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It’s that moment you’ve all been waiting for: it’s the TMINE Top N programmes of 2019!

As usual at this time of year, TMINE is busily packing its bags to get ready for its annual Christmas break. We’re not there yet, though, as everything will continue until Thursday at least, although I have a Christmas party to go to on Friday so who knows what’ll happen then?

However, barring minor miracles, there’ll be no more shows that are both new and excellent for me to review this year, which means I can at last unveil TMINE’s Top N programmes of 2019, where N is a positive integer that you can guess, if you want. You haven’t got long. Just a few paragraphs in fact.

Here are previous years’ Top Ns:

I will say at this point, though, that despite the expansion in streaming services this year, N<14 for 2019. And for about the first half of the year, it looked like it wouldn’t be more than a handful. However, things have perked up since.

That’s all the clues you’re getting, mind.

There are other TV shows

As always, the caveat:

I’ve not watched every TV programme broadcast or acquired in the UK this year and I barely watched any live TV, so there are almost certainly some good shows that that I’ve left off the list. And, of course, there are a few shows that started well but I’ve not finished yet, so aren’t eligible for the list.

So best not to think of this as the definitive “Best new TV shows from all the shows that have aired around the world of 2019”, so much as just the “Top TV shows I would recommend to a friend of the ones I’ve reviewed in 2019”.

Old stuff is good

I should also point out that this is all the new shows that have hit TMINE’s TV-viewing radar this year, and it’s worth remembering that sometimes the best TV can come from people who have already been making great TV.

So honourable mentions for the following ineligible shows that have continued to provide me with considerable viewing pleasure this year:

  • Le bureau des légendes (The Bureau) (France: Canal+; UK: Sundance TV) – seasons three and four
  • Dark (Netflix) – season two
  • Engrenages (Spiral) (France: Canal+; UK: BBC Four) – season eight
  • Impulse (YouTube) – season two
  • Legion (US: FX; UK: Fox UK) – season three

Drum roll, please

But now, to the Top N of 2019. As always, feel free to leave your own recommendations in the comments, on your own blog or on the TMINE Facebook page.

Continue reading “It’s that moment you’ve all been waiting for: it’s the TMINE Top N programmes of 2019!”
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The Boys
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Boxset Tuesday: The Boys (season one) (Amazon)

In the UK: Available on Amazon

Superheroes are easily satirisable and deconstructed. Probably the most famous graphic novel, Watchmen, is a deconstruction of both superhero tropes in general and DC’s then-recent acquisitions of Charlton Comics’ superhero characters. But probably the most famous and earliest superhero TV show the average person can remember was a satire.

Amazon’s The Boys, itself based on a comic by Garth Ennis that was a thinly veiled satire of DC’s Justice League, is therefore not exactly a pioneering, radical idea. We’ve been here, done that, seen the Robot Chickens about it.

So super-original it may not be, but that doesn’t mean it’s got nothing to say – or that it’s not interesting.

The Boys

Injustices league

At first glance (and first episode), The Boys looks like it’s a simple idea: what if superheroes were real? And not just real, but like celebrity actors, musicians and sports stars? Sure, they might originally have got into it to save lives. But with all that cash from movie appearances and endorsements, as well as the political influence they could acquire, how long would it be before they started caring only for number one, rather than the little person?

Against that backdrop we have the story of electronics salesman Hugh “Hughie” Campbell (Jack Quaid). His dad (Simon Pegg, upon whom the character of Hughie was originally based) is a big superhero fan, Hughie less so – particularly when the fastest man alive The Flash A-Train (Jessie T Usher) stops paying attention for an instant and literally runs through Hughie’s girlfriend, killing her.

Soon, Hughie is thinking dark thoughts about the spectacularly uncaring A-Train and other superheroes, particularly Vought International’s top flight team ‘The Seven’.

Meanwhile, good Christian girl Annie January (Erin Moriarty) is over the moon to be joining the Seven, having idolised the likes of Superman Homelander (Antony Starr), Wonder Woman Queen Maeve and Aquaman The Deep (Chace Crawford) practically all her life. However, when the Deep suggests that for her to be assured of her membership, she might have to do something for him (hint, hint…), that dream soons turns into a nightmare.

Annie and Hughie’s paths soon cross, but it’s the meeting between Hughie and the oddly accented Billy Butcher (Karl Urban) that’s soon to transform their lives. Butcher runs a little anti-superhero operation called ‘The Boys’. The supes are corrupt and he’s going to take them down. And soon Hughie is helping him. By sticking cables up people’s butts.

Continue reading “Boxset Tuesday: The Boys (season one) (Amazon)”
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