2018 was a real turning point in my relationship towards moving images. First of all, I started the blog Chick Flick Guide. Secondly, this year I spent more time watching TV shows than movies. I think it has more to do with the good quality of television than a poor selection of remarkable films. In 2018 TV shows were packed with great female leads, complex characters of women and complicated relationships that made it so compelling to showcase them on Chick Flick Guide. So here is my list of the Best TV Shows of 2018 featuring ten amazing pieces of television.
10) Collateral (Mini-Series, BBC Two/Netflix)
Collateral follows a London detective Kip Glaspie (Carey Mulligan) investigating the seemingly random murder of a pizza delivery man. But it is not your ordinary police procedural. The mini-series explores in four episodes how complex issues like immigration, religion and social tension can all interlock in a single case. Kip Glaspie is a woman in a tight position balancing contradictory policies, her own pregnancy and misogynistic attitudes toward her investigation. Occasionally things get tangled storywise, but Carey Mulligan constantly delivers as the leading lady.
9) Hannah Gadsby: Nanette (TV Special, Netflix)
Nanette is a stand-up comedy special written and performed by Australian comedian Hannah Gadsby. The performance is now available on Netflix. The work received critical acclaim. It includes social commentary, especially about LGBTQ issues. She uses the piece to deconstruct the very nature of comedy. In Nanette Gadsby claims that as a lesbian and gender non-conforming woman the self-deprecating humour expected of her in stand-up is excruciating. Hannah Gadsby stands with marginalised people whose traumas are only exploited for jokes without absolution. Sometimes it is painful to watch Nanette, but it’s absolutely worth it. I can only hope that Gadsby works through her issues and doesn’t give up stand-up altogether.
8) The Bridge (aka Bron/
Broen, Season 4, SVT1/DR1/BBC Two)
Season four of the Swedish-Danish
7) Jessica Jones (Season 2, Netflix)
The second season of Jessica Jones picks up after the title character’s encounter with her arch enemy Kilgrave. Jessica (Krysten Ritter) tries to rebuild her life as a private investigator in New York City. She focuses on people with remarkable abilities just like her. Taking on a new case she has to confront her past and learn more about who she really is. Jessica Jones is a tragic superhero with PTSD, anger management issues and a severe drinking problem. Her struggle makes her relatable. In this season Jessica makes an extraordinary effort to connect with people despite her apparent shortcomings in communication. Watch Jessica Jones if you’re fed up with the childish, spotless superheroes of the big screen!
6) The Affair (Season 4, Showtime)
I must warn you that I love this show. I have dedicated a post to The Affair exploring the narratives we tell ourselves and the importance of change in our lives. Well,
5) The Handmaid’s Tale (Season 2, Hulu)
Unless you lived under a rock in the past years, you must have heard about The Handmaid’s Tale. It is set in the dystopian future of Gilead, a totalitarian version of the United States. Encountering environmental disasters and a plummeting birth rate, the fundamentalist regime builds a system that treats the remaining fertile women as properties of the state. In this extremist patriarchal society, June (Elisabeth Moss) is a handmaid. In the first season, June mainly focuses on survival. However, the second season shows her rise as a fighter who disrupts the system from within. The Handmaid’s Tale is not for the faint-hearted, because it shows what could happen if women’s rights are taken away.
4) Killing Eve (Season 1, BBC America)
Killing Eve has been a surprise found for me this year. I really enjoyed it’s dark, twisted humour and distinctly feminine take on a traditionally masculine genre. Eve Polastri (Sandra Oh) is a desk-bound MI5 officer, who begins to track down a beautiful and smart, but extremely dangerous, psychopathic assassin Villanelle (Jodie Comer). During the hunt, both women become obsessed with each other and try to kill one another. Killing Eve is based on Luke Jenning’s Codename Villanelle novella series and developed for television by the talented Phoebe Waller-Bridge. I can only say good things about this show, so give it a go.
3) Sharp Objects (Mini-Series, HBO)
Based on Gillian Flynn’s debut novel of the same name Sharp Objects stars Amy Adams as Camille Preaker, an emotionally troubled reporter who returns to her hometown to cover the murders of two preteen girls. Camille is stationed in her old bedroom and has to face her demons of the past including the jiggery-pokery of her neurotic mother. While investigating Camille finds herself identifying with the victims. Sharp Objects gives a dark, muggy atmosphere of the South with compelling visuals and danger lurking around the corner. Amy Adams gives the performance of a lifetime as Camille who must solve the puzzle in order to unravel the story and survive her homecoming. If you loved True Detective, this is your new binge-worthy Southern Gothic show.
2) Picnic at Hanging Rock (Mini-Series, Showcase)
Yep, you got me. I do have a fling for all things Australian. But more about that later in another post. Picnic at Hanging Rock is an Australian mystery drama series adapted from Joan Lindsay’s novel of the same name. The story revolves around the schoolgirls and staff of Appleyard College, an isolated mansion out in the Australian bush. On Valentine’s Day, 1900, while on a picnic to Hanging Rocks, three students and their governess mysteriously disappear. Theories abide and secrets are exposed. During the investigation, it seems that everybody has something to hide including the headmistress of the college (Natalie Dormer). Picnic at Hanging Rock has a distinctive vibe to it that is often missing from American shows. If you are into mysteries, tune in for sure.
1) The Marvelous
Mrs. Maisel (Season 2, Amazon Video)
I must confess that last year I missed the first season of The Marvelous
That was my list of the Best TV Shows of 2018 featuring ten amazing works of television. What were your favourite shows this year? Am I missing any quality television of the list? I love to hear your thoughts, so please do leave me some lovely comments below.
Source of Featured Image: © BBC America