Top 10 streaming shows of 2019: From 'GLOW' and 'Cobra Kai' to 'The Crown' and 'Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan'

With the year coming to an end, we take a look at some of the best streaming service shows that have garnered positive acclaim


                            Top 10 streaming shows of 2019:  From 'GLOW' and 'Cobra Kai' to 'The Crown' and 'Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan'

Content on streaming services have grown exponentially and 2019 has seen a tremendous amount of shows coming in. With the year coming to an end, we take a look at some of the best streaming service shows that have garnered positive acclaim.

1. 'Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan' (Amazon Prime Video)

Krasinski in a still from 'Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan' Season 2 (Amazon Prime)

In its opening season, 'Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan' showcased John Krasinski's CIA analyst as a former marine who was also somewhat close to America's real-life superhero.

Season two is explosive, and perhaps that term is an understatement. This added to the series repertoire of being compelling and thrilling. The action-packed season ensured that it doesn't wantonly blow things up, rather makes sure these actions have a significant effect on each character involved.

Season 2 is an excellent watch and the improvement is out there for the world to see. An impressive cast, some mind-numbing action, and a thick and intriguing storyline make this a series worth the binge-watch.

Krasinski does a stellar job as the titular character and is immensely likable. Be it jumping across rooftops chasing baddies, trading blows or standing tall with his hard-worn musculature, he goes on to show he's not superman but comes awfully close to being one.

2. 'Atypical' (Netflix)

Sam from 'Atypical' (Eddy Chen/Netflix)

This Netflix gem surprisingly isn’t as talked about as it deserves. Narrating the story of a teenager living a fulfilling life surrounded by loved ones, this is a show that took constructive criticism of its fans to heart and got better with each passing season.

Even though it started off as the story about the teenager, Sam (Keir Gilchrist), it has evolved into a beautiful story about the various people surround him as well, and their unique set of problems.

And, over the last three seasons, we have grown to love all those characters, from Sam's parents whose marriage is in a rut, his overachieving girlfriend who is forced to re-evaluate who she is in college and his little sister who explores her sexuality after falling in love with her best friend.

3. 'GLOW' (Netflix)

Betty Gilpin as Debbie and Alison Brie as Ruth on 'GLOW' (Ali Goldstein/Netflix)

'GLOW', which celebrates women's wrestling by showing us its origins in the United States, is thankfully returning for another season in 2020 and honestly, not enough people are excited about it — probably because not enough people know about this Netflix show.

Starring Alison Brie and Betty Gilpin, the series, set in the '80s, show women as three-dimensional beings capable of spite, anger and ruthless revenge, along with being caring, loving and nurturing.

'GLOW' is among the few shows that were successfully able to reinstate certain stereotypes before completely shattering them. Once you start with Season 1 Episode 1, there is no way you aren't sticking around till the end.

4. 'Cobra Kai' (YouTube Premium)

Johnny transforms Miguel from a feeble kid to mean machine. (IMDb)

That 'Cobra Kai' was renewed for a second season didn't come as a surprise, given the positive response that the first season garnered. The YouTube Premium show was not just a runaway hit, but an invaluable lesson on how to bring a famous franchise back to small screens successfully.

The series also sheds light on the young characters and shows them growing up and coming into their own. However, the spotlight well and truly remains on the two men, Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio) and Johhny Lawrence (William Zabka) who have and will lock horns again. 

This time, it will be through their students as they get set for one great showdown: The Cobra Kai vs the Miyagi-Do Karate.

5. 'The Handmaid's Tale' (Hulu)

A still of Serena and Offred from 'The Handmaid's Tale'. (Source: Hulu)

'The Handmaid's Tale' Season 3 which premiered with the first three episodes on June 5 was applauded by many for finally leaving the suffering behind to tread the path of revolution.

The American dystopian drama web television series was created by Bruce Miller, based on the 1985 novel of the same name by Margaret Atwood.  The series is powerful and ambitious, while at the same time correcting the flaws from Season 2. 

The series received positive reviews and has a healthy approval rating of 82% based on 53 reviews, with an average rating of 6.91/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "The Handmaid's Tale's Season 3 reins in its horrors and inspires hope that revolution really is possible."

6. 'BoJack Horseman' (Netflix)

Bojack Horseman is voiced by Will Arnett (Netflix)

In its sixth and final season (or, well, part 1 of it, anyway), Bojack Horseman (Will Arnett) takes years of depression, spiraling mental health issues and a truly toxic character and uses it all to give a seemingly irredeemable character's actual growth.

Bojack Horseman, for the first time since the pilot episode, learns true humility and is well on his way to trying to build a better life for himself and not hurt those around him.

The show's trademark fast-paced humor continues to satirize society and the lies people tell themselves to feel better, but after years of Bojack calling people out on their illusions, he is finally starting to see the light. 

7. 'When They See Us' (Netflix)

A still from 'When They See Us' (IMDb)

Ava DuVernay's 'When They See Us' is a four-part dramatization of the 'Central Park Five', a moniker that stuck to the five Harlem teenagers arrested (wrongly) in 1989 for the rape and attempted murder of Trisha Meili, a 28-year old investment banker, who was jogging at the time.

Over the course of the series, DuVernay makes no attempt to reinvestigate the case, but rather depicts the lives of five individuals whose identities take a serious hit and leaves them scarred for life.

The actors do a brilliant job portraying their naiveness, and it is distressing to see the treatment dished out on them mainly due to their color.

Even more hard to comprehend is the rationale used by sex-crimes prosecutor Linda Fairstein (Felicity Huffman) to explain that the five boys being questioned by the cops as prime witnesses might actually be suspects.

The docu-series is gut-wrenching and moving at the same time. Ultimately, 'When They See Us' is about DuVernay giving the five a chance to get their narratives out to the world. The docu-drama series is most definitely a must-see.

8. 'Mindhunter' (Netflix)

Holden Ford investigates the missing link of the Atlanta Child Murders in 'Mindhunter' (IMDb)

If dialogues could kill, David Fincher's 'Mindhunter' may easily pass for a double-edged sword. Fascinatingly crisp and structured, the dialogues in each episode carve out cruel motives of serial killings so well that you can feel it flowing through your brain.

If Season 1 kept you on the edge of the seat, Season 2 will not let you leave that spot. Ultimately, 'Mindhunter' not only manages to maintain the status quo but takes it one notch higher. Sprinkled with more sixth sense, spunk, and science, the show is your best buy at a classic guilty pleasure!

10. 'The Crown' (Netflix)

Olivia Colman succeeds Claire Foy as Queen Elizabeth II in Season 3 of 'The Crown' (Netflix)

It is commendable how 'The Crown' immaculately shatters the illusions that the Buckingham Palace doors open to the joys of spring. After the success of Season 1 and 2, Season 3 shows the real side of the royal family.

It jeers at how the royals lock up their misery and cover a multitude of sins by burying their heads in the sand. Even with a fresh set of faces in Season 3, it only takes a matter of minutes to adjust to the new cast. Needless to say, the dialogues have a magic touch as they transport viewers into the Second Elizabethan age.

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