in Top Ten

While writing my list I noticed something. Out of the ten shows I picked for my favorites of 2019, only one is over an hour long. I remember a time when all the GOOD shows were an hour long. Like The Sopranos. It just goes to show how the evolution of the TV and all the ways to consume TV have broken down a lot of conventions. Shows can be as long as they need to be when they don’t need to worry about commercial time.

Which also explains why a majority of my selections are streaming-based. I don’t know if any of this is good or bad for the medium or if we need to cool it on the number of shows available, but as of now, I feel good about it. After all, you don’t have to watch all of it.

Honorable Mention
Black Mirror
The Last Drive-in with Joe Bob Briggs
Los Espooky
Watchmen (Probably)

10. Joe Pera Talks with You

I like to watch this show with breakfast, because I can’t think of a more wholesome way to start the morning. Now in season 2, Joe Pera Talks with You, features the titular Joe Pera, a middle school choir teacher, whos shows us how to appreciate the smaller things in life. Topics this season include; grocery shopping, hiking, planting a bean arch, and waiting. There’s a reason Pera became famous for his animated short “Joe Pera Talks You to Sleep”, his slow midwest delivery goes down like a warm glass of milk. Drink it up with a fish fry dinner and a side of brown bread.

9. What We Do in the Shadows

One of my favorite vampire mockumentary movies is now one of my favorite vampire mockumentary TV shows. Following the day-to-day lives of three clueless vampires (Kayvan Novak, Matt Berry, Natasia Demetrio) in Staten Island, along with with energy vampire roommate Colin (Mark Proksch) and familiar Guillermo (Harvey Guillen), WWDitS is a comedy and horror fan (like me’s) wet nightmare.

What makes this show work so well is its ability to weave together these over-the-top characters into the most mundane situations. One of my favorite storylines is when Nandor the Relentless (Novak) decides its finally time to conquer the “New World” and starts by attending a local city council meeting. There are limitless possibilities for this show and I can’t wait to see what they sink their teeth into next season.

8. The Boys

“What if superman was an asshole?”

The dark badass superhero show of the year! At least it was until the Watchmen show came along and introduced us to an even darker world of heroes and villains. On paper, which it was at some point because it was a comic, The Boys is just Watchmen. Both are about the corruption of caped crusaders and those who despise them.

More specifically, the titular “Boys” are a group of vigilantes hellbent on putting an end to “The Seven” a Justice League-ish superhero team whose corruption has been destroying lives for years. Particularly, Hughie (Jack Quaid) who wants revenge after A-Train (Jessie T. Usher) kills his girlfriend by accidentally exploding her via super speed.

What I like about The Boys is how deep it explores the commercialization of superheroes. Characters like Homelander (Antony Starr)—the stand-in for Superman—only care about his public perception. It doesn’t matter if people have to die or get abused or hurt. It’s all about what makes him stay on top.

The Boys can be a little edge-lordy but overall it’s well made, well acted, and well paced with plenty of twists, turns, and full-body explosions.

7. I Think You Should Leave

It was also the night that the skeletons came to life!

They came from under the ground / And from all over/ The bones are the skeletons’ money / In our world, bones equal dollars / That’s why they’re coming out tonight / To get their bones from you / The skeletons will pull your hair / Up, but NOT OUT / All they want is another chance at life / They’ve never seen so much food as this / Underground, there’s half as much food as this / And the worms are their money / The bones are their dollars /

6. PEN15

One of the best teen comedies in years and it stars two comediennes in their thirties. Maya Erskine and Anna Konkle star as 13-year-old fictionalized versions of themselves going to middle school in the year 2000. In the show, we watch as this awkward duo explores boys, their own bodies, and AOL Instant Messenger. If it sounds creepy that’s because it is but that’s part of the fun.

Jokes aside, it’s the heart this show has that lands in on my list. The deep bond between the two leads and everything they go through is touching. Divorce, death, and racism are all key plot elements and it’s always done with utmost care. In a perfect world, this show would be a big hit. Unfortunately, it’s on Hulu. Where dreams go to die. Jk.

5. Rick and Morty

The goriest, funniest, and best season yet? I think so. Even if it was only a half-season Dan Harmon and Justin Roiland’s mutant space love child of a show is deep in its groove and I’m down to clown. Not much has changed between this season and the last season. The stories are still strong the sci-fi concepts are still thought-provoking and with enough heists, future-seeing stones, and fascist snakes for all.

4. Veep

I watched all of Veep this year and I loved it. Selina Meyer (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) is an iconic sitcom character. She’s a terrible person but I’ll never forget the time I spent with this power-hungry character and all those she demoralized and crushed in her wake. Good times.

P.S. RIP Future Tom Hanks.

3. Fleabag

I bet I seem pretty classy for having a British show on here. It’s a crass show about sex and domestic chaos but it’s British so it must be classy.

2. Barry

I really like the Karate episode. Whew, getting a little tired of writing this list…

1. The Mandalorian

Baby. Yoda. *mic drop