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Thursday, December 13, 2018

Television Top Ten of 2018


Once again, the increased competition among network television, pay-cable outlets, and streaming services created a plethora of quality television from which to choose. The choices were many and varied with something to please even the most discerning viewer. Below, I list my year-end Top Ten (sorry, network television!) with a few words of free association about what tickled my television taste buds about each. Included at the end is a short list of shows deserving an honorable mention (There you are, network television!) that fell short of my Top Ten but nonetheless merit mention.

#10 – The Deuce (HBO)

At a glance: Hookers with hearts of gold and career ambitions set against a gritty Times Square backdrop circa 1977. Come for Maggie Gyllenhaal but stay for Emily Meade.

#9 – YOU (Lifetime)

At a glance: Based on a novel by Caroline Kepnes, YOU offers up a refreshing 21st-century take on stalking that leaves you questioning the real power balance between perp and victim.

#8 – TIE: The Alienist (TNT) and The Terror (AMC)

At a glance: Period piece terror at its finest.

#7 – The Kominsky Method (Netflix)

At a glance: Male version of Grace and Frankie. Come for the delightful camaraderie between Michael Douglas and Alan Arkin but stay for the ghostly advice of the divine Susan Sullivan.

#6 – Sharp Objects (HBO)

At a glance: Atmospheric Gillian Flynn adaptation dripping with gothic Southern tension. Come for Amy Adams, but stay for Patricia Clarkson. And Matt Brewer. And Elizabeth Perkins.

#5 – Pose (FX)

At a glance: Drag pageantry and pathos. Come for the colorful glamour and catty one-liners, but stay for Billy Porter’s career-turning performance.

#4 – American Horror Story: Apocalypse (FX)

At a glance: A fine return to form for the venerable anthology series. Come for Sarah Paulson and Kathy Bates as a terrible twosome, but stay for the delicious return of Joan Collins.

#3 – Killing Eve (BBC America)

At a glance: Oh, Sandra!

#2 – The Assassination of Gianni Versace (FX)

At a glance: Come for Darren Criss’s career-making performance, but stay for Judith Light who really shines.

#1 – The Haunting of Hill House (Netflix)

At a glance: Mike Flanagan continues to cement his reputation as one of horror’s best visual storytellers. Horror with family at its heart.

Honorable Mentions: Yellowstone (Paramount); Shameless (Showtime); Howard’s End (Starz); How to Get Away with Murder (ABC); Will & Grace (NBC); The Cool Kids (FOX); Murphy Brown (CBS).

Biggest Disappointment: Castle Rock (Hulu)

1 comment:

Jinzo 2400 said...

I don't have cable or streaming services but I will say that Patricia Clarkson is a marvel in whatever she does!! Good list and I really want to see "The Alienist".

found you by way of Rick Reed!