The Critics’ Picks – 2018 TV Show Of The Year

Critic: Tom Roberts

Pick: Succession

Imagine Game of Thrones in the world of business. That is the essence of this new HBO show. The show sees ageing businessman Logan Roy and his children battle over his company, Waystar Royco, with all the characters making their own political chess moves to increase their power. What really draws me to the story is it is not as simple as good people against bad people, all the characters have their own flaws. In one moment, you can go from loving one character to thinking they are an utter dick or vice versa. This has the makings of a world-class TV show, I could not recommend it highly enough. 

Critic: Max McGrath

Pick: Sunderland Till I Die

Prime’s All or Nothing was good, but it lacked drama and real characters. On the other hand, the dramatic fall from grace of a former powerhouse in the northeast provided unprecedented insight into a club in turmoil and really helped show something that many people talk about, but few truly understand. The documentation of such turbulent times has helped thousands of football fans gain at least some understanding into what goes on behind the scenes at clubs and also provides a degree of personality to players, managers and backroom staff that many people forget when watching from a mainstream media perspective. It helped show that it is not all sunshine and rainbows being a professional footballer, there are sackings like every other job, mental health issues among players and also plenty of financial implications beyond owner investment and transfer fees.

The Netflix documentary, ‘Sunderland Till I Die’, followed the championship club during their 2017-18 season. Photo Credit: ATGImages / Shutterstock

Critic: Chris Heley

Pick: A Dangerous Dynasty, House of Assad

Syria is a country suffering from an almost 8-year long civil war, with seemingly one of the most brutal dictators currently in power. However, between chemical attacks often the Syrian peoples’ plight fades from news broadcasts. This 3 part mini docu-series produced by the BBC chronicles the life of Bashar Al-Assad and his wife Asma, their rise to power and how Syria has collapsed. Not too far in the distant past was Bashar Al Assad seen as an ally of the West, a London educated eye doctor seemingly attempting to modernise his conservative middle-east country in the early 2000’s, he was thought to be a dictator which could help transform the region. The Iraq war and the Arab spring would change all of this and change him as a person. Syria is too often not on the consciousness of much of the world, after years of civil war and humanitarian crises but this series reminds us of why this disaster is occurring and gives a gruesome insight into one of the worlds most brutal dictators – it is worth the license fee on its own.

Critic: Harry Pockett

Pick: I’m A Celebrity

For the past few series’ of I’m a celebrity, I have to admit, I thought they were shocking. I stopped watching halfway through because they were so dull. What the series needed was an injection of new life and despite my reservations before the show, I thought Holly Willoughby was brilliant. She had the impossible task of replacing Ant, from the legendary Ant & Dec duo but I enjoyed her performance thoroughly. She was the Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to I’m a celebrity’s Man United, well in need with a rejuvenation so they got Holly as an interim host until Ant is back to full health. I loved it. As for the contestants, if I’m honest they could’ve had 10 mannequins and Harry Redknapp in there and I still would have watched it. The man is a living legend. His stories were both hilarious and insightful, he was the ultimate team player and the cockney king of the jungle reigned supreme, winning the hearts of the nation along the way.