Best Television Shows 2018 (July-September)

Friday, September 7, 2018

April-June is here.

1. Succession (HBO)
2. Better Call Saul (AMC)
3. New Japan Pro Wrestling (AXS)
4. America to Me (Starz)
5. GLOW (Netflix)
6. I'm Dying Up Here (Showtime)
7. Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee (Netflix)
8. Who is America? (Showtime)
9. Last Chance U (Netflix)
10. Big Brother (CBS)

Succession is the big surprise; HBO pulled out another premium drama which created a wholly new world.  The best analogue is The Deuce, which will be eligible in the next quarter.  Saul is only a portion of the way through the season; the Breaking Bad universe increasingly intrudes (to largely good effect) on what's been a period piece about estranged brothers.  I'm a wrestling fan; the best wrestling in the world (and many of the best matches literally of all time) is now on US TV for free every week.  America to Me is a well made documentary about race in the modern American high school.  GLOW is a little overrated, he says as a wrestling fan, those who really like it see a deeper bench within its ensemble than do I.  I don't think season one of the '70s stand up comedy show I'm Dying up Here made any of my lists; nor do I think the Crackle seasons of Seinfeld's 15 minute chat with comics was so included, but both make this cut.  Who is America was equal parts unmissible and unwatchable; I'm a sucker for a football documentary, and always enjoy Last Chance U - finally, the show on which I spend the greatest number of hours each year is Big Brother.  The game is always good, the show very often much less so, but both the Celebrity version early in the year and BB20, which will wrap up in a few weeks, were really solid versions of the nearly two decade long series.

The only show from the quarter that I just haven't gotten to yet is Goliath (nope, I also haven't watched Unreal).  I'm halfway through Ozark and will consider it for the next quarter.  Here are the 20 shows from the first half of the year (updated to reflect episodes viewed following original rankings)

Here's Jan-March 

1. Atlanta (FX)
2. The Good Place (NBC)
3. High Maintenance (HBO)
4. All in With Chris Hayes (MSNBC)
5. Crashing (HBO)
6. Baskets (FX)
7. Superstore (NBC)
8. Portlandia (IFC)
9. Love (Netflix)
10. Alone Together (Freeform)

Here's April-June
1. Barry (HBO)
2. The Americans (FX)
3. Cobra Kai (YouTube Red)
4. Killing Eve (BBCA)
5. Arrested Development (Netflix)
6. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (Netflix)
7. Brooklyn Nine-Nine (Fox)
8. AP Bio (NBC)
9. Billions (Showtime)
10. Silicon Valley (HBO)

There's some heat coming in the last quarter of the year, Matthew Weiner, Kidding, Camping, the return of the Deuce, Julia Roberts, Emma Stone/Jonah Hill, American Vandal is back, Fred Armisen/Maya Rudolph, the end of Crazy Ex Girlfriend, Toni Collette.  I assume the networks might have something as well.  It should be a heated last quarter in the race to claim the top spot for 2018.

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