Television series have truly come of age and that’s saying nothing when you take a look at the rundown of what the premium streaming platforms and networks like Hulu, Netflix, Amazon Prime, Starz, AMC, NBC, FOX, ABC, The CW, CBS, etc. have in store for you in 2018. True that 2017 was a great year for television and gave us many breakout series, anthologies and stars to watch out for. However, it doesn’t mean that 2018 cannot be bigger and better.
This year promises to quench our thirst for different genres of entertainment, starting with the likes of some new kids on the block like The Chi, Altered Carbon and Counterpart to our returning favourites like the new season of 13 Reasons Why, The Handmaid’s Tale, Outlander and American Crime Story. Get a comfy couch ready, order in some pizza or pop some popcorn into the microwave, uncork that bottle of wine and sit back to go a roller coaster ride of emotions, time, space, characters, surreal plotlines and more.
Here are the picks of the top TV shows of 2018:
- The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story
If the first season of the true crime anthology series American Crime Story was anything to go by, you should have braced yourself for this. Chances are that you did. While the first season was called The People v. O.J. Simpson and focused on the infamous murder of American Basketball God O.J. Simpson’s first wife Nicole Brown Simpson and waiter Ron Goldman, the second helping takes to Miami where serial killer Andrew Cunanan mercilessly kills fashion designer Gianni Versace outside his home one fine July morning. American Crime Story TV show runners Brad Falchuk and Ryan Murphy have always paid attention to detail when it comes to especially casting. With Edgar Ramirez stepping into the shoes of Gianni and Penelope Cruz playing his sister Donatella Versace, this time too, they have struck gold with the series. The series will consist of 9 episodes with the pilot premiering on January 17thon FX.
- The Chi
The freshest kid on the block, ‘The Chi’ is a clear winner from the word go. The drama series created by Lena Waithe focuses on a south side Chicago neighbourhood. The series premiered on Showtime on January 30th and has already been renewed for a second season. The Chi brings together four characters Emmett, Ronnie, Brandon and Kevin after a fateful event turns their lives in the Southside community upside down. Have we piqued your interest enough already?
To say that sci-fi thrillers are big this year would be an understatement. With so many new and returning series like Altered Carbon, West World, Star Trek Discovery, Stranger Things etc. gunning for the top spot, let’s analyse what sets Counterpart apart. If you have watched J.K. Simmons in his multiple award winning role, in the 2014 Whiplash, you know that one of the reasons of Counterpart’s success is he. Well, make that two of the reasons. The hedonistic sci-fi thriller with undercurrents of espionage elements has Simmons as two of its protagonists. While one lives a mundane life nearing retirement, his other self is in a parallel universe and in a more dominant form. The series, set in Berlin, premiered on Starz streaming service on December 10th with the former ordering two 10-episode runs.
- 13 Reasons Why
Having garnered extreme popularity among audiences of almost all age groups, the second season of Netflix biggie 13 Reasons Why is all set to return to the streaming platform in 2018. Though Netflix and the show runners are yet to confirm a date, it is confirmed that the series will return. How can it not? With so many loose ends still hanging, audiences around the world are eager to see where the show goes after Jay Asher’s 2007 novel ends. With smart casting choices of Dylan Minnette and Katherine Langford and the strong source material that deals with issues that resonates with teens and young adults all over the world, it was no surprise that 13 Reasons Why was the critics’ darling as well.
- The Handmaid’s Tale
Like sci-fi thrillers, dystopia is also a theme that has found favour with audiences all around. Unlike other dystopian series like The 100, The Man in the High Castle, The Walking Dead and more what sets The Handmaid’s Tale apart is how strikingly relevant it can become. A totalitarian theocracy called Gilead takes over the United States and the society is thrown into turmoil with the women being cornered into becoming mere cogs in a machine that runs the state. Visceral and arresting both in terms of content, treatment and visuals, The Handmaid’s Tale is a testament of what can be. Based on Margaret Atwood’s eponymous novel, the TV series swept the Golden Globes and the Emmy Awards last year with Elisabeth Moss reigning. The second season premieres on Hulu in April 2018 with us waiting to see what becomes of Moss’ character (Offred/June) after that mother of a cliff-hanger.
If this list is anything to go by then 2018 is just starting out as a fabulous year for TV and it is only February! With fan favourite TV series returning, television viewing has never been this rewarding.