Making a list of the year’s best TV shows is impossible. There are just so many across so many different genres and most of them seem to star A-list movie types now. It’s impossible to watch them and impossible to whittle down what you did watch. And it’s also impossible to complain about because some people have real jobs where they break rocks in the sun. “Well, my job was hard today, too, because I couldn’t figure out how to get Homecoming into my yearly top ten shows list.” Woof. Just an exercise in futility on a number of fronts.
We did it, though. Three of our television experts — Brian Grubb, Josh Kurp, and LaToya Ferguson — put together this list of the top 15 shows of the year. Homecoming is still somehow not on it, despite the fact that Homecoming was great. You can take this to mean there was just such an overwhelming number of quality shows that a worthy contender got squeezed out or that we did a bad job. Or both. You have options.
A brief word on our methodology: There was not much methodology! We took our three top ten lists and assigned a point value to each entry (first place show gets 10 points, tenth place show gets 1 point, etc.), kept the top ten scoring shows in order, then populated the last five spots with shows that missed the cut but we were passionate about for one reason or another. Brian threw a fit and got his show in at 15 despite it getting one total point. LaToya may or may not have gamed the system by ranking a CW show so high that it snuck into the top ten on score alone. Josh’s number one wasn’t on anyone else’s list at all. It was chaos.
And yet, even with all that said, it’s a pretty solid list. That’s the benefit of so much television. You can be wrong about everything and right about everything at the same time. Below, please find Uproxx’s 15 best television shows of 2018.
15. Detroiters (Comedy Central)
Detroiters is so fun. It is so much fun. It is ostensibly a series about two guys — played by Sam Richardson and Tim Robinson — running a struggling advertising business in Detroit, but mostly it is just 22-minute chunks of goofs and sight gags. With heart. Lots of heart. It’s a joy to watch for a bunch of reasons, not the least being Sam Richardson, who you might know as Richard Splett in Veep and will hopefully know from everything soon because he rules. I feel like I might be overselling this a bit, and maybe I am, but most of us could use a silly light comedy sometimes and this is very much that. One of this season’s episodes featured a slow-developing gag about a business’s mascot turning into Blade from Blade and I’m still laughing about it now.
Put it this way: If you think of the best television show as the greatest technical and artistic program of the year, well, Detroiters isn’t on this list. But if you think of it as the show you are most excited to watch every week, and you can wear your colleagues down with a series of tantrums unbecoming of even a toddler, then hey, number 15 it is. — Brian Grubb
14. Crazy Ex- Girlfriend (The CW)
Crazy Ex-Girlfriend is currently in the middle of its fourth and final season on The CW, and it naturally looks like it’s going to go out on top — at least in whatever way a cult musical “romantic” comedy about mental illness, personal responsibility, and happiness (at the very least—it’s about a lot of stuff) can go out on top. As Crazy Ex-Girlfriend promised from the very beginning that “the situation’s a lot more nuanced than that,” these final two seasons have shown an unflinching desire on Rachel Bloom and Aline Brosh McKenna’s part to show all the uncomfortable nuance. As dark as Crazy Ex-Girlfriend gets, it also does so in a way that’s more about introspection and depicting the realness of the situation (which can also be kind of funny) than just being dark and depressing for the sake of it. Of course, the catchy songs also help. — LaToya Ferguson
13. Succession (HBO)
The first three episodes of Succession’s first season were… eh. They were fine. Not great, close enough to bad that I almost stopped watching. But then, starting in the fourth episode and continuing forward like a bullet train until the conclusion, it all began clicking. Suddenly everything that annoyed me (the whiny adult children, the plights of terrible billionaires, everything Kieran Culkin’s character did) became vital to the plot and/or charming. Somehow this show went from “Billions, but worse” to one of the most addictive shows of the year. I’m still not sure if it’s really a drama or just the darkest comedy you’ve ever seen. I am sure of three things, though:
- In five years, we’ll all be working for Cousin Greg or dead by his hand
- The theme song was the song of the summer
- It is not a closed-loop system, Tom
Meeting over. Fuck off. — Brian Grubb