Here are the best TV episodes of 2016 — hand selected for you (to binge) by the HelloGiggles staff
In case you haven’t noticed, we really love television here at HelloGiggles. Like, a lot. And as we start to look back on the trashfire that was 2016, we realize it was the best of times, it was the worst of times, but more importantly, it was a GREAT time for television.
There was so much good television in 2016, that while we want to go ahead and crown every single show the best show of the year, that might take up too much time — and we’ve still got more TV to watch. Instead, the staff here at HelloGiggles has gone ahead and picked out their absolutely *favorite* episode of the past year, from comedies, to dramas, to the fact that a lot of us here are obsessed with Black Mirror. Enjoy, and happy binging!
Westworld, “The Original”
Rarely has a sci-fi show opened up a new world so confidently and with such strong, bold thematic statements. The incredible setting and introduction of a stellar cast really made this the episode of the year for me. I watched it three times!!
— Jessica Ellis, Senior Weekend Editor
Black Mirror, “Nosedive”
Bryce Dallas Howard is a force to be reckoned with and, combined with Black Mirror, she is truly at her best. Not only is this episode visually stunning, but the writing behind the storyline is perfection. It is thought-provoking and really makes you take a look at how social media affects our lives in not-so-great ways. It’s everything you could want in TV and more.
— Anna Gragert, Associate Editor
Broad City, “Burning Bridges”
I adore this episode mainly because it’s when the characters and their relationship finally seem real and you sort of get why llana and Abbi are friends to begin with. When llana finally breaks down over Lincoln, it’s super sad, but it’s also the first time she seems like a real person and not this goofy, bad-ass cartoonish character that she usually is. I also love that Abbi is embarrassed by her own sex life with Trey, because who hasn’t been oddly attracted to someone you know your friends are going to tease you about?! And then at the very end when they make up and are smoking in the tub — I think they’re actually smoking and sorta kinda breaking character, which is always fun to see.
— Karen Fratti, Weekend Editor
You’re The Worst, “No Longer Just Us”
I’m obsessed with this show. It’s a bunch of messed up people trying to be normal and this season finale literally had me laughing hysterically and then actually sobbing on the floor and like, reflecting on my life and shit. It’s a hilarious sad-com.
— Madison Vanderberg, Senior Editor
HBO’s Silicon Valley actually gets my pick for best comedy series of 2016, but Veep gets my pick for best individual episode. This episode has everything I want in a Veep ep: Jonah insults, Gary almost fainting, and a very rare heartwarming moment with Selina. No wonder Julia Louis-Dreyfus won the Emmy.
— Emily Popp, Deputy Editor
Stranger Things, “The Vanishing of Will Byers”
I do not do well with scary movies, so when I watched the first, heart-racing minute of Stranger Things, I was like, NOPE NOT FOR ME NO SIR. But people I trusted promised I would love it, so I forced myself to get past that initial scariness, and I am glad I did. Somehow, forty-five minutes later, I was so invested in Joyce and Hops and that guy who gave Eleven her first cheeseburger that I stayed up all night to watch the rest.
— Christina Wolfgram, Video Producer
Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, “When Will Josh And His Friend Leave Me Alone?”
I LOVE Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, and for me this episode sums up why the show is so good. After spending the first few episodes of the season convinced she’s stuck in a “love triangle,” Rebecca finds herself alone and haunted (literally) by the memories of Josh and Greg. Plus, there are two AMAZING songs: “It Was A Shit Show” and “We Tapped That Ass.”
— Erika Smith, Weekend Editor
Game of Thrones, “Battle of the Bastards”
This was one of the most epic episodes of TV ever. It STARTED with Daenerys and her dragons basically slaying all the would-be threats in one incredible opening sequence. And that’s before we even get to the intense showdown for Winterfell which depicts an actual medieval battle more accurately than anything we’ve ever seen before. The tense moments with Rickon and Jon bated by Ramsey Bolton are just the beginning of your adrenaline overload as you see horses, masses of humans, and just all-out crazy carnage.
— Briana Hansen, Weekend Editor
BoJack Horseman, “Fish Out Of Water”
I already love the incredibly surreal nature of this show — and then they throw in a completely silent episode that takes place underwater?!?! The plot was already super emotional, while still humorous and very bizarre — but I was completely gripped by the story as it was only told through body language and facial expressions. It was also sooo visually stunning.
— Rachel Sanoff, Features Editor
Brooklyn Nine-Nine, “Halloween IV”
I watch so much TV that it’s hard to pick a favorite show, let alone a favorite episode, but every year I look forward to Brooklyn Nine-Nine’s Halloween special. It’s such a hilarious show with an incredible ensemble cast, and each Halloween they come together to face off in the most amazing/ridiculous competitions. This year it was finally Gina’s year, and Chelsea Peretti just absolutely killed it.
— Chelsea Duff, Weekend Editor
Black Mirror, “San Junipero”
The only episode of TV I watched more than once this year (outside of work obligations, of course) was the San Junipero installment of Black Mirror. Featuring a fantastic performance by Gugu Mbatha-Raw and the best ’80s new wave soundtrack around (sorry, I still love you, The Americans) the episode was a stunning piece on mortality, nostalgia, religion, dreams deferred, and the lives we could have led. I can’t say more without spoiling the twist, but if you haven’t seen it yet…just watch it, guys.
— Shaunna Murphy, Internet Culture Writer
Shameless, “Requiem for a Slut”
Although it seemed like the show was wrapping up, the LAST minute after the credits Lip Gallagher tells us we need to come back NEXT YEAR. Bittersweet season finale + meta announcement that the show is coming back? Yes please and thank you.
— Gina Vaynshteyn, Editorial Director
This Is Us, “Pilot”
I watch a whole lot of TV, and it is very rare that a show hooks me in from the very first episode. But This Is Us had me crying, laughing, and crying again all before the episode was over, and THAT TWIST! They’re all related! I honestly had NO IDEA and I’m so glad I went into the show blind — it made the emotional aspect of it so much more rewarding, and I want to know absolutely everything about the Pearsons. Bonus: Mandy Moore and Milo Ventimiglia are absolute 🔥 together. Second bonus: Randall’s wife, Beth (played perfectly by Susan Kelechi Watson) is the best mom on TV right now, there I said it!
— Rachel Paige, Senior Writer