The 2014 Cincy Awards

TIME

In 2009 I invented a new kind of TV award, or perhaps “award.” Like a lot of critics, I always list the best shows of the year, and often the worst. But that inevitably leaves out a certain, often more interesting, group of shows: not mediocre ones, but shows that have ambitions that, for various reasons, they don’t manage to quite meet.

I named these awards The Cincies, for HBO’s 2007 drama John from Cincinnati, which was in some ways an inscrutable mess, but had moments of astonishing brilliance. If it was a failure, it was an interesting one, which is often a better thing to be than an unremarkable success.

A Cincy can be a commercial failure or a success. It can be a show that tried hard and just failed at greatness, or a show with the potential for greatness if it tried harder. Appearing…

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