Arts & Culture

The Best TV Shows of 2019 (So Far)

If this slate of newcomers and returning favorites is any indication, we still haven't reached the peak of peak TV.
IMAGE JUSTIN SLEE/NBC
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Aided by a growing cadre of tech-entertainment hybrids, Hollywood is pumping out more content than ever. Most of that growth is in television, which after decades as the big screen's neglected younger sibling, is finally getting its turn in the spotlight.

Don't expect that to change this year. Already, audiences have been treated to a few gems—and there are many more series, new and returning, that are guaranteed to please. Here, the best television shows of 2019, both to watch now and to look forward to.

Russian Doll


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Netflix WATCH NOW

When Russian Doll debuted in early 2019, it set the bar extremely high for the year in television. Nadia (Natasha Lyonne) and Alan (Charlie Barnett) may not make much forward progress while stuck in a time loop, but the world of the show still manages to expand with every passing minute. In a tight eight episodes, the series packs in enough to compel you to watch again, digging through its layers to uncover new gems—not unlike the show’s namesake nesting dolls.

The Good Place


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NBC WATCH NOW

In its season three finale, everyone’s favorite philosophy-centric comedy managed to shake things up again, somehow returning Chidi, Eleanor, and the gang to another fake Good Place. It’s a safe bet that, come its return in the fall, The Good Place will only take an episode or two to flip this latest plot on its head.

Victoria


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Masterpiece PBS WATCH NOW

The third season of Victoria opens with an uprising. And just as King Louis Phillipe escapes his palace through a tunnel, the scene cuts to Queen Victoria, a crown firmly placed upon her head, her hand resting on her very pregnant belly. The juxtaposition is hardly subtle, and it previews what's to come over the next eight episodes: new babies and new challenges for the young British monarch, both in her kingdom and her marriage.


COMING SOON


Mrs. Wilson

PBS, premieres March 31, 2019

Actress Ruth Wilson will play her own grandmother in this British period drama, which will air on Masterpiece this spring. The three-part mini-series, based on Alison Wilson's memoirs, follows Wilson's journey after the death of her husband—a man who, we soon learn, Mrs. Wilson may not have actually known very well at all.

The Twilight Zone

CBS All Access, premieres April 1, 2019

For a few years there, sci-fi obsessives were touting Black Mirror as the new Twilight Zone—so it'll be interesting to see how the actual reboot carves out a space for itself. Jordan Peele—the maestro behind stranger-than-fiction Get Out— is at the helm, and fans are certainly rooting for him to pull it off.

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Killing Eve

BBC America and AMC, second season premieres April 8,2019

Things took a dramatic turn at the end of Killing Eve’s first season, even by the standards of this twisting spy thriller. Now with allegiances overturned, a spy networks in chaos, and a failed murder attempt hanging between them, MI5 agent Eve Polastri and the enigmatic assassin known as Villanelle each has to find her own way to move forward.

Our Planet


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Netflix, premieres April 5, 2019

Sometimes, you just need to hear David Attenborough narrate the world. Netflix understands. They've enlisted the creator of Planet Earth to make Our Planet, another docu-series in that vein.

Fosse/Verdon


FX, premieres April 9, 2019

We'd watch Michelle Williams in anything, but this new FX series seems particularly delightful. It's based on the lives of Bob Fosse and Gwen Verdon, whose creative and romantic partnership helped to shape the midcentury Broadway scene. Hamilton's Lin-Manuel Miranda and his frequent collaborator, Thomas Kail, will both executive produce; while Steven Levenson—the writer behind Dear Evan Hansen’s Tony-winning book—has been tapped as the series's showrunner.

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Game of Thrones

HBO, eighth season premieres April 14, 2019

It's really happening: the fantastical cultural phenomenon is coming to an end. Yes, we'll finally know who'll finish out the series atop the iron throne—but if the past seven seasons are any indication, it's going to be the continuous world-building, doomed romantic entanglements, and expertly choreographed battles that truly make this final run worth watching.

Les Misérables


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PBS, premieres April 14, 2019

Masterpiece PBS is bringing us the non-musical, non-movie version of Les Misérables we didn't know we needed (but are definitely excited about). The all-star cast, lead by Lily Collins, Olivia Colman, David Oyelowo, and Dominic West, only ups our anticipation.

Good Omens

Amazon Prime Video, premieres May 31, 2019

After years of niche acclaim, Neil Gaiman's novels have truly broken into the mainstream with Starz's adaptation of American Gods, and now Amazon's Good Omens. While there's always a touch of humor in Gaiman's work, Good Omens is perhaps his funniest story. As he says, "Almost thirty years ago, Terry Pratchett and I wrote the funniest novel we could about the end of the world... Three decades later it's going to make it to the big screen." David Tennant and Michael Sheen will lead the cast.

When They See Us


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Netflix, premieres May 31, 2019

Acclaimed director Ava DuVernay is bringing the story of the Central Park Five—a group of wrongly convicted young black men—to the small screen. The four-part limited series will star Michael K. Williams, Vera Farmiga, and John Leguizamo.

Big Little Lies


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HBO, second season premieres 2019

Big Little Lies's first season was a masterful look at the pathologies of the suburban housewife, and its sophomore run promises to the up the ante. The only thing that could make this show better, after all, is adding Meryl Streep.

Tuca & Bertie


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Netflix, premieres 2019

Fans of BoJack Horseman, Ali Wong, and Tiffany Haddish, rejoice: Tuca & Bertie is the answer to your prayers. The new animated show comes from the mind of Lisa Hanawalt, an illustrator and graphic novelist best known for designing the characters on BoJack. And like BoJack, the show follows animals—specifically Haddish and Wong as Tuca and Bertie, two 30-something birds living in the same apartment building.

The Crown


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Netflix, third season premieres 2019

While The Crown is entering its third season, with a refreshed cast, it's likely to feel new all over again. The show will reportedly cover the 1960s into the 70s, highlighting Prince Charles's investiture, the Space Race, the 1976 Montreal Olympics, and more.

Mrs. America


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FX, premieres 2019

Cate Blanchett will make her US television debut in Mrs. America, a series based on the fight to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment. Blanchett will play Phyllis Schlafly, a conservative woman who vehemently opposed the piece of legislation—and in the eyes of 1970s feminists, the enemy incarnate. Emmy winning writer Dahvi Waller, best known for his work on Mad Men, will serve as showrunner.

*This story originally appeared on Townandcountrymag.com

*Minor edits have been made by the Townandcountry.ph editors

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Chloe Foussianes
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