The best TV shows of 2018
This was a great year for TV. From the drug-fuelled misadventures of Patrick Melrose (Benedict Cumberbatch) to the spicy thrills of Bodyguard, here's our 10 best TV shows of 2018.
Benedict Cumberbatch creates a palpitating performance in Patrick Melrose, based on the books by Edward St Aubyn. It's a funny and upsetting series that explores trauma, addiction, and the facetiousness of the upper-classes.
Patrick is an upper-class alcoholic drug addict with a habit of self-sabotaging his relationships, all because of his abusive father David (Hugo Weaving). The latter dies at the start of the series, and Patrick is burdened with painful memories. Even worse, he has to endure the pomposity of others in wealthy circles who were good friends with his father, saying what a great man he was. Little do they know...Read more ...
A town. A murder. A journalist. Sharp Objects sounds like a fairly predictable whodunnit, but it's so much more and may be the best executed series of the year.
Based on the debut novel by Gillian Flynn and devised by the Big Little Lies team (including director Jean-Marc Vallée), we’re inserted into the disturbed and depressed mind of journalist Camille (Amy Adams). She returns to her unloving family and the strange, conservative town of Wind Gap to report on the murder of a teenage girl.
2018 was home to two interpretations of the John Paul Getty kidnapping: a two-and-half hour movie by Ridley Scott, and a 10 hour TV series by Simon Beaufoy. Who could’ve predicted that the series would be better?
With a hard and brilliant performance from Donald Sutherland as oil tycoon John Paul Getty (arguably better than Christopher Plummer in the film version), this is a strange, surreal, and chaotic examination into one of the most bizarre tales of the 20th century.Read more ...
The Haunting of Hill House is more than a horror series, it's a painful family drama. When sister and daughter Nell (Victoria Pedretti) decides to commit suicide, the Crain family join together again and endure the grief of that loss. But they still see her, as well as a number of other creepy spectres lingering around their day to day lives.
Writer/director Mike Flanagan (Gerald's Game) takes us on a journey that’s not only terrifying, but heartbreaking too.Read more ...
Yes, it's a kids' show, but it's the darkest kids' show on television. In fact, any grown-up who doesn’t enjoy this excellent series isn’t worth knowing.
A Series of Unfortunate Events captures the darkness of Tim Burton, the symmetry of Wes Anderson, and the absurd humour of Monty Python. The bleak journey of the Baudelaire orphans as they’re aggressively pursued by the evil Count Olaf (Neil Patrick Harris) is worth bingeing to the max, even if your heart feels flat by the end.
Like Trust, Succession is another series centred around a ridiculously wealthy family. Logan Roy (Brian Cox), like John Paul Getty, is the fierce and behind-the-times billionaire patriarch in charge of a massive media empire. His sons and daughter are in charge of various departments in the company, and the question of who succeeds him after retirement is thwarted when, out of the blue, he decides not to leave.
This is a gloriously black and hilarious satire from Thick of It writer Jesse Armstrong.
Spy dramas aren’t reserved for expired Bond types any more. Adapted from the books by Luke Jennings, this stylish thriller Killing Eve centres around two women on opposite sides of the law. Eve (Sandra Oh) is a former MI5 agent and Villanelle (Jodie Comer) is a psychopathic assassin, both tied in a game of cat and mouse (but which one’s which?).
With some excellent writing, thrilling performances and beautiful visuals, it’s a fun and picturesque ride.Read more ...
Ever curious about polyamory? Well, writer Nick Payne has answers. But Wanderlust is about more than extramarital sex. Payne explores relationships, how they change and develop and shape themselves, through the eyes of an ensemble of hilarious and emotional characters. And his dialogue is so natural that it’s like being dropped into a real conversation.
Toni Collette is especially absorbing as Joy, a wife and mother who first suggests polyamory to her husband.Read more ...
Arguably the best series to be released in 2018, My Brilliant Friend follows the childhoods of two girls growing up in a dodgy neighbourhood in ’50s Naples.
Based on the Neapolitan novels by Italian writer Elena Ferrante, this is a coming of age tale that’s all at once dazzling and gritty, horrible and lovely, terrifying and heartfelt.
Despite criticism of a male director being assigned to the series, Saverio Costanzo and co-writers Laura Paolucci and Francesco Piccolo create a tough insight into growing up as a woman in a fiercely violent and patriarchal community.
Read our 5-star review of episode oneRead more ...
Arguably the most exciting action series since 24, Bodyguard is a fiery, sexy counter-terrorism thriller focusing on a controversial British politician Julia (Keeley Hawes) and her assigned bodyguard David (Richard Madden).
Being ex-army, David is inwardly distressed by Julia’s statements about the military and his loyalty weakens. And when several attempts are made on Julia’s life, we start to wonder: is David involved?Read more ...
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