Me again. We are approaching the end of 2023 and under normal circumstances, we would do a year review on the livestream. However, that’s on hiatus until 2024 so for now, you will have to do with what is my penultimate Top 10 list this year.
Due to the shambles that is Hollywood at the moment, I found myself watching more TV than movies. This wasn’t an intentional decision, it’s just how it worked out. And as I went through the shows I watched this year, it’s clear that Apple TV and Paramount Plus have been my go-to places for content.
Now, things I must stress before you all head off to the comments section to call me a bastard. These are shows that I have seen, and one in particular isn’t a new show but I watched it as a result of a new show – it’ll make sense when you get to it!
Also, I have excluded shows that haven’t finished their full season run yet. This means Reacher S2, Invincible S2, For All Mankind S4, and Monarch Legacy Of Monsters don’t make it. If they finish as strong as they’ve started, I’m sure they’ll be here this time next year.
Let’s get this over and done with.
10. The Changeling
This was a show from Apple TV that looked intriguing but I wasn’t expecting anything special. I was wrong.
It’s about a dude called Apollo Kagwa. His perfect world shatters when his wife Emma disappears and their newborn son Brian begins to exhibit strange behavior. As Apollo digs deeper, he uncovers a terrifying secret: Brian is not his real son. He has been replaced by a changeling, a supernatural creature that takes the form of human children.
The Changeling is weird and twisty and turny and well worth checking out. I’m really looking forward to Season 2.
9. Special Ops: Lioness
Another Taylor Sheridan show that knocks it out of the park. I went into this with trepidation because I thought it was going to be a show about women, acting like men and being bad-ass boss ladies. Why I thought this knowing it was a Sheridan show was ridiculous of me.
Special Ops: Lioness is based on a real-life program and follows Cruz Manuelos, a rough-around-the-edges but passionate young Marine recruited to join the Lioness Engagement Team to help bring down a terrorist organization from within.
It’s smart, realistic, and grounded in the real world with no stupid shenanigans like 110lb women beating up half a dozen meat heats without breaking a sweat. If you like Sheridan’s work then this is worth your time.
8. Succession S4
The grand finale for the Roy family went out with as much class as you would expect. I’ll be honest, I didn’t enjoy this as much as in previous seasons because of the lack of Logan, who was one of the best characters ever put on screen. However, it was still damn fine television and one of those rare occasions where a show didn’t overstay its welcome and had a solid conclusion.
7. Foundation S2
When the first season of Foundation hit the screens, I knew absolutely nothing about the subject matter but I was immediately engrossed after the first episode. The intertwining stories and rich characters were expertly done and the show looked gorgeous too which was a bonus.
Well, season two caught me by surprise and added to the tapestry that the first season had woven so brilliantly. My only gripe was that some of the actors and actresses felt a little “BBC” – no not that kind of BBC you heathens – I mean as in the British Broadcasting Corporation. I often find the BBC is one step from a stage performance where some mannerisms and gestures are a little exaggerated for effect. This style is a touch off-putting for TV, but I’m nitpicking because season two was well crafted and hopefully this show will go from strength to strength.
I spoke about Silo in our You Should Be Watching series so I won’t cover old ground. But what is becoming evident is that like The Changeling, Foundation, Severance, and Invasion (slightly underwhelming second season) Silo is putting Apple TV on the map for original content, and long may it continue.
5. Tulsa King
Tulsa King could potentially be Stallone’s swan song as an actor as he’s mentioned that at the age of 77, he is considering hanging up his gloves (Rocky pun intended). If this is his last hurrah, then starring in another Taylor Sheridan show is a great way to bow out.
Tulsa King isn’t as serious as Yellowstone or as dark as The Mayor Of Kingstown and at times borders on being a black comedy. But Sheridan’s ability to mix seriousness and reality with dark humor is for all to appreciate in this show. Stallone is sublime as Dwight ‘The General’ Manfredi and I can’t think of a better character for him to finish his illustrious acting career with.
4. Picard S3
Finally, we get a decent Star Trek again. It’s a shame Kurtzman took all the good work by Terry Matalas and took a gigantic Klingon-sized shit on it with season 2 of Strange New Worlds. Anyway, let’s celebrate the crumb of success we had while it lasted.
I’ll make no Bones (another pun) about it and say Picard proved me and many of my fellow Trekkies wrong with a solid and enjoyable season 3 that felt like the good old days. I know the likes of Doomcock has cut off his nose to spite his face about this series, and I can’t blame him, but all the while Kurtzman and his merry band of gays, lesbians, and all-round wankers are in charge of this beloved franchise, we might as well embrace whatever good we can.
Thank for Matalas for giving me that small glimmer of hope that Star Trek can be great again. Oh, and fuck you Kurtzman you hack prick.
3. Frasier S1 – S11
OK, this is the old show that I mentioned at the beginning. Frasier is back after about 20 years with season 12 but before I dived back into the world of the lovable ego-maniac, I wanted to refresh my memory of the old episodes.
I only intended to cherry-pick a few fan favourites from here and there, but without realising it, I had managed to binge-watch the entire first season within a few days! One thing led to another and before I knew it, I was knee-deep with the Crane-verse and polished off all 11 seasons.
This show has aged brilliantly. Fraiser ended long before any political correctness polluted the sitcom genre and has genuine laugh-out-loud moments that are few and far between with anything we get in 2023. Frasier is a smart comedy that borders on ludicrousness and genius at the same time.
Oh, and I’ve just finished season 12 which isn’t half bad either. Like most new series that are introducing you to a bunch of new characters, it’s a little shaky at times but once these actors gel and the chemistry gets better, the third iteration of Frasier Crane will be a worthy companion to a character we first met where everyone knows your name back in 1984. Damn, we’re old!
2. Mayor of Kingstown S2
Yeah, another Taylor Sheridan show, and possibly his most underappreciated one at that. Yellowstone gets all the attention from the masses, but if you ask me, Mayor Of Kingstown is the best.
This show has tones of The Wire about it and can be brutal and unforgiving. It really is a spectacular show that doesn’t take any prisoners. Slick and fast-paced with moments that leave you open-mouthed whilst applauding what you have just seen. To be honest, I’m sick of telling people how good this show is and no one listening to me – just fucking check it out already!
1. The Bear S2
This show can be so stressful but it is also so brilliant. Season 2 of The Bear is better than Season 1, and that’s saying something. Again, I’ve spoken about this on the You Should Be Watching series so I’m not going to bore off about it again. But if you like fast-paced banter, some of the best character development I have ever seen on screen, and a kick-ass soundtrack, then The Bear is must-see TV. I cannot speak highly enough of this show.
There you go Outposters, the best TV that I have seen this year. There are plenty of shows I haven’t managed to get around to seeing yet, like Slow Horses (that I know Stark loves), as well as Gen V, Barry, Welcome To Wrexham S2 etc. There are also some shows that I found underwhelming like The Last Of Us, Yellowstone S5, and The Mandalorian S3.
So what do you think, have you seen any in my Top 10 list, if so what do you think of them? Have I persuaded you to check any of them out? Are there shows that I’m missing out on that you can recommend? Let me know in the comments!
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