2019 has been a weird old year for TV. Some of my all time favourite shows have released seasons this year and been absolute disappointments (I’m looking at you both Black Mirror and Game of Thrones), whereas there have also been some absolutely blinding surprises across the board as well.
There have also been some that I was really hyped about but for one reason or another, I just never got around to actually watching (Sorry Stranger Things) so I expect I have missed some absolute (Peaky) blinders off of this list and you will all be mad at me once again but I simply do NOT have time to consume all the media I want in a single year! I still haven’t even seen The Dark Crystal yet which I am sure would have made the list (sorry Alexx).
I wanted to fit The Mandalorian into my list, I really did but the last couple of episodes haven’t impressed me if I am being honest with myself and the shows I have below I am simply enjoying or have enjoyed more than what I have seen with Mando so far.
So to that effect, here is my list of my favourite TV Shows in 2019.
I never read Pullman’s novels and I never saw The Golden Compass, so I genuinely had no idea what this was about other than armoured Polar Bears. However, put Mcavoy into a TV show made by the BBC AND HBO and you will for sure get my eyes for an hour a week.
One of the surprises for me was that His Dark Materials has Dafne Keen and Ruth Wilson in and both of who give some of the best acting of their careers to date. It has made me very very excited to see where Dafne Keen’s career takes her next.
I am LOVING His Dark Materials, so much so that I have now bought all the books so that I can crack on with them and educate myself a bit more about Pullmans world.
This series isn’t perfect but… Much like the new Ghostbusters trailer I will literally be sold by anything that has Paul Rudd in it. In Living With Yourself Paul Rudd’s character is recommended a “spa” that will give him a new lease of life.
What this spa actually does is clone you, kill you and then have your younger clone live out the rest of your days. The problem is, they make a blunder on the “kill” part of this agreement, and Paul Rudd wakes up in his own grave and goes home to his younger, better self, and this is all episode 1.
From here, the series just gets more and more mental, ramping up the crazy to 11 throughout each of the 30 minute episodes. It was really refreshing to have a shorter form series from Netflix that was shorter, funnier episodes I could just binge in smaller amounts of time without having to set aside days of my life to make a start.
Also, it’s got Aisling Bea in it and she is a treasure. Cast Aisling Bea in more things you cowards.
This was the surprise hit of the year for me, Russian Doll takes the general “Groundhog Day” premise and puts it in a modern world where instead of just sleeping every night and waking up the same day, it happens to our two characters every time they die.
It reminds me of my favourite Supernatural episode: “Mystery Spot” where Dean dies every day and they have to wake up and try stop him dying all over again. This time however we got a whole, hilarious series about it.
If you haven’t got Russian Doll on your radar then please do add it, it’s so good and you definitely want to be one of those people who can say they saw it before series 2 made it incredibly popular.
I am a huge Terry Pratchett fanboy and Neil Gaiman – Not so much. American Gods Season 1 was one of my favourite series a few years back though, so when I heard the writer of THAT had written a book and it was being made into an Amazon Prime series starring David Tennant and Michael Sheen, I was all in.
Good Omens perfectly blends together the strengths of both authors whilst negating each others weaknesses when it comes to writing and this has been adapted perfectly into a series that I watched in a single sitting… And then rewatched a little while later in another single sitting.
Good Omens is funny, dramatic and over the top dealing with religion, children and a plethora of other things but is done so well that once you pop you really cannot stop.
At some point early in the year, everyone was banging on about Sex Education. Everyone was loving the British sensibilities the show conveyed when dealing with teenagers and sex. So many people told me to watch it that I did the opposite at first and completely ignored it.
Then I noticed that the kid from Hugo was in it so thought I would at least watch the one episode and I fell in love within the first few minutes of the show. Its so charming and funny that it’s just super easy to watch the whole series in one sitting… Which is what I did.
This is a quote from me when this TV Series was announced: “NOOOOO LEAVE IT ALONE YOU WON’T BE ABLE TO DO IT PROPERLY AND AMERICA WILL RUIN IT”
This is also a quote from me around the same time: “OOOOO it’s got Matt Berry in it, okay this could be incredible”
And it was incredible, it’s hilarious and dark and everything I wanted from the universe. I LOVE What We Do In The Shadows so much as a TV series I think it genuinely may have eclipsed the film… And I don’t say this lightly.
The Umbrella Academy is one of the few graphic novels I have on my radar that I have never actually got around to having a proper read of. Written by My Chemical Romance’s Gerard Way, The Umbrella Academy follows a school of orphans with special powers as they try and save the world whilst dealing with all the dysfunctional familial ties that us normal people would expect.
Also it’s got Robert Sheehan from Misfits and Tom Hopper from Black Sails in it, so it’s worth it just for those two alone.
Look what can I say about Brooklyn 99 at this point? It’s made the list 5 years in a row now and remains the funniest show to come out of America… ever? Yeah ill say ever. Brooklyn 99’s cast of characters is what keeps me coming back and whilst I do absolutely ADORE Andy Samberg… Captain Holt and Terry are the standouts in this series.
I love Brooklyn 99 and I need you all to watch it so that I am never scared by a cancellation for it ever again. WATCH IT PLEASE.
Catastrophe is so real and filled with raw emotion that it really hits home some of the issues that are featured in the show, however with this in mind it’s also the most charming and funny piece of TV I have watched all year.
I have been a fan of Catastrophe since Season 1 and the swansong for the series ends on such a bittersweet, perfect note that I honestly believe it’s the only TV show that’s ended well in 2019. There I said it, fuck you Game of Thrones.
EASILY my standout TV show of the year (Coz Witcher isn’t out yet as of the time of writing this article) is the hyper violent, incredibly funny The Boys.
When this was announced I was so worried they were going to tone down the language and the violence to make the show more accessible to Amazon’s audience but instead, they really doubled down on the language and violence easily ensuring The Boys got the top spot for me this year… That being said, I haven’t watched Preacher’s final season yet and this could pip it for me as I do love me some Preacherman!
Look. This is probably going to be my favourite show of the year and perhaps even all time if it’s done correctly. It’s no secret that I am a huge fanboy of this franchise, having read the books and played through all 3 games multiple times.
I even play Gwent at any given opportunity and have printouts of all the Tabletop RPG rules as well. I am a fan of The Witcher and I love Henry Cavill and everything I have seen of this so far has blown me away.Become a Patron!