10. Queer Eye

The Queer Eye fab 5, from left: Jonathan Van Ness, Antoni Porowski, Tan France, Bobby Berk and Karamo Brown. Photo / supplied
The Queer Eye fab 5, from left: Jonathan Van Ness, Antoni Porowski, Tan France, Bobby Berk and Karamo Brown. Photo / supplied

Perfectly timed for a time when politics and world news had us all down, Queer Eye sashayed in to remind us love was still alive. Having evolved from the original, this Queer Eye was less about superficial makeovers and bitchy asides, and more about educating people on self-love and self-care, and it was the single most heartwarming thing to grace the internet this year. The gorgeous, talented Fab Five helped people learn to love themselves, to open up and to challenge their views, plus they gave us some laughs, tears and the makeover magic we originally signed up for. - Siena Yates

9. Homecoming

Plot-wise, Homecoming had a lot in common with Netflix's self-indulgent Maniac – but it's safe to say this tightly wound conspiracy thriller came out on top. It was a lesson in brevity and a masterclass in style; its half-hour episodes packed in as much (if not more) substance as any great hour-long drama, and its Hitchcockian sense of paranoia and strange aspect ratios elevated the refreshingly simple plot without becoming showy or superfluous. Julia Roberts and Stephan James gave wonderful performances, and their natural on-screen chemistry tied the story to a strong emotional backbone. - George Fenwick

8. The End of the F***ing World

Alex Lawther and Jessica Barden in The End of the Fucking World. Photo / Netflix
Alex Lawther and Jessica Barden in The End of the Fucking World. Photo / Netflix

We nearly forgot about this Netflix sensation, which kicked off the year with a bang, earning rave reviews for this highly stylised, pitch-black comedy. Based on a graphic novel, The End of the F***ing World followed teenage outcast James – who thinks he may be a psychopath - and Alyssa – who he is planning to murder. Instead, what developed was a curious and unpredictable love story, with a hefty side of blood splatter. If you could handle the gore, you would have found yourself squealing with equal parts laughter and horror. Bonus points for the killer soundtrack that punctuated the story throughout. - Joanna Hunkin

7. Sharp Objects

Sharp Objects used its murder-mystery structure to lure viewers into something even more compelling. Set in a small Missouri town with too many hangovers from the past – the presence of Confederate flags among them – this miniseries became a gothic horror about intergenerational trauma, illustrated by three women (Amy Adams, Patricia Clarkson and Eliza Scanlen, all phenomenal), each clutching on to whatever raw form of power they can claim within their damaged family. Humid and unsettling, Sharp Objects offered a chilling rumination on the cyclical nature of violence, and the way its destruction is broadened and multiplied by communities who turned a blind eye. - George Fenwick


6. The Casketeers

What was not to like about The Casketeers? The only thing wrong with this show was that there wasn't enough of it. Following the whānau behind Auckland's Tipene Funerals, the Casketeers gave us a loving but upfront look at what happens after death, and the people who look after you and your family. It also gave us a hilarious insight into the life of a modern Māori family - from the way-too-relatable weight-loss struggles to the petty arguments to the raucous laughter and, of course, plenty of aroha. Part documentary, part family reality show, all heart; The Casketeers was one of the easiest and most enjoyable binges of 2018. - Siena Yates

5. The Good Fight

Christine Baranski, Audra McDonald and Rose Leslie in The Good Fight. Photo / supplied
Christine Baranski, Audra McDonald and Rose Leslie in The Good Fight. Photo / supplied

Hidden away on Amazon Prime Video, not enough people knew about this smart, daring series, which outshone its acclaimed predecessor The Good Wife. Set in present-day America, this wry and witty legal drama was scarily prescient as it skewered Trump's presidency and the entire political system. With ripped-from-the-headlines story arcs, The Good Fight pulled no punches as it openly criticised the US Government. Plus, it starred the always-fabulous Christine Baranski. What more could you want? - Joanna Hunkin

4. Wellington Paranormal

There was something strange in our neighbourhood and Wellington Paranormal took the call, even though Officers Minogue and O'Leary were most definitely afraid of those ghosts… And aliens. And zombies. And demons. And basically all the supernatural beings they encountered on their beat policing Wellington's paranormal activity. Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi spent years developing this properly hilarious spin-off mockumentary from their cult comedy hit What We Do In the Shadows and the work paid off. But don't let their comic genius overshadow the stonkingly funny comedy chops of series stars Mike Minogue and Karen O'Leary – our new favourite comedy duo. - Karl Puschmann

3. Atlanta S2

The second season of Atlanta was basically what happens when a controversial creator already has their foot in the door, and could finally push all the way through without fear or hesitation. As such, Robbin' Season blew season one out of the water with insightful, funny, sometimes grim, and often shockingly raw storylines. If the Teddy Perkins episode doesn't win Donald Glover an Emmy - at the very least - that would be criminal; Donald Glover spent an entire episode in white face, paying homage to Get Out and commenting on race relations while giving a nod to the horror genre and it was spectacular. - Siena Yates

2. Bodyguard

The best thing about this political thriller was its relentless pace. It lurched from terror attacks to assassination attempts to head-scratching intrigue before it fell lovestruck into bed – sometimes all in the same episode. Bodyguard never let up. Which was a good thing because if you stopped to think too hard about what was going on, the show was likely to trip up on its tangled web of lies, spies and home-made bombs. Coming after all the slower paced, "prestige" shows this year, this six-part series was like a shot of adrenaline. It kept us on the edge of our seats and was a show that was tense, thrilling, a little corny, but mostly pretty bloody great TV. - Karl Puschmann

1. Killing Eve

This sexy, strange, addictive cat-and-mouse thriller was a glorious surprise when it debuted earlier this year. Created by Fleabag's Phoebe Waller-Bridge (flexing new muscles but retaining her wry humour and knack for strong dramatic beats), Killing Eve was a subversive espionage story that followed two women on opposite sides of normality: Eve (Sandra Oh), a frustrated desk-bound intelligence officer, and Villanelle (Jodie Comer), a playfully insane assassin. Killing Eve's greatest joy was perhaps watching its lead actresses sink their teeth into meaty, multi-faceted performances; Oh, in particular, has deserved a role of this calibre for a long time. - George Fenwick