The second of our end of year reviews (check out the first, our 5 worst movies) is here and it’s our 5 favourite TV shows of 2019. With so many amazing new Netflix and Prime shows popping up regularly, this was a tough list to compile and went through a few changes!
Lee’s Top 5 TV
5: The Umbrella Academy – Season 1
I almost gave up on The Umbrella Academy. I feel it suffered from something that a lot of shows tend to suffer from – a high-concept entertaining first episode to draw you in, followed by second episode drag. I was ready to give up by the end of episode 3, but I stuck with it, and ended up loving it! Ending on a great cliffhanger, the show has thankfully been picked up for a second season. Read my review
4: Star Trek Discovery – Season 2
I’m not what you would call a Star Trek nerd. My first encounter was with ‘The Next Generation’, which I absolutely loved, but I’ve never really followed the rest religiously. I nearly gave up on season 1 of Discovery, when it got pretty Klingon heavy, but in what has become a running theme in my TV viewing, I’m glad I stuck with it! Season 2 saw the crew investigating seven mysterious signals and the appearance of a red angel, exhibiting everything I love about Star Trek – wonderful sci-fi storytelling involving interesting characters.
3: Rick & Morty – Season 4
At the time of writing, we’re currently only up to episode 5 of this long-awaited new season. I’m not sure it’s as funny as it used to be, but Rick & Morty still continues to display the fast-paced, bonkers, clever and hilarious storytelling which has already made this one of my favourite shows of all time.
2: The Boys – Season 1
When I first saw the trailer for The Boys, it looked like one of those shows that’s trying too hard to be outrageous, throwing lots of shock violence and plenty of swears at you. And while it does have all of that, it actually turned out to be a hell of a lot of fun too. Once you get past Karl Urban and his incredibly dodgy British accent, this dark and twisted take on the superhero genre is a real joy and more than worthy of the second season that’s incoming.
1: Undone – Season 1
A trippy, sci-fi drama dealing with grief, trauma and mental illness, beautifully told using a wonderful rotoscoped animation style and featuring a great cast, including Rosa Salazar and Bob Odenkirk. A second season has been announced, and I couldn’t be happier!
Deb’s Top 5 TV
5: Dead to Me – Season 1
Full of intrigue and great characters. This show twists and turns and packs more into each 30 minute episode than most shows fit into a whole series. It’s great to see Christina Applegate back playing recently widowed Jen, obsessed with funding her husband’s killer after he’d been killed in a hit and run accident. To say why I rated this show say highly would probably give away vital plot twists but if you subscribe to Netflix I urge you to watch it.
4: Sex Education – Season 1
I love pretty much everything about this show. Gillian Anderson plays Sex Therapist, Dr Jean F Millburn and Mum to awkward teenager Otis Millburn played by ASA Butterfield who, although having no interest in sex itself, helps out his fellow pupils to understand and realise their own sexual awakenings. It’s funny in all the right places and easy to binge watch. It’s really just about relationships of all kinds and I can’t wait for season two next year.
3: The Crown – Season 3
Olivia Coleman takes over as the Queen for the 3rd season of The Crown. The casting is spot on with Helena Bonham Carter also joining the cast to play slightly wayward sister to the Queen, Princess Margaret. It’s the moments in history that have me hooked the most from the miners strike, to the Aberfan disaster, to the moon landings this time spanning 1964 to 1977. The attention to detail is second to none and this will probably end up being one of my favourite programs of all time and not just 2019.
2: Fleabag – Season 2
To think there will only ever be two seasons of Fleabag is sad but it is also that’s just such a Fleabag thing to do. Phoebe Waller-Bridge has such an amazing and outrageous perspective on the world I just couldn’t help but love this show. Made even better by a superb supporting cast and the believable disfunctional relationships they all have with each other
1: Killing Eve – Season 2
I was late to the Killing Eve party and watched season one and two back to back on BBC iPlayer. I’m so glad I did. Although season one has the edge as far as drama, suspense, intrigue and comedy goes, season two still didn’t disappoint. This is so cleverly written and has so many “I can’t believe that just happened” moments, it’s real edge of the seat stuff. Pure joy and with a cliff hanger of a season finale who knows where it will go next or even if there will be a season three, I truly hope so as this was by far the best TV of the year.
Mark’s Top 5 TV
5: Schitts Creek: Season 5
I’ve been loving this very funny series right from the start and I’m so glad I discovered it.
It tells the story of a once wealthy family who suddenly go bankrupt and the only remaining asset they have is an ugly small town named Schitt’s Creek. The family is headed up by the fantastic Eugene Levy playing Johnny Rose who decides he should be the manager of the local motel and he’s just perfect in this role! In fact the whole casting of this show is perfect and I just find it a very fun watch, so I look forward to the 6th and final season hitting Netflix soon.
4: You: Season 2
Although season 1 of this excellent Netflix show aired in 2018, I didn’t actually get around to watching it until this year and so season 2 has literally just started streaming this week and although I’m not all the way through yet, I’m pleased to say it’s every bit as good as the first season, taking the main lead from New York now to L.A. and he’s just one of them bad guys you can’t help but love!
I kinda like shows when they take it from the bad guys view of things as I find that very interesting, getting inside the mind of someone not quite right.
3: After Life: Season 1
I might be slightly bias as I’m a big fan of Ricky Gervais, but I honestly think this is the best thing he’s written! it’s just so heartfelt and funny at the same time, dealing with our main lead Tony, played by Gervais, coping with the loss of his wife and just feeling so helpless. I’m so glad this is coming back for a second season in 2020 on Netflix.
2: Stranger Things: Season 3
To me, Stranger Things has never put a foot wrong and it’s got some of my favourite things in it, being set in the 80’s, so you get a great music score and a group of kids in the same vein as classics like the Goonies and Stand by Me. This latest season actually felt scarier than the previous and got a bit more serious but ended on a great cliff hanger/post credits scene setting it up for a great season 4.
1: Killing Eve: Season 2
Like Deb said, we were kinda late to the party on this one, watching season 1 earlier this year, but then we were just hungry for more straight away as it was just so addictive! Yes, it might not have been quite as good as the first season but damn it was still great TV and actually made a change that it wasn’t from one of the big streaming players like Netflix or Amazon.