TV I’ll be watching in 2019

Fleabag, season 2

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Fleabag’s first season was, in my estimation, perfect: Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s dark, cringy comedy about a young Londoner with a terrible moral compass was laugh-out-loud funny and filled with tragedy and unexpected heart. I’ve spent the last two years recommending Fleabag to everyone I know, so I was thrilled when a second series was announced—and yet, I was also surprised, because Fleabag’s first season had such a perfect, well-rounded arc that it felt more like a miniseries than the first six episodes in a multi-season saga. For this reason, I’m a tiny bit skeptical, but also very intrigued to see where the show goes. Will Fleabag’s sister leave her terrible husband? Will Fleabag manage to redeem herself? Will Olivia Colman continue to waft around in kaftans, delivering condescending burns in dulcet tones? I certainly hope so.

Stranger Things, season 3

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I watched the first two seasons of Stranger Things mostly through my fingers, flinching at every jump scare, and I can’t wait to do precisely the same thing in season 3. That said, I was impressed by how the second season moved slightly away from the world of the Upside Down, and allowed us to spend more time exploring character development and backstory. The standalone episode in which Eleven meets other young people with psychic abilities is a prime example of this, as was Steve’s redemption arc as a protector of the younger kids, and the time given to Nancy and Jonathan’s romance.

Big Little Lies, season 2

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Like Fleabag, the first season of Big Little Lies felt complete in its own right (in this case, because it followed the arc of a novel), so I’m curious to see how the story unfolds in this new season. Meryl Streep has been cast to play the mother of the person who was murdered at the end of season 1 (see how carefully I’m avoiding spoilers here?), which suggests the season will fill in some of the details of the murder investigation; but I’m especially looking forward to seeing how the relationships between the women at the center of the story continue to develop. For me, the thing that made Big Little Lies great wasn’t whodunit suspense, but the way it created a detailed portrait of complicated friendships and marriages.

Catastrophe, season 4

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Catastrophe follows the speedy courtship and chaotic marriage of Sharon (played by Sharon Hogan) and Rob (Rob Delaney), and season 3 ended with something of a cliffhanger: following a rough patch in their marriage, Rob, a recovering alcoholic, has secretly started drinking again, and, in the final minutes of the last episode, got into a minor car crash while under the influence. Rob and Sharon’s are far from perfect, but as you watch them mess up again and again, falling short in their efforts to succeed in their careers and to be the parents and partners they want to be, you can’t help but love them.

 

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