Are you ready for the 7 best TV shows of 2018
It's too hot to go outside, anyway
Who needs sleep when there’s so much great television to watch? Also, that’s why weekends were invented, right? To binge and stream to your heart’s delight. If you’re in need of recommendations, here are the best TV shows of 2018 so far, from crime dramas to surprisingly existential comedies.
You’d be hard-pressed to find a more exciting new show in 2018 than Netflix’s South Central–set On My Block. Featuring a lead cast made up completely of performers of colour, the comedy uses the familiar setup of a quartet of freshmen entering high school together and struggling to maintain their friendships amid new social pressures to shine a light on a neighbourhood and a population that are often relegated to cautionary tales. In On My Block, underage characters try to sneak beers from high school parties and pine over impossibly beautiful people from afar, just as in any other high school story, and then moments later duck when gunshots ring out before quizzing each other on what caliber the gun they’ve just heard is. It’s a brilliant collision of tropes—it’s a series about a working-class neighbourhood under pressure from a gang and it’s a series about awkward kids coming of age, going to dances, and making out. It’s a comedy and it’s a drama. It’s about a specific experience had by people of colour and it’s a series for everyone who has ever been a teen.
Watch on Netflix.
If you were wondering what happened to the rom-com, just look to your TV (or laptop). Englishcomedy Lovesick‘s third season debuted with 2018 itself, dropping on Netflix right in time for that post-New Year’s inertia. Among its most winning qualities are an enchanting cast—Johnny Flynn as Dylan, a kind of lowkey Jamie Oliver; The Good Doctor‘s Antonia Thomas as the lovelorn Evie; and Daniel Ings as Luke, a heartbreakingly loyal friend with fuckboy tendencies—and the kind of snappily now writing that makes you wonder how the show was ever called Scrotal Recall (yes, it’s true). The trio have moved on from Dylan’s original crisis (getting chlamydia and being instructed to tell all his past lovers) to the quiet but worthwhile challenge of staying friends when unrequited love threatens to break those bonds.
Watch on Netflix.
Despite Collateral‘s grey English grimness, it is can’t-tear-your-eyes-away good. A man is gunned down in the street while delivering pizza, and the murder investigation discovers big, dark forces at play. Anchored by an ultra-dry Carey Mulligan as detective Kip Glaspie, the four-episode crime drama is both efficiently told and detailed enough to emphasize the real human lives affected by the tragedy; as Glaspie strives to catch the killer and make a difference, the show reminds us just how many ways people are willing to diminish others’ humanity. —Estelle Tang, Senior Editor
Watch on Netflix.
#5. One Day at a Time
The Alvarezes shouldn’t have so much on their fictional shoulders—a single mom dealing with combat-related PTSD, a father absenting himself after his daughter comes out as a lesbian, schoolyard racism, an oblivious white-guy landlord who thinks he understands other immigrants’ problems because he’s from Canada—but, like so many other American families, they do. They’re also responsible for one of the most moving and sweetly entertaining TV depictions of a Latinx family in recent years; Rita Moreno as the fiercely protective, grandiose, and charming Lydia, and Justina Machado as the family’s anchor, Penelope, both deserve to be on our screens for a long time.
Watch on Netflix.
#6. The Good Place
NBC’s hit afterlife comedy—is it TV’s only afterlife comedy right now?—reinvented itself for a second season that began in 2017 and tornadoed towards yet another total revamp in its February finale. Its reveal—that the imperfect characters were actually in the Bad Place—ramped up both the stakes and the absurd humor. Like the Spice Girls, the show’s distinctive and lovable core characters have created a wonderfully dynamic and addictive gestalt. Alongside the seemingly effortless energy of Kristen Bell and Ted Danson, relative newcomers Jameela Jamil, Manny Jacinto, William Jackson Harper, and D’Arcy Carden bring hilarity and surprise to every episode. Next stop: An opportunity to redo their naughty lives.
While Season 1 is on Netflix, you may have to wait a while for season 2.
Watch on Hulu.
I’ve truly never felt more seen by a major network TV show than Black-ish. I’m too young for A Different World, and watched more Lauren Conrad shows than Moesha, if I’m being transparent. Black-ish has been good since its inception, thanks to the creative genius of Kenya Barris. I don’t know how he did it, but I’m able to relate to every member of the Johnson family on some sort of level: Andre’s love for the innate black coolness, Bo’s unique way of navigating the world due to her biracial identity, Zoey’s love of fashion, Diane’s scary tendencies, Jack’s goofy ways.
Black-ish is finally a show for me, that shows the diversity of blackness and the struggles that black people face but are rarely depicted on primetime TV. Plus, I love the thought of non-black households learning about The Nod, hair relaxers, and the potential for awkwardness when white and black people come together for holidays. This current season has especially broken barriers with episodes that talk about institutional racism and postpartum depression. —Chloe Hall, Writer and Producer
Watch on ABC.