At the end of the year, I decided to write a short article about the most successful series, for me, this year. This will not be a ranking for which is the best of all, but simply a recommendation to those who have not watched them to pay attention. And here they are:
For this miracle of the television industry created by HBO, I set out to prepare a separate article. However, there is so much background that needs to be explained that I began to get lost in my words. In short, the action unfolds in a parallel universe where, thanks to a “failed” experiment, a god-like creature has emerged. Dr. Manhattan. Thanks to his extraordinary abilities, he has given humanity a new history and technology. All cars are electric, police are hiding behind masks, and masked vigilantes are something completely normal. Although no one except Dr. Manhattan has superpowers, this does not prevent them from pretending to be Batman and give justice.
Ten years after the events of Watchmen comic book, the world is at peace. If you’ve watched Zack Snyder’s feature film adaptation from 2009, you know the universe. The difference is that he changed the end of the comic. Adrian Veidt (Ozymandias), in fact, materializes a giant squid over New York, killing millions and stopping the Cold War. It unites humanity against the fictional threat of alien invasion. Although it sounds crazy, this story is in full accord with the atmosphere in the universe of Watchmen. I recommend everyone to check out the comic, and now the series.
Even in this brief summary, I began to go into too much detail. The series take a swing at political perspectives such as racism, the police service, the presence of superheroes and immerses the viewer in a whirlwind of events. Science fiction and reality blend perfectly. There is no dull moment throughout the season, and the wonderful acting just pleases the eye. The debate now is whether there should be a second season. In my opinion, there is no need. These 9 episodes are enough to complete the story left open by the comic. And the end is more than perfect and mysterious. I recommend the series with two hands.
IMDB rating: 7.9
2. The Witcher
We all know that Netflix has been producing every idea that was pitched to them lately. The purpose is to generate as much original content as possible and to attract new subscribers. Unfortunately, most original content is just plain bad. An exception are some of the series, including The Witcher. If there were a lot of things to be said for Watchmen, then probably four articles would not be enough for me to describe this universe. The Witcher is a series of Polish novels that translated in an unknown feature film and three extremely successful games. Game of Thrones fans consider The Witcher as the new messiah and rightly so.
The story of Geralt of Rivia has captured the hearts of many fans over the years. Better known as Witchers, this race is the vanguard between humans and creatures of the night, but only for of the appropriate amount of money. His characteristic deep voice (in English dubbing), silence, sarcasm and fighting skills make him a favorite of young and old alike. Like in Game of Thrones, action does not save on graphics and violence. It is not advisable for viewers to have a favorite character here as well. The biggest plus, though, is that the books are complete and there is no way Netflix can make the mistake of HBO. The last season of the Thrones was tragic, mainly due to the lack of finished material. In conclusion, I highly recommend the series to all former and current Thrones fans. Even if we do not consider him an heir, he can offer a great deal, and Henry Cavil is certainly the best choice for the role of Geralt. Of course, there are also problems in the so-called ‘blackwashing’. This “phenomenon”, recreates white characters in black actors for the sake of political correctness. But, nevertheless, a second season for 2021 has already been announced and to tell you the truth, I can’t wait.
IMD rating: 8.7
3. His Dark Materials
This series, created on the eponymous novel by Philip Pullman, is another hit on HBO. The genre is an urban fantasy, and the action unfolds in several parallel universes. The author, successfully combining sci-fi and fantasy into one, creating a masterpiece. The novel also features a feature film from the 2007 named, The Golden Compass. It however, was a failure and failed to deliver. Despite the strong cast, fans did not accept it. And here, 12 years later, we finally got a decent adaptation.
The action begins in a parallel universe similar to ours, with a few small differences. Humans’ souls are materialized in the form of animals or daemons. Every child is born with a non-permanent form of daemon. It can become a different animal at any time. In puberty, when a child matures, the daemon chooses a permanent shape that suits the character of the person. For example, police officers have wolves or dogs, travelers have exotic animals, gypsies have eagles, falcons, etc. In the lead, we find Lyra, an orphan raised by scientists at the University of Jordan in London. In parallel with her, in our world we meet Will Perry, whose father is the only person to cross universes. The two embark on an adventure to rescue the daemons, going through several parallel universes. Season two has already been announced, and HBO is continuing its successes. I recommend the series, to all fantasy fans. I guarantee you will look at it in one go.
IMDB rating: 8.1
Looks like this year HBO can’t be stopped. Although from the beginning of 2019, Chernobyl deservers its place here. After the bitter taste left over from the Game of Thrones final, fans were furious. Most have said that HBO is to blame for the decline of one of the most beloved fantasy series of all time. However, after Chernobyl was released, everything changed.
Following the events of the biggest nuclear disaster to date, the series brought the world back to the question of whether the USSR did the right thing, hiding the truth about the seriousness of the problem. More important, however, was to pay attention to what the immediate participants experienced. Specially for this series I have a whole review and there is no point in repeating myself. I recommend it with two hands, to people who haven’t watched it yet.
IMDB rating: 9.5
5. The Mandalorian
I made a short review of the first three episodes of this series. The truth is that there is not one weak or boring moment in it. Although utilizing much of the cowboy cliché, the acting and cinematography are amazing. The first Disney series can be described in one word – SUCCESS! After the disappointment, in the face of Episode VIII and Solo, The Mandalorian returned the hope in fans. Without even seeing Pedro Pascal’s face, we know his expression. Baby Yoda, though designed to sell toys, has captured the hearts of even the biggest haters. And the memes the internet gave birth to, are also invaluable.
Although I said that this is not an article that rates the series, for me this is the best series this year. I just hope Disney doesn’t slack off and continue to produce quality content. Episode IX to me, was a good enough, trying to justify the failure of Episode VIII. Disney is moving in the right direction, which I am glad to see. The Marvel Universe series is yet to come, which I hope will be just as successful.
IMDB rating: 8.9
Honorable mention: See
Unfortunately I couldn’t get to it. However, as far as I read in the reviews, the series is good. To continue the trend, Apple released their own streaming service, which debuted “See”. In the lead is Jason Momoa. In some distant future, people have lost their eyesight and are guided only by their other senses. In this world, two children are born, which have vision. And because people are afraid of the unknown, they are being persecuted and Jason’s character has to protect them. I’ll be able to say more after watching it. Knowing Khal Drogo’s acting skills, I hope it’s good.
In conclusion, the trend for series goes to streaming platforms and shortening seasons. When Netflix appeared as such a platform, everyone was glad they didn’t have to wait for their favorite shows on television. They could be found on the Internet at any time. And next year, the number of platforms is increasing: HBO, Netflix, Apple, Amazon, Disney, Hulu and probably more that I am missing. As a consequence, the viewer must either pay $ 7-8 for each of them or focus on pirating, which I don’t recommend.
The second trend, however, I welcome. Shortening the seasons to 10 episodes allows for raising the quality of the story and cut the fillers. Game of Thrones promoted this format rightly. The 24-episode formats are over, and so are the long scripts. Also, the cycle rises from season to year, to season in two years. Although the wait increases, the quality is increasing too. It is better to wait more, but to enjoy our favorite series longer. In 2020, we expect The Lord of the Rings, The Dragon House, SW: Obi-Wan Kenobi, The Last Airbender, The Wheel of Time, West World, and many more productions. I sincerely hope that they are successful and that they rely on the right formula. Merry Christmas and a successful New Year to all and hope the New Year continues the successful trend of 2019!