36 Reasons We're Indebted To The Small Screen

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We're taking a look at the year and giving thanks for the things we've loved from the small screen. 

As TV Fanatics, it's only right that we do this at least once a year. 

If one thing can be seen by virtue of this slideshow, we're basking in the bounty of peak TV and not wallowing in the fact there is too much to take in. 

There is enough for each of us, and surprisingly, it's rare that all of our interests intersect. What has really blown you away of late? Share with us!

1. The Pearson Family on This Is Us

The Pearson Family on This Is Us
When you think about Thanksgiving, you think about family...and food! But mostly family. I'm very thankful that this show has graced my TV with its presence, as I cannot think of a more captivating family to watch right now. — Steve Ford

2. Everything That Is Lucifer

Everything That Is Lucifer
I'm thankful for everything Lucifer this year! From Tom Ellis' amazingly sarcastic, yet heart-warming portrayal of Lucifer Morningstar, to the additions of Tricia Helfer as his mother and Aimee Garcia as CSI Lopez who has a way of getting Lucifer to face things he doesn't want to. This show is an amazing blend of humor, action, heart, and a lot of soul. — Jim Garner

3. The Marvel Universe on Netflix

The Marvel Universe on Netflix
I am thankful for the Netflix Marvel universe. Every show, top to bottom, every episode, it's all perfection. From modern social commentary wrapped in the tale of an accidental superhero on Luke Cage to Jessica Jones and it's pro-woman promise to the adorable Foggy and Matt Murdock magic on Daredevil. I am loving it. — Miranda Wicker

4. The Renewal of Code Black

The Renewal of Code Black
I'm thankful for the renewal of Code Black, because this is a truly brilliant show that deserved a second chance. It's made the most of it this fall and all I can say is I told you so. — Brittany Frederick

5. Tatiana Maslany's Emmy Win

Tatiana Maslany's Emmy Win
I'm thankful for Tatiana Maslany's Emmy win. There was some stiff competition, and Orphan Black is not exactly the highest rated show, but she finally got the recognition she deserves for playing so many characters. The win was a nice surprise for a talented actress who really earned it. — Stacy Glanzman

6. The Gilmore Girls Revival

The Gilmore Girls Revival
I'm thankful for the Gilmore Girls Revival! Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life will be here after Thanksgiving, and just knowing that we'll finally get an ending written by Amy Sherman-Palladino is enough to make you emotional. We're even going to get those final four words. — Ashley Bissette Sumerel

7. The Incredible Talent of Sterling K. Brown

The Incredible Talent of Sterling K. Brown
I've been a fan of Brown's for a while. I've been writing about him since his time on Army Wives. But he really came alive on The People v OJ Simpson as Christopher Darden. Even Darden himself wasn't as interesting as what Brown did with the character. Sensational. Now he's been given the chance to steal the hearts of a wider audience on This Is Us as loving father and kooky brother Randall. Will this role earn him another Emmy nomination? — Carissa Pavlica

8. Supergirl's Move to The CW

Supergirl's Move to The CW
I'm thankful for Supergirl moving to the CW. A couple changes were made to the show, which solved some season one kinks. Some changes were nicely handled, whereas others, (I'm looking at you James/Kara) were sudden and jarring. Obviously, the big downside to this move is lack of Cat Grant on our TV every week. Overall, Supergirl has continued to improve and impress on its new home. — Allison Nichols

9. Everything Lethal Weapon

Everything Lethal Weapon
I'm thankful for Clayne Crawford's sexy mop of curls, Keesha Sharp's amazing smile, Damon Wayons' beautiful bald head, and the rest of the cast and crew of Lethal Weapon who make Wednesday nights so enjoyable. — Lisa Babick

10. OWN's Queen Sugar

OWN's Queen Sugar
I’m thankful for Queen Sugar on OWN. It’s one of the most beautiful family dramas I've ever watched. It follows three very different siblings as they try to save their late father’s sugar cane farm. The show explores family, race, politics, money and love from perspectives that we haven’t seen much of on TV. Is that because the core family is black, the writers and directors are all women, or that it’s filmed mostly in Louisiana? All of the above. Every character is complex, nuanced, and flawed, and I’ve fallen in love with them all. Once you start watching Queen Sugar, you won’t be able to stop. — Christine Orlando

11. For the Menacing, Charming and Terrifying Negan on The Walking Dead

For the Menacing, Charming and Terrifying Negan on The Walking Dead
I'm thankful that The Walking Dead finally has a truly scary and menacing villain. Negan manages to be both charming and terrifying at the same time. And he's not messing around, killing off two major characters on the premiere. He's engaging to watch, and Jeffrey Dean Morgan is fantastic as the character. I'm definitely looking forward to more from him, and eventually, Rick and his crew finding a way to bring him down. — Sean McKenna

12. For What Gary Glasberg Shared with the World

For What Gary Glasberg Shared with the World
I'm thankful for Gary Glasberg, who passed away so suddenly in September. Though he probably was most well-known for showrunning NCIS and NCIS: New Orleans, he was involved with The Mentalist, Bones, and Crossing Jordan as well. While not every fan agreed with him, his presence will definitely missed in the television world. — Katie Weidel

13. The Range and Natural Ability of Justin Hartley

The Range and Natural Ability of Justin Hartley
It was a great year for Justin Hartley, and for me as a fan. When he took over the role of Adam Newman on The Young and the Restless two years ago, I knew he'd be good, but not THAT good. He broke the mold for the character. When he got cast on This Is Us, knowing he'd be gone from my daily schedule was a bummer, but what he's achieved as Kevin Pearson makes up for it. Everyone needed to see his incredible range and natural comfort as an actor. He's been around, but flew under the radar. His time is now. I'm grateful to have watched him grow. — Carissa Pavlica

14. The Return of The Affair

The Return of The Affair
I am thankful for the return of The Affair – the "true to life," shifting perspectives; Pace-er, Joshua Jackson in all his deliciousness; the contrast of laid back life in Montauk to bustling, New York City; the soothing music... "I have only one thing to do and that's be the wave that I am and then sink back into the ocean."

15. Netflix's The Crown Brought Matt Smith Back to Television

Netflix's The Crown Brought Matt Smith Back to Television
I'm thankful that The Crown on Netflix has brought Matt Smith back into my television life. I'm a huge Whovian, and Matt Smith's zany, hyper-alien incarnation of the Doctor is by far my favorite of the bunch. While I do love Peter Capaldi, I have missed my weekly dose of Matt Smith a great deal. Fortunately, The Crown is not only a gorgeous production that delves deep into the human side of the British royal family during the early days of Queen Elizabeth II's reign in the 1950's, it also features an amazing performance by Smith as Elizabeth's consort, Philip.

Philip is bitter about being a royal without a country, about his wife's family's dislike for their match, and about his wife's newfound status as Queen. He's probably the most polarizing character on the show, as he is both an amusing romantic foil for Elizabeth and, to be quite frank, a bit of a jerk. Whatever you think about Philip and his role within the Windsor dynasty, Smith makes him absolutely fascinating to watch. — Lee Jutton

16. All Things Pitch

All Things Pitch
I'm thankful for all things Pitch – from Kylie Bunbury and Christian Ochoa's dimples, to a bulky and bearded Zack Morris, to Blip Sanders, to Mike Lawson's inspirational speeches, and making "throw like a girl" the best compliment ever. I'm thankful that Pitch has some of the most diverse people in front of and behind the camera, and that they have one of the most complex, well-written female characters ever. Thanksgiving is about friendship and family, and Pitch is as much about friendship, family, and life as it is about baseball. Plus, it quietly breaks barriers and challenges sexism every episode. How can you not be thankful for that? Oh yeah, and naked Padres, I'm definitely grateful for naked Padres. — Jasmine Blu

17. Any and Everything to Do with How to Get Away with Murder

Any and Everything to Do with How to Get Away with Murder
I'm thankful for everything and anything to do with How to Get Away with Murder. The show constantly delivers the most shocking twists. The recent winter finale took that to a whole new level by taking out one of the least likely characters to die, but it means the show will have to reboot itself when the storyline is resolved. I'm thankful the powers that be did not hesitate to kill a lead, and I'm ready to embrace change on the show. — Paul Dailly

18. Female Driven Dramadies and Comedies

Female Driven Dramadies and Comedies
We've been blessed with some amazing talent on female-driven, older skewing series of late, the likes of TV Land's Younger, Bravo's Odd Mom Out and Girlfriends' Guide to Divorce and FX's brilliant addition this season of Pamela Adlon's Better Things. They all prove women can easily carry a series, be funny as hell while ripping your heart out at the same time and that hitting age 40, or even 50, is hardly a death sentence. In fact, some of these women are just hitting their stride. Bravo. — Carissa Pavlica

19. Amirah Vann's Performance on Underground

Amirah Vann's Performance on Underground
I'm thankful for Amirah Vann's Emmy-worthy performance as Ernestine on Underground. Honestly, I'm thankful for the amazing period, drama, thriller that is Underground. But my God, Amirah Vann as Ernestine was easily one of the best performances I've seen in years. The woman at the very least deserves an Emmy nomination! She should have got one. — Jasmine Blu

20. The Tension-Filled Rise of Norman Bates to Madness on Bates Motel

The Tension-Filled Rise of Norman Bates to Madness on Bates Motel
You know they've got you when you know where the story is going, and you're still at the edge of your seat. That's happened every step of the way with Bates Motel, and Season 4 produced some of the most gripping and emotionally heart-wrenching scenes of the series so far as Norman descended further into madness just as Norma started to find herself as a person outside of her son. The inevitable happened, and we're in for one final season of masterful storytelling from Carlton Cuse and Kerry Ehrin. Bring it on! — Carissa Pavlica

21. The Genius of The Exorcist and Ben Daniels

The Genius of The Exorcist and Ben Daniels
I'm thankful for The Exorcist, for being a horror series that's so well-written and well-acted that I still can't wait to watch it every week despite having to hide under my coffee table. And now maybe people will believe me when I say Ben Daniels is a genius. — Brittany Frederick

22. Suits' Prison Storyline Was Short and Sweet

Suits' Prison Storyline Was Short and Sweet
I'm thankful that the prison storyline on Suits was not dragged out very long. Everyone knowing Mike's secret was the reset the show needed to reinvigorate the drama, and I can't wait to see how the few people left at Pearson Specter Litt save the firm in the aftermath of Jessica's exit. — Paul Dailly

23. Another GIF-Worthy Season of Scream Queens

Another GIF-Worthy Season of Scream Queens
I am thankful for another year of GIF-worthy quotables from Scream Queens. The show continues to deliver all the witty one-liners and funny quips that we need for the TV season. Even though the second season isn't as great (or as campy) as the first season, it's still creating new gems. And as someone who can have entire conversations with nothing but GIFs, these two seasons have provided enough to last a lifetime. — Justin Carreiro

24. That Jane the Virgin Transcended Her Virginity

That Jane the Virgin Transcended Her Virginity
I'm thankful that the writers of Jane the Virgin allowed Jane to finally move past her virginity. The prospect of her losing her virginity weighed heavily on the character's (and the show's) shoulders. Jane's defining trait was never her virginity, but it's something everyone was focused on for so long. Now that she's no longer a virgin, the writers can explore new sides to her personality and her marriage to Michael. — Amanda Steinmetz

25. Fitting Use of Family On The Americans

Fitting Use of Family On The Americans
The Americans has managed to balance very well the journey of the Jennings family as both Soviet spies and their struggle not to fall in love with western ideals as they reside in America. When daughter Paige learned about what her parents do, my first instinct was to worry the bratty teenager would take over. Instead, Paige struggled with the reveal nearly as much as her parents continue to struggle with their own thoughts on what they do, and they will all continue to face those challenges together.

Just when you think their stories are told, another facet is uncovered just as interesting as the last. I'd never have guessed Elizabeth's desire for a friend or Phillip's est training could be so fascinating. — Carissa Pavlica

26. Arrow Put the Olicity Relationship on Hold

Arrow Put the Olicity Relationship on Hold
I'm thankful that Arrow has put Olicity on the back-burner. Their back and forth relationship was a large part of what made the previous two seasons of the show a drag. The addition of the recruits had breathed new life into the show and I can't wait to find out who the heck Prometheus is. — Paul Dailly

27. iZombie Season 2 Finale

iZombie Season 2 Finale
I would like to express gratitude for the iZombie season finale. Thank you iZombie for being the one zombie show that never lets me down. The snark was as bountiful as a Thanksgiving smorgasbord. The action as intense as discussing politics with that one drunk uncle. In the event of the zombie apocalypse, I want the badass trio of Liv, Clive, and Major on my side. I'm still not sure if I was watching an episode of television or a video game, but I don't care. Also, my favorite zombie victim in existence is Rob Thomas. No, not that one, the other one. — Jasmine Blu

28. The People vs OJ Simpson: American Crime Story

The People vs OJ Simpson: American Crime Story
I'm also thankful for The People vs OJ Simpson. The mini series gifted us with fast-paced drama, nostalgia, Sarah Paulson's portrayal of Marcia Clark and the Brentwood hello (2016 really was the real of Faye Resnick). — Sarah Hearon

29. Two Seasons of Shameless In the Same Calendar Year

Two Seasons of Shameless In the Same Calendar Year
I'm thankful that Showtime gave us a second season of Shameless in one year. It's the most consistent show on TV, with a thrilling ensemble of characters that keep you guessing their next move as they navigate the poverty stricken Southside of Chicago. I'm also thankful that Svetlana is becoming a more prominent character on the show. She's genuinely hilarious and I absolutely love her crazy schemes she concocts to get more money. — Paul Dailly

30. Darlene on Mr. Robot

Darlene on Mr. Robot
I'm thankful for all things Darlene on Mr. Robot. She got a lot of time to shine in Season 2 thanks to Elliot being missing for some episodes, but it served the storyline well, and I can't wait to see what happens for her on Mr. Robot Season 3! — Paul Dailly

31. The 4th Season Renewal of Halt and Catch Fire

The 4th Season Renewal of Halt and Catch Fire
Halt and Catch Fire has never been a ratings success, but AMC has supported this gem regardless, and the series was again granted a renewal against great odds, a final season to bring to a close the incredible story that's being told about the rise and fall of four friends and business associates who made their mark at the beginning of the computer industry. — Carissa Pavlica

32. Jeff Hephner and Philip Winchester In the Chicago Franchise

Jeff Hephner and Philip Winchester In the Chicago Franchise
I'm thankful that Jeff Hephner is back on Chicago Med and that Philip Winchester is the lead on Chicago Justice, because they're two of the best actors I've ever seen as well as two great people, and nothing makes me happier than when the good guys win. Now, can we get the two of them in scenes together? — Brittany Frederick

33. Stassi Schroeder's Return to Vanderpump Rules

Stassi Schroeder's Return to Vanderpump Rules
I'm thankful that Stassi Schroeder is back as a series regular on Vanderpump Rules. There was a fried-goat-cheese-ball-shaped-hole in my heart when she was absent for the majority of Season 4, and her return is full of sass and one-liners that do not disappoint. — Sarah Hearon

34. Kevin James' TV Return with Kevin Can Wait

Kevin James' TV Return with Kevin Can Wait
Some critics have bashed Kevin James' return to TV, but my family enjoys watching this sitcom every Monday night. Yes, the plots are tame compared to some other shows on TV, but maybe that’s the point. Kevin and his wife Donna’s antics make my husband and I consistently laugh, probably because they remind us a little too much of ourselves, and who doesn’t need the equivalent of comedy comfort food to start off their week? — Christine Orlando

35. Visiting the Set of Chicago Med

Visiting the Set of Chicago Med
I'll always be thankful for my visit to the set of Chicago Med last month, because it finally allowed me to conquer my lifelong fear of hospitals and made me excited about medicine. I beat something that's been keeping me up at night for 30 years, and I did it standing next to Colin Donnell, who's become one of my favorite actors. Accomplishments don't get better than that. Now if you need me, I'll be over here reading up on cardiothoracic surgery so that when I come back next year, I'll be ready.

36. The Mind Frak That Is 12 Monkeys

The Mind Frak That Is 12 Monkeys
Just when you thought you might have something, anything figured out on 12 Monkeys, you discovered you were wrong. That was especially true of The Witness, a character whose identity was unknown and yet so pivotal that even if someone guessed it right, it was still shocking how it all played out in the end. It's even harder to imagine the motivations behind The Witness as we roll in to Season 3. — Carissa Pavlica

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