20 Best TV Shows of 2015 So Far – Rolling Stone
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20 Best TV Shows of 2015 So Far

From hip-hop soap operas to stoner comedies and spy dramas, it’s been a great half-year

david letterman and terrence howard

Jeffrey R. Staab/CBS; Chuck Hodes/FOX

What a year for TV so far — the first half of 2015 has already given us a motherlode of great screen moments. So here's a breakdown of this year's best shows so far. Some are deserved hits, some are acclaimed artistic achievements, some are totally slept-on gems still ripe for discovery. There are brash rookies and crafty veterans. There are larger-than-life characters, from Cookie to Louie, Dany to Taystee. This year's prime television treasures come from all over the map: stoner comedies, hip-hop soap operas, wigs-and-stockings period dramas, sci-fi spoofs, superheroes, killers, geeks and jailbirds and dragons and spies. It's time to do the Peggy Olson hangover strut down the hallways of 2015.

Veep

(season 4, episode 4): Julia Louis-Dreyfus.

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‘Veep’ (HBO)

"I'm used to dealing with angry, aggressive, dysfunctional men — i.e., men." Welcome to the Oval Office, Julia Louis-Dreyfus. Now that Selina Meyers has bumbled into the Presidency, she is officially "the worst thing to happen to this country since food in buckets, and maybe slavery." But the further Veep ventures from mere political satire, the funnier it gets — at this point, it's only about D.C. insofar as D.C. is where the horriblest of horrible people happen to work. Profoundly nihilistic, spewing venom so fast it makes other comedies look a little snoozy, constantly throwing more characters into the mix yet always raising its game as a result, the show keeps buzzing with betrayals ("I'm telling the Nazis that she's hiding in the attic" is the new "throwing her under the bus") and inventive profanity ("Why would you do that the fuck for?"). And, of course, Patton Oswalt grabbing the testes of the eminently loathsome Jonah, a.k.a. Johnny Titballs.

Broad City

Abbi Jacobson (left) and Ilana Glazer in an episode from season 2 of Broad City. credit: Comedy Central via Rosenblatt, Michelle

Comedy Central

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‘Broad City’ (Comedy Central)

It's 2015 and all pop culture aspires to the condition of Broad City. Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer live large in the big city, with nothing to show for their nothing lives except that they've got each other — and that's a lot, pegging all our hearts with a strap-on called friendship. They're more Laverne & Chong than Cheech & Shirley; they're Absolutely Fabulous with twice the fabulous and none of the absolutely; they're more fun than a day at Whole Foods on wisdom-teeth drugs.

Virtually nothing happens on the show beyond these two broads talking shit, like when they muse about their funerals: Abbi wants everyone to go to Six Flags ("you can even Weekend at Bernie's me") while Ilana has other ideas ("I want everyone I've ever hooked up with to jerk off together"). But nothing can shake their adoration of each other, even if all the rest of the planet sees is a couple of crazy women who drop Yoo-Hoo bottles on the floor. Half-assed about the things that don't matter, ingenious about the things that do — Broad City is worth rewatching all year long.

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