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After limiting my Great Performances of 2019 list to shows that didn't also appear on my best of the year list, I thought about doing something similar for Great Episodes of 2019. That didn't work. I didn't want to do a list that wouldn't let me talk about the flawless one-act play that opened this season of Fleabag or any of the nearly stand-alone episodes that made Watchmen or Ramy so notable.
I drew the line there, though, as I didn't write up full capsules for my favorite episodes of Succession ("Tern Haven"), Russian Doll ("Ariadne"), Lodge 49 ("Le Reve Impossible"), Brockmire ("Banned For Life"), Better Things ("Shake the Cocktail") or When They See Us (the Jharrel Jerome-centric fourth hour). I could have, but other shows and other episodes deserved a little end-of-year love.
I still wasn't able to make space for showcase episodes from PEN15 ("Ojichan"), Primal ("Spear and Fang"), What We Do in the Shadows ("The Trial"), The Righteous Gemstones ("Interlude"), Mindhunter ("Episode 5"), Jane the Virgin ("Chapter One Hundred"), Evil ("October 31"), Superstore ("Employee Appreciation Day"), Fosse/Verdon ("Nowadays"), Sherman's Showcase ("Ray J's Showcase") and many, many more.
With those exclusions in mind, here are 10 great episodes of TV from the past year. Once again, it's dominated by half-hour shows. This was a remarkable year for TV comedy.
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RuPaul's Drag Race
The Umbrella Academy