Rank­ing the best shows of the year at 2018’s mid­point

We take a look at 10 stand­outs so far this year on TV, in­clud­ing triple threat Don­ald Glover’s “At­lanta.”

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1. ‘The Amer­i­cans’ (FX)

The sixth and fi­nal sea­son of FX’s stun­ning spy drama is ev­ery­thing fans could have hoped for. Moody and emo­tion­ally pro­found, the sea­son sends its KGB agents Philip (Matthew Rhys) and El­iz­a­beth (Keri Rus­sell) and the late 1980s world stage spin­ning out of con­trol, and then pirou­ettes into a grace­ful land­ing. Its last episode is a fit­ting a fi­nale for Philip, El­iz­a­beth, their daugh­ter, Paige (Holly Tay­lor), and FBI agent Stan Bee­man (Noah Em­merich).

2. ‘The Good Fight’ (CBS All Ac­cess)

Af­ter a strong first sea­son on the fledg­ling CBS All Ac­cess stream­ing net­work, the “Good Wife” spinoff comes back for a sec­ond in true fight­ing form. Sea­son 2 gives us a run of deliri­ously en­er­getic episodes that help the le­gal drama tran­scend its case-of-the-week for­mat. The se­ries por­trays Trump-era ex­haus­tion in a way no other show has man­aged to grasp.

3. ‘The As­sas­si­na­tion of Gianni Ver­sace: Amer­i­can Crime Story’ (FX)

The lat­est “Amer­i­can Crime Story” adap­ta­tion is a mis­nomer, as it fol­lows

(mostly in re­verse chrono­log­i­cal or­der) the life of Ver­sace’s mur­derer, An­drew Cu­nanan. But as played in a tour de force and award-wor­thy per­for­mance by Dar­ren Criss, Cu­nanan’s and Ver­sace’s (Edgar Ramirez) in­ter­wo­ven sto­ries are riv­et­ing and re­veal­ing, a study of the lives and strug­gles of gay men in the 1990s. At times dif­fi­cult to watch, the por­trait of the spree killer is gilded and fas­ci­nat­ing, gor­geous and off-put­ting from be­gin­ning to end.

4. ‘Killing Eve’ (BBC Amer­ica)

Who knew the stan­dard story of a cop chas­ing a killer could be so fresh? From writer Phoebe Waller-Bridge, “Killing Eve” is an elec­tric ad­di­tion to a well-worn genre that gives San­dra Oh the star­ring role she de­serves. Paired with a stun­ning per­for­mance from Jodie Comer as the as­sas­sin Oh is chas­ing, “Killing Eve” is a ter­ri­fy­ing de­light.

5. ‘The End of the F***ing World’ (Net­flix)

Stylish, ir­rev­er­ent and darkly funny, this sur­prise Bri­tish gem was one of Net­flix’s first shows of the year, and is one of its best. “World” finds two mis­fit teens, self-iden­ti­fied psy­chopath James (Alex Lawther) and re­bel­lious Alyssa (Jes­sica Barden), on the run and ex­pe­ri­enc­ing a se­ries of es­ca­lat­ing crises. Yet it man­ages to find the hu­mor and pathos in their ado­les­cent tur­moil, no mat­ter how ab­surd their cir­cum­stances.

6. ‘Barry’ (HBO)

Strange, funny, ter­ri­fy­ing, dark and whim­si­cal, Bill Hader and co-creator Alex Berg’s dark fairy tale about a hit man (Hader) with dreams of act­ing doesn’t seem promis­ing on the sur­face. And yet this strange mashup of Hol­ly­wood dream­ing and bloody crime drama is so grip­ping, you’d won­der why no one thought of it be­fore.

7. ‘The Good Place’ (NBC)

The af­ter­life sit­com aired just five episodes in 2018, but they rep­re­sent an in­cred­i­ble sea­son of TV that is equal parts hi­lar­i­ous, philo­soph­i­cal, emo­tional and sur­pris­ing. The episode “Rhonda, Diana, Jake, and Trent,” in which Eleanor (Kris­ten Bell), Chidi (Wil­liam Jack­son Harper), Ta­hani (Jameela Jamil), Janet (D’Arcy Car­den) and Ja­son (Manny Jac­into) go un­der­cover in the real Bad Place, is one of the sea­son’s stand­outs and just a taste of the manic ge­nius of this weird and won­der­ful show.

8. ‘At­lanta’ (FX)

We had to wait 16 months to get more of Don­ald Glover’s dram­edy, but it was worth it. In its sec­ond sea­son, “At­lanta” is more dar­ing, idio­syn­cratic and sat­is­fy­ing than in its Emmy-win­ning first sea­son. “At­lanta” ex­per­i­ments by sep­a­rat­ing its main cast for their mythic ad­ven­tures in ter­rific stand­alone episodes, weav­ing short sto­ries into some­thing stranger and grander than you re­al­ize.

9. ‘One Day at a Time’ (Net­flix)

The crit­i­cally ac­claimed fam­ily sit­com, about a sin­gle mom (Justina Machado) liv­ing with her mother (Rita Moreno) and two kids in the Echo Park neigh­bor­hood of Los An­ge­les, fol­lows a fan­tas­tic first sea­son with a beau­ti­ful sec­ond. It takes more risks and of­fers a fi­nale like an Broad­way play, with each mem­ber of the fam­ily giv­ing a so­lil­o­quy to Ly­dia (Moreno) as she lies un­con­scious in the hospi­tal. Watch­ing “One Day” is like get­ting a warm hug from a fam­ily mem­ber when you need it most.

10. ‘Su­per­store’ (NBC)

This un­der­rated NBC sit­com man­ages to make the will-they-won’t-they romantic pair­ing en­dear­ing again with Amy (Amer­ica Fer­rera) and Jonah (Ben Feld­man), who fi­nally con­sum­mate their re­la­tion­ship in a ri­otous sea­son fi­nale. Be­sides its sweet ro­mance, “Su­per­store” is one of the most re­li­ably hys­ter­i­cal come­dies on the air, and it can deftly knock you over with its jokes ev­ery week.



The fi­nal sea­son of “The Amer­i­cans,” star­ring Matthew Rhys and Keri Rus­sell, is one for the ages.


Christine Baran­ski leads “The Good Fight.”


Net­flix’s re­boot of “One Day at a Time,” stars Justina Machado, cen­ter, Is­abella Gomez, Rita Moreno and Mar­cel Ruiz.


San­dra Oh plays a cop in BBC Amer­ica’s “Killing Eve.”


Don­ald Glover is back for Sea­son 2 of “At­lanta.”


Edgar Ramirez and Pene­lope Cruz star as Gianni and Donatella Ver­sace.

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