It’s the time of the year where we give thanks for the good things in our lives.
And those good things include TV shows, well-developed and strong characters, healthy relationships, good plotlines, and more!
Here’s some of what TV Fanatic is thankful for in 2019 (in no particular order).
Malcolm Jamal Warner’s AJ Austin & Minator on The Resident
AJ has come such a long way on The Resident and digging into his background has been such a beautiful experience. Warner brings so much heart to this lovable, arrogant, complex teddy bear of a character.
And yeah, everyone enjoys talking about CoNic, but Minator has been quietly stealing their thunder as this endearing slow-burn ship that makes you giggly. — Jasmine
Elite came back on Netflix for a second season that was just as compelling and twisted as the first season. It’s one of the more fun binge-watching series that Netflix has to offer. — Whitney
Disney+ Bringing Back Nostalgia
Nostalgia is peaking with the rollout of Disney+. Being able to binge all of your favorite Disney Channel films and shows on a whim is awesome, but what’s even better is that the service is rebooting some classics including Lizzie McGuire!
Hilary Duff returns at the quirky and lovable character along with most of the original cast (yes, even Ethan Craft!). Excuse us as we go freak out with animated Lizzie. — Lizzy
I’m so grateful for a total return to what made Star Wars so exciting and charming. I truly wasn’t expecting such a true representation of the galaxy’s canon while telling a brand new story on The Mandalorian. — Kerr
A Breathtaking Final Season of Mr. Robot
Mr. Robot Season 4 is a final season done right. Sam Esmail’s work of art continues to evolve while laying the groundwork for the endgame.
The acting from Rami Malek, Christian Slater, Carly Chaikin, and Grace Gummer continues to be enthralling. — Paul
More Season of GLOW
I’m thankful GLOW was renewed for season 4. Ruth, Debbie and the rest deserve resolutions to their stories, and I’ve been longing for more GLOW ring-side action. — Daniella
Prodigal Son Giving us Michael Sheen as a Sassy, Lovable Serial killer in a Dad Sweater
Prodigal Son is such a sleeper hit. I never saw it coming, and it was a pleasant surprise when it hit the ground running and became the first network series to get a full-season order (Speaking of things I’m grateful for).
The entire cast is truly fantastic, but Michael Sheen as Martin Whitly is pure entertainment. He’s having a ball in this role, and we’re having a ball watching him. I mean, it’s starting to make sense why serial killers have groupies. — Jasmine
Ethics Lessons on The Good Place
We’re going to miss all of Chidi’s ethics lessons when The Good Place takes its final bow in 2020.
And though there’s a legit argument as to why the show shouldn’t end, it’s also assuring that it’s going out on its terms and ending the way the creators intended. Many shows don’t get that luxury. Also, the cast is unparalleled. — Lizzy
Angela Kang Steering The Walking Dead in the Right Direction
The Walking Dead circled the drain for years, but showrunner Angela Kang managed to bring the show back from the brink.
Thanks to the thrilling execution of The Whisperers arc, the show is the best it’s been in years. Heck, The Walking Dead Season 10 is the best-reviewed season yet on Rotten Tomatoes. — Paul
Looking for Alaska
I’m thankful for Looking for Alaska for showing that books can be adapted to screen in beautiful ways. It also restored my faith in teen dramas. — Meaghan
EVIL does a great job of presenting both sides of the arguments for and against belief in faith, presented via church assigned exorcism investigations. And the overarching storylines are what make the show so digestible. — Kerr
I’m thankful I get to watch and write about shows as smart as Succession even if the TV Fanatic audience has yet to find the gem.
I’m also thankful for Yellowstone and the similarities to Succession but instead of playing it cynical and with dry wit they lean hard into soapy goodness while never losing its grit. — Carissa
Grace Park Getting More Screentime on A Million Little Things
She’s incredible on the series but was woefully underused in the first season. But the first half of the AMLT Season 2 belongs to her character Katherine. She’s been killing it. — Jasmine
Thankful for The Unicorn for providing thoughtful and funny insight into an experience most shows don’t want to deal with, moving on after the death of a wife and mother.
It’s wonderful to get to know Walton Goggins in a wholly different context than Justified and Vice-Principals. The other couples keep the humor rolling and the family dynamics are honest and the emotions genuine. — Diana
Ian Somerhalder’s Return to Television
As a vampire hunter, no less. Ian Somerhalder has always excelled in the supernatural genre (he’ll always be The Vampire Diaries baddie Damon Salvatore to us) and we’re excited to see him take on a new role on the Netflix series V Wars. — Lizzy
They finally ghostbusted Georgia Goodwin on New Amsterdam. It took the entire first half of the season, but it was necessary. — Jasmine
Riverdale Continues to be a Wonderful, Insane Mess
There’s no better way to describe Riverdale than “complete insanity,” but that’s why we love it. When fans questioned why the show was going off the deep end, the writers were like “they want crazier storylines.” And we do.
Stonewall Prep, crazy Charles Part 2, Dodger, Archie as a vigilante, a decomposing Jason corpse (okay, actually, they can keep that one) — the show never fails to leave us flabbergasted. — Lizzy
The Conners Continues to Do What It Has Always Done Best
This working-class, blue-collar family grapples with parenting issues, dating, divorce, death, and what it’s like to financially hold on by your fingertips and keep your family together in present-day America all while making us both laugh and cry.
The cast of The Conners never brings anything less than their A-game. This family falls down, gets back up, and keeps going even after Roseanne’s unexpected death as they try to figure out what comes next. I’m thrilled to be there for every hilarious, painful, and poignant moment. — Christine
I’m thankful for Daybreak for managing to make the apocalypse relatable and crazy entertaining. — Meaghan
Positive TV Shows Like God Friended Me
2019 needs wholesome, positive, and inspiring television more than anything. God Friended Me continues to surprise with plots that never feel tired or predictable. If you ever need a feel-good show, this is it. — Lizzy
Regardless of who and what he played, he’s a national treasure. From Raising Dion to A Million Little Things, he pops up everywhere, and I love him to bits! — Jasmine
The Chemistry Between Rio and Beth
Their chemistry is hot, it’s electric, and hopefully, it continues into the Good Girls Season 3. I’m not sure how, but I’m choosing to remain hopeful. — Lizzy
I’m thankful for Castle Rock Season 2 and such an engaging imagining of a young Annie Wilkes played beautifully by Lizzy Caplan. I’ve always wondered how the Misery villainess came to be so psychotically kooky. So far, the series is doing a terrific job of making her real. — Kerr
I’m thankful for 9-1-1 in general. It gets better and better with each episode. Fantastic cast and great storytelling and the Tsunami episodes were incredible. — Jasmine
Worthy Nancy Drew Mysteries
The CW’s Nancy Drew isn’t a ratings hit, but it should be simply because of how well it juggles two compelling mysteries The show quickly set itself apart from Riverdale and established a ghostly history, which was done for shock-value at first, but now adds layers to the narrative. — Lizzy
Colbie Smulders in Stumptown
Thankful for Stumptown for putting Cobie Smulders front and center in a kick-butt female role who is infinitely fallible and flawed but also true in her love for her brother.
Stumptown also gets props for its great representation of neurodiverse individuals like Cole Sibus as Ansel Parios and individuals of color like Tantoo Cardinal and Adrian Martinez as Sue Lynn Cardinal and Tookie, respectively. — Diana
This brings us to … being thankful for the upswing of high-caliber female-led programming including Killing Eve, Big Little Lies, The Morning Show, Fleabag, and Dead to Me, among others. Women are no longer fighting for the good parts and are creating them for themselves with incredible success. — Carissa
A 1980s-Themed American Horror Story
American Horror Story: 1984 was bursting at the seams with nostalgia. The camp setting allowed for a tried and tested formula, with the usual subverting of expectations from the likes of Ryan Murphy. — Paul
Amelia & Link’s Romance on Grey’s Anatomy
It’s consistently the brightest spot of the entire season of Grey’s Anatomy. I’m just going to ignore that cliffhanger in the midseason finale. They are the only couple I’m invested in and care about right now. — Jasmine
The Devil Next Door on Netflix
I am thankful for the informative telling of this insane story. The docuseries about the 1980s trials of a man thought to have been the infamous Ivan the Terrible of Treblinka; trials I had never even been aware of till now. — Kerr
2019 is the year of major crossovers. The #OneChicago franchise has figured out a successful formula, excelling with an infection-inspired three-episode crossover that felt more like a movie than a TV show.
Legacies & Their Monster-of-the-Week
I’m thankful that Legacies doesn’t take itself too seriously. They cut through all the Malivore, monster-of-the-week drama with humor that not only strengthens the character bonds but propels the show into a new genre: supernatural comedy.
The lesson here is to never take yourself too seriously, especially when kicking monster butt. – Lizzy
There is so much good programming available now especially with all of the streaming services!
What are you thankful for?
Which shows would you add to the list?