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TOP TEN: My Favorite shows of 2018

Another year comes to a close and 2018 did not disappoint in producing some great television content. For me, 2018 marks the first major step of leaving behind the major broadcast networks and looking to streaming platforms, with some cable programming, for my favorite shows.

There are now over 500 scripted original series to choose from, between broadcast, cable and streaming services. No one can watch or even sample every series, so here is what I watched in 2018, regardless of when it was released.

1) STAR TREK DISCOVERY (CBS All Access) - Introduced in the fall of 2017, STAR TREK DISCOVERY got even better in Q1 of 2018. It is easily the best first season of ANY STAR TREK series. The show had a great story line for season one with unexpected twists. Production is as good a it gets. Season two begins January 17, 2019.

2) LOST IN SPACE (Netflix) - This remake of the 19060's campy sci-fi series is top notch family entertainment. it proves that you don't need a bunch of foul language and gratuitous sex to make a great show. LOST IN SPACE is my favorite new show in 2018. The re-imagined characters and story lines are great and with a 10-episode season, it does not take long to binge the first season. Season two production is wrapping up this month (January 2019).

3) COMRADE DETECTIVE (Amazon) - The discovery of this 2017 series, paid off well, for me. The series is a somewhat parody-comedy, posing as a lost 19080's crime series from the Cold War era Romanian government. The series is written, produced and filmed in Romania, with Romanian actors. But the series is then dubbed over with current American actors to give it that extra twist to the comedy. The only downside to the series is that it felt like it was two episodes two long.

4) THE PUNISHER (Netflix) - Netflix is four out of five with the newest Marvel series. This series had everything. Action, heart, drama, comedy. I binged through the 13-episode season in just a few days. Only DAREDEVEIL tops the PUNISHER, in my rankings of the Marvel series. Season tewo premiere January 18, 2018.

5) GODLESS (Netflix) - Netflix produced what may be the best miniseries/limited series of the year. GODLESS is a great classic western tale, with what may be the best/worst villain in any western. Jeff Daniels produces a great performance in this series. You feel terror when he is on screen.

6) STRANGER THINGS 2 (Netflix) - A great sophomore season to the 2016 hit Netflix series. I didn't get to watch the 2017 season until the spring of 2018, but it was well worth the wait. Season two had that right balance between giving you what you liked in season one, but delivering something new, that was just as compelling. unfortunately, we still have two wait six more months for season three, debuting in July, 2019.

7) JACK RYAN (Amazon) - This series go dogged by some critics as being too slow and little action. Those people don't get what makes JACK RYAN appealing to fans. It is the analytical process, mixed in with action, that make the character, and the series, great to watch. After two failed movie reboots, after Harrison Ford's exit from the roll, JACK RYAN is back and John Krasinski does a great job in the role. No date for season two, but possible for late Q3 or Q4 of 2019.

8) THE CROWN (Netflix) - The continuing story of the reign of Queen Elizabeth continues with a strong season two of the series. For me, this is how a British series should be produced, and not like BBC/PBS series like VICTORIA or DOWNTON ABBY. The drama is interesting and not dry, and the focus is on the real characters of the series and does not get sidetracked with the servants of the royal family. Season three will introduce a new cast to portray the later years of the Royal Family. Seasons 3 & 4 are being filmed back-to-back, so new episodes could hit in 2019.

9) LONGMIRE (Netflix) - The final season of this long running drama was released on Netflix in November 0f 2017, but I did not get around to watching it until this past year. But, when I Started, i quickly binged the 10-episode season in just a mater of days. It was a satisfying end to the series, that was more than just a standard police drama.

10) TRAVELERS (Netflix) - Season two was released in December of 2017 and it was almost a year behind before finally getting to the season, and I wished I had watched it much sooner. This is one of the smartest sci-fi series that features time travelers, from the future, but not in the traditional way we have seen it portrayed in TV and Movies. In fact, the best episode of the season featured the rules and restrictions of time travel, in this universe, and accomplishing the mission at hand. If you are a fan of Eric McCormack, ditch WILL & GRACE and binge TRAVELRS now! Season three is now out and I am just a few episodes in and loving it.

Honorable Mentions:

FEAR THE WALKING DEAD (AMC) - Loved the soft reboot of the series. New characters are better than the original cast, as a whole. First half better than second half, but still a refreshing take on the series.

NAILED IT (Netflix)  - Great & funny cooking show. A must watch if you love to laugh and cook, at the same time!

THE TERROR (AMC) - A little dry in the writing for the first season of this anthology series. THE TERROR, season one, is afictional look at the real events of the HMS Erebus attempting the Northwest Passage, set in the mid-19th century.

NORSEMEN (Netflix) - This Norwegian comedy series is best described as Michael Scott (The Office) meets Ragnor Lothbrok (Vikings). Some of the comedy does miss the mark and they occasionally go way to far with sexual content, but one season in, I have enjoyed the series.

FRANKENSTEIN CHRONICLES (Netflix) - I binged the two season of the series and it was an interesting look at England in the early 19th century. The premise starts out as a crime mystery, involving grave robbery and kidnapping/murder, but grows into bringing Marry Shelly's FRANKENSTEIN to life.

So, what are your top 10 shows of 2018? Let us know in the comment box below.

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