What’s great about
streaming shows is that they don’t mind finding a niche audience. Less is more. We all have “ our shows” that we binge on and gossip about with our friends who we trade accounts with. Mandatory’s Best Streaming Shows of 2018 is a reflection of that with a wide-range of content that appeals to everyone from karate kids turned middle-aged adults to Black America to people who think hard-ons are LOL funny.
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Best Streaming Shows of 2018
The biggest surprise of 2018 was this kick-ass YouTube TV hit that gifted
Karate Kid fans the sequel that we never properly received. More William Zabka (Johnny) in Season 2, please. Photo: YouTube TV
'Wild, Wild Country'
Netflix's mind-blowing six-part doc series about a "free love commune" in Oregon in the early 1980s is the definition of bingeable TV. This WTF tale has everything (hairy orgies, murder plots, Indian gurus).
The Netflix crime-drama series got even better (despite doing a full reboot) by taking the story to Mexico. Actors
Diego Luna and Michael Peña turn in star-worthy performances as we follow their parallel stories through the early 1980s drug trade. Photo: Netflix
The kid from Akron (Lebron James) came to Hollywood and brought his famous friends (
Drake, Jon Stewart, Snoop Dogg) for unfiltered roundtable conversations on all things "woke." Photo: HBO
A stellar cast of comedians (Nick Kroll,
John Mulaney, Fred Armisen, Jenny Slate) take on the awkwardness of adolescence with hormone-fueled humor that has a heart. Photo: Netflix
'Escape at Dannemora'
Ben Stiller's (yes, of Zoolander fame) steps behind the camera for this thrilling seven-part dramatization of a real-life 2015 New York prison break. This Showtime stopper features a love triangle, a thrilling escape plan, and Benicio Del Toro flashing Big Dick Energy in every scene. Photo: Showtime
'The Handmaid's Tale'
Margaret Atwood’s book as a guide, had a roller coaster season that straddled the track from being fun to frustrating. By season's end, we were thankful for the stomach-turning ride but needed a moment. The Handmaid's Tale Photo: Hulu
Let's be real.
Stranger Things 2 had a sophomore slump. Thankfully, this creepy, cinematic German time-travel series picked up the noir/sci-fi slack with a slow-burning mystery that will draw you in. Photo: Netflix
We promise you won't hear Whitney Houston's "I Will Always Love You" in this six-part BBC series starring the former Robb Stark (Richard Madden) who plays a PTSD-suffering bodyguard to a politician he loves, hates, and/or wants to kill.
'Haunting of House Hill'
This Netflix hit is essentially a ghost story wrapped up in a family drama. The 10-episode series peaked by the middle but still delivered enough creeps to keep us riveted until the end.
'Toys That Made Us'
This nostalgic look back at the toys we played with as kids and the adults who made them is what you can use to justify those late-night action-figure purchases on eBay.