ET – From the birth of consciousness to the afterlife, find out what made EW TV Critic Jeff Jensen’s top 20 list of shows to watch and the top five that aren’t worth your time (or space on your DVR).
BEST: 7. Rectify (Sundance)
There might have been no better scene on TV this year than the sequence in Rectify’s season 4 premiere when ex-con Daniel Holden (Aden Young) speaks of guilt, loneliness, and an alienation so great he’s forgotten what’s real and can’t decide if he even deserves his existence. “This may sound hokey as s—,” his new mentor tells him, “but you got to figure out some way to love yourself.” In the quiet, precise poetry of creator Ray McKinnon’s mystery of character, there’s no BS — only a thoughtful pursuit of truth, even as “truth” remains elusive and fogged. I could linger forever in its ambiguities, but that might be missing McKinnon’s concluding points. An increasingly wrenching final season has dialed down the surrealism as Daniel’s hazy-headed journey approaches hard revelations. Watching Daniel and his family try to divorce themselves from what’s obsolete — pain, careers, each other — and step into the future as new creations has been a teary, bittersweet joy. By the finale, I might be borrowing against next year’s Kleenex budget.