10 Best of Christmas: Best Television or Streaming of 2018

It has actually been an outstanding year for television and many of the best shows on television had their best years yet, but I’m most interested on shining the light on new stuff this year. So, while I do have a few picks here that are returning for a second season, I have mostly left off the longer running shows and concentrated on the original shows that blew me away this year. Don’t miss any of the solid television below. 

  1. The Looming Tower (Hulu)

This show brilliantly breaks down the conflict between two leaders trying to kill Usama Bin Laden at CIA and the FBI in the lead up to 9/11. Jeff Daniels and Peter Skarsgaard do some of their best work in this riveting series.

  1. Counterpart (Starz)

Two versions of J. K. Simmons, from two different dimensions, have to work together to stop a threat to both. This science fiction premise is plaid out like an old school espionage thriller with a twist. Plus, you are getting to watch one of the greatest character actors around work against himself. That’s worth the price of admission alone.

  1. American Vandal (Netflix)

This juvenile concept of a mockumentary is even better in its second season. And considering Netflix just dropped this show, I want to give it all the love I can. I mean, where else are they investigating poop crimes in a serious drama? 

  1. Barry (HBO)

Bill Hader is a hitman who decides to take acting lessons, but gets caught up in a murder investigation that leads right back to his class. If that doesn’t interest you then I don’t know what else to write. This show is brilliant and hilarious! 

  1. Glow (Netflix)

This season got even better than the last and that is why I had to include it. Alison Brie gives the performance of her career here, but it’s the depth of all the relationships that makes this show have such lasting affect on the audience. Both seasons I have now say through in one sitting. So good.

5. Westworld (HBO)

I wondered where this show was going to go after the shocking ending of the first season. Well, the direction it went was completely mind blowing and kept me consistently riveted through 10 outstanding episodes. I can’t wait to see what happens next!

4. Sharp Objects (HBO)

This show was one of the slowest burns I’ve sat through in a long time, but none of that time was wasted. When it all came to fruition, I was enthralled. Amy Adams and Patricia Clarkson deliver unforgettable performances in this murder mystery that’s more about the investigator than the investigation. This is also one of the more illuminating pieces I’ve seen on depression and suicide.

  1. The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Amazon)

Rachel Brosnahan is so brilliantly infectious as the up and coming comic Midge Maisel, that the rest of the show could just be her standing around talking to people at cocktail parties and it would be better than half the other shit on television. Luckily, the writing here is just as brilliant and that makes watching it a privilege. 

  1. Maniac (Netflix)

This is the most underrated show of this awards season. Jonah Hill and Emma Stone do better work than just about anybody else this year in any category, but they have been completely snubbed so far. Don’t let that keep you from watching this highly original show, that digs deeper into the human mind than anything I’ve seen since ‘Eternal Sunshine’ and shines a light on schizophrenia in a refreshing way. 

  1. Homecoming (Amazon)

Hands down the most cinematic experience of the year for me. This show has brilliant dialogue, a career best performance for Julia Roberts, and some of the most memorable sequences filmed in any medium this year. Combine that with a story that is truly thought provoking and a mystery that’s a blast to unravel, and you get the best show of 2018! Don’t miss it.

Nathan Ligon

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