The 20 best TV shows of 2019 so far, according to critics

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“Chernobyl”
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HBO

  • 2019 brought along some amazing TV shows this year.
  • From HBO’s hit “Chernobyl” to the hilarious “Fleabag,” 2019 delivered well-reviewed shows from the start.
  • As the year comes to an end, here are the 20 best shows on TV, according to critics.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

2019 is almost over and there have been some wonderful TV shows so far this year.

From miniseries based on real-life tragedies like HBO’s “Chernobyl” and Netflix’s “When They See Us,” to acclaimed shows that ended their runs like “Veep” and “Fleabag,” 2019 has delivered well-reviewed shows from the start.

We turned to Rotten Tomatoes to find out what 2019 shows have been the most loved by critics so far.

We ranked the 20 shows by their Rotten Tomatoes critic score, and broke any ties with audience scores. We excluded shows that began their latest seasons in 2018, but ran through 2019 (sorry, “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend”).

Below are the 20 most well-reviewed TV shows of 2019, so far:


20. “The Good Fight” season 3 (CBS All Access)

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CBS All Access

Critic score: 95%

Audience score: 60%

What critics said: “It’s my firm belief that The Good Fight would be the most meme-d show on television if more people were watching it.” – Vulture


19. “Special” season 1 (Netflix)

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Netflix

Critic score: 95%

Audience score: 88%

What critics said: “Feels like a finely-tuned, precision-crafted Web series, with potent little zingers stitched into every exchange – along with the occasional sledgehammer.” – Boston Globe


18. “Chernobyl” miniseries (HBO)

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Liam Daniel/HBO

Critic score: 95%

Audience score: 98%

What critics said: “With renewed interest in the 33-year-old disaster has come a curious sense of moralizing proprietorship – which makes you wonder what, exactly, people are getting from the miniseries.” – BuzzFeed


17. “Veep” season 7 (HBO)

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HBO

Critic score: 96%

Audience score: 77%

What critics said: “Everyone is either a fool, a knave or a monster in HBO’s hilariously scabrous political satire starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus. After seven seasons, Veep ends its run with its sharp teeth fully intact.” – NPR


16. “When They See Us” miniseries (Netflix)

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Netflix

Critic score: 96%

Audience score: 92%

What critics said: “DuVernay makes an effective artistic choice by filming much of this through a blue filter, so that the boys’ world is enveloped by a Kafkaesque indigo gloom from which they – and the viewer – can find no escape.” – Newsday


15. “Succession” season 2 (HBO)

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HBO

Critic score: 96%

Audience score: 94%

What critics said: “Succession is a series about monstrous rich people that manages to be exhilarating and grim as hell at the same time.” – Buzzfeed


14. “Orange Is the New Black” season 7 (Netflix)

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Netflix

Critic score: 97%

Audience score: 76%

What critics said: “Moving, emotional final season that hits mostly high notes, and satisfactorily resolves a whole lot of stories.” – Newsday


13. “Ramy” season 1 (Hulu)

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Hulu

Critic score: 97%

Audience score: 83%

What critics said: “The writing is rich and layered, the references are topical … and ‘Ramy’ explores topics and themes that feel quietly revolutionary.” – Detroit News


12. “Pose” season 2 (FX)

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FX

Critic score: 97%

Audience score: 90%

What critics said: “The most glorious thing about Pose remains unchanged: At its heart, it’s simply a family drama. The family is one its characters built themselves, in a world where love can be scarce.” – RogerEbert.com


11. “Unbelievable” season 1 (Netflix)

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Netflix

Critic score: 97%

Audience score: 93%

What critics said: “It’s a tough watch, but it’s a rewarding one, not just because it has one of the best ensembles of the year but because of what it says about hope and empathy.” – RogerEbert.com


10. “Mindhunter” season 2 (Netflix)

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Netflix

Critic score: 98%

Audience score: 95%

What critics said: “‘Mindhunter’ is deeper, richer, and more affecting this go round, even as it steers away from studying proven killers.” – Indiewire


9. “Tuca and Bertie” season 1 (Netflix)

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Netflix

Critic score: 100%

Audience score: 66%

What critics said: “Tuca & Bertie is raucous, heartfelt, surreal, and distinctly female.” – AV Club


8. “Documentary Now!” season 3 (IFC)

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IFC

Critic score: 100%

Audience score: 69%

What critics said: “The fake documentary skewers the pretentiousness and earnestness of documentarians, as well as the fact that people are willing to utter the most ridiculous and self-incriminating statements when facing a camera.” – Washington Post


7. “Better Things” season 3 (FX)

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FX

Critic score: 100%

Audience score: 76%

What critics said: “To its major credit, Better Things simply refuses to make concessions to the classic sitcom form … Sometimes the more mirthful stuff is jammed in a script’s nooks and crannies.” – Wall Street Journal


6. “Los Espookys” season 1 (HBO)

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HBO

Critic score: 100%

Audience score: 84%

What critics said: “[Los Espookys] successfully captures the feeling of living in two spaces simultaneously that is often common to anyone juggling multiple selves within their identity – like immigrants, say, or artists.” – Vox


5. “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” season 6 (NBC)

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NBC

Critic score: 100%

Audience score: 89%

What critics said: “Comedies can often feel strained at this advanced age … That doesn’t happen here. If anything, the series feels more in a groove than it did when it was young and new and still surprising.” – Rolling Stone


4. “Barry” season 2 (HBO)

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Peter Iovino/HBO

Critic score: 100%

Audience score: 90%

What critics said: “The unique excellence of the second season is how adroitly Hader and co-creator Alec Berg find ways to raise the stakes for Barry while keeping the show’s tone darkly amused.” – Vanity Fair


3. “Undone” season 1 (Amazon Prime Video)

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Amazon Prime Video

Critic score: 100%

Audience score: 94%

What critics said: “The splendor of the visuals alone warrants a recommendation for the season.” – Slate


2. “Fleabag” season 2 (Amazon Prime Video)

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Amazon

Critic score: 100%

Audience score: 95%

What critics said: “Season 2 is a towering accomplishment, proving what many have suspected since her debut: Waller-Bridge is operating on a higher plane, and she’s kind enough to take the audience along with her.” – Indiewire


1. “Dark” season 2 (Netflix)

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“Dark”
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Netflix

Critic score: 100%

Audience score: 97%

What critics said: “Dark’s second season more than delivers on the series’ characteristic and circuitous time-travel action.” – Polygon