With TV shows being one of our fave things to look at here, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that we immediately latched onto this the minute we caught onto it. Review aggregator site Metacritic has released its round-up of TV shows that made the most Critic Top 10 Lists for 2019. Here are 11 series that nabbed the top spots on critics’ coveted best-of-the-best lists for last year.
Watchmen was the #1 show of the year for Empire, Mashable, Screencrush, Vulture, Vox, and Washington Post, where Hank Stuever said the show “continues to take my breath away with its bracing vision of racism, mask-wearing vigilantism and superheroic qualms in a skewed-reality America.”
Succession topped numerous favourite lists from AV Club to The Guardian to Uproxx. As The Guardian said: “2019 was the year HBO threw millions upon millions of dollars at the final season of Game of Thrones, only to have another of its shows blow it out of the water entirely.
Chernobyl took the top spot on Radio Times’ critics poll, with reviewer Tim Glanfield calling the mini-series, “a gripping and at times hard to watch drama… an outstanding piece of television… it’s more than a worthy winner of our 2019 critics’ poll.”
Barry was the top pick of the year for three separate AV Club critics: Baraka Kaseko, Erik Adams, and Sam Barsanti. This pitch-black comedy stars Bill Hader as Barry, a depressed war-vet-turned-hitman who takes up acting while on assignment in LA.
AV Club reviewer Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya chose Pen15 as her top pick of 2019. The comedy series follows 13-year-old besties Maya and Anna [played by 32-year-old co-creators Maya Erskine and Anna Konkle) as they navigate – and try to survive – seventh grade and puberty. AV Club called it “one of 2019’s most delightful surprises … a hilariously insightful and refreshingly heartfelt look at adolescence in the early 2000s.”
Nicky Idika of Pop Buzz picked Euphoria as her favourite show of the year, praising the performances of its lead stars as “phenomenal” and saying, “The show’s cultural impact is already apparent. Euphoria deliberately avoids a sanitised view of modern teen life and, instead, eagerly leans into the drugs, the sex, the risky behaviour, and the toxic co-dependencies.”
Ramy stars 2020 Golden Globe winner and stand-up comedian Ramy Youssef as Ramy Hassan, a first generation Egyptian-American in politically-divided New Jersey, where he’s caught between a Muslim community that thinks life is a moral test and a millennial generation that thinks life has no consequences.
Entertainment Weekly’s Darren Franich has been telling everyone he knows to watch his favourite show of last year, The Good Fight, a “smartly hilarious legal drama” whose creators, he says, “are having too much fun throwing axes at the American apocalypse.”
Perpetual Grace was the year’s favourite show for Entertainment Weekly’s Kristen Baldwin, who called it a “strange and wonderful saga” with “a story that unfolds like a Rube Goldberg contraption” and an ensemble cast “stuffed with excellence”.
The third and final season of The Deuce got the top vote from AV Club’s Vikram Murthi. Oscar nominee Gyllenhaal plays Candy, a porn director struggling to maintain her artistic integrity in an industry that is quickly devolving. As AV Club reviewer Noel Murray put it, “She shouldn’t just win a trophy, she should have one named after her.”
Alicia Rancilio of Associated Press picked documentary series Surviving R. Kelly as the top show of the year, saying, “No other series made the kind of real world impact that this one did.”
And in case you hadn’t figured it out yet, all the above is available for your viewing on Showmax, which also has the Michael Jackson documentary Leaving Neverland, Spanish/English horror comedy series Los Espookys, anti-war comedy-drama Catch-22, and Season 4 of Adult Swim animated comedy Rick & Morty, among other hit shows from 2019 (a year full of great TV shows evidently). See the full breakdown from Metacritic here.