With the year almost over, and the mince pies mostly munched, it’s quiet in the Bunka Bunker so our Monsters of Culture have got on to their favourite topic: what was the best TV of 2019? Binges have been had, polite disagreements have been settled with handbags at dawn, and TV remote batters have been stacked up as an altar to the Telly Gods to help us pick the 2019 aRAWWs for Best TV.
Not that much of a surprise for this to be included, as it was written in 1990 by two of genre fictions biggest stars, Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaimen, and pretty much went straight to Production Hell the day it was launched. What is surprising is that after over a quarter of a decade it could be updated without upsetting the fans and still be interesting to those new to the work. Part of that will have been due to Gaiman having gained 20 years of experience on working with TV scripts, but a large portion has to go to the raw chemistry between Michael Sheen and David Tennant as the key protagonists Aziraphale and Crowly. It also managed to piss off a lot of people by the pair possibly being gay, so it’s certainly doing The Lord’s work there.
Additional words from the Bunkazilla team on Good Omens…
“Destined to be a poster child for how to adapt things correctly, this tale of friendship, destiny, and the apocalypse was clearly made with the utmost love and attention. Casting Michael Sheen & David Tennant as Aziraphale and Crowley was perfect and the way Neil Gaiman expanded the narrative worked really well. They get bonus points for having the longest cold open anyone can remember (well, for the time being).” – Neil Boulton
The Good Place
Philosophy, ethics, and questions about the nature of the afterlife aren’t normally comedic material, but in its fourth series The Good Place has shown that they can be the bedrock of both hilarious and human stories. Michael Schur has also shown amazing restraint by sticking to his four-season plan, when the praise and success of the show could easily allow for another two. The final run on Netflix in January, and we can only encourage you to binge your way through it in time for the ending.
Additional words from the Bunkazilla team on The Good Place…
“The final season is nearly done and I’m still on the edge of my seat wanting to know how this hilarious comedy about morality is going to play out. With each season’s tweak of the core idea the writing and cast have remained on the toppest of forms – I’m sure they can stick the landing when the final episode is out.” – Neil Boulton
Reality is a harsh place, and it doesn’t get much harsher than this 6-hour drama about the 1986 nuclear plant disaster. Both heartbreaking and bleak, it showed the horrors of the incident and the countless small acts of bravery that helped bring it to an end. Tensions ran high, situations swung ran from bad to worse with break-taking regularity, and the dignity of the events and those who suffered from it were maintained. This wasn’t entertainment, this was group catharsis and realisation for just how terrible it all was. It wasn’t so much a mini-series as an experience.
Additional words from the Bunkazilla team on Chernobyl…
“Every bit of praise you’ve read about this series is richly deserved. It’s meticulously accurate, and in the few places where it has veered from the truth for dramatic or pacing purposes the changes are both merited and understandable. Basically, this is a masterpiece and I can’t recommend it more.” – Richard deValmont
Cannon Busters – “Here’s to many more shows utilising a global audience – raise a glass to Cannon Busters showing the world exactly what anime is made of. Get on board.”
Doom Patrol – “Combine all that with a build-up of tensions and personalities that make you actually worried for everyone by the cliff-hanger ending, and you have a first episode that will have all watchers waiting feverishly for the next instalment to drop.”
The Witcher – “The Witcher is probably better than you were expecting, so it’s worth a look to see if you can get over any pre-established ideas you have in your head and enjoy it for what it is rather than what you’d hope it was going to be.”
Agree? Disagree? Why not let us know your thoughts at the Stomping Grounds!