Support 100 years of independent journalism.

  1. Culture
  2. TV & Radio
5 December 2018updated 02 Aug 2021 1:58pm

The best TV of 2018

From Killing Eve to A Very English Scandal.

By Rachel Cooke

(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. 

Sign up for The New Statesman’s newsletters Tick the boxes of the newsletters you would like to receive. Quick and essential guide to domestic and global politics from the New Statesman's politics team. The New Statesman’s global affairs newsletter, every Monday and Friday. The best of the New Statesman, delivered to your inbox every weekday morning. The New Statesman’s weekly environment email on the politics, business and culture of the climate and nature crises - in your inbox every Thursday. A handy, three-minute glance at the week ahead in companies, markets, regulation and investment, landing in your inbox every Monday morning. Our weekly culture newsletter – from books and art to pop culture and memes – sent every Friday. A weekly round-up of some of the best articles featured in the most recent issue of the New Statesman, sent each Saturday. A newsletter showcasing the finest writing from the ideas section and the NS archive, covering political ideas, philosophy, criticism and intellectual history - sent every Wednesday. Sign up to receive information regarding NS events, subscription offers & product updates.

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.

Content from our partners
The shrinking road to net zero
The tree-planting misconception
Is your business ready for corporate climate reporting?

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.

This article appears in the 08 Dec 2020 issue of the New Statesman, Christmas special