18 Best New Shows of 2018

December 24, 2018

18. The Rain

Netflix

A Danish language, post-apocalyptic sci-fi drama. Some might say it's like The Walking Dead but with no zombies.

17. Counterpart

Starz

J.K. Simmons shines playing two versions of the same man in this Fringe-esque alternate reality sci-fi thriller

16. A Very English Scandal

BBC

A three part miniseries based on the outlandishly true scandal of '60s UK politician, Jeremy Thorpe.

15. The Dragon Prince

Netflix

This spiritual successor to Avatar: The Last Airbender is every bit as light-hearted, epic, and ambitious.

14. The End of the F***ing World

Channel 4 / Netflix

A British dark comedy brimming with personality about a psychopath and a rebel running away from home together.

13. Succession

HBO

Succession makes a family of irredeemably horrible rich people into a can't-look-away train-wreck with awesome music.

12. Bodyguard

BBC

A tense British thriller miniseries about a troubled veteran assigned to the security detail of the UK's Home Secretary.

11. The First

Hulu

From the creator of House of Cards, a character-driven drama about astronauts who'd sacrifice anything to go to Mars.

10. Waco

Paramount

An extremely well acted miniseries based on the true story of the ATF's 1993 raid on the Branch Davidian cult compound.

9. Patrick Melrose

Showtime

Outstanding performances from Benedict Cumberbatch and Hugo Weaving in this British miniseries about a very wealthy drug addict with an abusive father.

8. The Looming Tower

Hulu

A fantastic series about Jeff Daniels yelling at people. The Looming Tower chronicles the clash between the FBI and CIA in dealing with the threat of Al-Qaeda and the events leading up to 9/11.

7. Barry

HBO

A boldly dark comedy about a hitman who moves to LA and decides he wants to be an actor. Bill Hader successfully brings the Breaking Bad anti-hero trend to the comedy category.

6. The Little Drummer Girl

BBC / AMC

The second John le Carré novel turned miniseries in recent years (after The Night Manager). From the director of Oldboy. Great performance from Florence Pugh.

5. Kidding

Showtime

Reunion of Jim Carrey and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind director, Michel Gondry. The third dark comedy on this list, Kidding is a deeply twisted take on an unstable Mr. Rogers type character.

4. Killing Eve

BBC America

The BBC is having a great 2018. This incredibly well-acted, female led spy thriller is centered around a sociopath assassin who becomes fascinated with an MI5 agent (and vice versa).

3. Maniac

Netflix

There are just too many reasons to watch Maniac. Directed by True Detective's Cary Fukunaga. Outstanding performances from Emma Stone, Jonah Hill, and particularly Justin Theroux. It clearly bears the influence of works like 2001 A Space Odyssey, Black Mirror, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Inception, The Leftovers, and Twin Peaks. It is also the only series ambitious enough in style to be compared to both Lord of the Rings and The Coen brothers.

2. Sharp Objects

HBO

Sharp Objects is a 'slow burn' southern murder mystery on one layer and an incredible, captivatingly bleak story of abuse on so many deeper layers. Jean-Marc Vallée, who also directed Big Little Lies last year, does an outstanding job adapting the work of Gillian Flynn (also the author of Gone Girl). The series benefits immensely from its sticky southern summer setting and the 'everyone else give up and go home' awards-worthy performances from Amy Adams and Patricia Clarkson.

1. Homecoming

Amazon

Sam Esmail (creator of Mr. Robot) wins the #1 spot with his flawless series, Homecoming. The series, adapted from a podcast of the same name, combines the highest level of craft in writing, cinematography, and acting. The style of the show is a love-letter to classic cinema, both in the visual style clearly influenced by Alfred Hitchcock, and the musical score literally borrowing every track from the classics. The writing and direction are excellent and efficient, with each episode coming in at around 30 minutes. All of this is perfectly executed with mesmerizing chemistry by the two leads: the amazing Julia Roberts and impressive newcomer Stephan James.