Monday 31 December 2018

Shows of the Year

Best new show: 

Sharp Objects

I found it completely impossible to turn away as the horror of Gillian Flynn's story (which gets fleshed out considerably in the television adaptation) unfolded. An inescapable journey into darkness - the spiral of violence, addiction, generational trauma, the inherent creepiness of Camille's family, between mother and half-sister and ignorant-of-the-world stepfather, the performances - from Amy Adams to Patricia Clarkson's Adora to Eliza Scanlen's Amma (providing us with nightmares to come)

Killing Eve

I've been thinking a lot this year about a feeling of emptiness that I have in regards to television, and whether that feeling comes from some inherent disconnect with whatever stories are being told, or the ways they are told, or just with how having a full-time job has affected my ability to engage with narratives. In any case - Killing Eve was something to look forward to, week-by-week, a classic cat-and-mouse game between two protagonists that couldn't be any more different in a show that never hesitated to navigate that very thin line between hatred and love. Eve loves and hates Villanelle, because there are limited ways in which she can break out of her everyday routine, her boring love, and this is by far the best one.


Cloak & Dagger

This show started off with so much narrative and aesthetic ambition - like a fever dream, or a dance performance of some kind, all of it carried by two incredibly good leads who play off perfectly of each other, as well as a strong supporting cast. What a perfect choice to set this show in New Orleans, and weave history into the story so elegantly.

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina

Picnic at Hanging Rock

Australia still, after four years, makes very little sense to me (but then, to be fair, it took me more than 28 years to make remote sense of Vienna, or the sense of a sense, the hint of a sense, so give it time I guess), but Picnic at Hanging Rock at least made me feel like that senselessness was somewhat inscribed in the beauty of the country, the landscape, and the utter horror that white settlement has wrought upon it. I must have watched the film, the initial adaptation of the book, and I didn't even realise, back then, where it was set - but the show is inherently, deeply connected in both the soil and the time it is set in. It works on both those layers - the fleeting and unresolved mystery that tells about the connection between women and the ways in which the only way out for them in a restricting society is a mysterious act of disappearance, and the more explicit ways in which this show is about class barriers breaking down in that specific point in time (a barrier that is still just starting to break down, more than a century later). 

Wynonna Earp
The Good Fight
Better Call Saul

And a note on the side, one of gratefulness, to Supergirl, which has come back from a season of confusion, providing us once again with the hero we need, and a season that takes on the Trump presidency head-on (I could have done without the episode that gave us a tragic backstory for the racist foil, but otherwise the execution of showcasing how a country can slowly descend into politically sanctioned radicalism was flawless) - and one to Legends of Tomorrow, which, in its final season, seems to be able to do whatever the fuck it wants, from murderous unicorns, cat!Zari, but most of all, something that I can only think to all an unapologetic celebratory queerness. What is happening with DC? 

Saddest goodbye:

The Americans
The Leftovers

Honorary Mention: 

Jane the Virgin
One Day at a Time
Homecoming Queens

2008 | 2009 | 2010 | 2011 | 2012 | 2013 | 2014 | 2015 | 2016 | 2017

No comments: