Best TV Scripts 2018
Sharp Objects, Killing Eve, Schitt's Creek, more
Think it’s easy picking the best writing on television? Think again, thanks to the huge increase of content via the current streaming services. In fact, in our picks for 2018’s top tv scripts, not one appeared on network television. All came via BBC, HBO, Amazon, Lifetime, and Canadian TV. We suggest watching all of these beautifully written programs whenever you can find them.
There are so many reasons to love this cat-and-mouse thriller from BBC America. First, its two stars, former Grey’s Anatomy actor Sandra Oh as the super-smart (and very funny) security operative, Eve, and British phenom, Jodi Comer as the psychotic assassin, Villanelle. Second are the exciting fashion choices Villanelle wears for almost every scene. Kudos to costume designer Phoebe De Gaye! And third, obviously, is the incredibly sharp writing by Phoebe Waller-Bridge, the woman behind the one of the funniest feminist shows on TV, Fleabag.
Killing Eve is currently on Amazon Prime.
Hotshot Hollywood writer, Marti Noxon, has been consistently giving us fantastic scripts for over 10 years, contributing to shows like Mad Men, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and the underrated Girlfriend’s Guide to Divorce. But Sharp Objects is clearly one of her darkest creations. Starring Amy Adams (and for flashbacks, Sophia Lillis) as Camille, a severely traumatized reporter who returns to her racist southern hometown to investigate the murder of a teenager. She quickly learns no one is innocent.
Sharp Objects is on HBO.
The Marvelous Mrs Maisel
Our new favorite cool chick in a top hat is The Marvelous Mrs Maisel creator, Amy Sherman-Palladino. Raised in an old fashioned “showbiz” family, the only daughter of comedian Don Sherman and dancer Maybin Hewes got her start writing for Roseanne. She graduated to creator of the wittily verbose series, Gilmore Girls, and finally has found her true comic voice with Mrs. Maisel, another wittily verbose series about a female standup comic in New York City, circa 1960. The Emmy-sweeping series won Sherman-Palladino the trifecta of awards: Best Comedy Series, Best Director, and Best Writer. But let’s not forget who got Best Actress: the agile-tongued lead actor, Rachel Brosnahan. After all, she’s the one who has to say all of those twisty sentences coming out Sherman-Palladino’s brain.
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel is on Amazon Prime.
Based on the fascinating podcast/scripted series, Homecoming is the talk of the town. What started as basically an old fashioned radio play featuring the perfectly cast (voice) actors Catherine Keener, Oscar Issac, and David Schwimmer, was turned into one of the best series on TV. Julia Roberts takes on the lead role of Heidi, a caseworker for Homecoming, a mental facility created to help post-traumatic soldiers return to normal life. Created and written by Micah Bloomberg, Eli Horowitz, and Sam Esmail, who also created Mr. Robot, the series was excellent on the airwaves but absolutely brilliant for the small screen. And whatever you do, don’t miss the final seconds of the series finale. Devastatingly good.
Homecoming is currently on Amazon Prime.
Admittedly, situation comedies are normally not our thing. But the brilliance of Schitt’s Creek is that on the surface, it’s one of the funniest, if not the funniest, sitcoms on television, but it’s also one of the most thoughtful and family-oriented shows on the air. Created by the father/son team of Eugene Levy and Dan Levy, the writing is both snarky and loving toward the crazy townsfolk of Schitt’s Creek. Of course it doesn’t hurt that the words are being spoken by veteran talents like Catherine O’Hara (kudos to costume designer Debra Hanson for creating her character Moira’s over-the-top fashion style) and Chris Elliot.
Season’s 1-4 are on Netflix, and season five of Schitt’s Creek begins January 16th on Pop TV.
Creator Greg Berlanti is the man behind a lot of great shows you already know, like Arrow, Supergirl, and The Flash. Who knew he had such a twisted mind to develop a series like You? Along with Sara Gamble, who brought us the excellent Charles Manson series, Aquarius, they’ve made this weirdly entertaining series about Joe, a stalker (Gossip Girl‘s Penn Badley) who uses social media to keep an obsessive eye on his beautiful prey, Beck (Elizabeth Lail). It’s scary, thrilling, and very sexy…in a sick kind of way.
Originally a Lifetime series, You is now on Netflix.
What else can we say about writer Jed Mercurio‘s thrilling series, Bodyguard that we haven’t already said? The Netflix show about a volatile ex-war vet (Game of Thrones‘ Richard Madden) protecting a sexy, high-ranking British official (Sophie Rundle) is one of the best shows on TV. The riveting script hooks you from it’s heart-stopping opening to it’s incredible finale.
Bodyguard is on Netflix.