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The best TV of 2023 so far



Throughout its four seasons, Donald Glover’s consistently outstanding show aimed to push the boundaries of what a single program could encompass. It seamlessly shifted between horror, satire reminiscent of Black Mirror, and rap comedy, often deviating from its main characters and exploring new storylines. However, in its final season, it takes a more cohesive approach by primarily following Earn and his companions as they navigate family conflicts, run from gunmen, and encounter a mysterious rift in time filled with past lovers. This focused finale showcases the show’s masterful, clever writing that leaves the audience questioning what they just witnessed and considering a rewatch of all four seasons.


Sky Atlantic

In the ultimate showdown, Succession was always expected to outshine Barry on the same night. However, Bill Hader’s dark comedy about a hitman-turned-actor has been overshadowed for too long. The last season delves into deep despair, but remains as captivating as ever, filled with hilarious moments (such as Gene Cousineau’s delusion that Daniel Day-Lewis wanted to portray him in a biopic – brilliantly portrayed by Henry Winkler). It’s hard to believe each episode is only 30 minutes, and the finale is a perfect blend of action and Hollywood satire. As Barry himself would say, “Oh, wow.”

Our statement: “Barry should be recognized as one of the greatest of all time.” Read the complete review.



Steven Yeun in Beef.

This story follows two individuals living in Los Angeles whose lives are overtaken by an escalating rivalry sparked by a road rage incident. While it is filled with intense car chases, gunfights, fatalities, and abductions, there are also moments of humor and tenderness. The exceptional acting by Ali Wong and Steven Yeun showcases the power of unexpected companionship in overcoming profound, existential sorrow.

In the midst of this chaotic and entertaining situation, there is a provocative idea that driving down the road of anger may be the quickest way to regain a sense of being alive – regardless of what your therapist may advise. To learn more, read the complete review.

Black Ops


Black Ops.

This comedy is packed with jokes and showcases impeccable timing, making it the funniest show you’ll watch. It also sheds light on the issue of institutional racism within the police force. Created by the Famalam duo Akemnji Ndifornyen and Gbemisola Ikumelo, the sitcom follows two community support officers who are not street-savvy and are forced to go undercover in a drug gang because of a lack of black police officers. This results in one of the best farces of the year.

The Metropolitan Police is known for its institutional racism, misogyny, and homophobia, making it an unlikely source of comedy. However, a new sitcom on BBC One manages to find humor in this troubled institution. Despite the challenge, the show surprisingly succeeds in eliciting laughter. To read the full review, click here.

Blue Lights


This police drama set in Belfast offers a unique take on the genre by focusing on three fresh recruits to the Police Service of Northern Ireland who still have a few months left in their probationary period. Rather than following the typical formula, it takes a broader perspective on a city still grappling with the aftermath of the Troubles and the complexities of law enforcement within it. With well-crafted characters, endearing relationships between coworkers, and a devastating death that has been one of the most memorable of the year, this enthralling procedural has the potential to become the next hit like Line of Duty.
What we said: “This drama shares some of its DNA with The Responder, though it has a marginally less cynical edge, and a more complex political and historical landscape at its heart. It leaves so many tantalising threads just waiting to unravel. What’s real, and what is a setup? What counts as courage, and what is plain stupidity? By the end of the first episode, I’m engrossed.” Read the full review

Colin from Accounts


Harriet Dyer and Patrick Brammall in Colin from Accounts.

This Australian romcom from a real-life husband-and-wife duo is the sleeper hit of the year for very good reason. There’s a cute, injured dog on wheels, an absurdly novel way of introducing the romantic leads (nudity-based car accident, anyone?) and the kind of zippy dialogue that makes spending time with them a genuine joy. Its dry, downbeat humour is absolutely infectious and its characters feel like new friends. No wonder the likes of Imelda Staunton count themselves as fans.

Our review:
“It’s like regular life, but with all the good parts packed in closer together.” Read the complete review.

Dead Ringers

Prime Video

Dead Ringers.

Rachel Weisz had a great time portraying the twin gynecologists, Elliot and Beverly Mantel, in this gender-swapped version of David Cronenberg’s 1988 film. She embodies two distinct siblings, with Elliott being mischievous and allowing Weisz to embrace her wild side, while Beverly has a more reserved demeanor. The story revolves around their conflicting visions for a new birthing center and delves into bold discussions about modern fertility and childbirth. Despite the serious tone, the writing is clever and entertaining. The show also fearlessly portrays the realities of labor, which is quite unconventional.

Our statement: This film portrays a sense of intimacy and horror that is comparable to a typical difficult birth. It can be likened to a more refined version of the show One Born Every Minute. This element of Dead Ringers brings a refreshing novelty and, to borrow Beverly’s favored term, empowerment – at least in my opinion as a UK resident. You can find the complete review below.



The prequel to Inspector Morse, after 11 years of sophisticated investigative drama, concludes its final season by tying up all loose ends in a satisfying manner for fans. The show features Jaguars, traditional British beers, and a growing feeling of a detective who is out of touch with the modern era. The enigmatic last episode serves as a fitting farewell to Shaun Evans as the lead sergeant and sets the stage for the melancholic alcoholism that defines John Thaw’s performance. However, it also leaves some intriguing questions unanswered…

Our statement: “It’s like being blissfully stuck for an hour and a half with characters from an Iris Murdoch novel.” Read the entire review.

Unable to reword


Claire Danes and Jesse Eisenberg in Fleishman Is in Trouble.

Based on the popular book, this is the tale of Toby Fleishman (played by Jesse Eisenberg), a wealthy man living in New York. He is often ridiculed by his affluent friends for only being a doctor. One day, he wakes up to discover that his wife Rachel (portrayed by Claire Danes) has disappeared. Is she at a yoga retreat or has she left their family for good? This strange mystery keeps you engaged until the show’s true focus is revealed: a distressing portrayal of the monotony of middle age and unfulfilled lives, delivered through an exceptional performance by Lizzy Caplan. A rare gem that will resonate strongly with those of a particular generation.

I devoured it in one sitting, as much as my busy life would allow, because it is both captivating and insightful. To read the complete review, please continue reading.

Reworded: Goodbye Monarchy: A Farewell from Frankie Boyle

Channel 4

The edgy comic’s criticism was strategically timed on television, just six days before the coronation. It delivered a scathing blow to the institution, hitting it right at its core. From jokes about Prince Andrew that are so funny they make you spit out your tea, to the revelation that Charles and Camilla couldn’t have children because they’re different species, this Scottish republican’s rant about the incompetent individuals attempting to save a failing brand is relentless. It could be seen as a less impressive version of Succession, but without any of the slimy charm.

Frankie Boyle expresses disappointment in the fact that Prince Andrew has not apologized. He then goes on to discuss his views on the British monarchy, criticizing their attitudes towards women and inequality. This comes before the upcoming coronation of Charles III and the perpetuation of the monarchy. Boyle also makes a comment about his own behavior, saying he apologizes after engaging in consensual sex. To read the complete review, please click here.

Happy Valley


Happy Valley.

Sally Wainwright’s highly anticipated third and final installment of the beloved British TV series did not disappoint, after fans waited six years for its release. Sarah Lancashire once again shines as the seasoned police officer Catherine Cawood, who is on the brink of retirement but still haunted by the threat of Tommy Lee Royce (played brilliantly by James Norton), who is now in prison and father to her grandchild, Ryan. The show’s strength lies in its attention to detail, from quirky references to aliens in Todmorden to a tense confrontation at a café in Leeds. Memorable moments included a hilarious quip about having stew for dinner and a climactic finale where Catherine declares to Tommy: “That boy is a prince.” Wainwright once again showcases her exceptional writing skills in this masterclass of a show.

Our review:
The full review states, “With its blend of brutality, tenderness, humor, and emotion, Happy Valley captivates until the very end. As we bid farewell to its characters and their creator, we can only do so with awe.”

High Desert

Apple TV+

High Desert.

After her villainous role in the popular TV series Severance on Apple TV+ last year, Patricia Arquette takes on the lead role in this comedic and trippy comedy-drama. She portrays Peggy, a likable drug dealer in California who gets caught by the FBI. A decade later, she is a recovering addict working as a dancer at an Old West themed park and mourning the loss of her mother. She eventually realizes her desire to become a private investigator and insists on being mentored by corrupt PI Bruce Harvey (played by Brad Garrett). Their initial case involves investigating the peculiar activities of “Guru Bob”. It’s a delightful and entertaining watch.

When I watched Patricia Arquette’s impressive performance in High Desert, I couldn’t help but think that she embodied a real-life version of a Jennifer Coolidge character. Overall, I believe this comparison is a compliment and a success for both Arquette and her writers. To read the complete review, click here.

I suggest that you depart with Tim Robinson.


This 15-minute sketch show is unlike anything else on television. Its skits are hilariously disorienting and take unexpected turns, often causing a mixture of laughter and shock. In its third season, it continues to deliver moments of pure hysteria, featuring guest stars like Jason Schwartzman, Fred Armisen, and Ayo Edebiri from The Bear. And for the first time, there are even moments where things work out for the over-the-top characters played by Robinson. This show is without a doubt one of the funniest on TV.

Reworded: The first two sketches of this show are so funny that you will laugh uncontrollably and have to go back and watch them again. It’s rare to find a show that can make you laugh as much in just three minutes as this one does. It’s truly an exceptional and impressive accomplishment. This statement is from a complete review.


BBC Three

Saida Ahmed, Tim Renkow and Sharon Rooney in Jerk.

James Norton, Big Zuu, and a dark sense of humor unlike any other – the third season of Tim Renkow’s comedy maintains its reputation as a truly unique TV experience. In this installment, Tim (portrayed by Renkow) explores the realm of romance, adding a tender side to the usual harshness of the humor. Once again, it breaks new ground and offers refreshing television, especially with its inclusion of James Norton playing himself in the role of a disabled French jazz drummer.

We previously stated that the BBC, similar to Alma’s Not Normal, continues to support edgy comedy. Jerk is not censored or overly calculated, and despite incorporating romance, it still maintains its ability to make viewers uncomfortable. It excels in pushing boundaries and I am pleased that there is more of it to enjoy.

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Jury Duty


In this documentary about a jury in the US, Ronald Gladden stands out as a TV hero. He takes the blame for a toilet blockage caused by James Marsden and is later chosen as the foreperson. However, it turns out that the whole situation was set up and Ronald was the only one not in on it. Even Marsden played a negative version of himself. The show is filled with uncomfortable moments, such as Noah pretending to be racist and David using a “crutch chair.” Despite everything, Ronald remains a good person and ends up winning a large sum of money at the end. The behind-the-scenes episode reveals the intricate details of the prank and how easily it could have gone wrong. Overall, the work put into the prank is impressive.

“I am currently on my third re-watching of Jury Duty and with each viewing, I discover new, intricate details that leave me in awe of the impressive logistics behind its execution.”


Channel 4

Xorin and Kelly in Kids.

It can be easy to disconnect from the harsh statistics of everyday life, even though they serve as reminders of the unfairness of the world. Paddy Wivell’s documentary is powerful in its ability to humanize these numbers by introducing us to the individuals behind them. Wivell focuses on the rising number of children in the UK’s care system and allows a few of them, along with their parents and care workers, to share their personal experiences. While some mistakes are acknowledged, others go unnoticed. Some relationships are repaired, while others are permanently damaged. And when these personal stories are placed in the larger context of poverty, mental health, and housing, it becomes clear that there are no simple answers. Despite the heart-wrenching nature of these stories, the resilience shown by these young people gives hope for the future.

“Many in British society tend to quickly judge and disregard certain individuals based on their past actions. However, Wivell, who conducts interviews with a refreshing lack of typical filmmaker formality, has gained the trust of his subjects and is able to see beyond their tough exterior.” Read the complete review.

One day in Northern Ireland


Commemorating 25 years since the Good Friday agreement brought an end to the Troubles, this documentary series goes beyond a mere retrospective of the defining moments of a bloody era of conflict. It allows those who experienced it – and still live with its aftermath – to share their personal accounts of every significant event, big or small. The use of archive footage further highlights the enduring impact of deep-rooted fears. This is a must-see for everyone.

“In Once Upon a Time in Northern Ireland, the profound truths of the Troubles are revealed through the individual experiences of those affected.”


Apple TV+

Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne in Platonic.

Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne star in a comedy about two middle-aged individuals who reconnect as friends. While their wild antics, including accidentally snorting ketamine and destroying a garage, could have easily been seen as mediocre slapstick, the film is actually a heartwarming exploration of the importance of companionship. It also cleverly tackles the common theme of feeling trapped by midlife in modern times, even if that means blowing off steam by taking a pet lizard named Gandalf.

Our review: “Platonic explores themes of marriage, male and female dynamics, and the significance of friendship in a unique and refreshing way. The film highlights the ups and downs of marriage without diminishing its value. The two lead actors deliver exceptional performances, both in their individual scenes and in their chemistry together. The film also sheds light on a stage of life often overlooked and undervalued. Ultimately, it emphasizes the importance of friendship in all its forms, free from the complications of sex.”

Poker Face

Sky Max

Poker Face.

It’s difficult to imagine a more thrilling possibility than Rhian Johnson, the director of Knives Out, creating a murder-mystery series that pays homage to classic detective shows like Colombo. This show, starring Natasha Lyonne, is extremely entertaining, clever, and enjoyable. The quality of the show is evident from its impressive first episode to its absurdly entertaining episodes featuring murderous retirees. The show is also elevated by the stellar performances of guest stars such as Adrien Brody, Chloë Sevigny, and Rhea Perlman. Let’s hope for a second season.

Our opinion: “Each episode is enjoyable and showcases a lighter and more comedic tone compared to other detective shows like Columbo. Natasha Lyonne’s performance is captivating as always, and her character is even more mesmerizing because she isn’t constantly pushing her acting to the extreme like she did in Russian Doll.” Please see the complete review.

Race Across the World


Race Across The Worl.

The popular reality show, which has become a classic in modern times, presents its most captivating season yet. The talented cast tugs at the heartstrings as they embark on a journey across the rugged Canadian landscape with no access to phones and limited funds. It is just as thrilling and moving as a kayak excursion on Waskesiu Lake. From Monique and Ladi’s touching father-daughter bond (and comical conversation about steel drums) to Trish and Cathie’s reasons for undertaking this trip, it is a rollercoaster of emotions and a thrilling adventure to experience vicariously. If only the wait for the next ferry wasn’t three days away…

“In Race Across the World, the conflicts and complexities within relationships are heightened and ultimately resolved during the journey, making it a highly compelling reality show. This season’s cast has the potential to be the strongest yet.” Full review available.


Sky Atlantic

It is not a surprise to say that the fourth season of Jesse Armstrong’s drama about a media dynasty is outstanding television. Despite this, it is still true. The show is filled with clever one-liners (such as “Your earlobes are thick and chewy, like barnacle meat”), top-notch acting (Kieran Culkin deserves all the awards), and a finale that will be remembered for years to come. This is not just one of the top shows of the year, but also of the entire decade.

Reworded: This review discusses a drama that takes place in the depths of darkness, with elements of comedy to highlight its never-ending, unavoidable intensity. Prepare yourself for a final glimpse into the abyss.

The Marvelous Mrs Maisel

Prime Video

Amy Sherman-Palladino demonstrates that a satisfying finale with a positive outcome can be the most effective approach. As Midge Maisel attempts one last time to pursue her comedy career as a writer on The Gordon Ford Show, each episode also offers glimpses of the future to help us piece together the entire story. However, no matter where the comedian ends up, this show is ultimately about the journey. The moment Midge takes a final risk and steals the microphone to deliver her boldest and funniest set yet is a truly remarkable moment. The expression of pure joy on Susie’s face makes it impossible to watch without feeling emotional.
What we said: “It’s not my place to feel proud of Midge and Susie, and yet I do. I want to grab a bar stool and cheers a martini with them. This isn’t the best season, but it is absolutely the right one. It is ending at exactly the appropriate moment, and these last episodes are the finest ode to what’s been a fabulously funny and exquisitely produced series.” Read the full review

The Last of Us

Sky Atlantic

Bella Ramsey in The Last of Us.

This HBO series is undeniably the greatest adaptation of a video game ever brought to television. However, the story of former marine Joel guiding the remarkable Ellie through a world devastated by a pandemic is so raw, emotional, and gripping that labeling it as such almost diminishes its excellence. The true triumph of this apocalypse show lies in its portrayal of human connections: from the subtle yet profound bond between Joel (played by Pedro Pascal) and Ellie (played by Bella Ramsey) resembling that of a father and daughter, to the heart-wrenching standalone episode featuring Nick Offerman and Murray Bartlett exploring love in a post-apocalyptic world. It is a stunning, nerve-wracking, and deeply moving piece of television.

The film successfully portrays the human aspect amidst destruction, making it worthwhile despite the struggles. While Pascal’s acting is impressive, Ramsey’s performance is exceptional. She portrays a mix of humor, gloom, and wit while maintaining a youthful awkwardness. Her portrayal is so genuine and convincing that it doesn’t seem like acting at all. The progression and depth of the relationship between the two characters is emotionally gripping.

The Lying Life of Adults


Elena Ferrante’s story of a teenager’s journey to adulthood was largely ignored upon its release on Netflix earlier this year, despite its vibrant portrayal of adolescent energy, curiosity, and frustration. The story takes place in 90s Naples and follows Giovanna, a privileged teenager living with her progressive, middle-class parents. When she becomes friends with her outspoken and unconventional aunt Vittoria, who lives in a neglected area of Naples, Giovanna’s perspective on life expands. She must navigate the complexities of adult relationships, sex, politics, class differences, and other challenges that come with adolescence.

Ferrante once again demonstrates their impeccable understanding of the intricate psychology of teenage girls. Giovanna’s journey of self-discovery, as she experiments with and sheds different personas, is relatable and universally relatable, even in the unique backdrop of Naples. Check out the complete review for more details.

Wild Isles

Bees riding broomsticks! Trees talking to each other! Gross footage of slug penises! Attenborough’s decision to focus his majestic programming on the British Isles is a delight – conjuring up awe at the nature we all too often take for granted. Be it adorable voles feeding their babies or slow-mo footage of horses kicking seven shades out of each other, he has created yet more landmark TV. Here’s hoping the rumours about this being his last on-location show aren’t true …

“Isn’t it wonderful to have a brand new series from David Attenborough to enjoy on a cozy Sunday evening, especially one that explores the natural wonders of Britain and Ireland? Wild Isles provides a captivating glimpse into the breathtaking and diverse wildlife of these lands, featuring stunning footage of orcas, golden eagles, foxes, and dormice, as well as the stunning landscapes of woodlands, meadows, and rivers. This review gives high praise to the series, describing it as simply beautiful.”




Just when you think the show has reached its peak of absurdity, serial killer Joe finds himself in London for the fourth season and takes “so bad it’s good” TV to a whole new level. Penn Badgley thoroughly enjoys portraying a more redeemable and less murderous version of Joe, who becomes an English professor and reluctantly enters the world of the aristocracy. However, as bodies start piling up around him, he becomes determined to uncover the truth. The show’s blatant commentary on the British class system is both amusing and unexpectedly accurate. With each episode filled with fast-paced energy, over-the-top plot twists, shocking reveals, and witty dialogue, it’s so ridiculous that it becomes entertaining, yet it’s also smarter than it’s given credit for.

Our review: Despite its inconsistencies and shallow satire, the cast of this show is still able to deliver a perfect performance. However, the sudden appearance and frequent dropping of plot lines, as well as the laughable twist, may be off-putting for some viewers. To read the full review, please continue below.

Source: theguardian.com