Happy New Year everyone. And I cannot think of a better way to ring in 209 than by continuing my best of 2018 lists. Today we are going to do TV. I know last week I was very hard on "Westworld" and "Legion", but today it is all love. The only problem, this was the hardest list for me to pair down. There is so much TV to watch now. Be it national shows, premium cable or streaming, we have more options than ever to watch millions of shows. Also, I still haven't seen a lot of what major critics have on their list, but I will probably never see "Marvelous Ms. Maisel" or "Succession" or "Counterpart". Those shows aren't for me. I'm more of a goofy comedy guy, or serious drama type stuff. That fills my best of 2018 TV list today. Now lets get started.
At number 5 I have season 3 of "Better Call Saul". This show has only gotten stronger since it started airing. Bob Oedenkirk is making me feel for Jimmy McGill, but this season you can really see him turning into Saul Goodman. He even goes by the name a few times this season. But what made season three so great, aside from everything thing that went on with Johnathan Banks and Giancarlo Epsosito, was Rhea Seahorn's portrayal of her character, Kim Wexler. She is the only person who still believes in Jimmy, but by the end, we all see that she is even duped and ready to give up on him. Seahorn was amazing this season. In a show filled with standouts, she stood out by a wide margin. I'm curious to see where they go with season 4 because of how season 3 ended. Season 4 may be the last, which is a minor spoiler alert. For the time being though, "Better Call Saul" is proving to be another great show from Vince Gilligan and company. I'm excited to see how they wrap it all up.
At number 4 I have what I consider to be the most accurate, and best representation of puberty, season 2 of "Big Mouth". Nick Kroll and Andrew Goldberg have done with this show is nothing short of amazing, and gross. Don't get it twisted, this show is gross and touches on the horribleness that is puberty in no way like I have ever seen before. There was a whole section this year where one of the young teens goes to a spa with her mom and her mom's new girlfriend, and the song is amazing, but there is so much nudity. There is a great scene about losing a pubic hair. I loved when Coach Jeff hooked up with Jay's mom. That was also super gross. But the best thing all season was when the kids took over for Coach Jeff in health class and told horror stories about what they assumed having a STD would be like. It was a great way to talk about how awesome Planned Parenthood is, and the writers totally nailed that. Also, the episode where Nick and Jess eat some of Jess's dad's edibles was really good too. This show nails puberty to perfection. I love it, and when my kids are going through that time, you better believe "Big Mouth" will be on my TV.
At number 3 I have season 3 of "The Good Place". "The Good Place" is the best network sitcom on TV right now. It is just an absolutely wonderful show that somehow finds a way to surprise me every season. Their season one finale was the best finale of a show I have ever seen. They followed it up excellently in season 2, and the way they just closed out this season was amazing. Everyone on this show is amazing too. I'm not a big Kristin Bell fan, but she is awesome. Jameela Jamil is so good as the silver spoon name dropper. William Jackson Harper is terrific as the anxiety riddled Chidi, The episode where he realizes what is going on, and makes chili in his classroom with Peeps was one of the best things I saw on TV this year. Ted Danson is a total delight. But the 2 standouts are Manny Jacinto as Jason, and more importantly, D'Arcy Carden as Janet. Jason is the idiot dirt bag in all of us but he has a heart of gold. He is also hilarious. But Carden as Janet, the all knowing being, kind of like a real life Alexa, she is just phenomenal. She is the standout of the show. She is the best part of season 3, and she ran with her chance to shine this season. You need to look no further than the season 3 finale where she gets to play every main character on the show. She absolutely nailed every single person's ticks, voices and how they dress and carry themselves. It is a true masterpiece of an actor going for it, and nailing it. It was truly amazing, much like everything else that is on "The Good Place".
At number 2 I have season 2 of "American Vandal". I adore this show. I think it is a perfect sendup of all the true crime stuff we are all enamored with now. It is so funny, but also totally believable. They take something so ridiculous and childish and I am hanging on every word trying to find out who did the crime the 2 kids are investigating. Season one, I needed to know who "drew the dicks". This second season, I had to know who the "turd burglar" was. This is such a well made show using what many would describe as "potty humor". This show has also won a Peabody Award. That is simply amazing for what this show is about. I didn't know how well they would be able to follow up the first season, which seemed like lightening in a bottle. But, they did it, and they nailed it. Going to a new city to solve a similarly childish crime was the correct way to go about it. Besides the 2 filmmakers, all the characters were new, and they all had great stories. From the basketball star to the weird fruit ninja to the many other suspects, they nailed it again. I am so bummed that the show got cancelled. I'm still holding out hope that some other network or streaming device will pick it up because I feel like this show could go on for another couple seasons. "American Vandal" is the best show I have seen that makes me truly care about fake crimes that dumbass teenagers commit. It is a work of art.
There is one show that is better than "American Vandal", and that is "Atlanta". Did you all think I would have something else here? Donald Glover is a genius, and "Atlanta" is his best way of putting it out there. This season was filled with amazing episodes. The premiere, with Katt Williams and the gator, was tremendous. When Earn and his baby's mother go to her hometown for a weird party, that was odd but effective. And the episode had big time ramifications for the rest of the season. When Earn is trying to spend a 100 dollar bill but no one will take it from him because they believe it is fake, that was a great take on how people look at other races and cultures. When Paper Boi gets lost in the woods and gets jumped and chased by a crazy forest guy, that was incredible. When Paper Boi just wants a haircut, we have all been in a wild situation like that. But the best thing about this season, and definitely one of the best things I have ever seen on TV in my life, was the episode "Teddy Perkins". This one 45 minute block would have gotten the show on the list if it was the only episode they released all season. It was horrifying, funny, a tale of a horrific childhood, possibly a fever dream, I don't know. What I do know though, it was the most original piece of TV I have seen in quite some time. It is so perfect. I watched it multiple times since trying to find things I may have missed, or to see if Teddy Perkins was real, or a figment of Stanfield's imagination. It is a masterpiece, as is "Atlanta". As long as Glover keeps making this show, I'm pretty sure it will always be on my best of lists, and it will most likely be number one. "Atlanta" is a truly remarkable show. It will go down as one of the greatest shows ever. It is definitely the best show of 2018.
Come back tomorrow for my best movies of 2018.
Ty is the Pop Culture editor for SeedSing and the other host of the X Millennial Man Podcast. He was going to put “Black Miirror: Bandersnatch” on his list, but he is still lost in an endless loop because of the interactive nature of the show. Or maybe he needs to upgrade his WiFi because what he is really caught in us a buffering loop.
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