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Top 10 Best TV Shows of 2018 (So Far)

VO: Emily Brayton WRITTEN BY: Nick Spake
Written by Nick Spake Only halfway through the year and we already have a ton of TV to catch up on. Welcome to WatchMojo.com and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Best TV Shows of the Year (So Far). For this list, we’re taking a look at new and ongoing TV shows that made a huge splash in the first half of 2018.
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Top 10 Best TV Shows of the Year (So Far)


Only halfway through the year and we already have a ton of TV to catch up on. Welcome to WatchMojo.com and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Best TV Shows of the Year (So Far).


For this list, we’re taking a look at new and ongoing TV shows that made a huge splash in the first half of 2018.


#10: “Westworld” – Season 2



The first season of “Westworld” blurred the lines between artificial intelligence and intelligence itself. Season 2 not only builds upon these themes, but also blurs the lines between hero and villain. Sending Evan Rachel Wood’s Dolores down a dark path, the audience was often left wondering who to root for as the hosts rebelled against their makers. While the show’s increasingly complicated plot might’ve alienated some viewers, the season ultimately kept its core fans satisfied with intricate world-building, killer twists, and tragic backstories. “Kiksuya” in particular may be the show’s most character-driven episode yet. After taking us through the maze and out the door, we can’t wait to see where the narrative will go next.




#9: “The End of the F***ing World” – Season 1



If you took the humorous grit of the Coen brothers and crossed it with the whimsical quirkiness of Wes Anderson, you’d get something like “The End of the F***ing World.” Based on Charles Forsman’s graphic novel, this British series follows the defiant Alyssa and would-be psychopath James. Embarking on a road trip, the couple quickly find themselves in over their heads as they go from rebels without a cause to natural born killers. At its heart, the show is a demented love story about troubled teens trying to sort out their serious issues. Of course, the series is just as much about how parents and other adults often influence the questionable choices juvenile delinquents make.




#8: “Cobra Kai” – Season 1





It’s interesting how “The Karate Kid” series almost exactly mirrored the “Rocky” movies. Both underdog franchises started strong with director John G. Avildsen behind the camera, but only got more ridiculous with each passing sequel. Just as “Rocky” made a comeback on the silver screen, however, “The Karate Kid” redeemed itself with this rousing YouTube Premium series. When the trailer for “Cobra Kai” hit, audiences expected Neil Patrick Harris to jump out and say, “Got you!” Against all the odds, though, the showrunners turned in a humorous, exciting, and emotionally involving continuation of a classic. At the center is a complex rivalry between Daniel and Johnny, who are both given more layers than ever before.





#7: “The Expanse” – Season 3





“The Expanse” is perhaps the best modern show that’s flown under your radar. That’s surprising, since the series has been described as “Game of Thrones” meets “Battlestar Galactica.” Revolving around a colonized solar system with Earth and Mars engaged in a heated conflict, this science-fiction series has only become more captivating with each passing season. Although Season 3 was hailed by many as the best yet, earning a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, Syfy decided against renewing the series. This resulted in an outcry from the fan community. Fortunately, Amazon has officially picked up a fourth season, which we can only hope will meet the same standards as its exceptional predecessor.





#6: “The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story”





“The People v O.J. Simpson” was a small screen revelation, raising the bar for true crime stories. “The Assassination of Gianni Versace” doesn’t surpass its predecessor per se, but it’s still a darn impressive follow-up that takes risks and doesn’t simply repeat the same formula. In addition to ÉdgarRamírez’s breakout performance as designer Gianni Versace, the latest chapter in this anthology series includes universally effective work from Penélope Cruz, Ricky Martin, and Cody Fern. The show belongs to Darren Criss as Andrew Cunanan, however. Completely erasing his lovable role on “Glee” from our memories, Criss delivers a haunting portrayal of a young sociopath who longs for greatness, but instead cements his legacy in infamy.





#5: “Barry” – Season 1





Through his work on “SNL” and various films, Bill Hader has established himself as a comedic chameleon who can slip into any role. Even with his diverse background, Barry Berkman is unlike any character Hader’s played before. A former Marine turned hitman, Barry unexpectedly finds comfort in the L.A. theater scene. Hader is surprisingly believable as a disturbed man who wants a normal life, but is unable to escape his inner demons. In the end, the world becomes Barry’s stage as he attempts to mask his killer instincts with a nice guy façade. In addition to Hader, Henry Winkler delivers one of his funniest performances as a coach who mistakes Barry’s turmoil for method acting.





#4: “Killing Eve” – Season 1





The current television renaissance has introduced numerous compelling female characters and “Killing Eve” gives us two for the price of one. Sandra Oh plays the titular Eve, an MI5 officer tasked with tracking down Jodie Comer’s Villanelle, a seductive assassin who always slips through the fingers of the authorities. In a game of cat and mouse, the two women become obsessed with each other in a relationship that’s creepy, darkly humorous, and even borderline romantic. Both actresses are at the top of their game here in one of the most enthralling face-offs of recent memory. And to think, this thrilling drama was developed by Phoebe Waller-Bridge, who’s best known for her comedic work on “Fleabag.”





#3: “The Handmaid’s Tale” – Season 2





Speaking of female-driven ensembles, last year’s Primetime Emmy winner for Outstanding Drama Series didn’t disappoint with its sophomore season. Opening with what might be the most unsettling TV moment of the year so far, “The Handmaid’s Tale” maintained the same momentum all throughout Season 2. Expanding upon its world, this season took a pregnant June Osborne to some shocking places with Elisabeth Moss turning in another powerhouse performance. While Alexis Bledel and Ann Dowd continue to dominate the screen, the season’s MVP was arguably Yvonne Strahovski as Serena. Shifting from being a despicable monster to an empathetic and even tragic figure, Strahovski demonstrates the essential traits of a Shakespearean villainess on par with Lady MacBeth.





#2: “Atlanta” – Season 2





In its first season, “Atlanta” emerged as one of the most experimental and brilliant comedies on TV. Season 2, aka “Robbin’ Season,” proved to be even better with more diverse storylines and a stronger emphasis on the supporting cast. Never afraid to try something different, this year’s batch of episodes ranged from hilarious, to surreal, to downright depressing while never coming off as tonally confused. The season’s magnum opus would have to be “Teddy Perkins,” in which Darius finds himself trapped in a mansion with a deranged recluse. This insane episode unfolds like “Get Out” meets Michael Jackson with an unrecognizable Donald Glover donning whiteface as Mr. Perkins. Give that man another Emmy!





Before we get to our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions:



“Patrick Melrose”





“Pose” – Season 1





“Altered Carbon” – Season 1





#1: “The Americans” – Season 6





Much like “Friday Night Lights,” “The Americans” started off widely underappreciated, but slowly grew a passionate following, culminating in a final season that earned the show some of its best reviews ever. Matthew Rhys and Keri Russell give career-best performances as KGB officers who’ll soon need to leave America behind and return to Russia. This puts their daughter Paige in a compromising position as she’s forced to decide between family and country. Meanwhile, a neighborly FBI agent slowly begins to realize that he’s been breaking bread with the enemy. Masterfully written, intensely directed, and exceptionally acted, “The Americans” couldn’t have ended on a more fitting note, securing its place as one of the all-time greats.

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