Time to drop all my ‘2018 recap’ posts. Aren’t you lucky?
What new TV shows did I start watching in 2018?
I didn’t go for too many new scripted TV shows last year, rather I eyeballed a bunch of stand-up and variety shows.
I mostly focused on what Netflix was shilling, taking on the oh so short, under 30 minute episode variety. 11 of these shows are Netflix originals. Two have been cancelled!
Here are the new TV shows I started in 2018, ranked.
1) Big Mouth (Seasons 1-2: 20 episodes) – A super crass look at growing up while in middle school, but insanely funny and shameful. It’s an animated series with all your favorite comedians doing the voices (Nick Kroll, John Mulaney, Jason Mantzoukas, Jenny Slate, Maya Rudolph and many more). Also, the humor is so over the top, I can’t recommend it if you don’t like a constant, healthy stream of potty or masturbation jokes.
2) GLOW (Seasons 1-2: 20 episodes) – A fictional series about the creation of the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling (GLOW) show in the 1980’s, it’s both fun and poignant. Alison Brie is brilliant, and Marc Maron does a skillful rendition of the crotchety director developing the show.
3) Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj (Season 1: 7 episodes) – Hasan Minhaj (previously on The Daily Show) gives us humorous ‘presentations’ about pressing, topical issues. A TED talk without the TED. Informative, engaging and often eye-opening, plus he’s a great speaker. But Netflix removed his revealing episode about Saudi Arabia due to pressure, so now there’s only six episodes.
4) Santa Clarita Diet (Seasons 1-2: 20 episodes) – The actors clearly have a spark of gleeful joy in every scene, and with a zombie theme adorned with campy murder and mayhem it should all fall apart, but somehow you keep enjoying it. And Nathan Fillion proves he can do anything and everything, this time as just an undead head. Any show Nathan is in is a winner, and he’s been in A LOT of shows recently (including Big Mouth).
This is the cut-off, from good to just okay or not so great.
5) Friends From College (Season 1: 8 episodes) – Kind of enjoyed the humor, but you have to get past the implausibility of the premise, and that the characters aren’t really all that likable.
6) The Joel McHale Show with Joel McHale (Season 1: 19 episodes) – Absurd, sometimes funny, and Joel is smarmy as hell. The knowing gleam of mischief in his eye is always what appealed to me, plus I miss the show Community.
7) The Standups (Seasons 1-2: 12 episodes) – Each comedian gets about 30 minutes, and most of the time they are funny.
8) The Comedy Lineup (Seasons 1-2: 16 episodes) – Similar to The Standups, but much shorter stand-up sets (15 minutes or so), and not always as funny, with a few misses.
9) Somebody Feed Phil (Season 1: 6 episodes) – The visuals and the food all look amazing on this food travelogue. But Phil is so enthusiastic and effusive that he is super annoying.
10) Disenchantment (Season 1: 10 episodes) – Mmmmm. I certainly expected a lot more from Matt Groening, of The Simpsons and Futurama fame, but nope, it’s not that great. Few chuckles could be found.
11) The Break with Michelle Wolfe (Season 1: 10 episodes) – This show had promise, especially after Michelle’s sick burns during the White House Correspondence Dinner. But it doesn’t live up to the potential, and is often not funny. And Netflix cancelled it.
12) Norm Macdonald has a Show (Season 1: 10 episodes) – Don’t really know what Norm is doing here, but sometimes it gets a chuckle, but mostly it’s hard to watch.
13) The Mist (Season 1: 10 episodes) – Worst. Show. Ever. Also, WTF?