10 Best TV Shows of 2018

Yes, we saw some pretty excellent new TV series to premiere in 2018, but 2018 was the year of solid second and third and season finales of our favorite television shows. Here is our list of 10 Best TV shows of 2018 and some honorary mentions.

[1] Atlanta, FX

Donald Glover has an uncanny way of presenting a haunting yet funny inside look at America. Both its history and its present. I also presume it’s future, but that is yet to be determined. Season 2 of Atlanta, aka Atlanta: Robbin’ Season is an American masterpiece. Atlanta is that rare gem where art and entertainment collide without being pretentious or condescending. If Glover decided to release only one episode, Episode 6 Teddy Perkins, it would still be the best television show of 2018. Don’t get us wrong, we love Childish Gambino, and we loved Community, but it’s Atlanta where Donald Glover shows his well-rounded genius.

[2] The Americans, FX

Call it perfect timing because no show this year represented 2018 better than the final season of The Americans. Yes, we have our Russian spies and our FBI agent face off.  But what we also have are the stories of the individuals impacted by the Cold War. The Americans’ wasn’t a show about Russia vs. America. It was a show about our lack of trust (whether warranted or not) in one another due to our inability to open up and communicate. A show about our struggles to understand the truth or realization on who we should trust. And a show about the repercussions of our decisions on who to trust. Season 6, the final, was The Americans best. It included exceptional and downright legendary performances by Matthew Rhys and Keri Russel as Philip and Elizabeth Jennings. Also, I would be remiss not to mention the outstanding Margo Martingale as Claudia.

[3] The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Amazon

Season two picks up where season one ended. It is delightfully brilliant with more laugh out loud moments then I can count. Even in those odd moments where the story feels flat and stalled, like a too long of a visit to the borscht belt (although it set up the remarkable scene at The Concord) you are amazed by the brightly colored, gilded setting you forget that a joke here or there may have been recycled from season one.  Amy Sherman-Palladino knows how to write and make you laugh. I cannot say enough good things about this show or how it makes you feel. Jeff Bezos, if you’re reading this, give them more money! We need more episodes quicker than it takes to get to Paris and back.

[4] Better Call Saul

Consistently one of the best television shows over its four seasons, this most recent season of Better Call Saul does not disappoint. The transition of Jimmy to Saul is better than any Breaking Bad fan could have envisioned. We all know where the story is going, we knew before the series was announced, and yet you’re captivated with every moment on how it all leads to its logical end.  As Bob Odenkirk’s Saul gets darker and slimier, Better Call Saul gets better.

[5] Barry, HBO

Did you ever wonder what a show starring SNL’s Stefon as a former Marine who turned low-rent hitman moonlighting as an “actor” that aired on HBO would be like? Well, Barry comes close to it. It is hilariously intense. Bill Hader stands out but not far behind him is Henry Winkler who plays Gene Cousineau, Barry’s, never really made it, acting teacher. Barry is a series that takes a few episodes to find it’s way. Keep with it. It’s worth it.

[6] Insecure, HBO

What Insecure does best is transition each episode through a litany of different inter-personal relationships while making you crack up with each.  There is something about this show that feels real, even when it’s just chugging along. Or especially when it’s chugging along. Insecure is a solid, well-rounded show that is fun and funny and makes you feel secure in being insecure.

[7] Homecoming, Amazon

If you like puzzles and Mr. Robot, chances are you’ll love the Julia Roberts vehicle, Homecoming. Each mind-bending episode or puzzle piece flies by, and not because each is 30-minute episodes. It’s because you’re trying to figure out what really is going on and how soon will you be in the know.  As good as Roberts it, Bobby Cannavale, per usual, is riveting. The hero in Homecoming is director Sam Esmail who has created every scene brilliantly. You are captivated through every frame.

[8] Killing Eve

It’s impossible to write Sandra Oh as an MI6 bureaucrat who is enlisted into active duty to hunt down a psychopathic assassin and not be one of the best, or at least entertaining, television series of the year. Oh and Jodie Comer’s chemistry is reminiscent of the titivating chemistry between Luther’s Idris Elba and Ruth Wilson just with some endearing humor thrown in. Killing Eve might be one of the most original new TV series of the year. Watch it and enjoy.

[9] Dear White People, Netflix

Season 2 picks up where season 1 left off, where American culture is stuck. However, as season 2 progresses you get a sense that the writers, and the actors become much more confident in themselves and we get more of where American culture is going. Dear White People is a necessary show of the times. It is one that starts far more conversations and debates than it solves. And yes, that’s a good thing.

[10] The Good Place, NBC

I am so glad I am alive to enjoy this show in real time. The Good Place is a show that works all the time, through ever weird plot twist, and there have been a bunch. It is perhaps the only TV sitcom ever to keep reinventing itself to further and further new heights of brilliance. It’s a joyous, and often hilarious watch. Each character, played by awesomely talented actors, have already been through multiple arcs. And it works. Sure the theme of how to be good is at its core, but this show is so much more.

// Honorable Mentions

Glow, Netflix

Westworld, HBO

Narcos: Mexico, Netflix

American Vandal, Netflix

Kidding, HBO

Fauda, Netflix

Forever, Amazon

Sharper Objects, HBO