Top 10 TV Shows of 2019
By Jessica Meisels
So, you're either stuck at home bored af, in a rel with nothing to talk about, or you've exhausted repeats of The Nanny and Seinfeld (I know my audience). That's cool. You've come to the right place. Built when I was an unemployed, avid tv watcher I utilised this time not to build new skills like Excel or Photoshop, but to build an extensive list of shows. Because I'm a giver. It's for YOU, the people. I'm the Patron Saint of TV, basically. So, if you're not sure what to watch, cruise the handy list below. Don't forget the Maltesers (please endorse me asap).
Note: Television shows are not affiliated with any advertisers, opinions are totally at author’s discretion-which means not GoT or Chernobyl
Part Pulp Fiction, Part Sex Education and Part Totally Fucking Weird, this British teen angst-come-good show is impossible to stop. And don't worry - consider the current climate, it isn't ACTUALLY about the world ending. We have real life for that. With a current 93% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, this dark comedy/drama based on the comic book series by Charles Forsman follows two high school misfits James (Alex Lawther) and Alyssa (Jessica Barden) as they plan a getaway gone wrong. With top notch acting, cinematography and wild soundtrack to boot, it wasn’t hard for this show to snatch the #1 spot for the year’s best television show.
Watch if you like: The Inbetweeners, Sex Education, Pulp Fiction
Similar to the above, this British TV show also focuses on a high school, but is a little more playful in tone. The episodes revolve around Otis, an awkward high school student who winds up becoming the shy but knowledgeable sex counsellor on campus thanks to the advice and information he’s grown up with living with a sex counsellor – his mum. With a hilarious performance by the unrecognisable Gillian Anderson as his overbearing, oversharing mother Jean, the show hits all the notes of teen angst, diversity, sex and relationships, whilst providing plenty of laughs in between.
Watch if you like: Bad Education, The Wonder Years, Veronica Mars
3. Russian Doll
A return to form from creator/writer Natasha Lyonne, this whimsical show may take a few episodes to really get into, but rewards you with the clever finish you were craving. It’s Tim Burton meets David Lynch meets Groundhog Day meets too many meetings in this 8 part series about Nadia (Lyonne), a woman who starts the night at her birthday party in New York, but dies at the end of the night. The only thing is – she keeps waking up at the party and repeating this loop as if nothing happened. Only Lyonne can figure out how to get out – and the run is worth the wait.
Watch if you like: Maniac, Groundhog Day, Living With Yourself
4. Good Girls
This underrated Netflix series staring Christina Hendricks, Retta and Mae Whitman has been one of the delicious delights of 2019. Incredibly binge-able, it’s been billed as ‘Desperate Housewives meets Breaking Bad’ – basically, imagine your regular housewife going part Walter White. With romance, crime, comedy and dramatic twists at every turn, the show will keep you involved for season at a time – just don’t forget the apple pie.
Watch if you like: Desperate Housewives, Revenge, Big Little Lies
Guys. For anyone who loves getting their gangster on (me, obviously), get around this Boston-based show executively produced by Ben Affleck. Starring Kevin Bacon as Jackie Rohr in the role of his career, it’s good vs bad in this cops vs robbers show – but who is truly good and who is truly bad can turn in time…
Watch if you like: The Departed, The Bodyguard, The Wire
Glee fans rejoice! Creator Ryan Murphy is back. His new characters are older, wiser, sassier – and down to win at any cost. Starring Ben Platt in the central role, the satirical show focuses on a group of rich high school students who have formed together to make it into the White House. To get on track, they must win their first big ticket – to be high school body president. With ruthless and hilarious guest spots from the likes of Gwyneth Paltrow, Jessica Lange and Bette Midler, this quick-witted art-imitates-life show will have you questioning your own sense of morality – and power. Bonus: Murphy can’t resist himself with the odd musical number – ‘River’ in Episode 1 is a series highlight.
Watch if you like: Glee, American Horror Story, Scream Queens
7. Brooklyn 99
Fans of Michael Schur (The Office, The Good Place) will be well-accustomed with many of the guest stars and style of quick-witted humour on Brooklyn 99. A comedy series set in a Brooklyn Police Station, the lovable characters with their idiosyncratic quirks, ongoing jokes, engaging story lines and fun relationships have created a show that is still as fun in Season 6 as it was in Season 1 – with a current rating of 97% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes, it seems the world agrees.
Watch if you like: Scrubs, The Good Place, Parks and Recreation
Think Arrested Development meets For Richer or Poorer. Whilst this gem of a show has been out a while, the devilishly funny wit of the characters with great writing from Dan Levy (fun fact: Levy plays David, and his real-life father and sister star on the show too) has kept this show fresh, light, and easy ‘scroll my phone while having a laugh after work’ kinda way. And hey – we all need ‘that’ show.
Watch if you like: Arrested Development, Absolutely Fabulous, Curb Your Enthusiasm
Is there anything the New Fab 5 can’t do? Showing no signs of slowing down, this season our style and lifestyle heroes head to Japan, where they bring their beautiful transformation skills in self-care to men and women who have forgotten how to love themselves. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry – but mostly, you’ll want to order in Japanese.
Watch if you like: Queer Eye Season 1, Trinny and Susannah, How Do I Look?
10. The Spy
Starring Sacha Baron Cohen in a somewhat surprising dramatic role, this French series follows the true story of Eli Cohen, an Israeli spy who allegedly infiltrated the Syrian government in the 1960s. With great acting, cinematography and a real keep-you-guessing-at-every-turn story line, this is one story that will keep the heart racing until the very end.
Watch if you like: The Bodyguard, Mindhunter, Mossad 101. Furious your show didn’t make the cut? Let me know in the comments. I can't not guarantee it will go straight into the paper shredder.