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Screen queens, best and worst TV of 2019
by Jerry Nunn, Windy City Times
2020-01-07

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The television entertainment landscape continued to evolve and grow in 2019, with Disney+ and Apple TV+ both making their debuts. Hopefully, the lists below will give TV watchers a way to separate the good, the bad and the ugly from last year.

Notable TV events:

The show You moved from Lifetime to Netflix for season two. Openly gay show runner Greg Berlanti added a LGBT posse and enough shocking moments to pull it into the top 10.

Work in Progress is the show that many have wanted. It's shot in Chicago and gave viewers a whole spectrum of LGBT representation.

Natasha Lyonne wrapped up Orange Is the New Black with season seven, then hopped to another Netflix series with the mesmerizing Russian Doll.

What We Do in the Shadows took a bite out of the comedy horror genre with a dry wit.

This Is Us continued to deserve every trophy and accolade for having the best writing on prime-time television.

Baby Yoda almost broke the internet last year by sheer force of cuteness, with his role as the 50-year-old "The Kid" in The Mandalorian on Disney+.

Across the pond, sitcoms did well in 2019, thanks to Fleabag's Phoebe Waller-Bridge and The Crown's Helena Bonham Carter.

Unbelievable became a new generation's Cagney & Lacey on Netflix, with top-notch writing. Audiences got to see actress Kaitlyn Dever's extensive range this year, from a queer kid role in Booksmart to a performance as a rape victim that earned her a Golden Globe nomination.

Schitt's Creek aired its fifth season in 2019 and will end the series in early 2020. Explaining sexuality in terms of wine was genius on season one and season six promises to end on a high note, thanks to queer creator Dan Levy.

Best TV of 2019:

10. You ( Netflix )

9. Work in Progress ( Showtime )

8. Russian Doll ( Netflix )

7. What We Do in the Shadows ( FX )

6. This Is Us ( NBC )

5. The Mandalorian ( Disney+ )

4. Fleabag ( Amazon Prime Video )

3. The Crown ( Netflix )

2. Unbelievable ( Netflix )

1. Schitt's Creek ( Pop TV )

Game of Thrones had droves of fans feeling like it was The Sopranos all over again on HBO, with hours of viewing time invested and no payoff in the end. Daenerys Targaryen should have trained her dragon better.

The Walking Dead won't ever die with future plans for an 11th season, movies and spinoffs. Sadly, much of the storytelling has passed away after writers were fired from the originally powerful show. When star Andrew Lincoln jumped ship in season nine, it wasn't a good sign.

American Gods had a promising first season, then fell from the sky immediately the following season.

Empire is deservedly ending, with a final sixth season that began airing on September 2019. Even local Chicago drag queen appearances couldn't save the show that has never regained the popularity of the first season. After his Chicago scandal, Jussie Smollett did not return to end his role as a Lyon with the rest of the pride.

In a world where Wayne Brady beats Chris Daughtry in a singing competition, something must be terribly wrong with The Masked Singer. "What does The Fox say?"

Ryan Murphy continued to rule on the small screen with important projects for the LGBT community like FX's Pose and Netflix's The Politician, but his weaknesses were exposed with American Horror Story: 1984 because of unbelievable characters, plot holes and time jumps.

BH 90210 and The Hills: New Beginnings were both similar by having longtime fan bases and bad productions in the reboots.

MTV struck out again with Lohan hitting an all-time low on the beach.

Several on the list for worst TV shows are renewed for more seasons. Let's hope it gets better in 2020.

Worst TV of 2019:

10. Game of Thrones ( HBO )

9. The Walking Dead ( AMC )

8. American Gods ( Starz )

7. Empire ( Fox )

6. The Masked Singer ( Fox )

5. American Horror Story: 1984 ( FX )

4. The Bachelor ( ABC )

3. BH 90210 ( Fox )

2. The Hills: New Beginnings ( MTV )

1. Lindsay Lohan's Beach Club ( MTV )


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