My Top 10 TV Shows of 2019
1. Succession (HBO) - I always fall for shows like this. The combination of power-hungry but vulnerable rich people, enhanced with devious schemes, back-stabbers, and a healthy dash of technicalities from the world of finance and mergers and acquisitions is just riveting television to me. And it doesn't hurt that the acting is stellar and the production is top-notch. Succession, for me, is a dark comedy that treads on very high stakes. Unlike another favorite show of mine, Billions, which is exclusively dramatic and technical, Succession presents the 1% as insecure, fallible, and even stupid. Now, who doesn't want to watch that?
2. Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Amazon Prime Video) - The production values of this gem of a show is above and beyond. It is chic, sharp, and very Mod. It is a throwback in style but forward-facing in substance. Very empowering not only for women but for all genders who are struggling with facing and accepting who they really are. Rachel Brosnahan is magnetic here and so are the rest of the cast.
3. Game of Thrones (HBO) - I love the final season. Anyone who thinks Dany's actions were unwarranted and not true to character must renew their subscriptions and rewatch the whole series or read the books. For (seven) God's sake, she was a Targaryen! Fire, Blood, and cold-blooded, wholesale slaughter is in her blood. Sure we wanted her to be the savior-breaker of chains godess but yeah, tough luck. But we should never say that whatever she did came from nowhere. This show is was up there on the top.
4. Watchmen (HBO) - Damon Lindelof's masterpiece has always been The Leftovers. I never saw that show, which is a shame. And in this age of content abundance, it is very difficult to look back and devote watch time to a show that aired years ago for the fear of missing out on the new ones. So I didn't pass up on the chance to check out his new show, Watchmen.
Based on the graphic novel/comic book by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons, this retelling is loaded with modern social and cultural issues that instantly grabs your attention. And with the addition of crisp cinematography and genius storytelling, this show is truly one of the best. My favorite episode is the noir-influenced one about Hooded Justice. It's just blatantly beautiful.
5. Unbelievable (Netflix) - This mini-series on Netflix is one of those things that lingered in my head days after finishing it. It is a crime drama based on real events that shows how well-meaning people make unfounded and often bias-laden judgements which results in severe consequences that destroys lives.. It is a lesson about truth and the dangers of a system that does not look out for the misunderstood.
6. The Mandalorian (Disney +) - As a Star Wars fanatic, anything set in a galaxy far far away is up for my consumption. Sheryl actually had to rejigger our Fios service so that we can avail of the free one year Disney + offer for new customers – a tedious process that resulted in multiple phone and online arguments, loss of appetite, sleep deprivation, and migraines. But hey, that Baby Yoda made all that worthwhile!
7. The Boys (Amazon Prime Video) - With the trend of giving our classic superheroes darker personalities, which unfortunately for Superman, only meant stubbles and subtle mood swings, the creators of The Boys went farther to make their superheroes darker and more human by rendering them as self-important, condescending, arrogant, and perpetual assholes. I cannot blame these superheroes though. If you can fly and blast laser from your eyes, you would probably have zero patience for the bullshit that most humans carry on their shoulders. Will you rescue a yacht in the middle of the arctic sea filled with billionaires who have ripped off every 401K and savings account of hard working citizens? You will probably spend time marveling at your biceps instead.
8. Chernobyl (HBO) - I always tell Sheryl that any show that has Jared Harris is a good show. From Mad Men to The Terror, the guy is just a magnificent thespian capable of elevating weird shows into compelling ones. The beauty of Chernobyl though is not limited to Jared's gifts. It is a show that demands people's attention because it highlights the perils of governments that prioritizes power over people. We all know what happened based on what we were told on the news but we know little of the cover-up or the massive extent of the damage that still rages on many decades after the accident.
9. Killing Eve (BBC America) - One of my main reasons for liking a show is the music. And damn, this show's music is incredibly influential.. So influential that I wrote a bunch based on the songs featured in it. But that is just icing on the cake. The show is just superb.
Sandra Oh is brilliant here as a detective in pursuit of a cunning but incredibly charming assassin played by the equally marvelous Jody Comer. The series is based on the Villanelle novels by Luke Jennings. It is worth mentioning that the show running here is the phenomenal Phoebe Waller-Bridge, whose Amazon Prime Video series Fleabag is currently enjoying massive popularity.
10.The Morning Show ( Apple TV +) - The television industry is currently under close watch not just because of changes in technology or viewing habits but also in terms of ethical behavior in the workplace. Several high-profile executives have been in the news for misconduct which led to dismissals and even court cases. Apple's first foray into television dives deep into that with The Morning Show, a fictional series that bares an uncanny resemblance to a real one that is still on air.
Starring Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon, the series takes a closer look at how sexual misconduct in the workplace can affect not only the work but most importantly, the victims of a system that was not designed to protect them.