JANUARY Jeers to Megyn Kelly for going low despite her high price. NBC’s overpaid morning-show mistake aired an ageist and politically toxic attack on Jane Fonda for not wanting to talk about plastic surgery on her show months ago, proving once again that Kelly’s only good at holding a grudge and losing our respect. Kelly’s NBC show was axed later in the year.
FEBRUARY Cheers to Grey’s Anatomy for the heart-stopping life lesson. The episode built around Bailey’s heart attack was a grand showcase for the stellar Chandra Wilson and shed light on the need for women to advocate for themselves when doctors dismiss their health concerns. It’s a deadly serious matter, and Grey’s beautifully brought it to life.
FEBRUARY Cheers to Will & Grace for restoring our faith in reboots. Teeming with the same sass, chemistry and sidekicks we fell in love with back in the ’90s, it’s safe to say now that Eric McCormack and Debra Messing have proven that great comedies can go home again. So don’t let us down, Roseanne!
(If we had only known, huh?)
MARCH Jeers to Nashville for going off-key. Used to be this was a soapy treat about singers making it, breaking it and getting some all around Music City. Now we have awful Maddie and mushroom trips in Miami and Juliette (Hayden Panettiere) joining a Bolivian cult. Even the original Dynasty’s Moldavia storyline is giving this one the side-eye.
MARCH Jeers to UnReal’s Quinn (Constance Zimmer) for screwing over Rachel (Shiri Appleby). By screwing August (Adam Demos). Just when it looked like Rach may have finally found a good guy, the ballsy bosslady bangs him behind her back. There oughta be a hashtag for this sort of anti-sisterhood sabotage!
APRIL Cheers to The Last O.G. for being a first-rate return vehicle for Tracy Morgan. The 30 Rock vet is not just surviving after his near-death accident from 2014. He is thriving and thrillingly genuine as an ex-con embracing his second chance at life in TBS’s sharp new comedy.
Maarten de Boer/Getty Images Portrait for TV Guide Magazine
APRIL Jeers to Freeform for canceling Beyond. Clearly someone from the Realm is calling the shots, because this sci-fi drama about a young man (Burkley Duffield) battling otherworldly evils and a shady secret cabal was, well, beyond addictive and way deserving of a third season.
APRIL Cheers to Jesus Christ Superstar Live for taking us to church. Our hands to God, it was impossible not to feel uplifted by NBC’s concert event starring John Legend, Sara Bareilles and Alice Cooper, who all gave (holy) spirited life to Andrew Lloyd Webber’s rock opera. Can we get an amen?!
MAY Cheers to Dear White People for coloring us hooked. Netflix’s top-notch adaptation of the 2014 flick just unleashed Season 2 and while nothing is black or white for Sam (Logan Browning) and her fellow students at Winchester University, the sharply written social satire is every shade of insightful.
MAY Cheers to NBC for enrolling in a second semester of A.P. Bio. The net showed some really smarts by renewing the Glenn Howerton-led comedy about a disgruntled genius doing his worst to not mold a bunch of unimpressed overachievers’ young minds. Gold stars for everyone!
JUNE Jeers to 13 Reasons Why for adding insult to self-injury. Instead of exploring the mental-health issues surrounding teen suicide, Season 2 of Netflix’s controversial drama headed to court for a bullying case that basically put the late Hannah Baker (a still fascinating Katherine Langford) on trial for being a secret-keeping party girl.
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
Returns Friday, Jan. 25, Netflix
Kimmy (Ellie Kemper) and the gang will finally learn who’s been spying on them. Given the guests lined up for the second half of Season 4, including Jon Hamm (Reverend Richard Wayne Gary Wayne) and Lisa Kudrow (Kimmy’s mom, Lori-Ann Schmidt), we’ll be spoiled for choice during the six-episode adieu.
JULY Jeers to all of the damn flashbacks!Sharp Objects, This Is Us, The Handmaid’s Tale, American Crime Story, American Crime Story…love ya all, but honestly, it’s rough enough keeping track of who did what horrible thing to whom without jumping into the past every time someone is triggered.
JULY Cheers to Pose for letting the music play. As if FX’s underground ballroom drama wasn’t striking enough, the heartrending July 8th hour hit us smack in the soul with Pray Tell (Billy Porter) and Blanca (MJ Rodriguez) dueting on “Home” for patients in an AIDS ward at the beginning on the plague. Category: Emmy realness.
Diyah Pera/The CW
AUGUST Cheers to The 100 for daring to letting the good guys go bad. Throughout Season 5 of The CW standout, heroes Clarke (Eliza Taylor), Bellamy (Bob Morley) and Octavia (Marie Avgeropoulos) have each made moves to save mankind that could be considered villainous and definitely keep their characters interesting.
Shane Mahood/USA Network
SEPTEMBER Cheers to Suits for playing its Ace. After the royally tricky cast exits and Katherine Heigl’s knockout arrival, it’s cool the show still knows it’s at its best when Gabriel Macht’s multi-layered lawyer confronts the Spector family ghosts, as Harvey did recently while handling his unfaithful brother’s divorce.
Craig Blankenhorn/NBC/Warner Brothers
Jeers to Manifest for its federal flub. So a commercial flight suddenly reappears five years after vanishing into thin air and the NSA agent in charge simply blurts out that terrifying tidbit to the stunned the passengers seconds after they land? That’s just plane dumb.
ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images
SEPTEMBER Cheers and Jeers to the Emmys. Oscars director Glenn. Weiss won our hearts by using his acceptance speech to propose, and we had a welcome shakeup with new winners like Darren Criss, Rachel Brosnahan, Bill Hader and Henry Winkler. But lord, hosts Michael Che and Colin Jost were awkward.
OCTOBER Jeers to The Alec Baldwin Show for playing it safe. For a guy who’s never been afraid to speak (or tweet!) his mind, the Emmy-winning instigator’s eponymous interview show is frustratingly restrained. More Jack Donaghy, less Dick Cavett, please.
OCTOBER Cheers to Seth Meyers for REALLY nailing his first SNL hosting gig. The former Weekend Updater’s joyful return to the studio down the hall from his Late Night home was a blast to behold, especially since it allowed the alum to appear in more skits than he ever got to do back when he was busy being the show’s head writer.
Maarten de Boer
NOVEMBER Cheers to Tell Me a Story for booking such a primo cast. From affable James Wolk finally playing dark opposite a refreshingly un-glam (and so good!) Paul Wesley to Kim Cattrall flipping the script on her sassy Sex and the City persona as a compassionate grandmother, CBS All Access’s grim twist on classic fairy tales is a treat you should already be addicted to. End of Story.
DECEMBER Cheers to New Amsterdam for fighting cancer with facts. While Max (the fantastic Ryan Eggold) has spent the first half of the medical hit’s freshman season exploring options for his grave condition, the show has been slyly providing viewers with vital, honest info about clinical trials, the side-effects of chemo and the importance of having advocates. Even better: No bill!
DECEMBER Jeers to How to Get Away with Murder’s killers for getting sloppy. TBH, Bonnie (Liza Weil) and Nate (Billy Brown) deserve life sentences for stupidly offing Miller (John Hensley) right outside Connor and Oliver’s crowded wedding reception. It’s like these two have learned nothing Annalise’s lesson plan!
BEST OF THE YEAR Cheers to the fandoms that used their powers for good. Thanks to some serious online uproars and tireless Twitter campaigns, NBC snatched up the eighty-sixed Brooklyn Nine-Nine, while Netflix was convinced to step in and save the day after Fox stuck a pitchfork in Lucifer and ABC impeached Designated Survivor. Well done, kids!
BEST OF THE YEAR Cheers to actresses who set the bar for Best Of lists everywhere. Sandra Oh in Killing Eve. Amy Adams in Sharp Objects. Christine Baranski in The Good Fight. Thandie Newton in Westworld. Elisabeth Moss in The Handmaid’s Tale. The ballroom queens of Pose. The list of 2018’s Fierce Female Roles goes on and on, and we can’t wait to see how many more amazing ladies reclaim their time—and claim ours—next year.
WORST OF THE YEAR Jeers to HBO for playing the waiting Game. Notice how an entire year has passed without a single new second of footage or even a spoiler from the final season of Game of Thrones? Yeah, winter has come, gone and come back again and it’s not OK. What the hell is taking so long? Are you trying to rebuild that damn wall Viserson blew down?
Ahh, the year-end list. It's almost as traditional as TBS's A Christmas Storymarathon, mid-season finales and aggressively hateful comments to tweets from celebrities in crisis.
So, of course, we had to have our say, but instead of spending 6,000 words on why TV is wonderful, horrible, helpful, problematic, biased, too white, too diverse or just too much, we decided to look back over the last year of Cheers & Jeers from TV Guide Magazine and picked some highlights to remind you that, yeah, TV is everything.