Best-Reviewed New TV Shows 2018

The cream of the 2018’s freshman TV crop runs the gamut from dark comedies to slice-of-life docuseries, from slow-burn murder-mysteries to cat-and-mouse spy stories and on. The year’s top shows feature film superstars (Julia Roberts, Amy Adams, Hugh Grant), groundbreaking casts (see: Vida‘s Latinx representation and the largest-ever group of trans actors as series regulars on Pose), and award-winning performances (Bill Hader and Henry Winkler’s Emmy-winning turns in Barry and Golden Globe–winning leading lady Sandra Oh in Killing Eve). In the end, Amazon series Homecoming, from Mr. Robot creator Sam Esmail, topped them all.

The order of the rank below reflects the Adjusted Score as of December 31, 2018. Scores might change over time.

Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: An impressive small-screen debut for Julia Roberts, Homecoming balances its haunting mystery with a frenetic sensibility that grips and doesn't let go.

Barry: Season 1 (2018)

Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: PTSD and comedy make strangely endearing bedfellows in Barry, which proves more poignant than its sketch show premise.
Directed By: Hiro Murai, Maggie Carey

Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: Seductive and surprising, Killing Eves' twist on the spy vs. spy conceit rewards viewers with an audaciously entertaining show that finally makes good use of Sandra Oh's talents.

Cobra Kai: Season 1 (2018)

Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: Cobra Kai continues the Karate Kid franchise with a blend of pleasantly corny nostalgia and teen angst, elevated by a cast of well-written characters.

Vida: Season 1 (2018)

Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: Vida explores familiar familial ground from a fresh perspective to create an earnest and heartfelt take on identity and what it means to belong.

Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: A nearly unbearable slow burn, Sharp Objects maintains its grip with an unshakably grim atmosphere and an outstanding cast led by a superb Amy Adams.

Pose: Season 1 (2018)

Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: Charged with energy, poise, and confidence, Pose pirouettes between artistic opulence and deliciously soapy drama to create a fresh new addition to Ryan Murphy's lexicon.

Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: Hugh Grant and Ben Whishaw impress in A Very English Scandal, an equally absorbing and appalling look at British politics and society.

Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: Random Acts of Flyness' poignant political poetry plays in harmony with its frenetic absurdist humor to create a singular musical television experience.
Starring: Terence Nance

Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: America to Me confronts hard questions through candid moments in a Chicago high school, crafting an exploration of race and class relations in America that is as insightful as it is inspiring.

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