In this particular calendar year, it was hard for the classic cable networks (ABC, NBC, CBS) to compete with the various streaming networks and specialty channels and for good reason it seems as everyone upped their game to create some riveting television. This is not a best-of list though, just a bunch of favourites, shows which stood out from the pack.
Stranger Things Season 3 (Netflix) – After a lacklustre second season, the third installment came back with a vengeance with new cast member Maya Hawke, a little Neverending Story and the perfect blend of comedy, action and horror. The show proved that it still had some life in it and with a fourth season coming up, they would do well to be more season three and less season two.
Preacher Season 4 (AMC) – Sadly, all good things must come to an end and so it is that Jesse Custer’s quest to confront God over his mishandling of everything came to a head. It was ridiculous and over-the-top with great moments from Jesus, Arseface and Cassidy just to name a few.
Elite Season 2 (Netflix) – More teenage suspense and drama, backstabbing and all-out craziness among the wealthy that would end up being some of the most riveting episodes from any show.
In For a Penny (ITV) – A game show starring Steven Mulhern, spun-off from his skits on Ant & Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway. Short, funny and a perfect show to watch when needing a break from heavier fare.
Castle Rock Season 2 (HULU) – While the first season was a good, if a little unsteady at times, the second season with the introduction of Misery’s Annie Wilkes would make for utterly compelling TV. It would be crazy and dramatic and packed with horror with a star performance from Lizzy Caplan and strong showings from Tim Robbins and Yusra Warsama.
Reprisal (HULU) – A revenge story with Abigail Spencer out to put her brother and her former gang in the ground for betraying her years previous. Paced well, filled with tension and featuring the perfect blend of new and old from cars to costumes and everything in-between.
You Season 2 (Netflix) – Still creepy and still utterly impossible to tear oneself away from the show as seeing what comes next is a must. Who knew a show about a stalker would be so good?
The Witcher (Netflix) – It may not be accurate in various ways and it might delve into Hercules/Xena territory for a bit, but the show does pick up and become quite good with an ending that came far too soon.
Jett (Cinemax) – Who would have thought that Carla Gugino would play the lead in one of the year’s best shows, especially one so riveting? Here she is a thief who must do what it takes to keep her family safe, though would it end up being enough?
La casa de papel/Money Heist Season 2 (Netflix) – Despite the poor title change from Netflix, the show about the perfect heist continues into new territory. Though it is not quite as good as that first season, it still manages to beat out a ton of other shows for sheer entertainment value.
Yellowstone Season 2 (Paramount) – More Costner, more Kelly Reilly and Wes Bentley and more drama than one can shake a stick at. The Dutton Ranch has threats coming at them from every direction and seeing John Dutton try to fend them all off makes one envious of the man’s fortitude.
Bordertown Season 2 (Netflix) – Crimes are committed and lies are told by almost everyone involved making Detective Inspector Kari Sorjonen’s job all the harder as he tries to balance work with his home life and not always succeeding at it.
The Umbrella Academy (Netflix) – A perfect adaptation of Gerard Way and Gabriel Ba’s Dark Horse comic book about a family of gifted youngsters who grow up as the most imperfect family. Also with time travel and an oncoming apocalypse to keep the siblings on their toes.
NOS4A2 (AMC) – Though there were a few complaints about the accuracy of the adaptation, Joe Hill’s book still comes to magnificent life and manages to merge thrills and chills into a fantastically enjoyable outing.
Even more good stuff:
Lost in Space Season 2 (Netflix)
American Horror Story Season 10 (FX)
Mr. Mercedes Season 3 (Audience)
Prodigal Son (FOX)
Strike Back: Revolution (Cinemax)
Mindhunter Season 2 (Netflix)
WHAT / IF (Netflix)
Marvel’s Jessica Jones Season 3 (Netflix)
The Break Season 2 (Netflix)
Baby Season 2 (Netflix)