Television took viewers to Tulsa, London, the “Star Wars” galaxy and beyond: the best of 2019 arts and entertainment included these 10 must-see shows.
1. “Ramy” (Hulu). Comedian Ramy Youssef’s debut sitcom didn’t get the accolades it deserved from viewers, but the joke’s on them. The episode about his character’s mother developing a crush on her Uber driver will make you a true believer.
2. “For Sama” (PBS). First-time filmmaker Waad al-Kateab doesn’t have Martin Scorsese’s track record, but her incredibly personal documentary about raising an infant in war-torn Syria had more great shots and stirring dialogue than “The Irishman.”
3. “When They See Us” (Netflix). Ava DuVernay’s miniseries on the Central Park Five was an indictment of the legal system, thanks in no small part to local screenwriter Michael Starrbury. The final installment left you gasping for air — and justice.
4. “Fleabag” (Amazon Prime). Phoebe Waller-Bridge committed the season’s most hilarious sins, including the seduction of Hot Priest. The fact that she cleaned up at the Emmys proves there is a God.
5. “Watchmen” (HBO). “Lost” co-creator Damon Lindelof took the year’s riskiest, most rewarding trip to the dark side in this radically re-altered take on the original comic books.
6. “The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance” (Netflix). It was too jarring for some to watch Muppets torturing each other with more than corny puns. Those who accepted that they’re no longer on Sesame Street got treated to the next best thing to a fresh “Lord of the Rings” adventure.
7. “The Mandalorian” (Disney Plus). Our resilient bounty hunter officially punches the clock in the “Star Wars” galaxy, but this thrilling tale owes just as much to another beloved George Lucas franchise, “Indiana Jones,” with one novel, nail-biting action sequence after another.
8. “Documentary Now!” (IFC). “SNL” veterans Fred Armisen, Seth Meyers and Bill Hader were more than ready for prime time in Season 3 of their ambitious side project, sending up everything from performance artists to Stephen Sondheim musicals.
9. “Unbelievable” (Netflix). Toni Collette and Merritt Wever conducted the year’s best acting class as complicated, compassionate cops more formidable — and more watchable — than any duos on “True Detective.”
10. “Veep” (HBO). Selina Meyer ran the risk of sticking around too long, but Julia Louis-Dreyfus and company saved the dirtiest tricks for the final season, which climaxed with a horrifying but hilarious twist of the knife into the heart of her most loyal aide.