and Tosh.0 has quietly become the place to find some of the funniest women on TV with some of the most in-your-face feminist comedy. This year alone, Inside Amy Schumer delivered a knockout third season (complete with a brilliant recreation of 12 Angry Men with the jurors debating whether Amy’s hot enough to be on TV and the blisteringly funny Last F–kable Day sketch with Tina Fey, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, and Patricia Arquette), Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer‘s Broad City returned for a hysterical second season (which introduced us to pegging, Bingo Bronson, and Abbi’s diamond-eating, jazz-scatting alter ego Val), and Natasha Leggero and Riki Lindhome‘s satire Another Period debuted, giving us the scathing Downton AbbeyKardashians spoof I never knew I couldn’t live without. Thank you, ladies, for being just about the funniest thing on TV, period. And thank you, Comedy Central, for providing them the space to do it.

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: In his second year on HBO, John Oliver and his team delivered some of the best long-form investigative journalism masquerading as comedy on TV. From his insightful sit-down with Edward Snowden to his segments on transgender rights, predatory churches, and the European migrant crisis straight through to his cathartic words on the recent terrorist attacks in Paris, John has proven he’s the one voice in late-night TV we need—something he proved even before Jon Stewart left. Yeah, I said it.

Mr. Robot: Nothing on TV thrilled me more than this paranoid hacker thriller that quickly morphed into something much darker and more intimate. Rami Malek is the find of the year as the clinically depressed, delusional drug addict Elliot Alderson and Christian Slater finally found the TV vehicle worthy of his nervy, shifty capabilities. I don’t know where this show came from or where it gets off being as exciting and devastating as it is, but all I know is I’m desperate for season two. fsociety for life, y’all.

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Tina Fey, Billy on the Street, Billy EichnerYouTube

Lauren Piester

iZombie: My emotional investment in this show about a zombie who uses memories from the brains she eats to solve murders is probably a little more intense than it should be, but there are few characters on TV who I care about more than Liv, Ravi, Major, Clive, and Peyton. Robert Buckley‘s Major Lilywhite is the most beautiful/adorable human/former zombie/non-murderer I’ve ever laid eyes on, and Rose McIver gives Tatiana Maslany a run for her money by playing a different character yet also the same character in every episode. I couldn’t love this show more. 

Netflix: New show!
Me: Whatever, it’s fine.
Netflix: Are you sure?
Me, a few days later: WHY ARE THERE ONLY 10 EPISODES OF MASTER OF NONE HOW COULD YOU DO THIS TO ME?! Guess I’ll just have to avoid sadness by freaking out over Jessica Jones and then watching literally all of 30 Rock and then refreshing my memory of The 100 and then watching John Mulaney‘s stand-up special and falling asleep covered in chip crumbs and happiness, dreaming of that thought-to-be-impossible Gilmore Girls reboot.

Seriously Netflix, what would we do without you?

Billy on the Street: There are a lot of wonderful comedies on TV right now (You’re the Worst owns my heart and I never miss The Goldbergs or Undateable Live because I have very varied tastes) but Billy on the Street never ceases to make me laugh harder than I laugh at anything else ever. The cackling I do at my desk is nothing compared to what happens when I watch it alone on my couch, absent-mindedly repeating all the absurd things that come out of Billy Eichner‘s mouth back to all the inanimate things in my living room. Just endlessly delightful.

GALLERY: The Official Ranking of Fall 2015’s Best and Worst New Shows 


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