Living in the Golden Age of Television means you're never without a new show to try. Whether it's a network series, cable, or streaming, there's a seemingly endless supply of content, each more critically acclaimed than the last. A few shows may have been lost in the shuffle, but revisiting the 7 best TV premieres of 2018 will remind you what a great year it's been.
Though plenty of returning shows dazzled with second or third seasons, this list is all about the series that made their debut this year. And there was a lot to choose from; Netflix alone seems to release thirteen amazing episodes of something every other day. But the shows on this list were hotly anticipated or unexpectedly impactful; they surprised their audiences with how fresh and new they felt. It didn't hurt that most of them featured some really interesting female characters, too. A couple of them even shined at the Emmy Awards, or are set to take home a Golden Globe or two.
Without further ado, and in no particular order because I'm not a masochist, here are some of the most interesting and well-received shows of the year. These are the series that viewers can't wait to see more of.
The Haunting Of Hill House
Though The Haunting of Hill House was based on a Shirley Jackson novel, it expanded and reinvented that familiar world to create something new. Its combination of family drama and otherworldly suspense hooked viewers while creating a very sinister tale.
Based on the podcast of the same name, Amazon Prime's Homecoming was a perfect storm. It brought movie star Julia Roberts to a scripted series for the first time, uniting her with Mr. Robot creator Sam Esmail. Praised by Vulture for its meticulousness, this well-crafted thriller unfolded over 10 episodes until its answers became clear.
My Brilliant Friend
Elena Ferrante's Neapolitan novels were popular bestsellers, which meant there was a built-in audience for HBO's adaptation of them. It also meant people were prepared to be critical if the finished product didn't honor its source material. Luckily, however, My Brilliant Friend is true to the complicated, intense books it springs from.
Like a few other shows on this list, Sharp Objects excelled at female antiheroes and female villains, giving women the space to be as messy as their male counterparts had been on screen for years. The unconventional storytelling only enhanced the experience.
Killing Eve was a darkly comedic cat-and-mouse game between an MI5 agent and an assassin that gave its audience two incredibly complex female characters. It felt genre-bending and unique, which made it an exciting watch. The show also earned star Sandra Oh an important Emmy nomination: she was the first Asian woman to be nominated in the lead actress in a drama category.
Before Queer Eye was released on Netflix, there may have been some trepidation about it. Did the world really need a reboot of a mid-00s reality show about gay men giving makeovers to straight guys? Turns out the world absolutely did. This heartwarming series not only inspired waterworks, it opened hearts and minds while lifting spirits.
Pose made history by featuring five transgender actresses in leading roles — a first for television. It told stories that hadn't been told before, and did so with respect, heart, and a totally boss '80s soundtrack. Who could ask for more?
This list could likely be twice as long, but these are some of the best shows 2018 had to offer.
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