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. Following up on our three opening rounds (which you can check out for yourselves here. here, here, and here), Bleeding Cool's own Tom Chang offers his thoughts on why Disney+'s first live-action Star Wars series deserved to collect this "bounty":
#6 "The Mandalorian" (Disney+)
After the stories of Jango and Boba Fett, another warrior emerges in the Star Wars universe. The Mandalorian is set after the fall of the Empire and before the emergence of the First Order. We follow the travails of a lone gunfighter in the outer reaches of the galaxy far from the authority of the New Republic…
"When it comes to flagship series for streaming services, none made as profound impact as "The Mandalorian" for Disney+. The television series is able to unite the "Star Wars" fanbase unlike recent films. It follows the adventures of the unnamed Mandalorian (Pedro Pascal) who's on a journey in search of himself. What was supposed to be a routine job, turned into so much more as the bounty hunter's willing to go against his trade for what might be his salvation. A few twists, a few turns, lots of fighting, and a "Baby Yoda" later, and we have a series that warmly embraces its "Star Wars" lore while also being easily accessible to those new to the universe."
– Tom Chang