Once upon a time… working for television was labelled a "demotion," a professional death sentence for actors whose careers were considered on a no-way-back downward spiral.
Today, actors of all ages and experiences (especially women and actors of color) have found more opportunities to practice their craft and tell their stories (and be recognized for it) than ever before. While there are still many roads that need to be travelled in terms of fairness and equality on both sides of the camera, progress has been made – even as the film industry continues a slow descent into "event film haze" to remain relevant.
Once upon a time… it was thought for a show to succeed, it needed to start every September, end every April/May, and run at least 20 episodes per season.
Today, fans wait over a year for a half-season of Adult Swim's Rick and Morty, and have shown their willingness to embrace an 8-episode quality season over a 16-episode "padded" season.
Once upon a time… television meant "The Big Three," HBO went off-air at 11 p.m., and "water cooler" moments before the VCR could be a very select club at the work place.
Today, cable and streaming have turned "The Big Three" into "The Big 333" – with DVR, on-demand, and binge watching making any time a great time to watch.
With that said, it's hard to believe it's been a year since our last go-around – and as difficult as it was to choose only 10 shows last year, this year tripled the pressure. Once again, it felt like we were trying to find ten specific needles in a pile of needles – and this year, that pile was huge… and twice as painful when it came to cuts.
But we prevailed – and over the course of the next ten days, you'll see that our list represents the best in diverse thought and action that graced our screens this year. Continuing on from our previous seven picks (which you can check out for yourselves here. here, here, here, here, here, and here), Bleeding Cool's own Adi Tantimedh preaches his case as to why Amazon Prime Video's Neil Gaiman-Terry Pratchett adaptation was a big slice of heaven:
#3 "Good Omens" (Amazon Prime)
The End of the World is coming, which means a fussy Angel and a loose-living Demon who've become overly fond of life on Earth are forced to form an unlikely alliance to stop Armageddon. But they have lost the Antichrist, an 11-year-old boy unaware he's meant to bring upon the end of days, forcing them to embark on an adventure to find him and save the world before it's too late.
With Armageddon just days away, the armies of Heaven and Hell are amassing and The Four Horsemen are ready to ride. Aziraphale, an angel, and Crowley, a demon, agree to join forces to find the missing Anti-Christ and to stop the war that will end everything. Based on the best-selling novel by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman, Good Omens follows an unlikely duo and their quest to save the world.
"That Good Omens became a TV miniseries is a miracle. After decades in failed attempts to turn it into a movie, Neil Gaiman got to be producer and showrunner. The results are an uncompromised and unfiltered presentation of Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman's combined sensibilities.
At once whimsical and gentle in its humour with a subtle undertone of rage, the show even expanded throwaway details and backstories into key moments in the show. Good Omens is a rare example of an adaptation that complements and expands on the original book to create a fuller experience. And so gleefully, casually atheist."
– Adi Tantimedh
Directed and executive produced by Douglas Mackinnon (Sherlock, Doctor Who), the cast of Good Omens includes: David Tennant, Michael Sheen, Jon Hamm, Miranda Richardson, Nick Offerman, Adria Arjona, Nina Sosanya, Jack Whitehall, Michael McKean, Ned Dennehy, Ariyon Bakare, Mireille Enos, Anna Maxwell Martin, Lourdes Faberes, Yusuf Gatewood, Sir Derek Jacobi, and David Morrissey. Also, Frances McDormand, Benedict Cumberbatch, and Brian Cox are also on board in some pretty lofty roles: as the voices of God, Satan, and Death, respectively.
Good Omens is co-produced by BBC Studios with Narrativia (Rhianna Pratchett's production company) and the Blank Corporation in association with BBC Worldwide for Amazon Studios and the BBC. Gaiman, Mackinnon, Caroline Skinner, Chris Sussman, Simon Winstone, and Rob Wilkins as executive producers.