New series I loved in 2016: 13 shows in 10 items, in no particular order.
"Baskets" (FX) / "Atlanta" (FX)
Issa Rae plays a woman stuck in place, grappling with love, friendship, work and identity in and around Inglewood. As above: personal, guardedly hopeful and suddenly beautiful, and a little bit downbeat.
"Better Things" (FX)
Pamela Adlon raising daughters in Hollywood, with love, exasperation and attitude.
"Stranger Things" (Netflix)
This dual-worlds, science-gone-too-far serial, set in the 1980s, is allusive nearly to a fault. But it's fully itself in the end, raised to another level by some fine performances, none more crucial or uncanny than that of Millie Bobby Brown as a little girl raised with a number for a name, on whose shoulders the whole business rests.
"Crash Course: Philosophy" (YouTube)
Vlogger Hank Green helps you learn to think in this sprightly but substantial romp through the history and forms of inward- and outward-looking reflection. "Only when you challenge your understanding of how some people view the world can you decide for yourself if theirs is a view worth having." Just what you might need now.
"Full Frontal with Samantha Bee" (TBS)
The new American moment has brought out the best in a host of talk and topical comedians. But with her punk stand and speed, her unapologetic partisan rage, Bee is a warrior queen, the leader of the pack.
"The Good Place" (NBC)
"Berlin Station" (Epix)
Sleek but not slick contemporary, continental, no-nonsense spy thriller features Richard Armitage, Michelle Forbes and Rhys Ifans as American agents looking to plug a leak in chilly, new-Cold War Germany. From earlier this year, when the CIA still counted.
"Lady Dynamite" (Netflix)/ "Dice" (Showtime)
Comics in straitened circumstances.
"Easy" (Netflix)/ "High Maintenance" (HBO)
Serial anthologies that move through tangentially linked sets of characters and share a sympathetic view of human difference and frailty. "Easy," from indie filmmaker Joe Swanberg, centers on Chicago creative types; "High Maintenance," set in New York, has pot delivery as its spine.
Follow Robert Lloyd on Twitter @LATimesTVLloyd