Wow, 2019 has been quite the year for TV. There have been hundreds, if not thousands, of new releases across all of the streaming platforms, premium networks, and basic cable television channels over the last 360ish days. after countless hours of couch potato-ing this year, I’ve narrowed my must-watch list down to these five shows. There are tons of others that are just barely outside the top five, and it took me quite some time to choose these, but below are the shows that stood out to me the most throughout all of 2019. I will do my best to keep the spoilers to a minimum, but beware as you move forward!
#5 – Euphoria (HBO)
Euphoria was unlike any other show of 2019, and quite possibly the history of television for that matter. It revolves around a group of high school kids that are battling addiction, self-image issues, and their sexuality all while partying non-stop almost every single day of their lives. I don’t know if this is actually what high school is like now, but it definitely was not like that back before I graduated. The main character, Rue, is played by Zendaya, and I thought she played a strung-out 16-year-old in the best possible way anyone ever could. Watching her struggle with her issues throughout the season actually made me feel for her, and the show does a great job of showing how difficult certain personality traits can be to deal with once mixed with death and drugs. Not to mention, on top of all the spectacular stuff that they have going on is an even more incredible soundtrack. This show won’t be for everyone, but I think anyone who doesn’t at least give it a shot is truly missing out.
#4 – Carnival Row (Hulu)
Hulu released quite a unique in Carnival Row this August as well. Classified as an American neo-noir fantasy series, Carnival Row submersed you into a realm where humans and Fae’s (faires) coexist. There are, of course, other fantasy beasts through the show, but most of the storyline revolves around the humans and Faes. Cara Delevingne and Orlando Bloom did a superb acting job as they played their characters Vignette and Philo. As more and more fantasy television series come out each year, it becomes very hard to create new plots that actually draw you in. That was not the case with Carnival Row, however, as I constantly found myself at the edge of my seat throughout entire episodes. The second season has already kicked off production, so be sure to watch season one before the next season comes out in 2020.
#3 – Chernobyl (HBO)
This was a show that if you asked me three months ago I thought it would be the best show of the year, I probably would have said yes. Unfortunately for it, Q4 was absolutely stacked with great TV, and HBO’s historical miniseries Chernobyl fell down into third place. They did an excellent job of telling this story that many of us know, but not all that well. I knew the premise of Chernobyl and that there was a bad Nuclear catastrophe, but had no idea of the complexities of things that followed. Even though this is #3 it is a must watch show for everyone. There is no reason to not give this show a chance, especially since it’s only a five-part series that will last you five and a half hours tops.
#2 – Succession: Season 2 (HBO)
It was very hard for me to put this at #2 as Succession is hands down one of my all-time favorite HBO shows. It probably only falls behind Game of Thrones and The Sopranos, but it very well has the potential to climb to the top with how season two went down. Succession revolves around the Roy family, which is a multi-billion dollar media conglomerate that is vying to become the biggest media network in the U.S. HBO could not have nailed the casting for this show any better either, as the actors and actresses have such chemistry that you would think they are all actually related. It blends a touch of madness with insane amounts of dry comedy and curveballs to last a lifetime. I’ve heard that many people are turned off by this show because, “it’s too businessy,” but ill tell you right now that is not even remotely the case. There are very few things within the show that aren’t easily understandable, and for those few things that are a simple google search will clear everything up in a matter of seconds. This show has quite the future ahead of it, so hop on the Succession train before it leaves the station.
#1 – The Witcher (Netflix)
The Witcher is Netflix’s adaptation of both CD Projekt Red’s The Witcher video game series and Andrzej Sapkowski’s best-selling Witcher novels. It has not even been out a week yet, but I 100% can say that no other TV show was even close to topping this in 2019. I was already a huge Witcher fan before I knew they were making a show, but not knowing any of the backstories should not stop anyone from watching. It’s a mix between Game of Thrones, The CW’s Supernatural, and The Shannara Chronicles that will keep you wanting more and more as each episode progresses. On top of the incredible storyline, you will find some of the best acting of 2019 by both Henry Cavil (Geralt) and Anya Chalotra (Yennefer). Netflix also did an incredible job with all of the fighting sequences and use of magic, and dare I say this may be better than Game of Thrones once all is said and done. I know its early, but if Netflix continues to pump out seasons of The Witcher at this quality they will easily have one of the most successful TV franchises of all time. My only concern is that I binged it within 48-hours of it being out and now I have to wait at least another 365 days to see any more.
Supernatural’s (The CW) final season, The Righteous Gemstones (HBO), and Watchmen (HBO) are three of the honorable mentions that fell just short of this list (along with literally hundreds of others). But it all comes down to how much of the show makes me wanting more, and the five above did just that with every single episode. Be sure to go check out these shows, and when you’re done head on over to Summary.org to read each and every review we have posted about them.
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