Your favourite TV shows of 2019

Fleabag

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I was admittedly late to the party when I stumbled across the first season of Fleabag on my flight home last summer. The explosive genius of Fleabag’s first chapter was commendable on its own, but Waller-Bridge tops it and takes it to truly sublime heights in the second season. It was the beautifully complicated depiction of sisterly love between Fleabag and Claire that sealed the deal for me. Waller-Bridge has undoubtedly created a character that has captured the adoration of millions. Being a part of Fleabag’s journey – from a cynical loner to a woman who begins to love and forgive fully, is an honour for anyone who signs up for the ride.

Ghosts

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From the makers of Horrible Histories came Ghosts, one of the only television series from 2019 which made my sides split in sheer laughter. Once again, the ensemble cast returned to create a show aimed at adults this time, a risky decision – yet certainly worth it. The show centres around a gothic mansion house which hosts 8 squabbling ghosts, intervening with the couple who have just moved in. The grand setting; the accurate period costumes; the use of camera angles all contributed to making this show a success. For those who have not watched Ghosts, the short episodes are perfect for your summative stress breaks.

After Life

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After Life, to me, was one of the most memorable TV series of 2019. Not only does it remind me of the immeasurable talent of Ricky Gervais, it also perfectly encapsulates what a dark comedy should be in my eyes. The story follows a painfully cynical and suicidal man who has just lost his wife to breast cancer. In lieu of ending his own life, he decides to punish the world for his loss, taking every opportunity he has to bully the people around him. However sinister this may sound, Gervais has a talent for making what should be extremely awkward or unbearable, hilarious. With only six episodes in its first season, After Life is a quick but rewarding watch.

The Marvelous Mrs Maisel

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My favourite show of 2019 was in its third season of what is fast becoming a modern classic: The Marvelous Mrs Maisel. For me, this season was Susie’s, as she deals with the cutthroat world of high profile clients and fights a growing gambling addiction, our foul-mouthed, ever stoic Susie’s mask begins to slip. As we are left with yet another tantalising ending, it remains to be seen if season 4 will live up to the rambunctious joy of the precedent set so far.

Queer Eye: We’re in Japan!

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OK, I’ll admit it: a ‘make-better’ show just sounds like an excuse for televised ego-pampering, virtue-signalling and product placement. But Queer Eye’s latest expedition into Japan proves why it is one of the best TV shows of 2019. Each episode is crafted with smooth editing which intelligently balances the five separate narrative threads of one story. The experts are all ridiculously charismatic, effortlessly engaging the viewer with the heroes. Each expert is committed to assisting their hero beyond the realm of their expertise. The thoughtful production, masterful editing and refreshingly empathetic lens creates some of the most riveting stories in reality television.

Image: Glenn Carstens-Peters

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