Super Sixteen: Top Television Shows of 2016

It’s one of my favorite times of the year. It’s where I review the best and brightest that television had to offer in the previous year. If you haven’t already, you should check out my Top Films of 2016. Go ahead, check it out, I’ll wait. No really, I’ll wait. You back? Awesome.

As is the standard with my movie year-in-review, my television selections have to pass the Upkins Media Litmus Test.

Without further adieu…

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Tigresa y Tarantula

Daredevil Season 2 has been up and streaming on Netflix for some time now and if you haven’t watched it, are you okay? Should we call someone? Just kidding. But seriously, go watch it if you still haven’t. It was another successful team-up for Netflix and Marvel after an exceptional Jessica Jones. If you haven’t watched that yet, that’s it, I’m coming over! As I’ve previously written, I recognize my bias and personal history with Daredevil, but in my opinion, especially in terms of tone, the series continues to be the MCU’s masterpiece (ducks).

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White Virgin/Whore of Color: #DaredevilProblems

I wasn’t gonna do this, but in a conversation on twitter, @BlackGirlNerds asked me to expand on what I recently called “Daredevil‘s White Virgin/Whore of Color Complex” and I would hate to disappoint. Don’t get me wrong: I’m not just trying to dump on Daredevs. I still love the first season, and the second season, despite serious problems, is still great television in a lot of ways.

But I hope — on this site especially — I don’t need to go over again why/how problematic representations of POC and women spread like mayonnaise over a beloved television property can be like an all-day, all-you-can-take, face-slapping machine. And Arthur Chu has already shown you the wasabi-infused mayo currently salmonellizing on Daredevil‘s bread.

I’m here to show you the ketchup.

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Not Your Asian Ninja: How the Marvel Cinematic Universe Keeps Failing Asian Americans

Originally posted at The Daily Beast

I liked Daredevil Season 2 a lot. I didn’t like it quite as much as Season 1, but it was always going to be impossible to find someone to live up to Vincent D’Onofrio’s take on Wilson Fisk (who still effortlessly steals the few scenes he gets this season). But the writing and the acting for Frank Castle, aka The Punisher, is compelling as hell, enough to spark a lively debate about the appeal of vigilante justice and gun violence in American culture.

The tangled, messy web of corruption behind the death of the Punisher’s family, the complicity of the state and the media in creating him, his turnaround in becoming a criminal defendant in the Trial of the Century, and the moral ambiguity of Castle’s past as a soldier who exposes the American public’s hypocrisy by bringing the brutal logic of the overseas War on Terror stateside — that’s all great stuff.

The problem is all that great stuff is only half of Daredevil Season 2. There’s a whole other half that’s almost totally disconnected from the Frank Castle plot, the Nelson and Murdock law firm, and New York City politics. There’s a full 50 percent of Daredevil Season 2 that’s total crap, and that half is the part with the ninjas.

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Agent Carter Adds Superhero TV’s Newest Trope

Marvel’s Agent Carter had its season premiere Tuesday night with a double episode, and all sorts of things are new.

For one, the somber, immediate-post-WWII-New-York-values tones have been replaced by a lighter, sunnier, Californian color that suits the show’s inevitable slide into the fifties. For another, Agent Daniel Sousa’s childish crush on Peggy Carter seems to have deepened into a reciprocal — if ambiguous — relationship. (On this, more later.)

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My Top 15 Television Series of 2015

They say there’s nothing  good on television. Clearly, more than a few shows were trying to disprove that saying. 2015 kept me busy in terms of reviewing shows but more than a few proved to be well worth it.

As is the standard, for a series to be reviewed (much less nominated), it must meet the guidelines of my Media Litmus Test.

So without further adieu, the following are my Top 15 Television Series of 2015:

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Fixing Marvel’s Iron Fist Problem: Why Netflix Can Handle Mysticism

by MC Nedelsky in collaboration with MCU Exchange

What exactly is the problem with bringing Iron Fist to Netflix? It’s hard to know. Though the latest news is that the show is still on track, it’s clear they haven’t yet figured it out — they don’t have a star; they don’t have a showrunner; and for some reason, no one has bothered to ask Lexi Alexander on how she could make Iron Fistthe most popular show ever.”

One of the issues is apparently no one at Marvel Studios can figure out how to bring the character’s “mystical” elements into the grim and gritty universe established for its Netflix series. Devin Faraci, who first reported on Iron Fist’s troubles back in July, writes that “one of the big hold-ups is the mystical element, with lots of different opinions on just how much weird wuxia to bring in to the show.”

This seems like an odd concern, given that these shows share a cinematic universe with Asgardians, Kree, and Inhumans.

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The N.O.C.’s Most Read Posts of All Time

In this case, “all time” refers to two years. You see, today marks the second anniversary of the official launch of the site. Since that time, we’ve amassed dozens of contributors, hundreds of articles, thousands of readers, and hundreds of thousands of views. It’s humbling, and as the site’s lead editor, I want to thank each and everyone who has made the Nerds of Color what it is today, two years later.

So before we move forward into Year Three, I wanted to look back at the last two, and share ten of the most read posts in the history of the blog. Also, if you haven’t already, be sure to follow us on twitter and Facebook where we’ll be sharing links to these classic posts all week. Anyway, on to the countdown!

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Daredevil: First Season Wrap-Up

Some of my fellow NOCs and other contributors have written eloquent season reviews and critiques of Daredevil so I’ll keep this brief. I’m pretty biased with this character and while I tried to restrain some and was somewhat critical, there was a lot of praise throughout my recaps. When something that’s been a part of 2/3 of your life finally is treated correctly, it can be quite the emotional ride. Congrats to Netflix for this, their greatest and most-watched original series. Netflix and Marvel: the new Kingpins. Best superhero show? Yes. Best Marvel property? Yes. Best show, movie, anything a camera has filmed? Shit, probably. Sure. Yes.

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