Year in Review
Best Worst TV Moments 2016

2016 in Review: Best/Worst Finales, Underrated Shows and Stars, Saddest Cancellation, LOL CGI and More

Having already taken stock of the best and worst TV shows of 2016, the most devastating deaths and other umbrella topics, now it is time for TVLine’s Year in Review to drill down deep and serve up specific (and fun) superlatives.

In this, the first half of our year-end Best/Worst/Most round-up, we highlight the small screen’s underrated shows and stars, confess our guiltiest TV pleasures, single out some singular episodes and give props to some new faces in familiar places.

On the cattier side of things — that is, besides our Best Animal category — TVLine also takes the year’s most convoluted storyline and clunkiest CGI out for a drag, as well as anoints the Worst Series Finale.

Flip through our gallery at right (click here for direct access) to see our Best/Worst/Most part 1 picks, then weigh in with your own.

Coming up on Friday: Top Couples, Most Heartbreaking Break-Up, Best Bromance, the Most Enjoyable Murder, Best Displays of Skin, Wasted Guest Stars and more.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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122 Comments
  1. Charlotte is a great addition to Lucifer but I think Ella is just a great if not a better addition!

    And Winston is the best part of New Girl! Cece and Winston are a dream team.

    • Gena says:

      Aww, I love Winston. :)

    • Came here to say that! Ella is by far, the best new thing in Lucifer! I adore that girl. (I really hate Charlotte, though. Wish her arc would end and they’d go back to monster-of-the-week non mom related!).

      Having sad that, I’m so glad Lucifer exists. So, so, so glad. It’s been a bright light in this darned year!

      On another note:

      Saddest cancellation was Grimm! And I don’t think I will recover any time soon!)

  2. LK says:

    How is Negan “worst new character”? Yes he’s a bad guy but its a terrific character and performance.

    • Kate Shoop says:

      I haven’t been this terrified and anxiety ridden when a character is on-screen since Tom hardy in The Take. Negan makes me wanna cry AND puke lol

    • Larc says:

      I agree with the worst character rating if for no other reason than I’ve never liked any character I’ve seen Jeffrey Dean Morgan play.

    • Spence says:

      Worst new character because every scene he’s in is as slow as watching paint dry. Bland, uninspired, uninteresting, and underdeveloped waste of time and JDM’s talents. Just because Negan did a horrible action in the first episode is not enough to make the character interesting or 3-dimensional beyond that.

      • wrstlgirl says:

        Whereas I find him incredibly interesting and love every scene he’s in. He’s humorous / dangerous and JDM is doing an amazing job with this character. And in listening to him talk he’s thoroughly enjoying his time on the show. I highly doubt he feels he’s wasting his talent. But that’s why we are all allowed our individual opinions.

      • Charlieskiner says:

        I agree wholeheartedly. There was also far too much of him in 7a.

  3. RedReddington says:

    Oh man, Negan is my favorite new character. I don’t understand the hate for him (I know he’s a horrible human being, he’s just so dang entertaining)..and I could watch JDM on my screen all day. 😍

    • wrstlgirl says:

      100% agree. I think he’s hilarious when he’s not killing people, is that wrong?? He’s got some of the best dialogue ever.

  4. Matt C. says:

    The Catch as the most disappointing show?! I couldn’t disagree more. That show was a breath of fresh air compared to the dark, over the top drama of all of Shondaland’s other shows. I can’t wait for season 2!

  5. Steve says:

    Mon-El as a best addition to a current show? I’m going to have to disagree there. Yeah, he’s funny at time but overall I find him boring.

  6. Leona says:

    Dr. K’s talk over Claire’s stillbirth as Best Tearjerker??? Nope. Claire’s stillbirth was agonizingly sad, especially when she started singing to Faith. I still well up!

  7. Hollie says:

    I agree with these choices wholeheartedly. The only thing you left out in my opinion is Containment under cancellation that hurt, but seeing as the two shows you did choose also were really hard to see go, I don’t mind that much.

    • Hollie says:

      Also, consider this my official prediction that SHIELD’s FitzSimmons will be top couple or top couple runner up this year.

  8. Lillian says:

    I love that Sterling K. Brown is in both the Best Ensemble cast and the runner up! I didn’t watch the first, but love the second!

  9. xomar says:

    Mon-El? REALLY?! He’s so boring and bland! Love the shout out to Melissa Fumero though, so underrated!!

  10. KatsMom says:

    Ending with a Tad Cooper reference brought a smile to my face. Seems appropriate. 2016 was a terrible year, but there was occasionally something to smile about.

  11. Mary says:

    Supergirl could always bring Astra back. With Cadmus around, they could have taken her pod and experimented on her.

  12. LADY_in_MD says:

    Love that Fuller House is on here totally a guilty pleasure

    Cancellation that hurt the most for me was Devious Maids! Still bitter about that one

    Also for anyone who hasn’t seen Superstore you have to watch it
    It has great cast and is such a funny show!!

  13. Georgia Madman says:

    “Girls” as most improved??? If only because the last two seasons were unwatchable and because this its last season. That’s damn faint praise…

  14. K Crabtree says:

    Superstore is my guilty pleasure. As someone who worked in a Super store for more than 10 years, the first few episodes took me right back to that time. The characters are odd, but endearing and the situations are so typical.

  15. Jen says:

    Totally agree on Lucifer. My go to guilty pleasure! And YES to Better Things. Best show no one is watching. The photo you selected is my favorite moment. I have a 16 year old daughter, and I can relate so much. The show helped me to able to say to her & myself….nobody has their “stuff” together. Some people just appear to. I love this show so much.

  16. Cyndi says:

    I’m still really sad about the cancellation of Limitless. It was such a fun show!

  17. xionxiv says:

    Why am I not surprised to see Michael Ausiello on this list?

    • Jecly says:

      If they had to put someone from Gilmore Girls (whose not the creator of the website) I would’ve out Mae Whitman. Her cameo was sweet and a cute callback to Parenthood.

  18. Katherine215 says:

    So happy to see all of the Pitch love! I wish more people would watch that show. Stream it if you haven’t seen it, people!

  19. Joey says:

    Obligatory “Why is Game of Thrones the best anything?” question followed by replies telling me my opinion is wrong.

    • Thithya says:

      I, for one, completely agree with you. GOT is the most overrated show.
      I can understand why people loved it so much in the first few season but lately it hasn’t been very good.

      • GOT is the best show on TV, you just have to accept it! Season 6 was truly magnificent, splendid! GOT is more than a TV show, it’s a MASTERPIECE. The Battle of the Bastards and the Winter Winds are big cinema levels! IT’S THE MOST ICONIC SHOW ON TV!

      • What are you tallking about?? There is nothing overrated about GoT! GOT is the best show on TV, you just have to accept it! Season 6 was truly magnificent, splendid! GOT is more than a TV show, it’s a MASTERPIECE. The Battle of the Bastards and the Winds of Winter are big cinema levels! IT’S THE MOST ICONIC SHOW ON TV!

        p.s: i made double comments, but this is the one to keep TVLine.

    • Jecly says:

      Winds of Winter is truly a magnificent episode of television. You may join the mindless ‘I hate GOT’ or ‘GOT is overrated’ bandwagon but the truth of the matter is that is a masterful episode with fantastic acting, direction, and writing. Not to mention the glorious visuals. And the music score!

      • cc says:

        “Mindless”? Because they disagree with your opinion? There is no “truth” when it comes to what people like. I, for one, don’t know why I still watch this show, because honestly the magic of the first season has almost been obliterated lately. I guess it’s just out of curiosity for where the story is going that I still do.

        But calling someone “mindless” because their opinion on a show differs from yours must be the most crass statement I’ve read in a while.

      • The Winds of Winter really is one of the most EPIC episodes on TV ever! I will never forget the sensation, all the feelings, everyone watching together! Same as the Battle of The Bastards!!! GoT is the BEST show on TV!

  20. Tom says:

    Yeah, no, can’t stand Diane on Black-ish.

  21. Jovana says:

    YES to the Pitch mentions! This is a seriously amazing show, I wish more people watched it.

  22. Laurie says:

    Best Reality Show performance – Channing Tatum vs Jenna Dewan-Tatum on Lip Sync Battle, with a close second of Joseph-Gordon Levitt’s Rhythm Nation also on LSB.

    • Lillian says:

      How about Zachary Quinto’s performance of “Freedom”? That was great, especially Cindy Crawford. Definitely a change orientation moment for me. TMI?

      • Kate says:

        Yes! Although Zoe Saldana did a fantastic job in round 2 with TLC’s “No Scrubs,” Zachary killed it in both rounds. He should have won. I’d have a hard time choosing between his episode, the Tatums’, and Levitt’s. Those were top 3 for sure.

    • RyanC says:

      LSB = the best bits of Drag Race repackaged for a straight audience.

  23. Most under rated Drama not on this list is Billions.
    Most under rated Comedy not on this list is People of Earth.

  24. ScottJ says:

    The Girlfriend Experience under-rated? I couldn’t rate it any lower if I tried. Its possibly the worst thing I’ve ever seen.

  25. Daisy says:

    -Ruth Negga has always been great. I’m glad Preacher helped others notice.
    -I may be the only one, but I like The Catch. It has room for improvement but it’s far from the biggest disappointment for me.
    -Negan is a great character, the execution has been terrible. So bad.
    -Please put Dave Annable in something that doesn’t suck.

  26. HAP says:

    The biggest and most disappointing cancellation for me was when Amazon canceled Good Girls Revolt. There is a website you can go to where you can urge other platforms to pick up season two.

  27. kmw says:

    I agree with most of these but I would put Castle’s series finale ahead of The Good Wife. I definitely agree with Castle’s convoluted story and Abbie’s death from Sleepy Hollow just both were awful

  28. DreamRose311 says:

    I most agree with Stealthiest casting of Sarah Shahi. I didn’t even recognize her in the first episode she was in, and when I recognized her the next go round, I had to go back to the first she was in to make sure it was her then too. A very pleasant surprise.

  29. atia says:

    Have to disagree with all the praise for Penny Dreadful. That show had had so much promise at the beginning and just squandered it over time as the writer clearly lost focus with the stories and characters to instead spend time giving Eva Green more and more crazy scenes. Eva Green is amazing, but narrowing the focus on her character hurt the show because it was supposed to be an ensemble story. By the end the stories made no sense and the finale was awful. I don’t think that show was underrated at all.

  30. Luis Roman says:

    Mon-El as best new character? At best, he’s meh.
    Castle vs. Good Wife for Worst Finale? There’s no wrong answer.

  31. Stacy says:

    Laura Benanti – YES! She’s so in need of a great series. I loved her on “Go On” and her Melania impressions are priceless.

  32. Billy meacham says:

    I was upset that penny dreadful and limitless was cancelled earlier this year. Billions on showtime and pitch on fox are underrated I think espically pitch.

  33. DW says:

    Some of these picks were kind of funny but one sure winner is Mon-El on Supergirl. A great addition to the show perfectly cast and acted. More of Mon-El please!

    • JFINN says:

      I’m sorry to disappoint you but Mon El is considered one of the most annoying characters by majority of the Supergirl fandom. He is the generic white CW love interest who was brought because some racist fanboys, white feminists,and some racist execs didn’t want Kara and James because of “lack of chemistry” If what Kara and James didn’t have wasn’t chemistry I don’t know what yours and their interpratation is. Mon El also takes up too much screen which should be used for Winn, James, and J’onn. Seriously he ruined the cast dynamic of the show and TV Line consider him a good addition to a established show. What a joke.

      • Luli says:

        Noooo wayy!! James and Kara just did’nt work. Watch season 1 again… they are better as friends, and no don’t turn this into a race issue…. his skin color has nothing to do with it. They were not a good pairing, why make it more than it was?
        I enjoy seeing more Mon El than James. I find him terribly boring… and I like the focus on the DEO with J’onn,Kara, Alex and Winn.

        • JFINN says:

          Whether you want to admit it or not it has to do with race. If James Olsen was white they would be a couple this season whether they had “chemistry” or not. Also the actor who plays Mon El is adored by the CW as he been in every other popular show on the network so they put him on the newest addition to the DCCW verse to be paired with the white female protagonist.

    • ninergrl6 says:

      I love Mon-El too, DW. Then again, I’ve loved Chris Wood in everything I’ve seen him in.

  34. Bob says:

    Yes superstore. This season had been great.

    The cancelation that hurt the most is grandfathered. The show was super cute. :(

    Best cameo was Bruno mars on jtv. Lol

  35. Sarah says:

    Disagree with the best single drama episode. Should have gone to the season finale of Bates Motel. My eyes required no epoxy to keep them affixed to my TV for that hour!

  36. Castle was the worst series finale this year! Will always be disappointed in how they ended it.

    • PatriciaLee says:

      TV movie time!

    • PlecoDave says:

      A 30 second tacked on ending showing us 7 years in the future proved that Hawley and Winter were rank amateurs. These 2 had no clue as to what the fans wanted,what the series was about (a writer and his muse) and this series needed Stana and Nathan in it to see a season 9.

      • georgee says:

        It is sad that the only thing they could give the fans, who at one point numbered over 10 million was 30 seconds at the end. I don’t know what happened to winter, he had so many good episodes over the 7 seasons, I guess he just did not care anymore and left Hawley run everything. If you look at what is going on today we hear a lot about fake news, For me the two biggest fake news stories one showed up on 11/21/2015 in tv line, did Rick and Kate make a Baby in the last episode. Hawley three days later 11/24/2015 told us he could imagine a pregnant Beckett. The fans were looking for that since May of 2015. Again not a clue of what the fans wanted. The other was Katic got fired because of budget problems, so Jones had to go to. How many of the guys went? When Ben Sherwood replaced Paul Lee, because of weak ratings, one would think his replacement Ms Dungey would of looked into why Castle ratings fell so fast and large. All roads would of lead to Hawley, and his refusal to change the story line when he knew it was bad. Ms Dungey did the right thing by canceling the show, it just would not of worked without both Rick and Kate in it. But she could have given the fans I proper ending to it in a shortened season 9, not a 30 second ending. It looks like she and Ben Sherwood just did not care about the fans. Maybe Fillion was right it is just a business, but as a owner of a business if you treat our customs like dirt sooner or later you have no customers. Because they just stop trusting in you you (ABC)

  37. Bill says:

    How on earth was Penny dreadful best series finale? Were there just not many shows ending? Most people didn’t know or expect it to be a series finale and it left many questions and plots still on the table.

  38. Lysh says:

    I mean, Ausiello and that salad…a winning performance for sure.
    I love the animal category. I’m still wounded from no more Agent Carter and Jarvis.

  39. T.W.S.S. says:

    I agree with 98% of this list, but I think Wild Dog is a fine addition to TeamArrow. He’s certainly not the worst (hey, Evie).

  40. Alichat says:

    Best Series Finale = Penny Dreadful???? Are you insane?!?! That finale was awful. It was so poorly done compared to the previous finales…..episodes…..seasons.

  41. dave says:

    Great British Baking Show(as they call it in the U.S.) is NOT a guilty pleasure. It’s a top quality show. Nothing guilty about watching it.

    • Morisot says:

      I even love the tents…and the flowers….and the photography…and the illustrations of the would-be-creations…and the lovely civility…

  42. Tessa says:

    Mon El is almost universally disliked or at best meh. He’s a completely unnecessary addition that slows the development from the first season. I hope he’s gone by season end.

    • JFINN says:

      At least you and a few others agree with me that Mon El was a unnecessary addition. Read my response above to someone who actually liked him.

  43. Tahoe Mike says:

    Since you included a category for opening credits, how can it not go to Game Of Thrones? What other opening do you watch as closely for clues about the show each week?

    • Jecly says:

      Right?! When I realized that each opening sequence had small clues to the direction of the episode, I stopped fast forwarding it lol.

  44. Tahoe Mike says:

    I do agree, Agent Carter was the most unkindest cut of all.

  45. webly3 says:

    Love this list! Thought Michael Ausiello as Runner Up for Best Cameo was hilarious. And, I totally love the OITNB support. I do question the inclusion of Rose Abdoo for Gilmore Girls… but overall a great list highlighting the best and worst of TV.

  46. Lisa says:

    Castle as second worst series finale? I actually quite liked it… I wasn’t the biggest fan of the LokSat story (nor its ties with Castle’s disappearance) but the episode was thrilling nonetheless.
    Plus I thought the final scene was supercute and exactly what Caskett (and we) deserved. I think it’s pretty great we even got to see it, considering that they were planning to write Stana off the show and kill Beckett, which definitely would have been the worst decision ever made on Castle

  47. Kate says:

    I’m sorry, but Person of Interest’s series finale should have netted a mention. It was tragic yet right. Now I completely agree that Agent Carter’s cancellation hurt. I’m still mad about it.

    • Another Poster says:

      I agree with you, Kate, that the series finale of Person of Interest was one of the best in the history of TV, however, since CBS aired it on Tuesday, June 21, 2016, (the first day of summer and long after Memorial Day and the usual end of the Sept. – May TV season), I doubt if many people saw it and are aware of how excellent it really was.

  48. Erica says:

    “I have a dragon!” I miss you Tad Cooper!

  49. PatriciaLee says:

    I agree about Lucifer being guilty pleasure #1, and the most painful cancellation of the year WAS Agent Carter. Just make it the last two years of Castle. I didn’t see the show, but that eventual death on Bates Motel would be the best “finally!” scene, for sure, in the history of TV. Abbie’s might be the worst in the history of TV, and that’s why I think she’s still around. No one making entertainment industry bucks would write/do something so stupid as for real. All of Zoo, but who cares as long as the husband is happy.

  50. Jane says:

    A million times yes on Laura Benanti!