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Top 15 Shows and Episodes of 2018

December 27, 2018 by  
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In case you haven’t heard, there’s a lot of TV. A lot. Close to 500 scripted shows, in fact. That’s made these “end of year” lists absolutely brutal.

So here are a few caveats:

1) This is a hybrid list of the best episodes and shows I watched this year. My rules were I could only have one overlap with show and episode (which also happens to be my personal pick for best show/episode of the year) and I couldn’t pick a show if I hadn’t finished every episode that aired in 2018. (That also means shows I really have been enjoying like KIDDING and ESCAPE FROM DANNEMORA aren’t on the list. There just are not enough hours in the day.)

2) Given the sheer amount of TV, it’s quite possible/probable your favorite isn’t represented here. I’m sorry! But feel free to let me know what particularly excited you this year in the comments.

That being said, here is the list (in alphabetical order)…

Top 15 Shows and Episodes of 2018

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SOMEBODY FEED PHIL: Phil Rosenthal on Going Outside of His Comfort Zone

July 7, 2018 by  
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SOMEBODY FEED PHIL (The Second Course) Credit: Netflix

Phil Rosenthal made a mark on television with his comedy EVERYBODY LOVES RAY, but over the past three years, he’s established himself (in front of the camera) in a new way: as a food-loving traveler in the 2015 PBS documentary series I’LL HAVE WHAT PHIL’S HAVING, and Netflix’s ongoing SOMEBODY FEED PHIL. (The “second course” of SOMEBODY FEED PHIL is now streaming, and includes installments in Venice, Dublin, Buenos Aires, Copenhagen, Cape Town, and New York City.)

Rosenthal is unabashedly giddy about food, relishing the opportunity to try new things—and interact with new friends (chefs, restaurant owners, and locals) along the way. But, occasionally, the non-eating adventures give him pause. “There are times I’ve said no to stuff, because I’m afraid, and then I’ve changed my mind once I’m there because I realized that’s the job,” he notes. “I should do it because I’m afraid of it.”

SOMEBODY FEED PHIL is also unexpectedly moving, due partially to the timing of the Netflix release date. “I never meant to make a political show, but suddenly, because of the climate we’re in, embracing other people and other cultures is somehow a political statement,” Rosenthal admits.

(If you haven’t watched the show yet, you should. SOMEBODY FEED PHIL works well both as a love letter to food/travel and an antidote to the insanity of the world.)

But how did Rosenthal get all the right pieces together? He breaks down how he got the right tone for the show, the process of scouting each city, and more… Read more

SOMEBODY FEED PHIL at ATX: Phil Rosenthal Reflects on the Loss of Anthony Bourdain

June 8, 2018 by  
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Somebody Feed Phil

“Somebody Feed Phil” season 2 Credit: Netflix

In Netflix’s SOMEBODY FEED PHIL, Phil Rosenthal (who created EVERYBODY LOVES RAYMOND) travels all over the world to explore different cities and their food/culture. Needless to say, the loss of Anthony Bourdain, who pioneered the format with shows like ANTHONY BOURDAIN: PARTS UNKNOWN—whom Rosenthal previously called “a direct inspiration”—hit Rosenthal hard.

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