Wednesday 19 December 2018

My Top TV of 2018 (Part 3 The Top Ten)

So, we’ve seen the Also Rans and other categories here, and we’ve run down from 25 to 11 here. Now for the big ones, my favourite TV shows of 2018. They are...

10) Doctor Who series 11 (BBC)

It’s become something of a tradition for my favourite telly show to come into my chart at number ten. I want it to be higher, but this year it was too disappointing for that to happen. I liked a lot, I disliked a lot. I’ve written a blog about it. And I won’t have to worry where it places again for another two years.

9) The End Of The F**ing World (C4 / Netflix)

A hidden gem of a murder mystery based on a graphic novel. We missed it when first shown, then caught it on Netflix. Staying small and unpredictable made it a winner. And a tremendous soundtrack curated by Graham Coxon.

8) A Very English Scandal (BBC)

I loves me a bit of Russell T Davies and his adaptation of the true story of the Jeremy Thorpe affair was brilliant. Funniest murder show of the year, and by golly there was stiff competition. 

7) Killing Eve (BBC America)

More funny murder, this time erring on the side of filmic brilliance. If only all spy movies were this clever.

6) Young Sheldon (CBS/E4)

I couldn’t believe it when this seemed to get no Emmy nominations. The funniest sitcom to come from the States this year, from the mainstream channels (who don’t get much of a look in in recent years), it’s family friendly and kind of old fashioned, in a new and perfect way. 

5) Atlanta (FX)

Brilliant laugh out loud comedy characters, who can turn on a sixpence into dark and pathetic drama. Taking the most surreal and unexpected turns, and unveiling a world that makes you want to have nothing to do with making rap music or ever visiting Atlanta Georgia.

4) Trust (FX/BBC)

Simon Beaufoys and Danny Boyle’s masterful filmic drama, including an episode entirely in Italian. The most beautiful cinematography of the year and the most unpredictable storyline, given that it was possible to google what really happened.

3) The Assassination of Gianni Versace (FX/BBC)

Another one where you could google the truth and miss the whole point. Both this and Trust told their story in self-contained episodes, each of which was a film in themselves. By jumping forwards and backwards in time this played the greatest tricks on your expectations. Daniel Criss as Andrew Cunanan is creepiest TV killer of the year, and my pick to play the next Master.

2) Derry Girls (C4)

British, or rather Irish, sitcom of the year, this was another treat hidden away in the Channel 4 desert. Quite how one plugs a TV show to the public these days I don’t know, but I’m glad we found this by accident then used the magic of Catch Up to, well, catch up. Truly exceptional. And when it comes to ending a funny show on a sad note, Derry Girls wins hands down.

1) The Marvellous Mrs Maisel (Amazon)

Heavens to Murgatroyd this is amazing. Hev has become a fan of The Gilmore Girls and so is acquainted with Amy Sherman Palladino’s writing, but this was a revelation to me. How sharp? How witty? How fast moving? How wide ranging? And how much do we suspend our disbelief when Midge does her stand up, knowing that no stand up has ever been like that, that no audience has every responded like that, that you can’t be heard without a microphone like that, that… seriously no-one notices any of those things because The Marvellous Mrs Maisel is so, let’s face it, Marvellous. (Oh yeah, the one fault, the Americans can't spell Marvelous.)

So there are my favourites of the year. What did I miss?

Here's to a 2019 of even more televisual fun.

My Top TV of... 2017 • 2016 • 2015 • 2014 • 2013 • 2011 • 2009

Kev F Sutherland, as well as writing and drawing for The Beano, Marvel, Doctor Who et al, runs Comic Art Masterclasses in schools, libraries and art centres - email for details, and follow him on Facebook and Twitter. View the promo video here

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