My best favourites of telly in 2018
Golden Age Of Television! Golden Age of Television! Golden Age of Television!
I love telly me. Always there. Always generous with the entertainment. But what was my best favourites of last year? And are they exactly the same as yours?
Well, they probably aren’t exactly the same. Largely because I still haven’t got round to watching Killing Eve yet. Or the second season of The Marvellous Mrs. Maisel. So there are two good ones I haven’t seen already. But to save me writing about stuff that is universally acclaimed, let’s just say Better Call Saul, Atlanta, Bojack Horseman, The Good Place, Derry Girls, Glow, Orange is the New Black, Daredevil, and The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt are obviously brilliant and move on to lesser known and/or lesser loved stuff.
The Good Fight is the best thing on television. We all agree, yes?
Dear White People is the next best thing on television. We all agree about that too? Cool.
Jodi Whittaker is superb as the doctor and her first series of Doctor Who had some brilliant episodes. My favourite was the one with the talking frog, It Takes You Away, which managed to fit so much brilliance into an hour it was uncanny, but I loved it all. I bought the special edition blu-ray and everything.
I am only half way through the rebooted She-Ra but I have nothing but love for it. It’s awesome.
Another old friend returning in a new guise was Star Trek: Discovery which I enjoyed so much that I have started rewatching all the Next Generation episodes. At the risk of upsetting everybody I already think Discovery is the best Star Trek ever. Don’t bother @ing me or anything. I don’t care.
Bake Off is brilliant. I won’t here a word against it. The pitta challenge was stupid though, I’ll give you that.
The latest season of Bosch was a real return to form. Worth checking out, especially if you like your police shows used-to-be-in-The-Wire heavy.
Hip Hop Revolution continues to be great.
Frontier continues to be the stupidest thing on television and mesmerisingly perfect in every way. If you haven’t seen it, imagine Canadian history portrayed as being about eighty percent Jason Mamoa beating the crap out of people. I fucking love it.
And talking of stupid yet brilliant tv, have you seen Into the Badlands? It is wuxia-tastic. A very loose reinterpretation of the Monkey legend with lots and lots of stylised violence. And Nick Frost. Pretty much everything I need in a tv show.
The second, and last, series of Luke Cage didn’t get nearly as much love as it should have. Alfre Woodard and Theo Rossi were insanely good this year and the ending set up so much promise for the (now not going to happen) next episode. It’s also worth mentioning that the cancellation of Luke Cage means the end for one of the few big budget tv shows that has women directing half of its episodes (the same proportion as the second season of The Handmaid’s Tale).
Another Marvel show that doesn’t get enough love is Agents of Shield which, after a wobble in the middle of the first season, got really good and has remained consistently brilliant ever since. I don’t know why I’m trying to convince you to watch it. You won’t watch it. It is great though.
Yet another great Marvel series was Cloak and Dagger, which I think might have been a much bigger talking point if it was on Netflix. Not enough people have Amazon Prime for this to take off yet, but it will, and you heard it here first etc.
Yet another comic adaptation, Preacher, is another Amazon show. I could not even begin to describe how great Ruth Negga is in Preacher. She is incredible.
Finally, another one you know about, Hannah Gadsby’s Nanette. I mention it only because while there has been a lot spoken about the political and cultural aspects of it, I haven’t read much about the construction of the piece. It is so well put together, the way the mood lifts and falls. The control she has over the audience is incredible. Watch it again, and view it as a performance, as something that is not off-the-cuff but as something that has been honed and perfected. I don’t think I have ever seen anything so well made and performed. It’s breathtaking. There isn’t a writer or performer alive that couldn’t learn something from it.
Yes, I do watch too much tv. Yes, I will try to use the words great, incredible and brilliant less in future.