Another year, another great set of TV shows helping us while away the hours. But some shows stand above the rest as shining examples of what entertainment should be. Here are some of the staff’s top picks for the seasons we thought defined 2018.
Andrew Agress – The Haunting of Hill House
Haunting of Hill House proved to be another horror outing with more under its spooky surface than meets the eye. When I first heard about the show, I wasn’t immediately sold. Haunting of Hill House originally debuted as a novel which was adapted twice for the screen. What did a third adaptation have to offer? As it turns out, quite a lot. The Netflix show takes inspiration from by the novel and runs with it. Telling the story of a family that lived in the house years ago and how each member became impacted by what happened there in the present day, it effortlessly weaves horror with family drama. I expected scares, but I didn’t expect such a deep exploration of family and the events that can bind or divide its members.
Todd Black – The Rookie
I’m personally surprised that I’m not picking a superhero show, but the truth is, The Rookie is the best new show on TV in my opinion. Yes, there are a LOT of police procedurals, but the focus on teams of characters instead of just one or two, mixed with the fast-paced world of police patrol is very compelling. And this isn’t even mentioning the one and only Nathan Fillion, who grounds the whole show with his kindness, confidence, and believability as a man trying to do his best in a job where few want him to succeed. The Rookie proves you don’t need to reinvent a genre with a major game changer. You just need to tweak the formula a little.
Veronica Ciotti – American Vandal
American Vandal is one of Netflix’s strongest, most unique shows, which is why it’s a damn shame they axed it after its second season. The show is a mockumentary filmed in the style of crime documentary series like The Jinx and Making a Murderer. However, the stakes aren’t quite the same level as murder. In this second season, high school documentarians Peter Maldonado and Sam Ecklund return to solve the mystery of who dosed a Catholic prep school’s lemonade with laxatives at lunchtime. Things go about as you might expect, but the beauty of American Vandal is that it’s a lot more than juvenile toilet humor. Both seasons are compelling mysteries that draw heavily from true crime series in surprising ways. A hilarious satire develops into a great piece of storytelling. Here’s hoping that another network gives the show a chance in 2019 after its cancellation.
Sara Roncero-Menendez – The Good Place
If you hadn’t watched The Good Place, may I ask where the lovely rock you reside under is located? This show broke the mold, and then continued to break the mold every single season. How do they keep finding those molds to break? Frankly, who cares! With a show this good, I almost hope it never ends. Kristen Bell leads the charge of a dedicated cast of excellent actors in this drama about ethics, morality, and the universe that manages to be riotously funny every episode. Get on the bandwagon, it’s a meta-physical ride of a lifetime.
Matthew Paul – Hilda
The 1st season of this show caught me by surprise. The cartoonist look with it’s bright ambient colors displays the affluent mythological nature the show brings. Though clearly intended for a a younger audience, this show has something that all ages can enjoy. Comparisons to adventure time can be made to Hilda but let’s be frank; Hilda has has an actual plot and you know cohesiveness.