There are plenty of reasons for TV fans to groan about 2018 — after all, this is the year you have to wait through before you get new episodes of Game of Thrones, Big Little Lies, and, most likely, Stranger Things. Don’t despair too much though, because if the first month of the year is any indication, 2018 is bound to be just as filled to the brim with quality shows as you’ve come to expect. In just one month, the year has already served up a whopping 11 series that are worth watching.
From TNT’s grim period drama The Alienist to Fox’s wonderfully silly LA to Vegas, the shows on this list are proof that the 2018 TV landscape is off to an excellent start.
1. The Alienist
Set against the backdrop of 1896 New York, The Alienist follows a criminal psychologist, a newspaper illustrator, and a secretary as they try to understand the motives of a serial killer before there was a word for serial killers. The series is beautifully crafted and, at times, deeply unsettling — exactly the kind of show that’s perfect to watch on a cold night when you’re safe inside, wrapped up in a blanket.
2. The Chi
Chicago’s Southside comes to life in this fantastic new series from Master of None writer Lena Waithe. The Chi follows the stories of an entire community, creating a vivid portrait of the corner of the world that the myriad of characters call home.
Teen coming of age tales rarely center on maybe-psychopaths and their intended targets, but this profanely titled Netflix series isn’t like most teen stories. James and Alyssa are an odd pair — one feels nothing and the other feels way too much, but they do wreak beautiful havoc together.
Even if you’re suffering from superhero fatigue, Black Lightning is worth checking out. The show’s aging hero is a refreshing change of pace from the usual CW suspects, and it makes excellent use of its high school setting.
J.K. Simmons is sublime in this parallel universe-hopping thriller that proves the only thing better than one Simmons is two.
This Canadian import allows Anna Paquin to play a tough as nails cop who gets involved with a case that quickly becomes personal. It’s not exactly an original premise, but that doesn’t make Bellevue any less of an engrossing watch.
Zoey from black-ish anchors her own spin-off beautifully in this college-set comedy that completely nails the struggles that young adults face as they head off to the dorms.
Think Black Mirror, but hopeful about the future of humanity and you have this entrancing anthology series. Electric Dreams is stacked with amazing guest stars, and even though the individual stories are hit or miss, there’s plenty to love about this show.
Phyllis Logan, Miranda Richardson, and Zoë Wanamaker star in this series about the enduring power of female friendship and the general insanity of life. While Acorn is just beginning to roll out episodes, Girlfriends is already proving to be an addictive watch.
Mosaic is a bit of a novelty. It’s a choose your own adventure series that allows wannabe sleuths to follow the story of a murder from multiple perspectives. Ultimately, everyone ends up in the same place, but the viewing experience is truly unique.
11. LA to Vegas
Not all the jokes land on LA to Vegas, but every scene involving Dylan McDermott and Peter Stormare will make you glad you tuned in to this comedy.
See, TV fans, even without the medium’s heavy-hitters, 2018 is full of enthralling series for you to watch.