We’ve reached the halfway point of the year, so I put together a list of my favorite shows in the first half of 2019 in no particular order.

Chernobyl (Mini-Series) HBO

Chernobyl is an amazing mini-series telling the story behind one of the worst nuclear disasters in history.

The series is absolutely haunting. Super bleak and messed up. The writing, directing, and the acting is superb. And the atmosphere and attention to detail are very impressive. Making this a “must see” series.

It is heartbreaking to see how the Russian government was more concerned about their politics than the safety of their people.

Once again, HBO has done an exceptional job.

What We Do in the Shadows (Season 1) FX

I was very skeptical of them pulling this off. I loved the movie that the show is based on. It’s such an amazing flick. And I was worried the show wouldn’t live up to the original but it totally has.

What We Do in the Shadows is just pure joy to watch - never a dull moment. Like the movie, the show is also styled as a mockumentary. It has a fantastic cast & crew, alongside some incredibly creative writing. The humor and delivery are so unique.

The energy vampire was a solid addition to the show. And that is a perfect cover up for a vampire that feeds off terrible environments. We all have had awful bosses and coworkers like that.

What We Do in the Shadows is one of my favorite shows on this list.

Russian Doll (Season 1) Netflix

Russian Doll is definitely not for everyone, but it worked perfectly for me. On the surface, the show is a quirky take on the Groundhog day trope. But The show is much more than that.

Russian Doll is the perfect union of comedy and drama, along with some mystery. Every episode had a nice twist at the end to make me want to keep watching it.

Natasha Lyonne is superb in it. She gave an Emmy-worthy performance. The supporting cast is phenomenal as well.

Overall Russian Doll is a genuinely funny and interesting show. Also, the 8 episodes of only 30 minutes, tells the story very well without overstaying its welcome.

True Detective (Season 3) HBO

This True Detective season totally redeemed itself after the weird and abysmal Season 2. And I thought it was as good as Season 1.

The mystery was well built up. They did a good job combining the 3 timelines in the story. And in my opinion, the payoff was really worth it.

The cinematography, performances, direction, and writing were really quite good. And the chemistry between Mahershala Ali and Steven Dorff’s is outstanding.

Definitely worth checking it

The Umbrella Academy (Season 1) Netflix

This show is a very refreshing take on the superhero genre. I’ve never read the comics it was based on and I had no clue what to expect and I was pleasantly surprised. I thought this was going to be just another Warner Chanel kind of show but I was very impressed with this first season.

The Umbrella Academy has a wonderfully wacky narrative. With really well-constructed characters, solid performances, and great characters development.

The casting is phenomenal especially Aidan Gallagher as “Number 5”. He totally nailed it! That Kid knows how to act! He is like 14 in real life. He was like an adult in a child’s body.

The Umbrella Academy is a fascinating show.

Shrill (Season 1) Hulu

This is an amazing show! I’ve always loved Aidy Bryant on SNL and I’m so glad she got her own series.

Shrill is extremely refreshing. Body image is a hard subject to deal with on TV. But this show captures it perfectly. It is funny, smart and sincere. And I love the body positivity it offers.

It really opened my eyes to the struggles of heavy women. And how they are constantly having to deal with the public’s dislike of their body. I could empathize with what the character is going through even though I never went through it.

I would love to watch more shows like this!

Barry (Season 2) HBO

If you’re looking for a good dark comedy, then this is the show for you.

Barry has a fine cast, great writing, well-paced, great character development. Bill Hader’s comedic skills are amazing.

This season is even better than the previous one. And episode 5 should go down as one of the best ever made. It was so entertaining! Also, NoHo Hank is still one of the most likable villains in TV shows I’ve ever seen.

The show had only 8, half-hour episodes a season, and still managed to tell such a great story. A testament of great writing

I’m pretty excited about next season

Game of Thrones (Season 8) HBO

I know that the last two seasons of Game of Thrones had its mistakes and flaws. But I still had fun watching them.

The pacing of Season 8 was the biggest issue for me. It was terrible how they rushed everything.

But even if Seasons 7 and 8 were not as well throughout as the previous seasons, the worst episode/season of GoT is still better than most shows out there.

The showrunners and writers made a few mistakes with the final season but, I’m quite pleased with how things have turned out.

Unfortunately, you can’t please everyone.

The Other Two (Season 1) Comedy Central

The Other Two follows two floundering millennial siblings who must grapple with their 13-year-old brother’s overnight fame.

This is a very funny and contemporary comedy. And a great play on Internet media fame.

The writing is so sharp and it has an outstanding cast. Molly Shannon and Ken Marino are fantastic in it. And every episode just gets better and better. The 11-year old makeup girl and the Justin Theroux apartment storylines were hilarious.

I hope more people will discover this show.

The OA (Part II) Netflix

I thought the first season of The OA a bit meh and slow moving. But what a huge improvement Season 2 was over Season 1.

I love how the writers managed to transitioned so well from Season 1 and also created a whole new world at the same time.

The complexity of the supernatural plot-lines, the “fantasy elements”, are a delight. This is a show where I literally don’t know what will happen next. I also liked how they explained many things that were not clear in the first season.

Definitely worth giving a shot if you like twists and turns.