We are halfway into 2019 and we’ve already been spoiled by some of the most groundbreaking, divisive and utterly brilliant television series, including Game of Thrones, Deadly Class, Too Old To Die Young and Doom Patrol. Check out my top 10 TV shows of 2019 – SO FAR.
#10. I Think You Should Leave with Tim Robinson
Tim Robinson‘s sketch comedy series ‘I Think You Should Leave’ is seemingly an entirely new brand of humor that I didn’t know existed and it introduced me to the kind of laughs I don’t think I can live without now after watching it all. Robinson’s brand of absurdist comedy may not be for everyone (my wife did NOT get it) but I was on the damn floor unable to breathe because I was laughing so hard.
If any of these short sketches were originally proposed for SNL while Robinson was working there – they lost out. Badly. Dumbasses.
#9. Black Mirror
We wound up getting THREE new episodes of Black Mirror this year on Netflix so thanks as always to the most reliable writer on this measly planet – Mr. Charlie Brooker for bestowing upon us gems like ‘STRIKING VIPERS’. This dude is without a doubt the most clever and twisted writer working in TV today and that episode alone, which takes a jab at virtual reality gaming might be the most shocking and original thing on Netflix today.
I don’t want to ruin ANYTHING or even give plot details, but I will say that I was shocked, confused and confused again while watching Striking Vipers. But that’s a good thing because Black Mirror is thought-provoking story telling of the highest caliber and if you’ve ever played a VR game, chances are you haven’t played it like this. Yet? You deviants.
For starters – FUCK YOU SYFY for cancelling Happy! this year…
I don’t know if Grant Morrison ever expected his comic would evolve into this beautiful monster but thanks to showrunner Brian Taylor’s “no fucks given” vision and Christopher Meloni’s unhinged leading performance, HAPPY! has become the most original TV series on the air because it doesn’t limit itself to any genre in particular. The only genre that HAPPY! can be classified as, would be “fucking awesome” – and nothing else. (Full review HERE)
#7. The Umbrella Academy
Netflix made the right choice by scooping up this Darkhorse Comics franchise and the end results are more than satisfying for this die-hard fan of Gerard Way’s source material. The Umbrella Academy is about a dysfunctional family of superhuman foster children raised as vigilantes who come together to try and stop the end of the world once more as adults.
The first season does a wonderful job adapting the best moments from the comic while keeping fans on their toes with some nasty twists and turns. I don’t know how they are going to make a second season, but I want to see it anyway and you can credit Robert Sheehan’s performance for a large percentage of that fandom.
There may not be a better series on air right now that manages to mix black comedy alongside a thrilling crime saga. In fact – Barry is SO GOOD, that it might be the best comedy/drama series to mash the two genres together since Breaking Bad. Bill Hader is a treasure and we don’t deserve him. This sophomore season we saw what has to be his best acting performance to date of any project the comedic actor has been involved in.
Anthony Carrigan’s breakout performance as NoHo Hank is also a revelation that we weren’t prepared for, and I don’t know if the series would be the same without his involvement. Barry season two might be one of the best second season runs I’ve ever seen in fact and it features one of the wildest episodes of television ever made – #5 “ronny/lily” – aka the one with the feral martial arts child. I could watch that episode again and again – there is literally nothing else like it.
HBO’s five-episode mini-series about the Nuclear disaster in Chernobyl is the scariest five-hour movie ever made. Creator Craig Mazin has crafted a masterful re-telling of the meltdown both literally and politically as Russia scrambles to lie their way out of what is hands down the worst man-made disaster in the history of our planet.
Jared Harris should and WILL win an Emmy for his role as Valery Legasov, the expert scientist that the government brings in to help try and ‘fix’ the reactor explosion. The blunt and brutally honest way in which he delivers such terrifying information to his peers who have no idea the true consequences of breathing radioactive particles, makes for some of the most uncomfortable and realistic TV you may ever see. Chernobyl is the best HBO mini-series to date.
#4. Deadly Class
For starters – DOUBLE FUCK YOU SYFY for cancelling Deadly Class this year…
Deadly Class is masterful television and a series so good that it not only succeeds as an adaptation, but it actually improves upon the source material much in the same way Kick-Ass the movie — kicked the comic book’s ass in the process. There’s an entire episode where Marcus is on an assassination roadtrip while high on acid – making for the coolest kill-tastic tribute to Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas imaginable. (Full review HERE)
#3. Doom Patrol
I didn’t read the comics so I wasn’t prepared when a villain called The Beard Hunter proceeded to scoop up a massive clump of facial hair from the drain of a sink and proceeded to swallow it whole and nearly orgasm while doing it… Doom Patrol is the strangest and most compelling superhero TV series on air and it happens to feature some of the greatest and most surprising performances of 2019 as well, most notably Brendan Fraser’s turn as the foul-mouthed Robot Man.
The DCU app has a bonified hit on their hands with this one and I hope they continue the series for a long time because those first 15 episodes were incredible. And weird, but if you’re OK watching a giant rat and cockroach make out with one another, then you’ll live.
#2. Too Old To Die Young
Nicolas Winding Refn’s latest masterpiece happens to be a 13-hour long movie hidden on your Amazon Prime apps. If you’re a fan of his films Drive or Bronson, then Too Old To Die Young will likely satisfy some of your twisted neo-noir crime cravings but be warned that this series is wildly strange and more bizarre than anything you’ll probably ever see.
Think Pulp Fiction by way of David Lynch unleashed in his Twin Peaks the return mode. The show (or long ass movie) has some of the best soundtrack choices I’ve ever heard and as long as you’re willing to give the sometimes unbearably slow pacing a chance to breathe and let the setting really soak into your brain, then you’ll end up having the cinematic ride of your lives people. Episode 8? What in the fffffff. Refn is here to take all of your expectations and shatter them brutally in front of your eyes. And he’ll make you love it too like the filthy humans you are. I’m still thinking about this show and I finished it quite some time ago. It truly is a work of art. (insert Billy Baldwin’s tiger growling scene here to nail my point home further)
#1. Game of Thrones
Game of Thrones puts shame to major motion pictures and delivers movie-quality special effects and action in ways that no other TV series before it has ever been able to do. This isn’t just the best season to date, it’s the final stamp on Thrones’ ‘GREATEST OF ALL TIME’ card. I don’t understand the criticism aside from maybe wondering why these people’s TV’s aren’t working correctly… Or their eyes… Or brains… Could be a few things, with a healthy dose of unfulfilled expectations syndrome.
In episode 3, everything from the initial wave of the undead crashing into Winterfell’s forces, to the jaw-dropping conclusion which had me literally yelling “F*** YEAH!” a few too many times — ‘The Long Night’, is officially my favorite chapter in the Game of Thrones saga. Ramin Djawadi’s score is absolutely masterful throughout but in episode 3 he was out there changin’ lives man. Unreal. (Full review HERE)