The 65 Best TV Shows of 2018, Ranked
So many TV shows aired in 2018 that it was a challenge to figure out what was worth watching. But just like we did in 2017 and we're doing again for 2019 TV shows, we singled out hit after hit after hit, and ranked them all so you'd know what to prioritize. (Note: We only considered scripted episodic programs, and shows needed have begun a new season or made their U.S. debut during calendar year 2018 to be eligible.) To see what TV shows made the cut, and to see a photo of Zach Galifianakis getting stomped on by a baby goat, read on.
Looking for 2019 series? Here's our ranking of the Best TV Shows of 2019. Also check out our other year-end lists, including The Best Movies of 2018, The Best Albums of 2018, The Best Books of 2018 and the Best Memes of 2018.
65. Ash vs. Evil Dead (Starz)Season 3. 10 episodes.
Let's pause for a moment to salute Ash Williams, the only horror character ever to cut off his own hand and replace it with a chainsaw, and who's played by the inimitable Michigan-born B-movie poobah and best-selling author Bruce Campbell. Ash is a legitimate national treasure whose weapon of choice deserves to be in the Smithsonian one day, and I can't be the only one who just decided that the National Treasure movie series should be rebooted with Campbell taking over for Nicolas Cage. Anyway, in the third and final season of Starz's blood-soaked, slapstick continuation of The Evil Dead movie franchise, Ash slays a fresh batch of Deadites, duh.
64. The Last O.G. (TBS)Season 1. 10 episodes.
In this single-camera comedy, Tracy Morgan stars as Tray Barker, an ex-con who returns to his Brooklyn neighborhood to find that it has been gentrified and that his ex-girlfriend (played by Tiffany Haddish) is now married and upwardly mobile. The humor is ratcheted up at the halfway house Barker is staying at, with Cedric the Entertainer and Morgan playing amiable foils. Your ability to care about all this directly corresponds to your interest in Tracy Morgan's brand of humor.
63. The X-Files (Fox)Season 11. 10 episodes.
The truth is out there, but are any non-completists? As someone who willingly sat through the Doggett years twice and even kind of liked the largely panned 2008 feature film (though it would only rank somewhere around the 190th best episode if compared against the original run), I'm in for however many installments of this still occasionally entertaining series Fox commissions. And while the newer batches of episodes have been very hit or miss, there's still joy to be found here if you are a true or even lapsed believer, especially in the Darin Morgan episode, "The Lost Art of Forehead Sweat."
62. Crashing (HBO)Season 2. 8 episodes.
Why, look who's back! It's your second- or third-most favorite quasi-fictional comic Pete Holmes, played by actual comic Pete Holmes. In Season 2, our Ritteresque protagonist continues up the long, humbling incline of success in the world of stand-up comedy, honing his inoffensive comedic stylings, exhibiting neuroses during hangouts with Artie Lange and Bill Barr, and engaging in roast battles with significant others along the way. It's all just humorous enough to keep you in its pasty, white thrall.
More than two decades after the murders of these two rap superstars, the search for their killers has left us with little more than countless theories, shitty holograms, and, now, the first season of USA's promising Unsolved franchise. Don't expect any The Jinx-like twists here, but their tragic, intertwined stories are compellingly told using multiple timelines, which track, roughly, the years leading up to Tupac Shakur's assassination in 1996 and Christopher "the Notorious B.I.G." Wallace's in 1997, the ensuing LAPD investigation into the latter (with Westworld's Jimmi Simpson portraying a stymied detective), and a mid-2000s task-force investigation (with team members played by Josh Duhamel, Bokeem Woodbine, and Wendell Pierce). While Unsolved doesn't reach the heights of recent season-long true-crime standouts FX's The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story or Netflix's Wormwood, the 10-episode tale's superb casting and occasionally zippy dialogue elevate it above straight procedurals like last year's Manhunt: Unabomber.
60. Chilling Adventures of Sabrina (Netflix)Season 1. 8 episodes.
Netflix's adaptation of the Archie universe comic book character Sabrina bears little resemblance to the classic ABC sitcom Sabrina the Teenage Witch and shares more DNA with The CW's Riverdale -- not surprising, considering that both were developed by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa. This series is far less campy and ridiculous than the one about Archie, Betty, Veronica and Jughead, and goes more for outright scares, as various magic-using entities attempt to influence the half-mortal, half-witch Sabrina (played by Mad Men's Kiernan Shipka).
59. The Sinner (USA Network)Season 2. 8 episodes.
Last year, with Jessica Biel in a lead role on this moody crime drama's first season and a scene-stealing guest-voice stint on BoJack Horseman as Jessica Biel, I proclaimed 2017 to be the beginning of the Bielaissance. What I could also have said was that we're also experiencing the Coonaissance -- actress Carrie Coon's impressive run that began with the final season of The Leftovers, continued with Fargo Season 3, and includes small roles as a Thanos minion in Avengers: Infinity War and one of the title characters in the must-see heist movie Widows. She keeps it going in the second installment of The Sinner as a member of a cult investigated by the sad-cop character played by Bill Pullman.
58. The Haunting of Hill House (Netflix)Season 1. 10 episodes.
Netflix (very loosely) adapts the Shirley Jackson story into eight moderately tense episodes that can only be described as spooky This Is Us.
57. Disenchantment (Netflix)An animated series created by Matt Groening that could be pitched as "Lisa Simpson, but a princess in Westeros" and features the voices of Abbi Jacobson, Eric André, Nat Faxon and the guy who did Bender on Futurama? Sounds good on paper! In actuality, the ten episodes that make up Season 1 only partially satisfy, but the narrative arc builds to a cliffhanger ending that should make you Google for information about the already greenlit Season 2. Like Groening's more famous shows, which also took time to gel (so be patient), Disenchanted will live or die with its universe-building, characters, and whether it can land jokes at a higher clip.
56. Everything Sucks! (Netflix)Season 1. 10 episodes.
As I've been saying for years, any TV show with a soundtrack featuring both a deep cut off Sebadoh's Harmacy and "Leave Them All Behind" by the enormously underrated (and SEO-unfriendly) British rock band Ride should immediately win every Emmy or at least compel me to view it. This Netflix teen melodrama, set in a small Oregon town in 1996 and tracking the social flailings of a group of A/V clubbers and drama nerds, accomplished the latter, and I'm glad it did, because it reminded me of Freaks and Geeks, The Perks of Being a Wallflower and other depictions of angsty teens and the friends who pine unrequitedly for them. Sadly, Netflix opted not to renew it, likely cementing its cult status with other "canceled too soon" one-season wonders -- such as Freaks and Geeks.
Much of the buzz surrounding this lavish period piece, with episodes directed by Danny Boyle and written by Simon Beaufoy, has centered on Brendan Fraser's gonzo performance as a Stetson-wearing head of security sent by Getty Oil founder and family patriarch J. Paul Getty (Donald Sutherland) to negotiate the release of his kidnapped grandson. And Fraser certainly deserves the attention, because he's great. But if that's not enough to sway you to tune in, you can’t deny the ripped-from-old-headlines plot, which was also depicted in the much-discussed 2017 movie All the Money in the World, isn’t an inventive re-telling of a truly bizarre moment in the lives of the rich and famous.
54. Collateral (Netflix)Miniseries. 4 episodes.
This police procedural, which aired on Britain's BBC Two in February and dropped exclusively on Netflix in March, stars Carrie Mulligan as a dogged, resourceful detective heading up an investigation into the seemingly random murder of a pizza delivery man in London. Not surprisingly, the clues soon point to a conspiracy of zeitgeist-y proportions -- refugee crisis! visa panic! --but the series delivers enough plausible twists and solid acting moments, particularly by Mulligan (channeling Helen Mirren's Jane Tennison), to make this an easy-peasy binge.
53. Ozark (Netflix)Season 2. 10 episodes.
Netflix's answer to Breaking Bad, but definitely not as brilliant, Ozark depicts the descent of a mild-mannered suburban Chicago financial wizard Marty Byrde (Jason Bateman) and his political-consultant wife, Wendy (Laura Linney), into drug-money-laundering savants in the Missouri backwoods. Season 2 kicks everything up about 50 more notches, as the Byrdes do everything they can to finagle a casino license for their riverboat scheme as the cartel, the DEA, and an outlandish number of other nefarious forces close in on them. But at least they’re alive, unlike a lot of the show's characters by the end of the season.
52. American Horror Story: Apocalypse (FX)Season 8. 13 episodes.
The latest season of Ryan Murphy's campy horror series is about the Antichrist, if you couldn't tell by the photo. More than any other season, these episodes cross over with previous installments, so make sure you binge through the entire series or at least have Wikipedia handy.
51. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (Netflix)Season 4. 12 episodes.
In the first six episodes that make up the first half of this reliably (though sometimes problematically) chuckle-inducing comedy's final season, Kimmy confronts the spectre of Richard Wayne Gary Wayne (Jon Hamm), gets called out for being overly friendly at work, and finds her beloved backpack. In the back half, which Netflix held until January 2019, Cats gets properly pilloried, Sliding Doors gets parodied perfectly, and Kimmy figures out her purpose in life -- and it's surprisingly normal.
50. The Little Drummer Girl (AMC)Miniseries. 6 episodes.
This visually stunning, six-hour thriller — adapted from an early John Le Carré novel and directed by Park Chan-wook — depicts what happens when an actress (Florence Pugh) gets recruited by Israeli intelligence officers (Alexander Skarsgard and Michael Shannon, among others) to infiltrate a terrorist cell. As she goes undercover, the lines blur significantly.
49. Marvel's Jessica Jones (Netflix)Season 2. 13 episodes.
Was it really two-and-a-half years since the first round of adventures with our favorite Netflix-distributed Marvel superhero? Can anyone even remember what 2015 was even like anymore? Jessica is up to much of the same stuff she was in Season 1: surveilling dirtbags, drinking too much, expressing pent-up rage. Only now, post-Kilgrave's gaslighting, she's (reluctantly) attempting to understand who she is and how she acquired special powers. As with many Netflix dramas with 13 episodes, the series drags in the middle and makes you say, repeatedly, "Again with 13 episodes? Come on, 10 would have been so much better!" but you'll never stop watching and they know it, so you may as well just succumb to the talents of Krysten Ritter, Carrie-Anne Moss, and new addition Janet McTeer.
48. The Looming Tower (Hulu)Miniseries. 10 episodes.
Based on the Lawrence Wright book about the events that led up to the 9/11 attacks, this gripping, though at times bloated, miniseries stars Jeff Daniels and Peter Sarsgaard as duelling FBI and CIA investigators.
47. Mosaic (HBO)Miniseries. 6 episodes.
Originally launched last fall as an interactive app that let viewers choose where to enter the murder mystery, the Mosaic that aired on HBO played out in a more linear way. The creative high jinks come courtesy of director Steven Soderbergh, whose filmmaking inventiveness also materialized this year with the mind-bending shot-entirely-on-iPhone movie Unsane. Set in Utah and starring Sharon Stone as a famous children’s book author with lousy taste in men, the edited narrative is worth a binge for anyone who loves taut Hitchcock thrillers, misses Casino-era Sharon Stone, and constantly craves sublime casting choices, notably Devin Ratray as the cop investigating the crime.
46. Versailles (Ovation)Season 3. 10 episodes.
This series, which said fini! with its third season, fudged some facts and timelines relating to the long reign of King Louis XIV of France. But you won't care, because it's all in the name of serving up soapy, voyeuristic fun, with killer wigs and literal bodice-ripping. Yes, Season 3 attempts to solve the mystery of the Man in the Iron Mask. Deal with it.
45. Impulse (YouTube Premium)Season 1. 10 episodes.
This YouTube original, produced by Doug Liman, is about a high-school girl who deals whose latent psionic abilities come out in full force when she is assaulted by a classmate, and the drama that ensues when his father (played by Billy Campbell) turns out to be not just a local car salesman but also a drug runner. The larger story, left mostly under-developed and intriguing fodder for a second season should YouTube renew it, is about who her real dad is and how she received her powers in the first place. Random, but well-placed, cameos by Key and Peele's Keegan-Michael Key and Community's Danny Pudi add extra flavor to this already flavorful sci-fi show.
44. Altered Carbon (Netflix)Season 1. 10 episodes.
This high-concept sci-fi action series, based on the mindbending novel by Richard K. Morgan, requires both laser focus and suspension of disbelief to give in to its trashy charms. With a super-high budget -- its pilot episode is directed by Miguel Sapochnik of Game of Thrones' "Battle of the Bastards" fame -- providing the futuristic flash, AC dazzles and confounds right out of the gate, as we're introduced to the concept of sleeving, a nutty process by which human consciousness can be transferred into another person's body. That's the ethically thorny way our super-soldier protagonist, Takeshi Kovacs, arrives 250 years into the future after his own "death," where he is promptly tasked by an ultra-wealthy hedonist with solving the murder of the ultra-wealthy hedonist himself. If you tend to roll with batshit sci-fi set-ups like this until they click, you'll stick around to see how it all ends and be pleased that you did so.
43. High Maintenance (HBO)Season 2. 8 episodes.
After a transitional first season on HBO, which followed its cultish run as a web series, this light comedy, about an unnamed dude (played by epic-bearded series co-creator Ben Sinclair, pictured) who delivers weed via a bike, returns to form.
42. Westworld (HBO)Season 2. 10 episodes.
HBO's Lost-ian puzzle show about sentient robots did its best this season to perplex, confound and bewilder, even more than the last. But the second installment of Westworld will make way more sense if you view these ten episodes as a single story, rather than trying to figure out what it's all about on an episode-by-episode basis, like I definitely did in a scarily obsessive way.
41. BoJack Horseman (Netflix)Season 5. 12 episodes.
It's a slightly down season for this animated tale of a messed-up Gen X horse thespian named BoJack, but no less powerful, and not bad enough to topple it from the top of our list of best Netflix Original series ever.
40. Castle Rock (Hulu)Season 1. 10 episodes.
Like FX's Fargo is to the ouvre of the Coen brothers, Hulu's Castle Rock is to the works of Stephen King. Do you need to know much about King's books to enjoy this show about the sudden appearance of a strange prisoner, played by Bill Skarsgard? No. Just patience, as this surprisingly convoluted and emotional story unfurls, leaving mysteries and burning questions in its spooky wake.
39. Counterpart (Starz)Season 1. 10 episodes.
What's better than one J.K. Simmons? Two J.K. Simmons. (Plus scene-stealer Harry Lloyd.) This inventive sci-fi spy series from writer Justin Marks (The Jungle Book) focuses on a career UN paper-pusher (Simmons) who gets swept up in interdimensional intrigue when his "counterpart" from a parallel universe (also Simmons) jumps through a portal and disrupts diplomacy between the two worlds. It gets mind-bendier from there.
The comedy, filled with endless streams of peppy, hyper-stylized dialogue that you will either find delightful or a bit much (it's an Amy Sherman-Palladino show, after all), tracks the journey of the verbose Midge Maisel, a relentlessly upbeat housewife who, in the late-1950s, gets fed up with domestic life and gives stand-up comedy a try. Season 2 doesn't hit the outrageous highs of its Emmy-winning first season and falls prey to some infuriating plot choices, but the visual stimulus from the retro clothes and props, along with the fantastic acting by lead Rachel Brosnahan and the supporting cast will have you coming back for Season 3.
37. The Terror (AMC)Limited series. 10 episodes.
I learned a few things by watching this stealth banger of a miniseries. First, how did I not know that Jared Harris -- who stars as the beleaguered captain of the titular ship, which gets iced in, along with the doomed The Erebus (captained by Ciarán Hinds' Sir John Franklin), while searching for the Northwest Passage in the 19th century -- is the son of the legendary Richard Harris? I am a rube, and deserve all the "duh!" comments this admission might generate. Second, Outlander and Game of Thrones actor Tobias Menzies, who plays a jerk-faced ship's commander, should be cast as an antagonist in literally every series. And finally, oversized CGI polar bears are freaking bananas.
Can the dysfunctional Baskets family survive going into the rodeo business together? Can the rodeo survive them? And what of patient, put-upon Martha? The answers, my friend, are blowin' in the Bakersfield wind, along with the scent of Juggalo-cooked Arby's curly fries. If you know what I'm talking about here, you'll love this season.
35. Howards End (Starz)Miniseries. 4 episodes.
Hayley Atwell may not have appeared as Agent Carter in Avengers: Infinity War, but as idealistic Margaret Schlegel in this four-part Kenneth Lonergan-scripted adaptation of E.M. Forster’s 1910 novel -- co-produced by Starz in the U.S. and BBC in the U.K., where it aired last fall -- she battles turn-of-the-century class bias and survives. (Thanos who?) Matthew Macfadyen, who rules on HBO’s Succession, co-stars as ye olde grumpy-pants widower and eventual love interest Henry Wilcox, whose Large Adult Son and other snotty children react negatively to the mismatched pairing. The plot is equal parts ridiculously convoluted (e.g., Margaret, who had befriended Ruth Wilcox prior to her death, inherits the titular stately manse, but Henry and his kids don’t tell her) and impossibly quaint (so many hats!) -- which is to say that it’s binge-worthy escapist fare for anyone fond of British period pieces and actors you literally hope get cast in everything.
34. Patrick Melrose (Showtime)Miniseries. 5 episodes.
As the photo above clearly indicates, Benedict Cumberbatch gives a gonzo performance in this adaptation of novels about a hard-boozing and -drugging Brit coming to terms with his lifelong darkness.
Based on a wild political scandal in the United Kingdom from the 1970s, this three-part Amazon Prime miniseries stars Hugh Grant as a smarmy, closeted member of the Labour Party who, in an effort to keep the lid on an affair he had with an actor/hustler (Ben Whishaw), makes things so much worse.
32. Silicon Valley (HBO)Season 5. 7 episodes.
If you'd bet me that this show would get worse without the quips of Erlich Bachman to add some stoner spice, you'd owe me money. (You probably do anyway, so pony up via whatever the latest Venmo-esque sensation is.) Anyway, the show is humming along without T.J. Miller's banished bro. The new main "villain" (that's in quotes because every character on this show, even loveably weird Jared, is a villain) is Bachman's Newman-like nemesis Jian Yang, he of "Not Hot Dog" fame. Will the rest of the gang overcome his shenanigans? Are there douchebags in the tech industry?
31. Dear White People (Netflix)Season 2. 10 episodes.
The second go-around of this dramatic comedy series from Justin Simien is a lot like Season 1, only with scene-stealing guest appearances by Tessa Thompson and Lena Waithe, and a plot that focuses more on the secret societies that power Winchester.
30. Sacred Games (Netflix)Season 1. 8 episodes.
In Netflix's first-ever original series from India, a principled cop (Saif Ali Khan) investigates a vague threat to Mumbai after receiving a message recorded by an underworld kingpin (Nawazuddin Siddiqui) long thought to be missing. It's a fantastic, propulsive thriller, best viewed in its original language and subtitles, that you will blow through like a book you can't put down.
29. Blood (Acorn TV)Miniseries. 6 episodes.
Acorn TV, the streaming service specializing in imported shows (primarily from Britain), landed this sneakily devastating Irish mystery, in which a grieving woman (Carolina Main) returns to her childhood home after her mother dies under suspicious circumstances. Everyone's a suspect, especially her father (Line of Duty's outstanding Adrian Dunbar), and everything's another thing to be investigated. Blood manages that all too rare feat in episodic series: The finale is genuinely surprising.
28. Bodyguard (Netflix)Season 1. 6 episodes.
This twisty British conspiracy thriller stars Richard Madden as a security agent assigned to protect the controversial Minister of Defence (Keeley Hawes).
If you really miss The Wire and are sick of gritty series about urban decay all being set in Baltimore, here's your new favorite show.
26. The Handmaid's Tale (Hulu)Season 2. 13 episodes.
The relentlessly grim, yet completely compelling, dystopian drama drops a bigger set of similarly emotionally draining episodes.
25. Lodge 49 (AMC)Season 1. 10 episodes.
Wyatt Russell stars in this quirky drama about an ex-surfer whose life-meanderings lead him to joining a local club shrouded in secrecy.
24. The Deuce (HBO)Season 2. 10 episodes.
This season of David Simon's gritty drama about Times Square, prostitution, and the adult film industry in New York City of the 1970s focus on Maggie Gyllenhaal's savvy character more than James Franco's dual roles as mustachioed twin brothers who are impossible to care about, which was a very smart move.
A light comedy about a 40-something (Sutton Foster) pretending to be a millennial so that she could land a job in book publishing is completely preposterous in the best possible way. No one does a George R.R. Martin parody as well as Younger.
22. The Good Place (NBC)Season 3. 13 episodes.
In this season of The Good Place, the gang finds themselves back on Earth without knowing anything about their after-life ordeal, part of an experiment to see if who they became in the Good Place might allow them to retroactively overcome the flaws that had, in fact, doomed them to the Bad Place. High-concept premises rarely work, especially on network TV, but The Good Place is an entertaining exception.
21. YOU (Lifetime)Season 1. 13 episodes.
In this new show that's equal parts ludicrous and addictive, a seemingly nice-guy bookstore manager goes full stalker when a self-sabotaging poet with horrible friends visits his shop.
20. GLOW (Netflix)Season 2. 10 episodes.
The Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling is the only show about women's wrestling in the 1980s that stars Alison Brie that you will ever need. Luckily, it's very watchable.
19. Maniac (Netflix)Limited series. 8 episodes.
Jonah Hill and Emma Stone star in this stylish, mind-bending limited series about two messed-up people who volunteer for an experimental drug trial.
18. Cobra Kai (YouTube Premium)Season 1. 10 episodes.
Ralph Macchio and William Zabka re-team for the revival series you didn't know you needed. The action picks up three decades after the events that ended the first The Karate Kid movie, and life has not been kind to poor Johnny following Daniel-san's crane kick to the face. Binge on, binge off.
17. Insecure (HBO)Season 3. 8 episodes.
Issa Rae's sitcom about an L.A. woman with a messed up love life and some hilarious friends is so easy to watch that you're always surprised when the episodes run out. Sadly, we'll have to wait another year for more.
16. Dirty John (Bravo)Miniseries. 10 episodes.
Based on the 2017 longform article by The Los Angeles Times and its subsequent podcast, Dirty John tells the sordid tale of a serial grifter (Eric Bana) and an extremely trusting woman he targets (Connie Britton).
15. Babylon Berlin (Netflix)Seasons 1 and 2. 16 episodes.
Told over 16 episodes, which were split into two seasons when they debuted in Germany last fall, this bingeable mystery co-created by Run Lola Run's Tom Twyker and based on a series of novels introduces us to combat soldier-turned-homicide detective Gereon Rath (played by Volker Bruch) as he attempts to navigate around various forms of corruption and deal with his own PTSD during the wacky Weimar Republic days. Very important: As with the time-travel series Dark and, really, any foreign show, make sure to watch this with the subtitles turned on or you'll be subjected to the unintentionally comical dubbing.
The second iteration of Ryan Murphy's true crime anthology is not nearly as mesmerizing as The People v. O.J. Simpson, maybe because it doesn't have David Schwimmer saying "Juice" repeatedly. Still, this one, which focuses on what led the serial killer Andrew Cunanan (played by Darren Criss) to slay the fashion designer (Édgar Ramírez, with Penélope Cruz, pictured, as his sister, Donatella) in 1997, is a fascinating study of a total psycho who loved cheesy dance music and should appeal to fans of, well, American Psycho.
13. American Vandal (Netflix)Season 2. 8 episodes.
It seems impossible to believe that a parody of true-crime docuseries like Making a Murderer could focus on something even more outlandish than penis graffiti and pull it off. But Season 2, about the investigation of someone going by the name Turd Burglar, manages to be both hilarious and kind of sad once again. It's kind of perfect. So why did Netflix cancel it? Or is that bit of news merely a smokescreen designed to obscure the truth: that American Vandal's third season will be an investigation into the sometimes unwanted cancellation practices at Netflix itself?
The only thing that would make this Showtime drama any more like Face/Off, the beloved 1997 action movie starring John Travolta and Nicolas Cage, is if Paul Giamatti and Damian Lewis switched faces. The glee with which they fuck with each other, sans face-swap, is at the same level of intensity, and it's just as much fun to watch.
11. Sharp Objects (HBO)Miniseries. 8 episodes.
Amy Adams plays a big-city newspaper reporter investigating murders in her small Missouri hometown in this adaptation of Gone Girl author Gillian Flynn's 2006 debut novel.
10. Barry (HBO)Season 1. 8 episodes.
Stefon is nowhere to be found in this dramedy created by Bill Hader and Silicon Valley showrunner Alec Berg in which the SNL alum plays an assassin who realizes he wants to be an actor. Easier said than done.
9. Escape at Dannemora (Showtime)Miniseries. 7 episodes.
In this binge-worthy re-telling of the improbable prison break in the summer of 2015, two convicts (Benecio del Toro and Paul Dano) at an upstate New York corrections facility pull a Shawshank Redemption with the help of an easily manipulated employee (Patricia Arquette, who will win every Emmy).
8. Homecoming (Amazon)Season 1. 10 episodes.
In this bingeworthy adaptation of a popular scripted podcast, Julia Roberts dominates in her TV series debut as a well-meaning supervisor at a stealth facility tasked with rehabilitating soldiers with PTSD. Sam Esmail (Mr. Robot) directs every episode and the result is a taut, stylish mystery that, thanks to episodes that average around 30 minutes, can be knocked out in a single sitting.
7. The End of the F***ing World (Netflix)Season 1. 8 episodes.
A teen who is pretty sure he might be a sociopath sets out to murder someone. His target is a classmate who is also kind of sociopathic too. They set off on a road trip that ends in a legit cliffhanger.
6. Better Call Saul (AMC)Season 4. 10 episodes.
We're getting closer and closer to the time period where Walter White first contacted Saul Goodman on Breaking Bad, and the action is heating up.
5. Killing Eve (BBC America)Season 1. 8 episodes.
Sandra Oh, of Grey's Anatomy and Sideways fame, has found a killer role as Eve, a British agent who becomes obsessed with a very skilled and weird assassin known as Villanelle (played by Jamie Comer).
4. Succession (HBO)Season 1. 10 episodes.
This series, about a media empire headed up by a Murdoch-ian mogul with a bickering brood, is like The Big Short crossed with Billions -- which makes sense if you consider that Adam McKay is an executive producer and it depicts the gleeful machinations of the megawealthy.
3. The Americans (FX)Season 6. 10 episodes.
By jumping ahead four years to September 1987, a few months ahead of the looming Washington Summit meeting between Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev, The Americans is setting itself up for a sure-to-be-killer conclusion. The final season finds Paige grappling with her new double-life as a Russian agent, Philip out of action and focused on making the travel agency work, and Elizabeth being, well, Elizabeth. Will there be a happy ending? My Russian-made crystal ball says, "Nyet."
After a long break, during which creator Donald Glover went off and played Lando Calrissian, Atlanta comes back even stronger in its second season, subtitled Robbin' Season. There's higher stakes for everyone involved, but isn't that always the way?
This spin-off of The Good Wife, which focuses on Christine Baranski's fed-up Diane Lockhart but also featuring some top-tier co-stars (e.g., Cush Jumbo, Audra McDonald, Delroy Lindo), delivers the solid procedural legal action everyone craves, while also offering intelligent outrage and eye-rolling over our current political climate. This season, lawyers are being hunted and everyone's on edge, yet the show handles it all with the appropriate amount of gallows humor. Is the world ending? Maybe! And if it is, The Good Fight wants you to grab a martini, take a swig, and enjoy the ride into the apocalypse.