Of course, it helps there was a new season this year, and there was all the controversy about it being cancelled, and then saved, so it was constantly at the forefront of my mind too. I also want to give a shout out to Derry Girls, which was one of the funniest (and most feminist) things I saw this year. Forget the flop recent film version. It was the most expensive nature series ever commissioned by the BBC and the first to be filmed in HD.

Afraid to tell their parents, the siblings continue the deception for days. Without counting the actual number, I am sure there were at least 13 conversations in this intriguing collection of character studies. The ambitious series took a decade to get to the screen and ate up half of BBC Two’s drama budget for the year but boy, was it worth it. Dan Dawkins, The Good Place and The Sinner season 2 are probably tied for the most abused TV in terms of binging for me this year. The second series, covering the mid-1950s to the mid-1960s, including the Suez Canal crisis and the Profumo affair, was perhaps even better. Compiled by Gabriel Tate, Ben Lawrence, Michael Hogan, Gerard O'Donovan, and Catherine Gee. Sam Loveridge. I'm afraid I've watched the entirety of Brooklyn Nine-Nine on Netflix twice this year, because it's 20 minute chunks of glorious comedy, with a cast of characters that literally feel like you could slot right in as one of the gang. Only re-imagined as a repressed, Middle England game of charades, with Debra Winger and Richard Gere played by your mum and dad. The "one thing" (believe it or not) isn't sex, but happiness. Uwe is one of the last surviving villagers who are clinging to their old traditions, namely their "language". Everyone in the series has a secret, and watching Marius trying to bluff his way through family history on the fly made my heart beat faster than watching most horror movies. Fortunately, the former Python proved an inspired last resort, harnessing his everyman appeal and natural curiosity to the clever hook of following in the footsteps of Phileas Fogg. An honourable mention, too, for Unreported World (most episodes also on All4), which does its designated job with tenacity and insight. The wincingly accurate news parody aired for just six episodes in 1994 but became hugely influential – both on comedy and current affairs coverage. Now that I've watched both seasons of Sneaky Pete on Amazon Prime, I'm pretty sure I've effectively been tutored in the art of the con.

Yes, really. But it's so broadly likeable and unashamedly populist that it appeals to everyone, regardless of age, gender or social class. Jake’s Progress, again by Bleasdale and starring Lindsay, is also available on All 4. In 1996, Royal Shakespeare Company writer Peter Flannery adapted his own stage play into this epic nine-parter, charting the course of the lives of four Geordie friends from youth to middle age.

Please deactivate your ad blocker in order to see our subscription offer, Golden Joystick Awards 2020 - join us on November 24th, The world's number one sci-fi, fantasy and horror magazine. The adventures of one boy through the centuries and religions old and new, mixed with a ripe character turn from Robert Stephens as arch-villain Abner Brown, cast an irresistible spell. Fans expect nothing less, however a more engaging and witty story might have helped. Billed as a “masterwork” by The Wall Street Journal, it feels like a throwback to a different era of TV,  knowing how to slow down and frame a scene for impact.

As such, 2018 has seen me munch my way through all nine seasons of the endlessly quotable Peep Show for the third time (“Crunchy Nut Cornflakes …

Queue twists, turns, drama, and a whole lot of gossiping as this crime drama unfurls. Yet the hopes and dreams of Peckham market trader Del Boy (David Jason) caught the public imagination and throughout the series’ long run there were many terrific moments combining slapstick (that bar-hatch pratfall) and genuine poignancy (Rodney’s courtship of the up-market Cassandra). Meganews! The blend of comedy and tragedy wasn’t always seamless, but when it worked it packed a punch like little else. Less a detective series, more a cultural phenomenon, there was an operatic scale and complexity to these two-hour mystery sagas based on the late Colin Dexter’s popular crime novels. From Bowie and Ronson to the Madchester special, highlights are too numerous to mention – so much so that the wiping of many early recordings to make room for the entirety of Pot Black remains one of the great smallscreen scandals. Delighting and appalling those it lampooned, it doubles as a sort of Yes, Minster for hacks. Malcolm Bradbury adapting Tom Sharpe: what could possibly go wrong? While Curtis's theories may not have stood the test of time and his recycling of the format has dulled its impact, this was nevertheless a provocative, brilliantly assembled (via a constant stream of archive material) piece of documentary making.

The masterstroke was to cast Leonard Rossiter in the lead, increasingly exasperated by the superficiality of modern life and the idiocy of those around him (an unforgettable array of comic turns led by Geoffrey Palmer and John Barron). It’s also been on long enough now to embed larger-scale plots and undercurrents that affect the characters and direction of the series, sometimes giving it a ‘how will this play out’ tension. Bob Odenkirk is just so lovable, even when he's being a bit of a scumbag, and Michael McKean is the crown jewel of an amazing supporting cast. But the first few visits to Manchester’s chaotic Chatsworth Estate were among the most invigorating depictions of British working-class culture in recent years, launching the careers (and marriage) of Anne-Marie Duff and James McAvoy in the process.

Hired to read to the disabled, the elderly and the bored, Constance creates, fulfills and participates in her employers' fantasies and peculiar dreams. Unexpected complications seem to end in disaster, yet there is nothing that can ever stop true love. A refreshing take on the superhero genre, it tells the tale of a superhero who comes out of retirement to fight the crime, social injustice, and racism which has taken root in his community and I couldn’t get enough of it.

We urge you to turn off your ad blocker for The Telegraph website so that you can continue to access our quality content in the future. Its finest moments are still cited today, notably the debate over made-up drug 'cake' in the Commons, while the 2001 paedophile special remains one of British television’s bravest, most wince-inducing and hilarious satires, an hour of non-stop chutzpah. Our heroine Constance (played by Miou-Miou in yet another role where she seems to play the same character as always...herself) turns her passion for literature into an exciting and profitable "profession". Suits maintained a delicious moreishness to it throughout all the seasons, this year’s season 8 being no exception, and while it feels like it might be nearing a natural conclusion in the next couple of seasons, we can’t wait to devour the next tasty instalment.

GET A COPY . After every hour, you feel like you've spent time with friends, sharing their hopes and fears. Writer Peter Straughan’s masterful adaptation did ample justice to Hilary Mantel’s Booker-winning Tudor novels, while director Peter Kosminsky’s vision – all mud, blood and candlelight – was somehow gritty and sumptuous at the same time. Steve Coogan’s most enduring character – the conceited, tactless and talentless sports reporter cum chat show host – was invented by Coogan and others for Radio 4’s On the Hour and first seen on television in The Day Today and the hugely popular spoof chat show Knowing Me Knowing You. Salem, Massachusetts, may be the strangest city on the planet. Factgasm! There’s a career-best performance from Lancashire as strong-willed Sergeant Catherine Cawood, who must face her past and fight for justice when the man who drove her daughter to suicide gets released from prison.


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