The best TV of 2018

From Killing Eve to A Very English Scandal.

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(Sky Atlantic) 

Jesse Armstrong’s pitch-perfect drama about a Murdoch-like figure and his ever gruesome children.

(Sky Atlantic) 

Julia Davis does Sappho in the suburbs: probably the funniest, and rudest, comedy on TV this year.

Killing Eve
(BBC One/iPlayer) 

Phoebe Waller-Bridge reinvented the serial killer drama and made a star of Jodie Comer in one fell swoop.

A Very English Scandal
(BBC Two) 

How we loved Hugh Grant in Russell T Davies’s deliciously camp drama about Jeremy Thorpe.

The Funeral Murders
(BBC Two) 

Vanessa Englen surpassed herself with this film about events in Northern Ireland in 1988. 

Patrick Melrose
(Sky Atlantic) 

This adaptation of Edward St Aubyn’s much-loved novels was drier than the driest Martini.

Inside the Foreign Office
(BBC Two) 

Yes, Minister for the age of Brexit. Director Michael Waldman deserves a prize for his eerie timing alone.

The Split
(BBC One) 

Let’s hope there’ll be a second series of Abi Morgan’s soapy, slyly feminist drama about female divorce lawyers.

Arena: Stanley and his Daughters
(BBC Four)

Francis Hanly’s extraordinary film about Stanley Spencer’s daughters was a work of art in its own right.  

(BBC One) 

Thanks to Ben Chaplin’s turn as a tabloid editor, it was almost possible to forget that Mike Bartlett’s newspaper drama was rather silly.

Rachel Cooke trained as a reporter on The Sunday Times. She is now a writer at The Observer. In the 2006 British Press Awards, she was named Interviewer of the Year.

This article appears in the 05 December 2018 issue of the New Statesman, Christmas special

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