Top 5 Best Episodes of TV in 2019
Some episodes of TV stand out from the rest because of the dramatic character moments, well-written stories or simply the well-paced hour of television it provided. Their episodes don’t always represent the quality of the rest of the season, but they still like some of the best TV of the year.
The following Top 5 list was compiled by Dylan Bligh & Ashley Hobley
Nothing broke my heart this year quite like having Chidi (William Jackson Harper) and Elanor’s (Kristen Bell) short-lived romance and happiness come to an abrupt end. After a masterful move of evilness by Shawn (Marc Evan Jackson) sees Chidi’s ex-girlfriend, Simone (Kirby Howell-Baptiste), revealed as one of the humans for their experiment — an experiment that will determine the fate of humanity — Chidi comes to the conclusion that they must wipe his memory or risk him ruining the experiment.
This episode also does a good job at setting up things for season 4, primarily making Elanor “The Architect” in charge of The Good Place after Michael (Ted Danson) has a breakdown. But when I think of this episode, I think of two scenes in particular: Chidi’s goodbye and Elanor’s talk with Janet (D’Arcy Carden). Both are perfectly written and performed scenes that I’ve rewatched constantly this year. Elanor’s acceptance that “all I can do is embrace the pandemonium. Find happiness in the unique insanity of being here, now” is a sentiment to live by, which is ironic for a show set after death.
– Ashley Hobley
“Episode One” is one of the most perfectly written episodes of television this year. It does a lot to set up the season and fills in the gap between seasons while telling a self-contained, funny story. Fleabag (Pheobe Waller-Bridge) joins her family in a restaurant to celebrate the engagement between her Dad (Bill Paterson) and Godmother (Olivia Coleman), over a year since they’ve all been together. Also, the Godmother invited the Priest (Andrew Scott) who will be officiating the wedding.
Watching this group just talk with Fleabag adding her own asides to the camera is a delight to watch. Things perfectly ramp up as the episode goes along before hitting its climax with Brett Gelman perfectly delivering some vile dialogue that reminds the audience how terrible a person Martin is. The episode ends with the two sisters sharing a cab, a nice contrast to the first episode of season one which ended with Fleabag in a cab alone. Shot perfectly, acted perfectly, written perfectly. Easily the best 30 min or less episode of television released this year.
– Ashley Hobley
The season finale of Big Little Lies is primarily set in a courtroom as Celeste (Nicole Kidman) questions her mother-in-law (Meryl Steep) about how her son was raised and what could lead him to become the abuser he was up till his death.
Behind all the lies, questions and trauma is a mother simply trying to keep her family together as Celeste attempts to bring her Grandchildren home with her and to make Celeste out to be a bad mother. It’s these beautifully put together scenes between Kidman and Streep that make this episode a standout of the year and also the season with some of the best acting of the year.
– Dylan Blight
This is the episode that we had been building towards for years. The final battle between the living and the dead. Directed by Miguel Sapochnik, the director of some of the most epic battle-focused episodes of Game of Thrones like ‘The Battle of the Bastards’ and ‘Hardhome’, this episode was not without criticism. Some characters were protected by plot armour, some of the tactics were a bit questionable and this episode saw more people check the brightness settings on their tv more than any other this century. But the highs of this episode were some of the best of the year.
Alfie Allen superbly brought Theon’s journey to redemption to a satisfying conclusion, earning himself an Emmy nomination in the process. Jon (Kit Harington), Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) and Jorah (Iain Glen) get great battle moments but this is really Arya Stark’s episode. We see her go from confident, killer badass to someone who realises they are in over their head to “The Prince That Was Promised”. When Maise Williams responds to being asked what we say to the God of Death with “Not Today”, goosebumps. Then that ending, perfectly scored by Ramin Djawadi with the track “The Night King”, plays out brilliantly with Jon unable to get to Bran (Isaac Hempstead Wright) but Arya attacking almost silently. Arya landing the killing blow and riding Westeros of the White Walkers was easily the most satisfying moment of the year that it can’t help but elevate this episode up this list. Also, Lyanna Mormont (Bella Ramsey) went out like a champ, single-handedly killing a giant wight.
– Ashley Hobley
The final episode of Chernobyl is, as the episodes prior, an immaculate piece of screenwriting. In the finale however it feels almost like a documentary as you watch the courtroom events that could have nearly led to Chernobyl being a huge coverup. When Valery Legasov (Jared Harris) begins explaining how the core reactor could have entered the meltdown it’s also a real lesson in what lead to this horrific mistake and Harris is fantastic here leading the court and us, the viewers, down the final moments of Chernobyl.
– Dylan Blight