Phil’s 5 Best & The Worst TV Shows of 2018

Phil’s 5 Best & The Worst TV Shows of 2018

Quick Review Year In Review

2018 was another epic year for TV.  Even if we did miss Game of Thrones!   Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime delivered again and even the BBC and YouTube jumped in with a good show or two.  Here’s my lost and the 5 best and The Worst TV shows of 2018…

 

The Must Watch…


TV Show of The Year: Cobra Kai
Nostalgia helped but Cobra Kai managed to step outside that to become a truly excellent Tv series.  Compelling, funny and FAR better than it had any right to be Cobra Kai  delivered across it’s first season and ended leaving you wanting more.

 

2. Nailed It
In Brief:  No i’m not going mad.  Nailed it is bloody brilliant and grabs you with it’s ample charm and silliness. It’s a show you can watch with your family (I do) and one that defines compulsive binge viewing.

 

3. Better Call Saul
In Brief: Better Call Saul finally gave us Saul Goodman this year and ended on a the dark downward spiral that would bring the character to what we know him in Breaking Bad.  It was captivating stuff, brilliantly directed and expertly acted.

 

 

4. Billions
In Brief:  Billions is just insane.  Lewis and Giamatti relish in their roles as they raise the fuckery weekly.  It’s sharp, silly yet brilliant all at the same time.

 

 

5. American Vandal 
In Brief: Season 2 of American Vandal took the ball and ran with it.  A poo based mystery once again played with all the tropes of the Serial style true Crime genre and delivered laughs, shocks and a mystery that kept you glued to the screen.

 

 

Bubbling under:
Star Trek Discovery (ending the season strong), The Waling Dead (Season 9 has reinvigorated the series) , Silicon Valley (Still delivering even without TJ Miller), Sharp Objects (trippy as hell), GLOW (a strong second season) , Bodyguard (Slick BBC thriller)

 

The Must Nots…

Miss of the year: The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story

In Brief: I loved the first series of American Crime Story.  It was amazing.  But for me the second series just didn’t connect.  Much like the Serial podcast the bar was SO high the first time out that Season 2 was always going to struggle.  And Struggle it did.  Overlong, confusing and at times dull there was little to grab me.

 

Other shows I check-out ion this year: American Horror Story: Apocalypse, Westworld, Altered Carbon, The Terror, Luke Cage, Iron Fist , High Maintenance

 

Phil’s 5 Best & The Worst TV Shows of 2017

Phil’s 5 Best & The Worst TV Shows of 2017

Quick Review Year In Review

2017 continued TV’s dominance over film.  With new shows launching almost weekly on Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime it was hit after hit with shows like Glow breaking new ground (well kinda) and the old guard like The Leftovers and Game Of Thrones hitting to put the park. Here’s my lost and the 5 best and The Worst TV shows of 2017…

(Yet to watch Narcos Season 3 or Punisher)

 

TV Show of The Year: Billions
In Brief: Season 1 of Billions was good but didn’t hit “great” for me.  Yet Season 2, playing like a suped up cross between Wolf Of Wall Street and Boiler Room just knocked it out the park and then some. Pacier, sharper and rounded, Billions just threw out great episode after great episode and did something really special – made an unlikeable lead character into someone you DIDN’T want to lose.

 

 

2. Game Of Thrones
In Brief:  It’s second to last season Game Of Thrones upped the pace, threw in some major events and introduced the theory of “jet packing”.  In truth it didn’t matter.  Whilst the storytelling has diminished the action, pace and fun has increased making for a breathtaking run.  Oh and THAT ending.  Just wow.

 

 


3. Stranger Things
In Brief: Season 2 fell SLIGHTLY short of Season 1. But that still makes it one of the best shows on TV.  With more characters, more back story and more episodes Stranger Things suffered a little from not being as tight as it was last year but by upping the horror it was for sure scarier than ever.

 

 

 

4. The Leftovers
In Brief:  For a show I quit in Series 1, it’s pretty amazing to have the show end as one of my favourites of the year.  But on the back of a knockout season 2, Season 3 pulled it all together in a surreal, confusing and often oblique way.  No clear answers were given but there was enough threads to draw conclusions. Beautiful, clever and frustrating.

 

 

 

 


5. Silicon Valley
In Brief: Into its fourth year, Mike Judge’s tech comedy continued it’s impressive recent run with another constant and entertaining season.  Whether it can maintain next year with the loss of TJ Miller is another question but for now it’s still one of the best shows on TV.

 

 

Bubbling under:
Veep
(funny as ever), Better Call Saul (captivating stuff) Fear The Walking Dead (now MUCH stronger than The Walking Dead), Mindhunter (Top Notch stuff from David Fincher), House Of Cards (Bloody good, even with all the issues), Line Of Duty (Proving the UK can still smash it out the park), GLOW (brilliant fun), American Gods (Insane), Star Trek Discovery (the makings of something special), American Horror Story Cult (One of the strongest season yet)

 

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Miss of the year: The Walking Dead

In Brief: Second year running! Falling from one of the best shows on TV at its height, The Walking Dead has been on a massive decline the past two seasons which culminated with a recent run of episodes that took on and then royally botched the All out War Arc from the graphic novels.  Add to that the recent ‘death’ of a major character (which would have meant MUCH more if it had been earnt), some terrible editing and increasingly poor production values (save for the VFX) and you have a show so far from it’s good days that it mostly now exists to be ‘hate’ watched.

Shame because in the right hands this show could have been unstoppable.

Phil’s 5 Best TV Shows of 2016

Phil’s 5 Best TV Shows of 2016

Quick Review Year In Review

So 2016 continued the golden age of television, outstripping it’s movie counterparts and delivering more essential must see content than any other medium: even with so many great shows either ended or in their twilight years.  So here’s my run down of my 5 favourite TV show for 2016… with a few nearly rans for good measure.

(Yet to watch Narcos Season 2 or Luke Cage)

 

 

TV Show of The Year: Westworld
In Brief: With a Nolan attached, THAT Cast and all the money HBO could throw at it Westworld could still have been a catastrophic flop BUT it wasn’t.  In fact it was revolutionary.  Yes Westworld is THAT good. From it’s complex plotting to it’s cinematic visuals, Westworld was a remake done right.  It’s just a sham we have to wait until 2018 to get the next part of the story…

2. Stranger Things
In Brief: Every so often a show or film comes from nowhere and captures the imagination of a generation, becoming a cultural phenomena along the way.  Stranger Things was THAT show.  The Spielberg/ Carpenter influenced style reminded everyone who lived through the 80’s how good the decade was (and how ripe it is for material like this), whilst the narrative, effects and performances kept people coming back for more.  With Season 2 production started, the Duffer’s have a mountain to climb to reach these heights again.


3. Game Of Thrones
In Brief: Once again hitting the Top 5, Thrones continues to be one of the best things on TV and season 6 was a real highlight.  From the reuniting of certain siblings, to the death of one of the most hated characters in the show Thrones stepped outside the constraints of its source material, picked up the pace, delivered several WFT moments and gave us a view on the future to come.  In short: Winter is coming.  And so are Dragons


4. The People Vs OJ Simpson: American Crime Story
In Brief:Who saw that coming?  A TV recreation of one of America’s most infamous trials starring a forgotten DTV Oscar winner alongside John Travolta and Ross from Friends, from the guy who made American Horror Story?  It couldn’t work.  But it did.  In spades.  And man was it good, delivering one of the best episodes of TV in 2016.   Gooding Jnr delivered as the narcissistic OJ but it was Sarah Paulson as Marcia Clark that stole the show.   If you missed it then you missed out for sure.


5. Silicon Valley
In Brief: Into it’s third year, Mike Judge’s tech comedy delivered it’s most constant and entertaining year to date.  Yes it’s throw away stuff but it’s damn funny with it.  It’s also sharp as a tack satire on the stupidity and excess of the Tech hub of the world with a convincing cast and cracking scripts.

 

Bubbling under:
Jessica Jones
 (another high quality Netflix/ Marvel TV show), High Maintenance (as surreal as comedy gets), Vice Principals (biting dark comedy), Veep (continued to graft another strong year),  The Night Of (Started well, dropped of a bit by the end), Better Call Saul (even stronger than last year), The Flash (ended season 2 strong and began Season 3 with a bang), Ash Vs The Evil Dead (still delivering)

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Miss of the year: The Walking Dead

In Brief: It wasn’t a BIG miss but the let down of Season 6’s ending (yes THAT cliff-hanger) after the Glenn fake out followed by a mostly lacklustre Season 7 so far has, for the first time, left me loosing a little interest in Rick and his crew.  The show is far from done for sure and there are still some great ideas and moments (Negan when used correctly is awesome) in it but overall it’s lost something this year and could be the sign that the shows lack of end game is starting to bite them.