From cable to streaming, I’ve watched some fantastic shows in 2019. I found some new all-time favorites and enjoyed new content from old favorites. That said, I won’t be including all my favorite shows in this list. If I did, it would be unbearably long and repetitive.
Instead, you can find my other favorites on my 2017 and 2018 best lists. The majority of those shows were also favorites this year. You’ll know which ones.
This year’s post will focus on shows I haven’t talked about before. That way it’s fresh for all of us. And so, without further ado, here are the shows I watched in 2019 that became new favorites (in watch order).
Zak Bagans, Aaron Goodwin, Billy Tolley, and Jay Wasley investigate the scariest, most notorious, haunted places in the world.
I’ve actually loved Ghost Adventures for years, but for some reason never considered it for one of my year-end lists. That ends today. This is the show my mom, my sister, and I bond over. Zak Bagans and Crew are living memes that give us endless joy.
But it’s not just making fun of the show that we love. We’re genuinely interested in the paranormal and find Ghost Adventures to be the best ghost hunting show. They’re thorough and debunk alleged paranormal events on screen. It adds a layer of authenticity that similar shows don’t have. Is any of it actually real? I don’t know, but I also don’t care. I’ve had the most fun watching this show, more than any other. And that’s what really matters.
The Umbrella Academy
From the minds of Gerard Way and Gabriel Bá, The Umbrella Academy is the story of a super-dysfunctional family of superheroes who have eight days to get it together and save the world.
This is the only show I’ve ever written a formal review for, and I stand by everything I said. The Umbrella Academy is a superhero show for the modern age. Instead of relying on the time-honored good vs. evil story, it is a story of emotionally-stunted people trying to conquer issues one step at a time.
As much as the plot matters and as inventive as the world is, the real draw of the story is the characters. They are deeply flawed and often get in their own way. Watching these characters work toward overcoming their self-imposed hurtles is just as (if not more) satisfying as seeing them battle their enemies. Especially because they spend so much time resisting change and each other.
The Umbrella Academy is a superhero show for the disenfranchised. The writers knew just how to unfold the narrative to keep the viewers hooked and the actors did the rest. Everything about this show is absolutely phenomenal.
A cynical young woman in New York City keeps dying and returning to the party that’s being thrown in her honor on that same evening. She tries to find a way out of this strange time loop.
You know that feeling when you find a show so good, you watch it in one sitting? That’s me with this show. The simplest way to describe it is dark Groundhog Day. How do you stop living the same day over and over? By trying to be a better person.
Moreover, this show is funny without having a joke a minute. Natasha Lyonne shines as Nadia, a selfish, emotionally constipated woman whose life is a mess. It’s her use of humor as a shield that makes this show as funny as it is. Even better, Lyonne co-created the show and writes and directs it. This underrated Netflix production gave me a new actress, writer, and director to love.
Santa Clarita Diet
Joel and Sheila Hammond are realtors leading vaguely discontented lives in the L.A. suburb of Santa Clarita, until Sheila goes through a dramatic change sending both their lives down a road of death and destruction… but in a good way.
I went into this show knowing nothing about it, except that people on Tumblr thought it was funny. I’m so glad I did because I know the concept would’ve driven me away. And that would’ve been a real shame because Santa Clarita Diet is one of the funniest shows I’ve seen in my entire life.
I think comedy-horror may be a new favorite genre. It offers such a delightful juxtaposition. But my favorite thing about this show is the characters. They make the show what it is— a lovable laugh riot. I will never forgive Netflix for cancelling this show, especially with the way season three ended. Give the Hammond family the conclusion they deserve!
With Armageddon just days away, the armies of Heaven and Hell are amassing and The Four Horsemen are ready to ride. Aziraphale, an angel, and Crowley, a demon, agree to join forces to find the missing Anti-Christ and to stop the war that will end everything. Based on the best-selling novel by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman, Good Omens follows an unlikely duo and their quest to save the world.
Out of all the book adaptations I’ve seen over the years, Good Omens is easily one of the best. It’s so faithful. It’s up there with Catching Fire in terms of accuracy. It’s that good. And it’s no wonder, seeing as Gaiman wrote the book (along with Terry Pratchett) and the show.
What can I say? Good Omens is funny and heartfelt, a charming take on the Biblical apocalypse. It’s a love story between an angel and a demon, whether or not their romance is canon. Apparently season two is based on a sequel that never saw the light of day, so I’m super excited for it. My love for this show is ineffable.
When rich video-store magnate Johnny Rose and his family suddenly find themselves broke, they are forced to leave their pampered lives to regroup in Schitt’s Creek.
The reason I started this show is perhaps the weirdest on the list: I saw a gifset on Tumblr of David and Patrick that called Patrick morosexual. I live for that dynamic, so I gave the show a shot. I’m so glad I did because Schitt’s Creek is Arrested Development but with characters that are willing to become better people.
I love the Rose family (and by extension the Levy family) and the citizens of Schitt’s Creek so very, very much. The character development on this show is fantastic. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a sitcom with such beautiful character growth. The final season starts in January and I’m simultaneously excited and not ready for the end.
Payton has always known that he’s going to be president. First he’ll have to navigate the most treacherous political landscape: high school.
Speaking of shows I binged in no time, I finished this show in two sittings. I could’ve done it in one, but I had to go to bed. A Ryan Murphy production, The Politician provides a look behind the political curtain. It’s super intense, despite following a race for high school class president.
Ben Platt (of Dear Evan Hansen fame) is enthralling to watch, his portrayal of candidate Payton Hobart a fascinating look into how politics affects a politician’s psyche. The show is a dark comedy, so again it’s right up my alley. I cannot wait for season two next summer!
Have you seen any of these shows? What do you think of them? What are your favorite shows of 2019? Let’s discuss in the comments!