Most review columns are dropping their "Best of 2019" lists thanks to holiday resignation and critical narcissism. It's almost Christmas, so who cares? On the other hand, critics absolutely must disseminate their hot takes because how will the Sheep know what was good if they're not told?
I'm not playing like that; there are too many shows. Here are five series from this fall alone you might have missed.
Succession (seasons one and two on HBO Now)
Forget Game of Thrones and The Sopranos — the most cutthroat family on HBO is Succession's Roy clan. A black AF satire of wealth and passive-aggressive family dysfunction, Succession follows a vaguely demented patriarch (Brian Cox) dangling the keys to the empire before his damaged, power-hungry kids. It's Arrested Development from the darkest timeline.
Mrs. Fletcher (season one on HBO Now)
Scene-stealing side player Kathryn Hahn finally headlines her own show (well, seven-episode mini series). As Eve Fletcher, she's a single mom who's just sent her only son Brendan (Jackson White) off to college — midlife crisis, come on down! Eve's newly adrift life has its highs (lots of lesbian porn) and lows (heartbreaking loneliness), and Hahn embodies it all perfectly.
Harley Quinn (season one on DC Universe)
Margot Robbie may have nailed the role in Suicide Squad, but Kaley Cuoco's Harley Quinn is funnier — and R-rated and animated. This Harley is also so over the Joker (Alan Tudyk) and angling to join the Legion of Doom with help from Poison Ivy (Lake Bell). If DC's live-action movies were as fun and profane as Harley Quinn... they'd still find a way to screw it up.
Stumptown (season one on Hulu)
One of the few bright spots in a dismal fall 2019 TV broadcast rollout, ABC's Stumptown is essentially The Rockford Files wearing Jessica Jones' leather jacket: a broke private investigator (Cobie Smulders) solves cases while dealing with intense past trauma. Stumptown is smart, funny, twisty and full of intriguing characters — and craft beer, because Portland.
Dollface (season one on Hulu)
Kat Dennings' rom-com career was derailed by six seasons of CBS' 2 Broke Girls and two Thor movies you've already forgotten; Dollface puts her back on track. When Jules (Dennings) gets dumped by her boyfriend, she has to win back the female friends she's neglected. Dollface is fluffy, fantastical fun and co-stars Brenda Song and Esther Povitsky own every scene. ♦
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