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No, not all of the great shows are here; 2016 served up too much quality TV to contain in this space, while not all of the great shows rise to the level of year-end best lists. (Too many other critical lists are surrendering space to Stranger Things; just sayin’.)

These 16 shows are binge-worthy alternatives to holiday family time—Merry Xmas!

Westworld (HBO): This Westworld was smarter, sleeker and more terrifying than its 1973 origin flick, but it also imbued the Wild West park’s androids with a tragic “humanity.” (Evan Rachel Wood and Thandie Newton for all of the awards.) It also reminded us that actual flesh-and-blood humans are just the worst.

Veep (HBO): Now more than ever, huh? Vice president-turned-president-turned-footnote Selina Meyer (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) suffered an exhausting political beating months before the rest of us did in 2016, but at least hers was funny (and slightly more F-bomb-heavy). Forget IdiocracyVeep is our republic’s true guide.

BoJack Horseman (Netflix): Animated series BoJack Horseman has always been about the aggressive shallowness of Hollywood and celebrity, but Season 3 went deeper and darker (and more experimental, including a dialogue-free underwater episode) than ever before. It’s also funny as hell. OK, it’s everything as hell.

Lady Dynamite (Netflix): Maria Bamford’s Lady Dynamite was a meta-comedy that did for bipolar disorder what BoJack Horseman did for depression and Jessica Jones did for PTSD: It made entertaining, thoughtful art out of the usually “too heavy” to talk about. Both way surreal and way real … sounds good, feels right.

Quarry (Cinemax): This overlooked, 1972-set crime-noir series is grittily crafted down to the most minute details, spun with jarring twists, and anchored by Logan Marshall-Green’s intense, mercurial performance as a reluctant hit man. It’s the Memphis-barbecued second season of True Detective you really wanted.

Better Call Saul (AMC): The debut of Better Call Saul was a fantastic surprise that expanded upon Breaking Bad, building its own pre-Heisenberg world. From hilarious to heartbreaking, Season 2 further transformed small-time Albuquerque lawyer Slippin’ Jimmy (Bob Odenkirk) into future legal shark Saul Goodman.

Halt and Catch Fire (AMC): Behind Saul, Halt and Catch Fire is AMC’s best drama, even if it doesn’t generate Walking Dead numbers. The ’80s-set computer-revolution saga moved to Silicon Valley in Season 3, amping the startup fireworks between Mackenzie Davis and Kerry Bishé, who overshadowed even Lee Pace (!).

Mr. Robot (USA): Elliot (Rami Malek) and hacker group fsociety brought down E(vil) Corp at conclusion of Season 1, but it just caused more problems than it solved. Mr. Robot 2.0 was less buzzy, and trickier to follow, but it gave Elliot’s circle (especially Carly Chaikin and Portia Doubleday) space to shine.

Goliath (Amazon Prime): David E. Kelley and Billy Bob Thornton streamed a classic Los Angeles legal-noir drama that overcame a middling plot with killer performances from Maria Bello, Molly Parker, Nina Arianda, Tania Raymonde, William Hurt and, of course, Thornton himself. Binge with a stiff drink—or eight.

Atlanta (FX): Donald Glover’s Atlanta wasn’t what anyone expected. Something far more than a comedy (though there are hilarious moments) or a drama (ditto, heavy moments), it unfolded like an indie flick in no hurry to get any Big Moments, and depicted the flat-broke-and-black experience with unflinching detail.

Better Things (FX): One of the rawest comedic TV portrayals of single motherhood ever, Pamela Adlon’s Better Things swung from sweet to sad to snarky with an assured precision that her creative partner, Louis C.K., never quite nailed with Louie. Subtle jabs at Hollywood’s treatment of women are just a bonus.

You’re the Worst (FXX): The Only Anti-Rom-Com That Matters got back on track after some downer detours last year—which isn’t to say You’re the Worst didn’t take chances in Season 3. Gretchen (Aya Cash) and Jimmy (Chris Geere) may never work out, but it’s sweet (and profanely hilarious) to watch them fail.

Shameless (Showtime): Emmy Rossum, who’s played Shameless’ surrogate Gallagher mom Fiona for seven seasons now, recently got a pay bump to at least equal co-star William H. Macy’s salary. Coincidentally, she also turned in her best, most heartbreaking work this year. ’Merica isn’t Modern Family; it’s Shameless.

The Good Place (NBC): Kristen Bell and Ted Danson are an unbeatable comic combo, and fears that afterlife sitcom The Good Place would be too weird for broadcast TV were apparently unfounded: It’s a (relative) NBC hit and, even better, the Jesus people are mightily offended by this inclusive version of “Heaven.”

Wynonna Earp (Syfy): If you were somewhat disappointed with Syfy’s recent zero-fun heroine epic Van Helsing—I know I was was—look back a little further in 2016 for Wynonna Earp, a Buffy the Gunslinger supernatural series that star Melanie Scrofano tore up with quippy glee. Also: hot Doc Holliday!

Not Safe With Nikki Glaser (Comedy Central): Nikki Glaser’s Not Safe was a sex-and-relationships talk show that combined intelligence, real information and filthy comedy that more than lived up to the show’s title. So, of course, Comedy Central canceled it after 20 episodes to make room for more Tosh.0. For shame.

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Narcos (Friday, Sept. 2, Netflix), season premiere: When last we left the semi-biographical Narcos, Colombian cocaine kingpin Pablo Escobar (Wagner Moura) had just escaped the Greybar Hotel, with errybody on both sides of the law out to take him down. Given, you know, history, the promo tagline of “Who killed Pablo Escobar?” is somewhat moot (hint—it wasn’t old age), but Narcos is even more terrifyingly tense in Season 2. (After seeing this, it’s even harder to believe that those Entourage twinks actually “made” an Escobar film once upon a time.) It’s also a bit more personal, with Moura revealing the man behind the monster on occasion—since we’re staring down the barrel of Escobar’s ultimate demise this season, it’s a nice, empathetic touch that sets Narcos apart from certain Drug Guy Downfall movies that don’t live up to their posters. (Yes, I’m talking about Scarface—admit it, it sucks.) It’s Labor Day Weekend; you know what to do.

Mary + Jane; Loosely Exactly Nicole (Monday, Sept. 5, MTV) series debuts: On the mellower end of the drug spectrum, here’s MTV’s Mary + Jane, a marijuana-delivery comedy arriving a week ahead of HBO’s similarly-themed High Maintenance. Scout Durwood and Jessica Rothe star as Jordan and Paige (not Mary and Jane—psych!), Los Angeles pals who start a medical-weed concierge service and are, natch, thrust into Whacky Misadventures. M+J sometimes comes across like Broad City recast with Instagram models, but Durwood and Rothe bring the funny when the material clicks. MTV’s other comedy premiere tonight, Loosely Exactly Nicole, likewise, is more hit than miss, and a waaay better showcase for comic Nicole Byer than Fox’s virtually unwatched trainwreck Party Over Here. (Don’t recall it? Lucky you.)

StartUp (Tuesday, Sept. 6, Crackle), series debut: The new drama from Sony streamer Crackle (it’s that orange app you never use on your various viewing devices), StartUp, is Crackle’s most ambitious grab for original-content cred yet: A Miami criminal splits town, leaving a pile of dirty money with his financier son, Nick (Adam Brody), unbeknownst to the FBI agent (Martin Freeman) on dad’s trail. Instead of turning the loot over, Nick hides it by investing it all into a digital currency startup, GenCoin; cat-and-mouse crime intrigue, Haitian mob ties and furious keyboard clacking ensue. Maybe it should have been a two-hour movie instead of a 10-episode series, but StartUp is just flashy enough draw some critical attention to Crackle, aka Jerry Seinfeld’s Rich Dudes in Pricey Cars channel.

Atlanta (Tuesday, Sept. 6, FX), series debut: Finally, a project that will allow me to forgive Donald Glover for abandoning Community for half-assed hip-hop (not a Childish Gambino fan, sorrynotsorry). Like Aziz Ansari’s Master of None, Glover’s Atlanta isn’t what anyone expected, but something more than a comedy (though there are hilarious moments) or a drama (ditto, heavy moments); those vague, dreamy FX promos were perfect, because whatever this is couldn’t possibly be summed up in a 30-second spot. The bones of the story are that Earn (Glover), his rapper cousin Alfred (Brian Tyree Henry) and Alfred’s bud Darius (LaKeith Lee Stanfield, the sure-to-be-breakout star of the series) are struggling to move up from abject poverty to slightly less-abject poverty, and the events … just happen. Atlanta unfolds like an indie flick in no hurry to get any Big Moments, which might make it an even harder sell on mainstream cable than Baskets was—but hey, that got a second season, so anything could happen.

From Dusk Till Dawn (Tuesday, Sept. 6, El Rey), season premiere: In other obscure channel news, ever heard of the El Rey Network? Had no idea there was TV series based on a classic Mexi-vampire flick? (Facepalm.) Anyway: From Dusk Till Dawn was Robert Rodriguez’s first original series to debut on El Rey (also his network) in 2014, a blown-out, 10-episode expansion of his 1997 movie, with new Gecko Brothers (D.J. Cotrona and Zane Holtz), a new-and-somehow-even-hotter Santánico (Eiza Gonzalez), a new scary-ass adversary (Wilmer Valderrama—yes, really), and a new ending that set up further seasons (like Rodriguez was going to cancel his own show). Where FDTD has gone from there is, well, loco; since this column’s increasingly apparent mission is to constantly promote Netflix, go there and catch on Seasons 1 and 2.

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