Best Of 2018: Our Top 20 Shows (20-11)

It may have something to do with the world being constantly on fire right now and the need for distraction from said fire (“this is fine”), but our Top 20 for 2018 is dominated by comedy. Admittedly, it’s mostly humor that comes from a darker place than Morrissey has ever known, but comedy nonetheless. Having said that, we open with two shows with more serious undertones, although one of them is a spin-off for another classic show’s comic relief (but it’s all good, man). Without further ado, it’s time to start running … this TV show countdown … with one of the most innovative chapters of perhaps the most vanguard-y shows on now — a show which made it onto our list again this year, but with just one episode. Also, great television would appear to happen while sitting!

Check out Our Favorite Characters of 2018 here!
And Our Favorite Episodes of that same year here!
Top 10 Coming Tomorrow!

20 Black Mirror 20

top20bandersnatch

[Netflix]

Black Mirror did not have a proper season this calendar year, but it did have Bandersnatch, a choose your own adventure episode that was both very Netflix and very Black Mirror. Set in the ’80s, the show presents a programmer who slowly goes crazy working on a video game based on a CYOA novel (of sorts) called Bandersnatch. According to some estimates the possible choice combinations number close to a trillion. No matter which choices you make, stick it out and it’s a rewarding experience. – Brad
Filicky

19 Better Call Saul 19

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[AMC]

As crushed as he was by his brother Chuck’s death, Jimmy let Howard shoulder the blame. He also comes up with a cell phone scam while on probation. Gus and Mike arrange for long-term housing of Werner’s team that has it’s own complications. And Kim? You are a saint. Four seasons in and Better Call Saul continues to stand on it’s own, coming out of the Breaking Bad shadow. – Brad Filicky

18 Bob’s Burgers 18

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[Fox]

The animated Belcher family is a light in the dark. Too much Dirty John? Was American Crime Story, with its reminders of the horrors of “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” too much? The last season of Bob’s will cleanse your palate. There’s the one where Louise orchestrates a prize heist against Mr. Fischoeder (“The Taking of Funtime One Two Three”), the one where the kids get tricked into bad lessons about entrepreneurship (plus cardboard forts and googly eyes; “Tweentrepreneurs”), Gene’s first sleepover (“Cheer Up, Sleepy Gene”), and a maybe-haunted house (“”Mo Mommy, Mo Problems”). Every year we turn to the Belchers as a respite, and they never fail us. Their dedication to each other while finding newer, wilder (yet believable!) hijinks brings not just comfort but unmatched joy. – Katherine M. Hill

17 Crashing 17

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[HBO]

It’s fun to watch Pete Holmes grow into himself, both as the characterized version of himself he plays on his HBO show and as showrunner of the show that chronicles an alternate representation of his life. The writing on the show has gotten edgier and more confident this year. Watching Pete’s foibles and triumphs has never been more poignant. – Brad Filicky

16 Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt 16

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[Netflix]

By the time you read this the last seven episodes of Kimmy Schmidt have dropped on Netflix and you’ve probably binged them. The story may be over, but the first episodes of season four that were released in 2018 were as sharp and quick as ever, throwing more jokes at you in 30 minutes than vintage 30 Rock. We will miss you Kimmy, Lillian, Titus and Jacqueline. Oh, and DJ Fingerblast thank you for taking us on your journey to find DJ Slizzard (with a brief sojourn to meet stone skipping champion in a mostly standalone mockumentary for Houseflix (wink, wink!). – Brad Filicky

15 Homecoming 15

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[Amazon Prime]

This psychological thriller is executive-produced and stars Julia Roberts as Heidi Bergman, a caseworker at Homecoming — a facility that helps soldiers transition back to civilian life. She’s moved on and can’t remember much when the Department of Defense comes poking around years later. As the Sam Esmail directed season progresses, Heidi begins to recall what happened there and why she wanted so badly to forget. It’s the old Government-funding-super-shady-programs shtick, huh? And I’m sold. Extra points for being an adaptation from a podcast, a stellar performance from Stephan James (If Beale Street Could Talk) and a cliffhanger ending. – Navani Otero

14 American Crime Story: The Assassination of Gianni Versace 14

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[FX]

American Crime Story was a heartbreaking, bleak, and violent look into a crime that briefly captivated the media in the ’90s (and always stuck with me) As the second installment of the ACS anthology, it comes to life without Ryan Murphy’s usual sensationalism. Significantly better than the much-lauded The People v. O. J. Simpson, Versace blends the lurid with horror, suspense, and a thick ribbon of empathy, particularly in its scenes with Gianni Versace and the episode “House by the Lake.” It’s not so bold to call Versace Ricky Martin, Cody Fern (it’s not AHS), Édgar Ramírez, Darren Criss and Penélope Cruz’s best work (it’s galling, though, that only Criss has taken an award home for his performance as Andrew Cunanan). – Katherine M. Hill

13 Barry 13

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[HBO]

It may be a strange way to laud the first season of a series to say I’m debating whether I will tune into its second season. Barry, Bill Hader’s serio-comic tale of a burnt out hit man facing an existential crisis who wanders into an acting class taught by Henry Winkler’s passionate-if-slightly-blundering Gene Cousineau, and is instantly hit by the bug, has an opening act so perfectly storied and constructed, that it’s hard to see it not getting repetitive in following seasons. Or, it may just be {SEMI-SPOILER ALERT} that its shocking ending works perfectly in a self-contained mini-series, but foretells a future so bleak, it will be hard to stomach. In any case, while Hader’s Barry is an incredible performance (and case study) by itself, the show succeeds as a combination of its absurd universe of unique freaks — especially Cousineau and Anthony Carrigan’s creepily giddy Chechen gangster Noho Hank, and its absolute unpredictability. And that unpredictability extends to its basic premise. In most shows, Barry would be a natural actor whose chops were long wasted due to depressing circumstance. However, Barry pretty much sucks. He’s actually a MUCH BETTER hit man. But maybe he’ll get better at acting — starting … NOW! – Jason Thurston

12 You’re The Worst 12

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[FXX]

Ah, the anti-love story of Gretchen and Jimmy continues. What keeps this show refreshing — besides the punchy, sarcastic writing — is the creators’ take on the rom-com deconstructed. It turns everything we’ve been trained to expect from a romantic sitcom and turns it on its head. There may or may not be a happily-ever-after for these two. At first, it was reassuring to watch two people who are a mess find and torment each other, but it’s gotten so much deeper than that. This season we learn how much of the cast’s awful behavior is conditioned from previous experiences – whether it’s Edgar’s PTSD, Gretchen’s broken relationship with her mom or Jimmy’s never feeling good enough for his dad. They continue to fumble around into adulthood but there is substantial growth happening so it’s not all for naught. The gang all seems to be on a better path as the season ends and there may still be a wedding yet! – Navani Otero

11 One Day at a Time 11

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[Netflix]

I watched it all in one sitting in the beginning of February (as one does) and looking back I can’t believe how much happened. This season tackled mental health and the stigma surrounding taking medication, voting rights and citizenship, and Elena’s queer identity. Netflix is just about to drop season three, but there’s still time to binge the first two seasons of this vital, yet oddly under-the-radar reboot. – Fiona Wiedermann

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