2017 Calvin Awards: Best TV Show

By David Mumpower

February 20, 2017

Goonies never say die.

As robots function as entertainment slaves in an amusement park setting, humans act like monsters, ceding to their base needs. Meanwhile, some of the robots are attaining a kind of sentience. On some level, they’re aware that humans are flawed creatures but since they’re the models for life, the robots still mimic them in some ways. Like The Good Place, Westworld evaluates the nature of good and evil in novel fashion, which is why we can’t wait for more of both.

The other HBO offering represents the odd time in which we live. With a presidential campaign marked by strife and hostility, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver became a refuge, a place where we could hide away from the horrors of the news long enough to enjoy a laugh with our stately British friend. Of course, this wasn’t the first time we’d shown such dedication to the show. Two years ago, the first season of Last Week Tonight actually finished second in the category, showing that we love John Oliver the most during election years. He’s the voice of reason that we need during an era of pure political madness.

A new entrant and a standing favorite finish in sixth and seventh place this year. The rookie is Atlanta, the offbeat Donald Glover comedy that reminded the world of what a natural talent he is. Glover’s writing and acting in this series he created is so impressive that he’s earned the iconic roles of Lando Calrissian in a standalone Han Solo Star Wars film and Simba in a live-action remake of The Lion King. All of this career success secures his future in the industry, but it does make BOP’s staff worry that this gem, Atlanta, may suffer as Glover’s career ascends.


Seventh place goes to Better Call Saul, which dropped from third place last year. It’s not that the Breaking Bad crew did anything wrong with the latest offering of Saul Goodman. It’s that we had other needs to fill and new passions to entertain us this year. What’s important here is that since season two of Breaking Bad, every year of The Calvins has included a nod to Vince Gilligan’s twin masterpieces. The shows are that great…and that consistent.

A pair of perennial favorites and new entrant finishes our list this year. Brooklyn Nine-Nine earned selection for the third straight year, although it did fall from fifth to eighth place this year. The Americans returns to the top ten after a 2015 top five finish followed by a near-miss in 2016. And our staff finally delivered long overdue recognition to Black-ish, a sitcom that somehow tackles socially significant issues from the most charming perspectives.

Since we live in the golden age of television, the list above is just a starter kit on what's worth watching. Here’s a list of our staff’s 15 favorite programs that didn’t quite earn a nomination: The Night Of, Veep, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Archer, Transparent, The Grinder, New Girl, Daredevil, Bob’s Burgers, Silicon Valley, You’re the Worst, Girl Meets World, Luke Cage, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., and Lethal Weapon.

Calvins Intro
Best Actor
Best Actress
Best Cast
Best Character
Best Director
Best Overlooked Film
Best Picture
Best Scene
Best Screenplay
Best Supporting Actor
Best Supporting Actress
Best TV Show
Best Use of Music
Breakthrough Performance
Worst Performance
Worst Picture

Top 10
Position Show Total Points
1 Stranger Things 94
2 Good Place, The 68
3 Game of Thrones 64
4 Westworld 63
5 Last Week Tonight 48
6 Atlanta 42
7 Better Call Saul 40
8 Brooklyn Nine-Nine 39
9 Americans, The 33
10 blackish 32

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