We love binge-watching TV shows just as much as we love watching movies. It takes a lot more time to watch a TV show than a movie (obviously), but we still managed to binge quite a few of these through 2018. When we began compiling our favourite TV shows of 2018, we asked our colleagues to limit it to shows that aired new episodes this year.
However, some of us are always catching up with last year’s shows so this piece doesn’t always follow the criteria we set. You will find some who watched five great TV shows in 2018 and others who picked a 2017 TV show that they watched this year. From Japanese anime to Indian sitcoms, our colleagues have as wide a taste in TV shows as you can expect.
Here are our favourite TV shows of 2018.
Abhinav Lal: Megalo Box, Adam Sandler 100% Fresh, Castlevania, The Final Table, and Devilman Crybaby
For this list, I went through my Netflix viewing activity – rather exhaustively (I gave up when I reached as far back as April). I’ve watched several shows this year, and many to their completion (whether of the season or the show), and of course, a significant proportion of those weren’t made in 2018.
By nature, I dislike arranging the entertainment I view into ‘Best of’ ranked lists, and for that reason, let me just name a few titles I really enjoyed this year. Megalo Box, an anime that featured better action than I expected from a boxing show, and had a classic underdog storyline. Adam Sandler 100% Fresh, the Netflix comedy special, because I’ve always been a fan of Adam Sandler. I was rather ‘meh’ about his musical comedy, but this one changed my mind.
Castlevania Season 2, an anime show with amazing artwork, kickass action, and a tragic storyline. The Final Table — a culinary show — while I am still on the fence about the show’s judging system, and I disagreed with the verdict, the creativity of the chefs was interesting.
Finally, Devilman Crybaby (yes, I like anime). While I have mixed feelings about the show, its great artwork and action certainly made it stand out for me in 2018. But caution: it’s extremely NSFW.
Watch Megalo Box, Adam Sandler 100% Fresh, Castlevania, The Final Table, and Devilman Crybaby, all on Netflix
Aditya Shenoy: Grand Tour and Sacred Games
Thanks to streaming services, the amount of quality content I watch in the comfort of my home has gone up. One of my favorite TV shows is Grand Tour which is on Amazon Prime Video.
Grand Tour, of course, is a British motoring television series hosted by Jeremy Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond. These three hosted BBC’s Top Gear for years and have reviewed countless number of cars. The show is part of pre-recorded sections and in-studio audience segments which makes it interesting.
Watch Grand Tour on Amazon Prime Video
The second season released in 2018 and I thoroughly enjoyed watching Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and, James May doing what they do best.
Sacred Games was another series I enjoyed thanks to the story line and the direction. The characters really came alive on the screen. I’m looking forward to the next season.
Watch Sacred Games on Netflix
Akhil Arora: The Americans
2018 was filled with great TV and it’s good to see my fellow colleagues recognise some of those below in Killing Eve, Sharp Objects, Barry, and Better Call Saul. All four of those would be in my top 10 but since I have to name one, I’m going to go with something that’s been largely ignored from start to finish, despite delivering some of the best writing, acting, direction, and character growth since Breaking Bad. And with the show ending this year, I can’t allow it to be forgotten.
I’m talking about The Americans. I can see why it doesn’t show up on the radar for most people, since it’s as understated as they come. But that’s one of the several reasons why I loved it so much. Better yet, The Americans closed things out with one of the best series finales of all-time — this is not an exaggeration — one that was heartbreaking, surprising, and thoughtful. It tied together its core themes in a characteristic fashion, and went out not in a typical bang, but by doubling down on what made it so special. Dasvidaniya.
Watch The Americans on Hotstar
Akshay Jadhav: Better Call Saul
Having barely watched any new TV series this year, I managed to catch up with the latest season of Better Call Saul. It’s the prequel to Breaking Bad, one of my favorite series of all time, it showcases the storyline of ex-con artist Jimmy McGill turning into a small-time attorney, Saul Goodman — his series of trials and tragedies. He is one of the best characters ever on the small screen.
Along with this, Better Call Saul retains the same intriguing storyline, masterful writing and direction of Vince Gilligan and breathtaking cinematography, which make it irresistible for binge-watching.
Watch Better Call Saul on Netflix
Aman Rashid: Sacred Games
There were a lot of interesting TV shows that I got to watch this year thanks to Prime Video and Netflix, but still if I must choose one then it will be the Netflix Original Sacred Games. Why? Well, I really liked the screenplay and the direction.
The crew did a commendable job and the dialogues were intense. Not to forget Saif Ali Khan who did justice to the character of Sartaj Singh. And finally, Nawaz and Radhika being the icing on the cake.
Watch Sacred Games on Netflix
Gagan Gupta: Barry
With so many great shows out this year, if I had to pick the one that I found the most impressive and refreshing, it has to be Barry. Starring one of the most underrated deadpan comedians, Bill Hader, the show revolves around Barry the hitman who has suddenly developed an interest in an acting career.
The first season had a great range of intense and shocking moments, all tied together with some great dark comedy.
Besides Barry, I’d also like to give an honourable mention to Better Call Saul, which is getting better with each season.
Watch Barry on Hotstar
Harpreet Singh: Killing Eve
My favorite TV show this year was Killing Eve. It’s an insanely addictive show if you’re into thrillers. It feels like a British version of Fargo, but on steroids. If you could watch just one TV show before this year ends, Killing Eve has to be the one. It’s dark, unpredictable, and doesn’t let you turn off your TV unless you finish up all the episodes in one go.
Check out Killing Eve
Jagmeet Singh: Young Sheldon
Young Sheldon is the American comedy series that I consider as my favourite TV show of 2018. The series, which is a prequel of sorts to The Big Bang Theory, is set in East Texas.
As the name suggests, the show features a young Sheldon Cooper as the main character who, among other things, impresses everyone around him with his great IQ. How little Sheldon helps and troubles his family makes the storyline fairly interesting for a person like me who’s otherwise not fond of watching TV shows.
Watch Young Sheldon on Amazon Prime Video
Jamshed Avari: Star Trek: Discovery
With minor reservations, I’m picking Star Trek: Discovery. The second half of the first season aired early this year and seemed to have pretty good momentum overall, with strong plot and character development. Production value on this show has been spectacular, and the teasers for Season 2 are looking good right now.
I do think it was a mistake to complicate things with the Mirror Universe this early in the series, and the split-season structure forced stories into arcs that didn’t necessarily work.
I just think this would have been a better standalone show, rather than trying to force itself into the pre-TOS Star Trek canon where it completely breaks continuity and the spirit of the franchise. Unfortunately, in the age of on-demand services and instant gratification, I don’t think shows are allowed to have slow-burning first seasons anymore.
Watch Star Trek: Discovery on Netflix
Kunal Dua: Atlanta
Atlanta was my favourite show of 2016 — I catch myself humming ‘Paper Boi’ even today — and somehow the second season of the show managed to hit even greater heights. Though nearly every episode is great, S02E06 Teddy Perkins is a masterpiece that’s up there with the best TV episodes of all times.
Between Atlanta and This Is America, Donald Glover aka Childish Gambino also has my vote for artist of the year. What do you mean we are not doing a story around that? Who decides these things around here?!
Prabhakar Thakur: House of Cards
I don’t watch many TV shows but the one that really caught my attention was House of Cards. Being a politics buff, I loved the way how they showed dirty tricks being played in the corridors of power.
I loved the storytelling in the first 2 seasons but after that it became slow and boring. At some point in the future, I hope to watch a show along these lines on Indian politics.
Watch House of Cards on Netflix
Pranay Parab: Rick and Morty
I did watch quite a few TV shows that aired in 2018 but I didn’t like any of those enough to mention them here. This is why I’m going to cheat a bit and pick a show that I watched in 2018, but one that aired earlier.
Rick and Morty has become my favourite science fiction TV show now, thanks to extremely creative storytelling and great use of animation to depict various alien races, worlds, and creatures. It’s a dark and twisted show, but I just love how it bends and breaks all rules to tell a good story.
For instance, Rick and Morty can die but in the show there are infinite parallel universes so the same two characters from another timeline can easily replace the protagonists.Pickle Rick (Season 3, episode 3) is my favourite episode so far because it highlights Rick’s ingenuity and just how broken the Smith household is at the same time. The characters are great and I love the art style.
It’s a disturbing TV show and starts off a little slow in season 1, but I love it.
Watch: Rick and Morty on Netflix
Rishi Alwani: KickScammers
KickScammers on YouTube channel DJ Slope’s Game Room isn’t exactly a TV series by the traditional definition of the term, but with regular episodes, most of which rarely go past the half an hour mark, it works just like one.
As the name suggests, the series delves into what goes wrong with crowdfunded projects such as the Vega+ retro console scandal and the oft-forgotten Bob’s Game. Each episode sheds light on the seedy underbelly of crowdfunding and where it tends to go awry. Thanks to slick editing and a great narrator, it’s one series that never gets boring.
Watch KickScammers on YouTube
Roydon Cerejo: Sharp Objects
It’s tough picking a single show as we’ve had so many good ones. Still, the one that I’d pick is HBO’s Sharp Objects. Starring Amy Adams, it’s a mini-series that’s based on a book by Gillian Flynn.
It’s a phycological thriller that follows the main protagonist, a reporter, who travels back to her small hometown in Wind Gap Missouri to write about a murder that’s taken place. However, it soon becomes clear that something’s not right with the town and we get to learn more about her past and her dysfunctional family.
It’s well paced and keeps you on your toes at all times. The other thing that drew me to this show was the direction, which is simply amazing. It’s directed by Jean-Marc Vallée, who also directed Big Little Lies, another fantastic show.
The cinematography, choice of music tracks and editing is so well done, I would say it’s easily fifty percent of why the show is so good.
Watch Sharp Objects on Hotstar Premium
Sandeep Sinha: Barry
Ever since Hotstar, Amazon Prime Video, and Netflix arrived on the scene, we’re definitely not short of shows to watch. This year I’ve watched several old and new TV series, of which Barry (available on Hotstar) is my favourite.
I love its plot — an American Marine becomes a hitman and for an assignment he joins an acting class, leading to all kinds of hilarious and weird circumstances in Barry.
Bill Hader has done justice to the lead character. The show is a shining example of the dark comedy genre and it has a knack for surprising twists that make it even more enjoyable.
Watch Barry on Hotstar Premium
Shobhit Varma: The Tick
While I make it a point to catch every good movie in the theater, I am not really a fan of TV shows in general. The whole concept of a story stretched over multiple episodes does not really appeal to me.
That said, one TV show called The Tick (Review) did take my fancy this year. It is based on the comic book character of the same name and can be found on Amazon Prime Video.
The Tick is a witty, satirical take on the superhero genre almost bordering on parody. The way it embraces superhero clichés head on and then twists them in the most bizarre way possible makes it a thoroughly enjoyable watch.
Watch The Tick on Amazon Prime Video
Sumit Garg: Flames
My favourite TV series of 2018 is TVF’s Flames. It’s a short four-episode love story based on the life of school students. Talking about characters, well I really loved Gaurav Pandey the most. I like his way of speaking and his regular doses of humour in Flames.
Watch Flames on TVF Play
Tarun Chadha: Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashma
I’ve been watching SAB TV’s popular show Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chasma for a few years now. Even today I enjoy older episodes of this show just as much as I did when I first watched them. Sometimes I feel that instead of 30 minutes, this show should switch to hour-long episodes. I really enjoy the performances of all the actors in Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chasma.
Watch Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashma on YouTube
Tasneem Akolawala: Sacred Games
I watched Sacred Games starring Radhika Apte, Saif Ali Khan and Nawazuddin Siddique this year on NetFlix. The representation of the underworld culture, the raw and exceptional acting skills of all the actors including Kubra Sait, and the gripping plot kept me hooked. Cannot wait for the next season.
Watch Sacred Games on Netflix
Yousuf Jawed: Bodyguard
Bodyguard on Netflix was my favourite show of 2018. Starring Richard Madden, the show starts with an attempted suicide bombing on train. Then it revolves around David Budd (Richard Madden), who is a veteran suffering from PTSD.
The show portrays terrorism and internal politics of different security agencies as well as internal corruption. Above all it shows the limitations of the human mind to identify problems due to emotion and biases.
The best part about the show is that it keeps you hooked from the first episode to the last. From the train incident to David Budd trapped in bomb vest, everything about this show is epic.
Watch Bodyguard on Netflix
Which is your favourite TV show of 2018? Let us know via the comments.
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