The complete list, from Brian McMillen:

Each year, as our society traverses deeper and deeper into the Golden Era of Television, it becomes increasingly important to acknowledge this form of entertainment’s substantial contributions to the zeitgeist. In the year 2019, we saw an abundance of brilliant shows created and conveniently distributed across the streaming platforms that we share with our friend from college’s parents. Everywhere you turned, there seemed to be a new diamond in the rough ready to sweep you off your feet and onto your couch. But this embarrassment of riches could leave you just that: embarrassed at not having seen all of the essential content that was produced this year. Luckily for you, I have compiled a list of the top ten best TV shows of 2019, which you can use as a definitive reference to catch up on what you’ve definitely missed out on. Now let’s begin.

10. Bob’s Burgers: Season 9 I think

The 10th best TV show of the year is Bob’s Burgers season 9, I think. I think that it’s the 9th season and not the 8th or 10th. I know that it belongs in the top-ten list since I’ve watched Bob’s Burgers for a while now and am assuming that the 9th or 10th season is on par with the rest of the show. I haven’t heard anything to the contrary. If you’re not familiar (really?), it’s a cartoon show that centers on the sweet dynamic of a family of northeasterners that gets put into situations that force them to appreciate and love one another. It’s a sweet show and I can’t believe you’ve never watched it. It’s been almost a decade. You can watch Bob’s Burgers on Hulu.

9. Watchmen: Season 1

Next is a show that everyone is talking about but I’ll introduce it anyway: Watchmen. Hot damn, the superhero graphic novel is like nothing else. Zack Snyder had his chance and he whiffed it. But man, Damon Lindelof has really done something special with it, apparently. To be clear, I watched the first episode with my wife and am still waiting for her to finish the book before we keep going with it. But I’ve only heard good things, and it seems like Lindelof is reverently handling the source material. It’s after the events of the comics, but it seems like he’s keeping some of the same themes while modernizing them to comment on current society. Really good stuff, I’ve heard. It’s available on HBO.

8. Bojack Horseman: Season 5

This animated show about a washed-up celebrity horse actor keeps getting better and better with each season. And this most recent season is no exception, says a couple of people at my work. They didn’t really go into detail about what their favorite parts of this latest season were, and I think neither had actually finished watching it, but they seem like genuine fans. And we all remember those highlights from seasons past. Like that underwater episode with no dialogue? Or the eulogy episode? Come on! The show is not afraid to take risks and the results are spectacular. While Bojack is lower on my top-ten list, it’s definitely high on my list of shows I need to catch up on. You can watch it on Netflix.

7. Bones?: Latest Season

I’m going to be honest, I didn’t get around to watching all of the TV shows that came out this year, and I feel like I’ve got a few blindspots. So I think I should include a show that’s barely on my periphery, just to cover my bases. I’m pretty sure Bones is still on. I feel like I’ve always heard good things about that show, and in my mind, it’s in the same league as House. Definitely above CSI, but this is all pretty subjective right? If you’re into crime dramas where the detective can talk to bones, then more power to you. You can probably watch it if you have Xfinity, Comcast, or some other cable provider.

6. What We Do in the Shadows: Season 1

This one actually has a special place in my heart. I’ve been a big fan of the movie that this show is based on ever since it came out. And I just love Jemaine Clement and that actor who plays the manager in the Flight of the Conchords TV show. They’re both in the movie version and they do such a good job. And the director stars in it as one of the vampires as well. Taika Waititi. He’s directed a lot recently. He did the most recent Thor movie and there was Jojo Rabbit. And I feel like there was one other thing he directed this year, but I might be misremembering. Anyways, I’m not sure if any of them are involved with the TV show, but I’ve read that it’s got that same sort of idea going as the movie. Vampires living in New Zealand. It should be a dark comedy if it’s anything like the movie. I don’t know where it’s streaming.

5. That one show that’s supposed to be really, really good. Fishhook? No, but it begins with an F. Ahhhhg, I can’t remember but it’s the best show on Amazon Prime right now: Season 2

Coming in at a well-deserved fifth place on the list is that one really good show on Amazon that everyone keeps telling me to watch. It stars that actress, and the most recent season involves faith. At least there’s a priest involved. It’s on the tip of my tongue. I can see the ad for it, where she’s turned around in a church pew and looking at the camera. It’s supposed to aptly balance humor and serious matters, which is the sign of a great show. For the life of me I can’t remember what it is called. You’re probably screaming it at your computer screen. Haha brain fart!

4. Outlander: Latest Season

If you’re my mom, or my sister, or my Nana, then I don’t have to tell you that the newest season of Outlander belongs high on anyone’s top-ten list for 2019. The show involves a woman who time-travels to medieval Scotland and she’s a nurse. There are also a few love interests, I believe. So with all that, plus what I’m assuming are some pretty attractive accents, this show is hitting on all cylinders. I’m honestly probably never going to watch it, and I’m assuming I’m not in their target demographic as I haven’t seen hide nor tail of any ads for it in my internet bubble. But I love the women in my family and what they say goes. And what they’re saying is that Outlander is the fourth-best show of the year. I’m pretty sure it’s on Netflix.

3. Schitt’s Creek: Latest Season

People won’t shut up about this show, so sure, it can be number 3. It’s on Netflix.

2. Not Game of Thrones: Final Season

Wow. You really had to phone it in to take a juggernaut like Game of Thrones and run it into the ground while the entire world watched. Like, it must have taken a concerted effort to not simply ride out the last season, resting on your laurels, and produce a story that would just be fine. They really turned the ship around and ran it aground, dashed against the rocks. It was like the showrunners made a deal with the devil to produce the best show of a generation under the one condition that the last season had to be a six-episode, character re-writing slog through the mind of an HBO executive who had decided the night before filming that all of the millennial parents who had named their daughters Daenerys deserved to suffer the lifelong shame of the equivalent of an ex-girlfriend’s tattoo on your arm. The shame of this season of TV stands out, not just because of how much it cost to make, or how many fan theories it scattered to the winds, or how soon they dropped the ball after George R. R. Martin’s source material ran out. It stands out because there is now so much good TV that even a minor misstep relegates you to a secondary tier of entertainment. There was so much promised by Game of Thrones and the results severely disappointed me. So, guess what? The idea of it not existing is the penultimate item on my top ten list of the year.

1. Succession

We kept seeing promos for this show when we were watching the last season of Veep. Wait how did I forget Veep? My wife and I binged that whole series in October and loved it. That should have been on the list. Well, Succession I keep hearing is top-tier TV. It stars Paul Giamatti as a wealthy media magnate, pitting his children against each other to win his fortune. I might be confusing it with Billions, which I think is also on HBO. Ok so Succession or Billions, whichever one has Paul Giamatti in it, is the best show of the year. On HBO.


There you go: my definitive list. Take a sigh of relief, because you now know the exact order of what you’ll be missing when you just rewatch The Office for the fifth time. I’m expecting that this can be a much-needed balm during the hectic holiday season. Hopefully you can now put to rest any anxiety around keeping up with the streaming Jones and simply keep up with streaming Bones (amiright?). And if there’s anything you think should have been on this list, keep it to yourself. I’ve made up my mind already and I’m not really open to suggestions.