Samuel Brace on the best TV shows of 2018…
Well, we are finally here, a stone’s throw away from Christmas and less than half a month until the end of the year. It’s been a truly splendid 12 months for TV, we’ve seen new arrivals ruffle all sorts of feathers and we’ve had returning favourites reiterate their dominance on the television landscape. From westerns to sci-fi, superheroes to crime dramas, we’ve been treated to the lot, and what a treat it has been. Previously in our TV ‘best of’ series, we have look at 2018’s television offerings from a number of different angles, we’ve highlighted the best TV moments of 2018, the best TV characters of 2018, and, most recently, the best new TV shows of 2018. But now we come to the big one, the one that really matters, the one where we cast our eye back and pick out the very best shows, returning or new, that wowed like no others. There are plenty of gems to choose from but there are five shows in particular that simply rise to the top. So, let’s have at it. Here are the best TV shows of 2018.
I must preface this first entry by saying that the fifth spot on this list was a running gun battle between The Haunting of Hill House and Legion, but the latter pips it for the simple reason that its highs were just so astonishingly high in season two, even if its lows were beneath anything Hill House managed. At its best, Legion season two was borderline miraculous television, the best that the TV superhero genre has managed, dazzling us with visual splendour and gripping us with its emotional heft. Legion is truly unlike any other superhero show, it’s certainly not for everyone, but David’s downward descent (a decent paved by the Shadow King) was undeniably brilliant in its execution. And that soundtrack! Goodness, gracious.
Maniac has fared pretty well in this series of ‘best 2018 TV’, finding itself on the best new TV list and Justin Theroux’s brilliant Dr Mantleray placing on the best TV characters list. It also has to have a presence here as it truly is one of 2018’s brightest stars. Striking the perfect balance between dark and light, misery and hilarity, Maniac is TV sci-fi at its very best, presenting fascinating characters, intriguing technology, and a story that engages from start to finish. Maniac doesn’t drop the ball throughout and provides the perfect example of how a one-off TV event should be done. We don’t need to see Annie and Owen or James and Azumi ever again; their fates are far better left to the imagination. Congratulations, Maniac. You were a complete success.
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