The Best TV Shows of 2019 (So Far)
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
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
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
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.
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
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
BBC America and AMC,
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.
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.
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.
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.
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,
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
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
Big Little Lies's first season was a masterful look at the pathologies of the suburban housewife, and
Tuca & Bertie
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.
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.
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