The top 20 TV shows of 2019 are here and they include The Righteous Gemstones, Game of Thrones & The Boys!
#20. Preacher – Season 4
The final season of AMC’s Preacher was both incredibly faithful to the legendary Garth Ennis comic series and yet also something new and fascinating entirely. God himself all of a sudden became the most vile and evil TV villain of 2019 here and if you are turned off by that notion, just wait until you watch him BITE SOMEBODY’S EYEBALL OUT OF THEIR FACE. I loved these final episodes and even though it wasn’t the complete adaptation I was looking for, it was still one helluva good time while it lasted. Jesus fights Hitler in this season so shut up and go watch that.
#19. The Walking Dead – Seasons 9 and 10
The Walking Dead has been dangerously close to wearing out its welcome for some time now, but then AMC had to go and hire Opie himself Ryan Hurst to play a slasher-esque zombie skin wearing psychopath called BETA and now just when I thought I was out… they pulled me back in, just like how BETA pulls that zombie’s skin off to make another flesh suit for his minions in what I proclaim to be the grossest TV scene of 2019. The Walking Dead is back and creepier than ever people.
#18. Happy – Season 2
Brian Taylor’s Happy was cancelled after this batshit crazy second season which featured a leather-clad nun murdering Easter Bunny, demonic teletubbies, imaginary friends having the nastiest sex imaginable and also what matters most in life – Christopher Meloni tearing off a dude’s head with his bear hands. I’m going to miss this show. SyFy really sucks as a network you know? They canned some brilliant shit this year and they deserve a good hard bitchslap for their efforts.
#17. Rick and Morty – Season 4
It’s been a while, but even with just five episodes to watch again and again for now, Rick and Morty is back and still just as perfect as we all remember it. There’s an episode featuring snakes travelling through time to kill snake Hitler and then there’s also sex-crazed dragons in what has to be the nerdiest set of episodes yet from Dan Harmon and Justin Roiland.
#16. The Umbrella Academy – Season 1
The Dark Horse comic series turned TV series The Umbrella Academy, features superheroes, time travel, a talking monkey butler and it was created by the lead singer of My Chemical Romance. It also kicks way too much ass for its own good. If you don’t fall in love with this show after the dance number in the pilot set to Tiffany’s ‘I Think We’re Alone Now’, then I don’t think we can be friends.
#15. The Deuce – Season 3
From the decline of prostitution to the rise of porn, HBO’s The Deuce was a criminally underrated future cult classic about the sex industry from the makers of The Wire. If you didn’t watch this final season, you missed out on one of the most powerful dramas of the year. James Franco was stellar as always, PLAYING TWINS PEOPLE, but Maggie Gyllenhaal wins my award for Best Leading Actress of 2019 as she turns in what I think is her career-best performance. Emily Meade also wins my Best Supporting Performance from an Actress in one of the most heart-breaking character arcs ever put on television.
#14. Mindhunter – Season 2
David Fincher’s Mindhunter is just one of those series that hits me right in the serial killer feels. I’ve always been fascinated by true crime and seeing these interviews with The Son of Sam or Charles Manson, are the bread and butter of Netflix’s coolest drama series. The performances are all so chilling and authentic that you’ll forget you aren’t watching actual interview footage from some documentary. Holt McCallany gets my award for Best Supporting performer of 2019 here as well.
#13. Chernobyl – Limited Series
The most gut-wrenching true story limited series I’ve ever seen – Chernobyl is hard to watch but once you start, you won’t want to stop. It’s a fascinating and bleak recounting of the world’s worst man-made disaster. You’ll cringe, cry and be constantly baffled by the decisions made in Russia after the nuclear meltdown. This show actually ruined all fictional nuclear explosions for me going forward because now I know what really happens when this kind of horrifying shit goes down and it scares me more than anything else in a potential world-ending scenario.
#12. Love, Death & Robots – Season 1
Netflix’s spiritual successor to the cult classic animated anthology film Heavy Metal is a beautiful journey through various sci-fi, fantasy and horror romps about robots in the apocalypse, talking yogurt, werewolf soldiers in Iraq and pool cleaners turned master artists. It’s too weird to get into, but Love, Death & Robots is a masterpiece of animation and every single short film included in season one is stunning.
#11. Deadly Class – Season 1
Rick Remender’s Deadly Class was cancelled after this first season and that still stings so bad… This SyFy series about a school for would-be assassins is based on the Image Comics title of the same name and features acid trip killing sprees in Vegas, a hallway fight set to Ozzy’s Mister Crowley and Brian Posehn in a dog cage. Deadly Class was too good for the human race and apparently we can’t have nice things in this world. Please still watch it and then go read the comics to stay up to date with these amazing characters. It’s worth visiting even though it won’t be back for season 2. Goddamn it.
#10. What We Do in The Shadows – Season 1
What We Do in The Shadows is better than the fantastic film in which it’s based upon. FX has managed to deliver one of the biggest surprises of the year with their vampire comedy series. I’m laughing to myself right now as I recall the showdown with the werewolves or the infamous trial episode which features a slew of shocking cameos from other famous vampires… Taika Waititi and Jemaine Clement are involved in the creative decisions made here and thank god… They know what they’re doing and they need to keep doing that – forever. This show is too good to ever end please.
#9. Mr. Robot – Season 4
The final season of Mr. Robot is both the wildest and most emotional yet, ending in a way that nobody saw coming (I’m still confused, but I like it). Rami Malek deserves any awards headed his way for this performance and there’s one episode in particular (pictured above) where I was so moved from the revelations made that I haven’t stopped thinking about it ever since. It’s the conclusion we didn’t know we needed and a series that warrants an almost immediate re-watch after the finale.
#8. Barry – Season 2
Bill Hader’s performance in Barry Season 2 is one that will haunt me for a long time. Also the episode with the martial arts feral child (pictured above) is out of control. It’s hilarious but action-packed and outlandish in all the right ways. Barry season 2 delves into our hitman turned actor’s military past while propelling the plot forward at such a breakneck pace that it’s impossible to see how this series can last a long time. I like that they aren’t pumping the brakes – they’re going for it full tilt and it’s one helluva ride.
#7. The Mandalorian – Season 1
Baby Yoda. Yes that is not his name, but let’s be honest and admit that Disney Plus managed to introduce the most beloved TV character of the year with The Mandalorian season 1. Equal parts nostalgic Star Wars heaven and space western serial tastiness, this bounty hunting 8-episode romp is absolutely worth your subscription to yet another streaming service. Plus Pedro Pascal vaporizes Jawas in this so you have no more excuses not to sign up.
#6. Watchmen – Season 1
Watchmen is a sequel TV series to Alan Moore’s legendary comic series. It’s also so well done that it manages to elevate the source material and improve upon it in ways that nobody saw coming. Damon Lindelof managed to turn a one-note gay joke character by the name of Hooded Justice into one of the most compelling superheroes of the year. He also managed to make a sequel to the greatest limited comic series of all time and it turned out BETTER than the book… He wins my showrunner of the year award with this one.
#5. The Righteous Gemstones – Season 1
HBO’s family preacher comedy is not only the funniest series of 2019, but The Righteous Gemstones reminded me of the first FARGO series on FX (that’s a great thing). Danny McBride created and directed this black comedy that is so full of twists and turns that you’ll be laughing your ass off one minute and potentially screaming “what the f***?” moments later while someone is getting run over repeatedly by a truck.
#4. The Boys – Season 1
Antony Starr gets my award for best leading TV performance of 2019 as the terrifying Homelander in Amazon Prime’s The Boys. Picture Superman, but then also picture him frying people’s eyes out of their skull using heat vision because he hates everything and everyone. If you ever wanted to see what The Justice League would look like on cocaine this is the TV binge party you need to partake in ASAP. I love that Garth Ennis’ creations are finally getting adapted and that they kick just as much ass on the TV as they did in the comics.
#3. Doom Patrol – Season 1
The best comic book TV adaptation of 2019 is Doom Patrol and it also gets the award for strangest shit to ever grace a streaming service. Example: There’s a villain called the Beard Hunter, who indulges in the consumption of facial hair. There’s also a giant cockroach making out with a giant rat at some point in this show and that’s not even the weirdest stuff… Doom Patrol is like Dr. Who meets The Avengers meets David Lynch. It packs genius-level originality and that’s refreshing to see this long into my career as a couch potato.
#2. Too Old to Die Young – Season 1
Amazon Prime gave Nicolas Winding Refn (Drive) money to make this insane shit? Give them props for being the bravest streaming service of the year because Too Old to Die Young is a 10-hour artfilm about vigilante murderers, drug cartels and a police force that makes Chief Wiggum from the Simpsons look like Quantico. It’s a slow-burn series and I doubt we’ll ever return to it, but I’ll never forget it for as long as I live. It’s batshit crazy and brilliant.
#1. Game of Thrones – Season 8
“Shut up, it was perfect.” – Pedro Pascal on the final season of Game of Thrones during the massive backlash and fan petition to RESHOOT this thing.
Hah! Listen to Mando people – Even though it was quick, these final six episodes were masterful and Game of Thrones wrapped up in shocking fashion with some of the greatest episodes to ever grace the series, including that big ass battle in the dark which I have now watched more than anything else in 2019. I’m about six or so times through it and I’ll never stop. Best TV series ever made.
Runner-Up Shows This Year:
- Black Mirror – Series 5
- Letterkenny – Seasons 7 & 8
- Peaky Blinders – Series 5
- I Think You Should Leave With Tim Robinson – Season 1
- Mayans M.C. – Season 2
- Big Little Lies – Season 2
- Silicon Valley – Season 6
Note (I hadn’t watched The Witcher Season One or Fleabag Season Two at the time of this article. If I had – they would likely be included because both shows were amazing).