If you haven't already, checkout the previous post of Must Watch.
The criteria for this list is simple; the show must be serialized. That means no sitcoms or braindead entertainment. (e.g. Rick and Morty, Arrested Development, Friends, Seinfeld, Archer, Entourage) That type is great but belongs on a different list.
The show doesn't need to be a 2018 publication. It just so happens 2018 is when I created this list.
In no particular order:
- Cobra Kai* [34 years after Daniel made the famous kick-in-the face to Johnny, the Karate Kid saga continues. Read more below...] YouTube-Red, reboot, comedy, martial arts
- Atypical [Kid with autism going through high school] comedy, drama
- Kingdom [First realistic MMA show I have found. DirecTV is the provider, so you have to buy the DVDs to watch (boo)] drama, family-drama, MMA
- Animal Kingdom [Teenager falling in to family crime] drama, family-drama
- Bosch [New York Detective. Not very original, but a good watch] drama, detective
- Sneaky Pete [Con man hiding from mob boss. Played by Giovanni Ribisi] drama, con-artist
- Mr Robot [Finally a realistic hacking drama. Played by Rami Malek] ark-rama, psychological-thriller
- Outsiders [Family of renegades who don't care for society] drama
- Americans [Russian KGB agents living a normal American life] drama
- Limitless [Based off of the book. There is also a movie with Bradley Cooper] drama
- Man in the High Castle [Alternate reality where the Allied Powers lost WW2] drama, sci-fi
- The Marvelous Mrs Maisel [Set in the late 50's, a woman becomes a stand up comedian] drama, comedy
- The Expanse [Detective hundreds of years when humans have colonized Mars] sci-fi
- Billions [Successful stock brokerage] drama
- Homeland [POW suspected of changing sides] drama, war
- Legion [A patient with schizophrenia, multiple personalities, and other mental illnesses discovers he might not be sick] psychological thriller, dark
- Westworld [A world created to replicate the old-west using androids, so murder is not an issue. It is a place for the wealthy to visit and blow off steam] sci-fi, robots
- Humans [Sorta like Westworld; realistic androids. But these are purchased as help] British, sci-fi, robots
- Gotham [The story of Batman, before Batman is Batman] DC
- Jessica Jones [Personal Investigator with superhuman strength, bad attitude, and a drinking problem] Marvel, anit-hero
- Luke Cage [A guy that wants to keep to himself, with super human strength and is indestructible. He hits it off with Jessica Jones] Marvel, superhero
- Iron Fist [Danny Rand, thought to be dead, spent the last 15 years training with monks] Marvel, superhero
- Punisher [A guy who is very dangerous simply because he is well trained and has anger issues. Meets up with Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Daredevil and the Iron Fist] Marvel, anit-hero
- Into the Badlands [Martial arts, swords, barons. Post apocalypse feel] drama, martial arts
- Outlander [Nurse from 1945 somehow gets taken back to 1700's] love story, time-travel, slow-but-good
- Santa Clarita Diet [Comedy about two real-estate agents, one becomes a zombie. Timothy Olyphant does amazing] goofy, comedy
- Altered Carbon [Set in the future. The human body is considered a "sleeve" where you can easily change from one to another] sci-fi, must-see
- Magicians [Guy finds out magic is real, and he tries to get in to the university. Don't worry, it is nothing like Harry Potter] sci-fi, teen-drama
- Ray Donovan [Starring Liev Schreiber. Hollywood fixer] drama, family-drama
- Imposters [Guy get taken for all he is worth, tries to take revenge] indirectly funny, drama, con-artist
- 12 Monkeys [Guy uses unsafe method of time-travel to leave his post-apocalyptic world to visit today in hopes of preventing the future] sci-fi, time-travel
- Preacher [A preacher enlists the help of a vampire to find God] supernatural, indirectly-funny
- Counterpart [J.K. Simmons. Portal between two identical worlds with only the smallest differences. Guy meets his "counterpart" and he is nothing like himself] sci-fi
*Cobra Kai - I don't like to give attention to some shows more than others, but I have to expand here a little more. It is not even my favorite but I have a few things to say:
At first I was skeptical to watch Cobra Kai for a few reasons. The first reason that deterred me is YouTube Red. If you don't already know, YouTube Red is a premium subscription to YouTube. Because Cobra Kai is a YouTube Red original, (meaning YouTube created it) this is the first notable attempt in YouTube joining the ranks of cinematic networks, which I commend them for. The past few years we have seen providers like Netflix and Amazon successfully transform from providing bottom shelf content to creating top shelf works of art. YouTube pioneered video streaming all while never creating content of their own, and they never charged a penny for it. Enter YouTube Red. It seemed to me as YouTube charging for features that were at no extra cost to them, like keep the audio from muting when playing a video from the mobile app and the screen goes to sleep, or being able to see all content from the top channels. I was silently rebelling against YouTubeRed as long as I could.
Second, I fear a flop. I don't want to disgrace the classic Karate Kid with a cheap spin-off or something with different heart. So, in fear I decided to not risk it. Until later I discovered that Ralph Macchio who plays the protagonist in Karate Kid, Daniel Larusso, and William Zabka who plays the antagonist Johnny Lawrence, are in all ten episodes of Cobra Kai. That gave me hope they would preserve the ambiance of the original. I like reboots as much as the next guy, but there is a fine line where you ruin the original, or make the original even better. Also, don't over do it (I am talking at you, Disney. Lay off Star Wars a little, will ya?)
After finishing Cobra Kai, I found it clever how they touch on the controversial idea that in Karate Kid, Daniel was actually the bully and not Johnny. Once you hear Johnny's side of the story in Cobra Kai, it is hard to pick a side; Johnny or Daniel. Cobra Kai does a superb job in portraying neither one as the "good-guy" or the "bad-guy". Also, Johnny follows the lead of Clint Eastwood in relentlessly throwing punches at the millennial generation by calling them the "pussy-generation", or making fun simply because life isn't fair. We are reminded, yet again, the contrast of today's generation compared to the last.
"If you can't handle someone making fun of you, how are you going to handle an elbow to the teeth?" - Johnny Lawrence
Ultimately, Cobra Kai is everything you want from a reboot - keeping the essence of the classic while maintaining the modern demand of original content. I recommend revisiting Karate Kid before starting this journey.