The Top 10 Television Episodes of 2018

31 Dec

10. Better Call Saul, “Winner”

9. Pose, “Love Is the Message”

8. Homecoming, “Protocol”

7. The Haunting of Hill House, “The Bent-Neck Lady”

6. Atlanta, “Teddy Perkins”

5. Casual, “Finale”: A bittersweet ending for one of the more under the radar shows of the last few years. It’s the perfect kind of series finale: a full circle wrap up that allows its characters a happy ending while also showing how they’ve grown.

4. Barry, “Chapter Seven: Loud, Fast, and Keep Going”: A significant turning point for the show that puts the “dark” in “dark comedy.” Anchored by a wonderful performance from Hader, the episode brings Barry’s two lives clashing together in absolutely devastating fashion.

3. Bojack Horseman, “Free Churro”: Yet another episode from this series that pushes the boundaries and structures of television in unconventional ways. Arnett is pitch perfect as he delivers a nearly half hour uninterrupted monologue, a show’s worth of backstory and character development bubbling to the surface in the most striking of ways.

2. The Americans, “START”: So long to one of the best shows of the decade, which closes with a tense, emotional hour of television that is both satisfying and imperfect in all the right ways. The parking garage scene will go down in the history books.

1. It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, “Time’s Up for the Gang”: The last thing I expected was to have a comedy series more than a decade into its run take the #1 spot twice in the last four years. But alas, even if the show is far from the best thing on TV, you can still count on it to deliver an instant classic of an episode every so often. This Megan Ganz-penned half hour is the funniest thing I’ve seen all year, a satire of epic proportions that feels both very ridiculous and very real.

Two great standalone episodes that I don’t feel comfortable ranking without having seen the rest of the show: Forever’s “Andre and Sarah” and Castle Rock’s “The Queen”

OTHERS CONSIDERED: “The Last Ceremony” (The Handmaid’s Tale), “Vote for Kennedy, Vote for Kennedy” (The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel), “Chapter VIII” (Dear White People), “Which Side Are You On?” (Succession), “Anniversary Party” (Love), “Bluebeard’s Castle” (YOU), “Amor Vincit Omnia” (Sense8), “Sorry Baby” (Killing Eve), “Like Bad at Things” (Homeland), “Jackie O. and Courtney Love” (Sorry For Your Loss), “The Curse of the Pirate Bride/Engram Pattersky” (New Girl), “Milk” (Sharp Objects”), “Rhonda, Diana, Jake, and Trent” (The Good Place), “Blindsided” (Daredevil), “Episode 2” (Who Is America?), “House By the Lake” (American Crime Story), “L’isola” (My Brilliant Friend)

HAVEN’T SEEN: Castle Rock, The Chi, Counterpart, Bodyguard, A Very English Scandal, America to Me, Big Mouth, The Staircase, Narcos: Mexico, Forever, American Vandal, The Looming Tower, Vida, Lodge 49, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Jane the Virgin, The First

5 Responses to “The Top 10 Television Episodes of 2018”

  1. Matthew Thompson December 31, 2018 at 3:39 pm #

    Awesome to see Casual’s finale on here. I loved how that series wrapped up.

  2. Jodi Fisher January 1, 2019 at 2:16 am #

    Great list of favorite tv episodes of 2018!

    Forever was by far my absolute favorite new show of 2018! I absolutely loved the series finale for Casual. I was sad to see that series end. The Americans was one of my favorite shows on tv of the last few years. That finale for that show was perfect and my 2nd favorite of all time behind that of HBO Six Feet Under.

    • polarbears16 January 8, 2019 at 7:04 am #

      Thank you! Very glad we agree on Casual / Americans.

  3. Keith January 2, 2019 at 7:38 am #

    I read this and realize how much I’m missing! I really need to invest into some tv shows.

    • polarbears16 January 8, 2019 at 7:03 am #

      There’s always just too much to watch!

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