The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

Weekend Roundtable: 2018 TV Catch-Up

In this era of so-called Peak TV, there’s simply way too much television content on the air, on cable, satellite, and on streaming to keep up with everything of interest. As a corollary to last week’s Roundtable theme, which TV shows from 2018 do you need to make time to binge?

David Krauss

My wife keeps telling me I need to watch The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, which I would probably really enjoy because of my Jewish/New York connections and its 1950s setting. She also really likes The Kominsky Method. I’ll have to check that out, too. I always listen to my wife.

M. Enois Duarte

Now that the show is over, I think I should finally give The Americans a chance. I’m not much of a TV watcher, but when I keep hearing plenty of accolades for a particular series that somehow maintained its appeal or miraculously got better with each season, I’m willing to give it a go. From what I’ve read and understand, the family spy drama about covert Russian agents is not only a good show, but the series finishes on a high note. One of these days, I’ll get around to bingeing it.

Brian Hoss

Now that The Americans has concluded, it’s time to play catch-up. I fell off mid Season 2 despite really liking the show. Then it felt daunting to try to get caught up. Of course, a lot of spoilers to have slipped out since then, but at least I know the amount of show that remains and that it ended on its own terms with some acclaim rather than having petered out.

Adam Tyner (DVDTalk)

Despite avidly seeking out every single superhero movie to come down the pike, I’m lousy about keeping up with comic book-based TV series. Literally the only one from the class of 2018 that I watched is Black Lightning.

I have the fourth season of iZombie on my DVR and haven’t cracked it open yet. I’m at least one full season behind on Arrow, Supergirl, Legends of Tomorrow, and The Flash. I haven’t watched any of The Gifted (although I would if there were a Blu-ray release) or Legion. I’m multiple years behind on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and I haven’t watched any of Marvel’s Netflix series from the past couple of years. Nor have I tuned into Runaways or Cloak and Dagger. The list keeps going on and on from there, and with so many new series premiering this year, there’s no real chance of me ever catching up.

If I had to choose only one of last year’s shows to binge, my answer would unsurprisingly be season 3 of Legends of Tomorrow. It’s unapologetically fun and ridiculous, and that’s something I’ve found myself gravitating towards in my actual comic books. It’s unpredictable and wildly different week to week, like Doctor Who at its best. This series actually knows how to juggle an ensemble, which Who itself struggled with mightily this past year. I know essentially nothing about what happened on Legends of Tomorrow last year, but I cheerfully binged season 2 a few months back, and I’ve watched this video, and that’s really all I need to lock down my choice.

Josh Zyber

According to my DVR, I’m pretty much caught up with all the broadcast and cable TV shows I follow. Streaming is another matter, however. I’ve simply not had the time to watch every Netflix or Amazon Prime series I might like. They get released way too fast, and with whole seasons arriving all at once, they’re just too much of a time commitment. When shows run in the traditional manner week-to-week, I can generally find time to watch one episode of each sometimes during the week before the next one airs. But when an entire 10- or more-episode season drops while I’m already in the middle of keeping up with a bunch of other shows, the prospect of jumping in is usually too daunting.

I’m hopelessly behind with all of Netflix’s Marvel superhero shows, and now that it looks like many of them are ending, I’m not sure I’ll find time for them. Like David, my wife has been urging me to watch Mrs. Maisel so that I can discuss it with her. She’s also really into The Crown.

I watched the first episode of The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina and, although it wasn’t a knockout, I was interested enough to watch more, but never did. I also had interest in the Lost in Space reboot and GLOW, but never got to them.

Your Turn

What TV shows from 2018 are on your “I need to binge that” list?

19 comments

  1. Bolo

    I watch almost no tv. ‘The Deuce’ was a series that caught my attention and I thoroughly enjoyed the first season. Over the holidays, I caught up on the second season and really liked it. I felt the acting was stronger as many actors really seemed to grow into their characters, who also gained more dimension.

    Apparently the third season will be the last and that was always the plan. That’s surprising, because it feels like it could go for several more years. It feels like it’s building up, not winding down.

  2. Scott

    My wife and I caught up with the two seasons of The Handmaids Tale over the past few months. Wow, what an amazing television show! The acting is phenomenal, the production values and photography are some of the best I’ve ever seen. The pace and writing of the show does an excellent job of keeping things interesting. It’s also very frightening to watch, considering how plausible the premise is, wouldn’t take much for it to become a terrifying reality.

    We also really enjoyed The Haunting of Hill House. Sure it lost some steam towards the end, but the acting, writing, and directing were top notch. The best horror/family drama I can recall having seen.

    • Judas Cradle

      Right. The Handmaid’s Tale is an allusion the Mulim countries and practices (according to the author) not the west. The current trend of likening it to current western times is laughable.

      • Elizabeth

        You have no idea what you’re talking about. The novel is about how a repressive regime would arise in the USA, which the novel posits would be through fundamentalist Christians. If you can’t see the parallels to the current western times, it’s probably because your bigotry is getting in the way. The fake outrage over the “War on Christmas” (someone should have told Hallmark), a president who pretends to be a devout Christian yet knows zero Bible verses and has had multiple affairs during his 3 marriages yet is still adored by far right evangelical “Christians”, the push to allow discrimination under the guise of “religious freedom”, etc.

        • Josh Zyber
          Author

          Judas Cradle, under his previous alias “Darkmonk,” has made this rather ludicrous argument about The Handmaid’s tale before, in blatant disregard to everything the story is about. The last time he did I responded with the following, which he seems to be pretending he didn’t notice:

          The setting in The Handmaid’s Tale is specifically a Christian fundamentalist theocracy. Margaret Atwood has explained in numerous interviews that her primary influence was 17th Century Puritan New England. Here’s an essay she wrote for The Guardian describing the fictional government in the book:

          https://www.theguardian.com/books/2012/jan/20/handmaids-tale-margaret-atwood

          “Like any theocracy, this one would select a few passages from the Bible to justify its actions, and it would lean heavily towards the Old Testament, not towards the New.”

          At the time the book was published, it was designed as a critique of the 1980s Moral Majority movement. Citing Pat Robertson’s presidential run, Atwood gave many interviews calling her story a “logical extension of current trends.”

          • cardpetree

            Are we close to the Handmaid’s Tale being real yet? Saw some Red Robes for 50% off at Target this weekend.

  3. Well, I am about to finish Discovery season 1. I guess for me, the main things i am playing catch up on right now are Stranger Things (still in season 1, even though I have both seasons on 4k discs). Anne With an E, Fuller House (just finished season 3, so I am not that far behind), She-Ra, and Voltron. It would also be nice to catch up on Doctor Who (about 5 years behind) and to get caught up on my America’s Got Talent.I don’t see the likelyhood of me getting caught up with any of these in the near future.

      • William Henley

        The first three episodes are kind of rough, then the show gets much better. I actually did not care much for the show at first, but I decided to give it a full season. It seems to be the way a lot of shows are now, the first 3 or 4 episodes are mostly backstory, then the show itself really kicks off. I had the experience on a few shows where I check out after the first few episodes, and people are like “Man, what did you think about this character or that character” and I am like “I never saw that character in said show.” So it is unfortunate, because now I feel that when I decide I am going to watch a show, I can no longer watch the first 2-3 episodes to see if I like a show, I have to invest the entire first season. I am glad I did that on Discovery – it IS very different from any other Star Trek, and it feels as if they are trying to appeal to both classic Trekkies as well as the Abraham-verse fans, and are trying to marry the two styles, but I will say by probably episode 8 or 9, I started to really like the new show and the new look and feel.

  4. I just binge-watched WESTWORLD season 2 on Blu-ray.

    Seeing the episodes rapidly probably makes the story more comprehensible, but the time lines are still confusing.

    Love it, though.

    • Bolo

      I also watched the second season in a relatively short amount of time and that was probably the only thing that allowed me to keep it straight. Even then, I still had to put a lot of effort into figuring when any given action was taking place and trying to remember what fetch quest any particular characters were on. I think it was deliberately hard to follow, and not completely worth the effort for me. They probably won’t get me back for a third season.

  5. Timcharger

    The BBC’s Bodyguard is on Netflix here in the U.S. Highly recommend. Robb Stark (sorry, he’ll always be known as that for me; still hurting from the Red Wedding) got a Golden Globe award for it.

    Only 6 episodes. Very binge-able.

  6. I discovered ‘Love’ in 2018 (which started in 2016) and binged through all three seasons. Top tier, my favorite Netflix series by far. Supremely excellent writing, acting, editing, et cetera. A triumph for all involved.

  7. John M Burton Jr.

    Let me recommend Schitt’s Creek. This little comedy has gotten better over its run. Really hit stide about mid-way through season 2

  8. Csm101

    So many shows, such poor time management. I never finished season four of Gotham let alone start the fifth season. I still haven’t watched a single minute of Preacher season 3. Luke Cage season 2, Iron Fist season 2, Altered Carbon, Sabrina. So many more.

  9. Deaditelord

    I saw almost no TV shows last year.
    Work, school, and a focus on getting through my video game backlog meant there was little time for TV. Devilman Crybaby, MST3K: The Return, Rick & Morty, and The Orville were the only shows I watched regularly in 2018. Heck, I even skipped most of football this year because I was too wrapped up in playing the Witcher games for the first time. That’s never happened before!

    Having said that, there are a few shows from last year on my radar. Altered Carbon, the latest Lupin III series, and the Jack Ryan TV series are definitely shows I want to check out. Star Trek Discovery too if it ever shows up on some place other than CBS All Access to stream. I get that it will be an exclusive for now, but I figure at some point the show will end up on Netflix since they helped bankroll season 1.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.