Top TV shows of 2018

I’m obsessed with television and have long been a card carrying apologist-meets-evangelist (or however you’d like to describe it) for the best of this medium. I largely agree with criticism I’ve heard from the likes of Andy Greenwald and Chris Ryan (The Watch podcast is a must listen if you’re a TV and pop culture junkie, by the way) that 2018 has been a year for lots of “pretty good” but not “great” shows. That being said, the raw volume of produced content is larger than ever, and with that comes increasingly personalized shows suited to specific tastes. That to me is largely… well, it’s great. 

I’m still working on my top TV shows of the year, but I do find it interesting that four shows that will be near the top of my list (Atlanta, Barry, Forever, and GLOW) are half hour shows that do a really innovative and creative mix of comedy and drama. 

TV shows at or near the top of my list for 2018 (as yet unranked!): 

  • The Handmaid’s Tale 
  • Billions 
  • The Good Place
  • Maniac
  • The Americans 
  • Atlanta 
  • Succession 
  • Barry
  • Better Call Saul 
  • The Deuce 
  • Forever 
  • GLOW 
  • Patriot* (I loved the first season with all my heart and soul and am trying to get to S2 as soon as I can) 

Guilty pleasures (not like Trump administration level guilty pleasures, but like I could theoretically be enriched by some educational stuff versus consuming this glorious buffet of sugar high/mind candy but back off okay ’cause I like it and it’s deliriously pleasurable and entertaining in its own way, okay?):

  • Below Deck (both the original and “Med” editions) 
  • Jersey Shore Family Vacation (yeah, it’s still seriously super really really good) 
  • Shahs of Sunset 
  • Vanderpump Rules 

This post originally appeared in what had originally been called The Eric Berlin E-mail Newsletter. To get a weekly blast of pop culture, digital media, and politics that helps make sense of an increasingly frazzled world, sign on up here.

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