The fall TV season is inching closer and closer, which means that some interesting shows will be coming to our screens. However, the rest of the year has also been a fascinating one so far with a ton of TV shows that brought about thrill, excitement and fun into our lives. The question is, which ones were the best? Here is a list of the best TV shows of this year so far that everyone must see:
The Americans (FX)
Instead of going out in a blaze of glory, the drama by Joel Fields and Joe Weisberg about Russian spies hiding out in Washington, D.C. in the 1960s came up with a bittersweet end. The finale focused more on the understanding of the desires and fears of the main characters. Nonetheless, the rest of the season was just as amazing. FBI agent Stan Beeman (Noah Emmerich), married KGB agents Phillip Jennings and Elizabeth (Matthew Rhys and Keri Russell), their kids Henry and Paige (Keidrich Sellati and Holly Taylor) and former KGB operative Oleg Burov (Costa Ronin) trying to come to terms with a world that’s changing rather rapidly.
The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story (FX)
This mysterious, uncompromising, off-putting yet ultimately devastating mini-series by producer-director Ryan Murphy follows the journey of an assassin. It takes us through derangement and misery that also works out as an expose of the American Homophobia in the 90s. The structure of the series is the most daring thing about it, which begins with the murder of Gianni Versace and then gradually works its way back through time. This gambit doesn’t just explore the cultural root causes, but also creates a feeling of awful inevitability.
This is said to be one of the strongest new shows in 2018. Barry is essentially a mix of crime, action, comedy and Hollywood satire and Bill Hader does an excellent job of carrying out an outstanding lead performance. Hader plays the role of Barry, who is a hit man, but has gotten so used to the grotesque violence in his world that he rarely feels anything. Therefore, it comes as a surprise to him when he gets the ol’ theater bug after accidentally visiting an acting class being taught by Henry Winkler’s Gene Cousineau. It is an extraordinary scene to behold when feelings of grief and guilt eventually overcome Barry.
This series has been a thrilling ride so far as we continue to see its artistic development. The story revolves around New York money and how it is being regulated by government servants and is set in a world where the language of barbarian conquerors is used by men for describing the process of pushing around electronic funds. These men have not really been in an actual fight since their childhood days, but the series creators, along with their collaborators, have successfully created fully dimensional characters. You are able to laugh with them, feel for them and even laugh at them. This season had some spectacular episodes as it doubled down on the armchair pathos and psychoanalyses as well as tactical maneuvers.
Flint Town (Netflix)
Cinematographers Jessica Dimmock, Drea Cooper and Zackary Canepari embedded themselves with the police department of Flint, Michigan for a year. They were after a portrait of a town that was shattered by government incompetence, water pollution and financial neglect, which would have been quite valuable. However, they came out with something that was way more delicate and deeper than expected. This docuseries charts off the effects of everyday politics on every citizen, especially police officers, who are forced to be social workers instead of enforcers. It portrays how our perceptions are affected due to class or race in all matters, whether delinquency, mundane traffic stops or police brutality.
Jane the Virgin (The CW)
The fourth season of this series by The CW continued to do everything that it has done so well for so long. It used increasingly clever ways for riffing on the telenovela genre while showing a Latinx family living in a heightened reality yet still having to deal with realistic problems like school boundary issues and money problems. Plus, it provided another opportunity to the buoyant Gina Rodriguez, the star of Jane the Virgin, to shine. This is not all. The season also managed to give us more in the form of a storyline about Jane’s abuela, Alba (Ivonne Coll). Current politics was portrayed as she sought citizenship in the US, but it never got too preachy. There were some moving episodes in which Andrea Navedo’s Xo dealt with a breast cancer diagnosis and the twist in the finale was definitely a shocker. The show ran deep, but kept things light as always.
Sharp Objects (HBO)
This show is adapted from Gillian Flynn’s novel, but this empathetic showcase of denial and drama that also managed to be a seductively miserable memory, didn’t do anything that was expected from it. Led by Amy Adams, the exceptional cast as well as the Proustian editing is definitely going to take a lot of awards. Patricia Clarkson deserves a special Kudos for inhabiting the role of a domineering yet wry mother so well.
The Terror (AMC)
Executively produced by Ridley Scott and adopted from the historical novel by Dan Simmon, this story about a nautical British expedition gone wrong had all the hallmarks you expect to see in a horror movie. The sound and look was very much like the haunted-house flicks as it was set on a creaky wooden boats sailing in the icy Arctic. However, as it begun to unfold, it gradually transformed into a torture device that catalogued all the different ways people can die violently. From animal attack to exposure and illnesses to drowning, it covered everything. It should have been unpleasant and grim, but was perversely enticing because it showcased human psychology in which levels of endurance are tested.
These are some great TV shows of the year and should be on everyone’s watch list.