In my final “Best of 2019” post, I’ll be listing my favorite television shows, comic books, video games, and music albums of the year. I haven’t been watching as much television as I used to, (I simply don’t have the time) focusing more on movies, documentaries, and books (and of course, my own writing). There are several 2019 shows I’d still like to watch but haven’t gotten around to yet, such as The Mandalorian and the new Twilight Zone reboot (though I did watch a lot of the original series this past year, and most of the episodes hold up extraordinarily well).
Best TV Shows of 2019
1. Rick and Morty (season 4)
My favorite show right now. It strikes a balance that I try to reach in much of my science fiction: blow your mind while also making you laugh.
2. Black Mirror (season 5)
Actually, this is a tie for my favorite show. It’s another inspiration for the type of science fiction I like to write: set in the near future with realistic projections of current technology. Plus, as I’ve said before, I love the anthology format and would like to see more shows like that.
3. Game of Thrones (season 8)
It wasn’t a perfect ending to one of my all-time favorite television series, but I still enjoyed it more than most. The entire final season felt rushed. Though I usually prefer stories to be shorter and more condensed, this was one instance where more length to flesh out the details would have helped.
4. True Detective (season 3)
A return to form after the disappointing second season.
5. Mindhunter (season 2)
Like True Detective, this is a dark show about serial killers, but thoroughly engrossing. I always enjoy a good mystery.
6. The Good Place (season 4)
A great comedy set in the afterlife that also gets pretty deep philosophically.
7. Love, Death & Robots (season 1)
An anthology series of animated science fiction short films based on previously published short stories. Some were hit or miss, but I love the idea and want to see more. There are so many great sci-fi short stories ripe for film adaptations.
8. Russian Doll (season 1)
A new take on the Groundhog Day premise. A new take on the Groundhog Day premise. A new take on the Groundhog Day premise. A new take on the Groundhog Day premise.
9. Chernobyl (miniseries)
My only complaint is that I was constantly distracted by Russians speaking English with British accents.
10. Pen15 (season 1)
A hilarious and nostalgic comedy set in middle school in the 1990s ( the same time I attended middle school).
Stranger Things (season 3)
I absolutely loved season 1, but have liked each subsequent season less and less. Which reiterates a point I’ve made before—that the miniseries is a perfect format. (see 8 & 9) Not everything needs to be stretched out into ongoing multi-season series.
Best Comics I Read in 2019
I didn’t read enough (good) comic books this year to do a full top-10 list, but here are my top five.
1. Axe Cop, Vol. 1-5 by Malachai and Ethan Nicolle
This is by far the funniest comic book series I’ve ever read, and it was written entirely by a five-year-old (at the time of the first volume) and drawn by his older brother. Malachai’s imagination is incredible, coming up with insane ideas that only a child could—similar to the short story I wrote when I was in the fifth grade, “The Haunted Cave” (which is included in my recent collection, Story Addict). Axe Cop makes me wish I’d written more when I was younger.
2. Paper Girls, Vol. 5 & 6 by Brian K. Vaughan and Cliff Chiang
This is the epic conclusion to the Stranger Things-esque time travel story that has been featured in previous years’ lists.
3. Quiet Girl in a Noisy World: An Introvert’s Story by Debbie Tung (2017)
4. The Sound of the World By Heart by Giacomo Bevilacqua (2016)
5. Blade Runner 2019 by Michael Green, Mike Johnson, and Andres Guinaldo (2019)
A worthy addition to my favorite film franchise.
More Best Comic Books Lists:
Best Video Games I Played in 2019
I only have time to play a few video games each year, but three that I played in 2019 were worth highlighting.
1. Prey (2017)
This game, set on a future space station, is like a combination of two of my favorite video games of all time: Dead Space and Bioshock.
2. The Talos Principle (2015)
A puzzle game reminiscent of Portal. The story involves artificial intelligence and consciousness, two of my favorite topics.
3. Soma (2015)
This is the best game I’ve played in a long time. It’s sort of a combination between Bioshock and The Talos Principle, in that it’s set in the future, underwater, and deals with artificial intelligence and consciousness.
Best Music Albums of 2019
Writing about music is like dancing about architecture, so I’ll just list some of my favorite albums released in 2019 (in alphabetical order).
- Balue – Suburban Bliss
- Battles – Juice B Crypts
- Blockhead – Free Sweatpants
- The Chemical Brothers – No Geography
- Com Truise – Persuasion System
- Efdemin – New Atlantis
- Konx-Om-Pax – Ways of Seeing
- Lost Souls of Saturn – Lost Souls of Saturn
- Luke Abbott – Music from the Edge of an Island
- Mac Demarco – Here Comes the Cowboy
- Max Cooper – Yearning for the Infinite
- Panda Bear – Buoys & A Day With the Homies
- Part Time – Modern History
- Portico Quartet – Memory Streams
- Pye Corner Audio – Hollow Earth
- Sneaks – Highway Hypnosis
- Steve Hauschildt – Nonlin
- Teen Daze – Bioluminescence
- Telefon Tel Aviv – Dreams Are Not Enough
- Thom Yorke – ANIMA
- Tim Hecker – Anoyo
- Toro y Moi – Soul Trash
- Vampire Weekend – Father of the Bride
- Weval – The Weight
Previous Music Lists:
I forgot to mention the final season of Silicon Valley for best TV shows of 2019.