The Independent Variable
✖︎ 2018 Top Ten - Television
4 January 2019
- My most anticipated show of the year. From the trailers and direction from Cary Fukunaga it looked like it was going to add up to one of the best shows of the year. Ultimately, it fell short of that, but was still a neat show and had two to three amazing episodes.
- The Haunting of Hill House S1
- Had no expectations for this whatsoever. Boy was I surprised. The Luke, Theo, and Nell episodes really shined along with the one-take episode.
- Ozark S2
- Ozark scratches a weird itch for me. Something about it makes it feel like a guilty pleasure. It’s no slouch, but it doesn’t have the same artistry as some of these others shows on this list. Nonetheless, it has it’s own unique feel and the story is enthralling, keeping me waiting on the edge of my seat to see what happens next.
- Sharp Objects
- I loved Gone Girl and since Sharp Objects was also based on a Gillian Flynn novel I had pretty high hopes. On top of that, Jean-Marc Vallée, director of Dallas Buyers Club, which I loved, and Big Little Lies, which I heard great things about, directed this entire series. It’s definitely an intriguing story and was absolutely beautiful, but the coldness kept it from creeping into my top five.
- I actually just finished watching this on new years and the absurdity won me over instantly. I read the comic book back when it originally came out so I had an idea what was coming, but I didn’t remember much, and I think they really capitalized on the comic book-iness while making it it’s own thing completely. I’d love to see more adaptations of Grant Morrison’s work.
- Barry S3
- I remember hearing about this when Bill Hader was on Bill Simmons’ HBO show quite some time ago and feeling like it was such a cool concept that it would never actually get made. Luckily, it was made and it was wonderful. Charming, quirky, and even dark at times, which makes Bill Hader’s performance even more impressive.
- Succession S1
- After watching this I started to think Adam McKay could do no wrong (but then I saw Vice…). Anyways, this show was a fascinating look at a Murdoch-ish family. The performances were top notch and I just couldn’t take my eyes off the train wreck that continued to build for some of the characters.
- Glow S2
- Marc Maron and Alison Brie make this train keep on chugging and I hope they continue to play in this sandbox for a long time to come. Even with characters who may not be inherently likeable, they continue to build the characters and plot into must see TV.
- Marvelous Mrs. Maisel S2
- Rachel Brosnahan as Midge Maisel is my favorite character on TV right now. The banter, the situations they put her in, the stand-up, all of it is absolutely lovely. Throw in Tony Shalhoub and you are off to the races. This might not have been as crisp of a season in terms of storytelling as season one, but I still loved it.
- Homecoming S1
- Man oh man, I didn’t even find the podcast that compelling when first listening to it, but Sam Esmail is a freaking national treasure. This is the best directed television show of the year, hands down. I watched season one of Mr. Robot and now I know I need to go back. I haven’t even mentioned the fact Julia Roberts is acting in a television show. Everything about this was wonderful and I just keep wanting more.
I only watched five other shows this year in Westworld S2, which I enjoyed, but not as much as the first season; the second half of Tick S1, which was fantastic; Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt S5, which is always good and more of the same this season; Silicon Valley S5, my least favorite season of the show thus far, and lastly Bodyguard, which I thought was interesting, but it never clicked for me and at the time of writing actually just finished the finale, which was one of the most suspenseful things I’ve seen in television this hear, but it took my over two months to watch the six episodes, which says enough right there.
There are also tons of shows I really need to watch, which I know will be great and probably would’ve contended, but either time or availability have kept me away… for now.
- Atlanta S2
- High Maintenance S2
- Kidding S1
- Patriot S2
- Forever S1 and probably more…