The 10 best new TV shows from 2019 you really should be watching 2 years ago

The 10 best new TV shows from 2019 you really should be watching

If you're looking for a new show to start, we recommend these.

2019, it has been a pleasure.


As is the norm at this time of year, we're looking back at the year in TV (we'll also be looking back at the decade in TV before 2019 is out... watch this space) starting with the new TV shows released in 2019 that left a lasting impression.

Just to note, the likes of Succession: Season 2 or Veep: Season 7 won't be getting a mention here (their time will come too); we're focusing here on brand new releases from 2019.

Without further delay and in no particular order, here's the pick of the bunch.



Plot: In April 1986, an explosion at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics becomes one of the world's worst man-made catastrophes.

Watch it because: It's the best new show of 2019... by some distance. In five episodes, the writer and director managed to convey more complexity, humanity and heartbreak than other shows could do in five seasons.

It's brilliantly acted, well shot and superbly paced.



When They See Us

Plot: Five teens from Harlem become trapped in a nightmare when they're falsely accused of a brutal attack in Central Park. Based on a true story.

Watch it because: Sometimes, you want to feel angry. Binge-watching Ava DuVernay's show might not be the best idea because you'll be shaking with rage afterwards, but you won't be able to escape the quality either.



Plot: Set in an alternate history where masked vigilantes are treated as outlaws, Watchmen embraces the nostalgia of the original groundbreaking graphic novel of the same name, while attempting to break new ground of its own.

Watch it because: It's a seamless mix of spectacle, alternative history and mystery.

The special effects and action set pieces are spectacular, but they're used in a very clever way to make them blend in effortlessly to the mystery unfolding. Taking on Watchmen but moving away from the material in the original graphic novel took balls, but it paid off for creator Damon Lindelof.

Pay attention because it's one of the most layered TV shows we can remember.

Best TV shows 2019


After Life

Plot: After Tony's wife dies unexpectedly, his nice-guy persona is altered into an impulsive, devil-may-care attitude, taking his old world by storm.

Watch it because: It's the best thing Gervais has done since Extras.

Russian Doll

Plot: A cynical young woman in New York City keeps dying and returning to the party being thrown in her honour on that same evening. She tries to find a way out of this strange time loop.

Watch it because: It's impossible not to like Natasha Lyonne after watching it. Also, despite the fact that you know what's coming - the Groundhog Day style leads to this - each new time loop feels radically different. There are elements of horror, slapstick, sci-fi and drama all here.

Netflix Russian Doll review


Plot: Based on the true story of Marie, a teenager who was charged with lying about having been raped, and the two female detectives who followed the path to the truth.

Watch it because: We're still waiting for a bad Toni Collette performance. Seriously, she's great in everything. However, her dynamic with Merritt Wever is so good you'll be hoping they get their own show.

Elsewhere, Kaitlyn Dever's portrayal as Marie Adler is perfectly measured, powerful and impactful.

The Boys

Plot: A group of vigilantes set out to take down corrupt superheroes who abuse their superpowers.

Watch it because: Unashamed R-rated violence and one-liners. However, there's enough of a plot to keep you hooked. You'll binge through it so quickly that you won't even notice the time flying by.

Best TV shows 2019

The Act

Plot: Dee Dee Blanchard is overprotective of her daughter, Gypsy, who is trying to escape the toxic relationship she has with her mother. Gypsy's quest for independence opens up a Pandora's box of secrets, which ultimately leads to murder. The stranger-than-fiction true-crime series is based on a 2016 BuzzFeed article that detailed the shocking 2015 crime.

Watch it because: Unless you know the story beforehand, you'll be constantly kept guessing about the motivations of each character. A story that belongs in the realm of 'too strange to be true'.

What We Do In The Shadows

Plot: A look into the daily (or rather, nightly) lives of three vampires, who've lived together for over 100 years, on Staten Island.

Watch it because?: The show has its own understated and crackpot energy.

Best TV shows 2019

The Virtues

Plot: Joseph falls into despair when his nine-year-old son leaves for Australia with his ex. Suffering the hangover from hell, he walks away from his present life and boards a boat bound for Ireland to confront memories from his childhood.

Watch it because: Whenever Stephen Graham and Shane Meadows work together, the end result tends to be exceptional. The Virtues isn't an easy watch - it's unflinching, emotional and very honest in how it delves into despair and redemption - but this is drama at its very best.