Thanksgiving, it's a time for reflection. Also, a time for eating lots and lots of food. But mostly, it's about reflection.
In honor of Turkey Day, we here at the TV Scoop Team sat down and really, really thought about the important things in life. The important things being TV shows, obviously!
Each of us compiled a list of the shows, storylines and characters we're most thankful to have on our TV screens and in our living rooms on a weekly basis, from American Horror Story: Coven to Scandal, Sleepy Hollow to The Mindy Project, and more small screen delights...
Kristin Dos Santos' Thankful List
Broadchurch: Sure, I'm a little (unfashionably) late to the party, but cannot recommend Broadchurch enough for a holiday weekend binge-watch—or anytime, anywhere binge-watch. Got a hot date? Cancel it. Emergency appendectomy? Hey, it can wait. Life priorities, people! BBC America's expertly crafted mystery-drama series will rip your heart out and make you feel all the feelings, in the best way possible. Just. So. Good.
The Blacklist: Let's face it, there was so little else to get excited about regarding new shows this fall but The Blacklist turned out even better than we had ever dreamed. James Spader's one-liners are pure genius (thank you, Blacklist writing staff!), and Ryan Eggold (Tom) is the most adorable kindergarten teacher/husband that ever was. So what if he also might possibly murder people in his spare time? We all have our hobbies, people! And have you seen those dimples?
Mellie, Fitz and Olivia on Scandal: The most devastating love triangle that ever was or ever will be. Period.
The Mindy Project: The fact that hardly anyone is watching the best comedy on TV is everything that's wrong with America. We cherish every minute of this show…for however long it may last.
Tierney Bricker's Thankful List
Sleepy Hollow/Reign/The Blacklist: OK, I'm just as shocked as you are that the three shows I most look forward to watching each week are all new dramas. All three have stormed out of the gate knowing exactly what kind of show they are, dropping crazy twists, turns and reveals faster than ABC canceled Lucky 7. (Too soon?) Sleepy Hollow has gifted us with the best new character of the season ('Sup, Ichabod Crane and your amazing fish-out-of-water experiences!) and transported us to TV's weirdest town since Sunnydale, while James Spader makes us positively giddy as The Blacklist's deviously delicious Red. And Reign is the Game of Thrones-Gossip Girl hybrid we never knew we wanted, but now can't live without. (May it live forever.)
The Mindy Project: The best sitcom of the year with the best cast and the best jokes. Seriously, I could write a grand opus on why Mindy Kaling's comedy is a precious, precious gem. Oh wait, I actually did! (I am also thankful for Chris Messina's Danny Castellano, my fictional TV boyfriend/husband/life partner I go apple-picking with.)
Revenge: Thanks for not making me sad anymore by getting rid of season two's convoluted storylines I couldn't even pretend to understand or care about. And thank you for restoring the show (and Nolan's one-liners and wardrobe and love life!) to its soapy season one glory. So glad I didn't break out my red Sharpie after all.
Jenna Mullins' Thankful List
Parks and Recreation: A perfect show with a perfect cast that has consistently perfect writing. And you're not watching every week? You're basically a war criminal, according to April's (Aubrey Plaza) standards. I am thankful that this show hasn't let me down since it really found its footing in season two. Not only does it have endless character combinations that always land, but the A storylines are almost as intriguing as a Scandal episode: Leslie (Amy Poehler) losing her seat on city council, Chris (Rob Lowe) and Ron (Nick Offerman) preparing for their babies and Ben (Adam Scott) finding out what kind of career he really wants for himself, to name a few. Every episode is quotable, gif-able, laughable, lovable and every other able-esque word in the English language. Get into it before NBC takes it away from me, thus rendering me without something to be thankful for next year.
Homeland: I don't really think the Showtime drama ever really left, but I guess Homeland is back? Whatever, I am loving this season. It started out as a slow burn (not just slow, haters), and now that Brody (Damian Lewis) has returned and the final run of episodes are leading up to what will surely be an explosive finale, I'm feeling that anxious, "omigod, what's going to happen next" kind of doom that I associate with the season-one finale. And there are still so many unanswered questions! Will Brody ever learn Carrie (Claire Danes) is carrying his child? Can Saul (Mandy Patinkin) get any more boss? Will this mission end with Brody's death, leading us to mourn the man that just came back into our Homeland lives? What's the deal with Fara (Nazanin Boniadi)? Can Quinn (Rupert Friend) get any hotter? OK, I'll stop now.
Chopped: You've no doubt read our love letter to Chopped that I wrote with my fellow Food Network-obsessee Tierney, so this should come as no shock to anyone. I love this show so much, and the love only grows as we head into the holiday season. Which means: theme episodes! How else am I going to spend my time while I lay on the couch after my big dinners? Watching Chopped reruns is good for the digestive tract. Science says so.
Leanne Aguilera's Thankful List
American Horror Story: Coven: I never knew that a show that highlights necrophilia, murder, and semen goat sacrifices could make me so excited each and every week. I swear, there's nothing certifiably wrong with me—It's just that I'm head over heels for American Horror Story's dark and spell-binding new season. Anything that combines, bitches, witches, and hot sons-of-b---hes is definitely something to be thankful for. Plus, Jessica Lange is my spirit guide for life.
Scandal: Two words: Mellie Grant. Olivia Pope may be the white hat savior of D.C., but Mellie Grant is the pearl-wearing savior of the entire United freakin' States. She keeps Fitz going when he's at his lowest lows, (Scotch in the shower, anyone?) despite the fact that he has been cheating on her over and over again for the past five years. I am beyond thankful for our favorite onscreen FLOTUS, and if you try to tell me some disgusting fairytale about Fitz and Olivia's love, I will make such a scene. I will open up your closet, and I will pull out your laundry, and I will share it with the world.
The Big Bang Theory: After seven years of eating Chinese takeout alongside some of the most brilliant minds of our generation, I have fallen in love with the geeky gang of The Big Bang Theory. Don't judge me, intelligence is sexy! But above all, I'm thankful for this heartwarmingly brilliant song that all brought all the nerd fandoms together in one catchy little love-filled tune.
Lauren Piester's Thankful List
Happy Endings Gang Back on TV: While I am NOT thankful that Happy Endings was canceled, I am extremely thankful that two of my favorite Happy Endings guys, Damon Wayans Jr. and Adam Pally, both got amazing, hilarious jobs on New Girl and The Mindy Project, respectively. Coach makes an excellent addition to the loftmates, and Pally is basically playing the straight, lady-doctor version of Max, and I am more than OK with that. But I'd be even more OK if they just brought back Happy Endings. Can I ask for that for Christmas?
American Horror Story: Coven: I am super thankful for Emma Roberts on American Horror Story: Coven. I mean, I'm thankful for everything that show is doing right now, but especially for Emma Roberts, who gives Jessica Lange some fierce competition when it comes to the one-liners and badass witchery. I'm also pretty thankful she's no longer dead. That was a bummer.
Castle: And finally, I'm thankful that Castle seems to be getting good again! I love me some Nathan Fillion, but that show has the infuriating ability to be amazing one week and ridiculously terrible the next, and it's amazing that I'm even still watching it. However, with one episode featuring a time-traveling Joshua Gomez and another chilling installment where Laney and Esposito discovered bodies that looked exactly like them, I might actually be hooked again.
What TV shows are you thankful for this season? Sound off in the comments!