It happens all the time. A family member, co-worker or friend goes on and on about an amazing TV series but you just can’t get around to watching it. With more than 400 scripted television shows coming out this year, how do you find the time?
Luckily for you, the holidays is the perfect opportunity to catch up on some quality television. But with so many options, which TV series are truly binge worthy?
Grab a blanket, some snacks and slide into your favorite spot on the couch. Here are 14 feastworthy programs that aired in 2018.
One season and done (for now)
• “Howards End” (Starz: One season, four episodes) — This adaptation of the well-known novel gets the BBC America/Starz treatment and stars Hayley Atwell. It’s full of love, cruelty and complexity.
• “Killing Eve” (BBC America: One season, eight episodes) — Eve (Sandra Oh) is a bored MI5 security officer who wants to be a spy. When she comes across a talented assassin (Jodie Comer) she’s lead into an epic game of cat and mouse. “Killing Eve” may be the best new series of 2018.
• “Barry” (HBO: One season, eight episodes) — It might be hard to imagine funny man Bill Hader as an assassin for hire but he does it will cool equanimity. Henry Winkler, however, steals every scene he’s in.
• “Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan” (Amazon: One season, eight episodes) — Many actors have taken on the iconic character of Jack Ryan but John Krasinski (“The Office”) was made for the role.
• “Altered Carbon” (Netflix: One season, 10 episodes) — This unique series, based on books written by Richard K. Morgan, has clear nods to “Bladerunner” and “The Matrix” but certainly stands on its own.
• “Homecoming” (Amazon: One season, 10 episodes) — Julia Roberts shines as a thoughtful counselor whose life isn’t exactly what she thinks it is. “Homecoming” has so many subtleties in each 30-minute episode that you can’t help but watch intently.
• “Cobra Kai” (YouTube Premium: One season, 10 episodes) — If you’re a child of the 80s, seeing how things played out for Johnny and Daniel from the “The Karate Kid” is must-see TV.
• “Star Trek: Discovery” (CBS All Access: One season, 15 episodes) — Set 10 years before Kirk and Spock, the first season of this series was star-studded and took viewers to never before seen places. Get caught up before season two premieres in January.
If you have time to spare
• “Ozark” (Netflix: Two seasons, 20 episodes) — Oh what a tangled web we weave when we fail to properly launder money for a drug cartel. This complex series stars Jason Bateman and Laura Linney at their best.
• “The Handmaid’s Tale” (Hulu: Two seasons, 23 episodes) — Intense, provocative and prescient, this powerful series set in a dystopian future is thought provoking.
• “Billions” (Showtime: Three seasons, 36 episodes) — One of the most underrated series on TV, “Billions” shows the ruthless struggle for power between a billionaire hedge fund manager (Damian Lewis) and a U.S. Attorney (Paul Giamatti).
• “The Good Place” (NBC: Three seasons, 36 episodes) — Mike Schur is a comedic genius, working on a variety of brilliant comedies (“The Office,” “Parks and Recreation,” “Brooklyn Nine-Nine”) but this series, which is as thoughtful as it is humorous, might be his best work.
• “Marvel’s Daredevil” (Netflix: Three seasons, 39 episodes) — If you only watch one Netflix superhero series, make sure it’s this one. Every season is stellar but season three, the last in the series and released earlier this year, is epic in every way.
• “Outlander” (Starz: Four seasons, 48 episodes) — Based on the books by Diana Gabaldon, this series is full of history, mysticism, romance and danger. A fantastic overall program well worth your time.
Gazette media columnist Terry Terrones is a member of the Television Critics Association and the Broadcast Television Journalists Association. You can follow him on Twitter at @terryterrones.