With the number of scripted TV series this year in the billions - rough but only mildly hyperbolic estimate - cutting the Top 10 shows of 2016 out of that massive pack is like trying to push a haystack through a needle; after you find it, of course. Even a needle's eye would be watching the shows you'll see here, too, because they exist on seperate planes of small screen existence, each offering a powerful and poignant season full of unpredictable storylines and irreplaceable characters.

I present to you, lovely readers, my Top 10 TV shows of 2016. If these were the only series I got to watch in the past twelve months, an assembly line of excellence would have no doubt bypassed me on the way to mass acclaim, but I'd have no regrets. Now, speaking of powerful and poignant, somebody get Ashy Slashy a drink and a mission.

10. Ash Vs Evil Dead

Horror fans arguably had more to love on TV than in theaters this year, with an abundance of subgenres and increased quality on display. But we should all ha-a-a-and it to Ash vs Evil Dead for putting its splattered balls to the wall in Season 2, with Bruce Campbell leading the limb-tearing charge as the Deadite-destroying group trekked to Ash's hometown of Jacksonville, where familiar friends and family added hilarious and horrifying context to the Evil Dead franchise as a whole. From its insanely gory start to Pablo's roller coaster arc to Ted Raimi to that mindfuck of a finale, Ash vs Evil Dead plowed forward without blinking, barring no holds and leaving no surface free from viscera. It's extremely un-groovy that ex-showrunner Craig Digregorio exited the show over creative issues, but the show didn't noticeably suffer for it.

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