Countdown to 2020: 2019 TV

Disclaimer: I only rank shows that I watch and I’m not a TV critic. Also, there are some spoilers. Read at your own risk…

I watched a lot more TV this year than in previous years. Not sure how I found the time, but the only show I wanted to watch this year but didn’t get to was Russian Doll. That will have to be for 2020. Overall, three of my favorite shows ended, but there are some promising new shows to keep me watching.

1. A Series of Unfortunate Events
A great end to what has been a true gift for A Series of Unfortunate Events fans. The series found a way to give us the visuals I craved as I was reading, as well as additional scenes to flesh out more of the mystery. These episode encompassed some of my favorites of the books (Slippery SlopePenultimate Peril), and they were given justice. Thank you to Netflix for taking on this series.

2. Crazy Ex-Girlfriend
I don’t know if I agree with how Rebecca’s story ended, and certainly fake Greg was frustrating, but Crazy Ex-Girlfriend was still one of the best shows on TV this year. They had always planned to wrap things up this way, and they got to do just that. Plus, we all got to see Crazy Ex-Girlfriend Live soon after, which kept the party going.

3. The Good Place
The Good Place has gone so many strange and different places this year. It’s a little hard to keep up and keep track… in the best way! The characters are so delightful that I’ve loved them no matter what the series has thrown at them. It’s such a fun ride, and I’m not sure where it could possibly end.

4. Jane the Virgin
Another show that ended this year. Jane the Virgin treaded a lot of familiar territory with Rafael and Jane, but it was nice to see all the characters end in a good place. It’s sad that two shows that feature women’s journeys are ending this year (Jane the Virgin and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend). I hope we get more shows like them.

5. Mixed-Ish
My favorite new show of the year! Mixed-ish is a spinoff of Black-ish, and as much as I enjoy Black-ish, I prefer Mixed-ish. I like how it focuses on a young pre-teen girl and her experiences, and of course the 80s time period endears me to it even more. It’s kind of like Mean Girls (the family moves back to the real world after living in a cult) meets a typical family sitcom. Oh, and Zach Morris is the dad.

6. His Dark Materials
Like A Series of Unfortunate EventsHis Dark Materials was a book series I loved that was given a horrible movie adaptation and felt doomed to never see the screen again. I’m so thankful for television and streaming services for bringing these books to me in this new way. I don’t think this adaptation is perfect, but I looked forward to watching it every week and got so much joy from revisiting this story. And Ruth Wilson is fantastic as my favorite character Mrs. Coulter.

7. What We Do in the Shadows
I never saw the film that this series is taken from, but man is this show hilarious. It’s basically vampires meets The Office, and the deadpan humor (and digs at Staten Island) felt very needed on TV and in my life.

8. Fosse/Verdon
I really appreciated how this show took me into the world of 50s/60s/70s/80s musical theater and into the worlds of these characters. The narrative didn’t always hang together, but the world and characters were so lived-in that I was always on board. Michelle Williams was, as many have said, great as Gwen Verdon. 

9. Veronica Mars
I feel so fortunate to have gotten more time with Veronica Mars. Nothing will ever equal the perfection of the first season, but I’ll take what I can get. I was glad the mystery was compelling and hung together for the entire eight-episode season and that the show skillfully wove in character development in that short timespan. I guess I should have expected that from these folks, but shows returning after many years are often hit or miss.

10. Shrill
I enjoyed Shrill‘s short and sweet first season. The cast is great (John Cameron Mitchell, Aidy Bryant), and it’s a much-needed perspective on being overweight in our society. Sometimes I felt I wanted to know the characters a little bit better, but there’s still enough there to carry them.


Runners Up

Transparent

Great closure to this show. I wasn’t always on board with the musical theater element to the finale, but there were some beautiful musical moments nonetheless. The way the family and the show itself embraced Judaism will always be its strongest point, for me.

Compare to Last Year’s Rankings


Other Shows I Watch(ed)Unbreakable Kimmy SchmidtFresh off the BoatModern FamilyYoungerBlackish

Older Shows/Seasons I watched this year:
Once Upon a Time season 7
Fuller House Season 2
Ellen Degeneres: Relatable
The Bold Type Season 2
X-Files season 10
Grace and Frankie season 1
Broad City season 3
Brooklyn Nine Nine season 1

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