TV reviews & opinions from 2018

Is this now?

Akhil Arora’s TV series reviews in 2018 were super diverse, going from Superman’s home planet to the crime-filled streets of small-town India.

Yash Dholye as Radha, and Mohammad Samad as Manju in a Selection Day poster

Selection Day

Selection Day has nothing to say about modern-day India beyond its checkbox recognitions of the maladies stemming from cricket turning into a new capitalist tool, and the problems of identity faced by a new generation that’s being pulled in different directions.”

Fionn Whitehead as Stefan Butler in Black Mirror: Bandersnatch

Black Mirror: Bandersnatch

“What makes Bandersnatch [wild] is that [Charlie] Brooker didn’t stop [at multiple endings]. Apart from the Easter egg-type references to other Black Mirror episodes … Bandersnatch also offers commentary on adventure stories, free will and the illusion of choice, and the entertainment landscape among other things. It’s highly self-aware, which allows it to critique and mock the very thing it is: a piece of interactive fiction on Netflix.”

Mirzapur Pankaj Tripathi


“It tends to stumble and appears half-baked in certain corners, but at its best, Mirzapur is an engrossing human drama about ambition, fulfilment, and pride wrapped into a tale of unrelenting blood and gore.”

Charlie Cox in Daredevil: Season 3

Daredevil: Season 3

“What begins as a homage to [the season 1 hallway scene] turns into a nightmarish walkthrough of a prison riot, involving dozens of actors including [Charlie] Cox and lasting for 10 minutes, over twice as long as the previous one.”

Iron Fist Season 2

Iron Fist: Season 2

“[Fails] to punch through in satisfying ways and ends up being another middling entry in what has been a disappointing year for sophomore runs in the Marvel universe on TV, after Jessica Jones and Luke Cage.”

Radhika Apte as Nida Rahim in Netflix's Ghoul


“Save for one video game-y twist in the final episode, which turns Ghoul partly into a find-the-zombie mystery, the Netflix series lacks the kind of ingenuity that horror audiences have been witness to earlier in the year.”

Aubrey Joseph as Tyrone Johnson, Olivia Holt as Tandy Bowen in Marvel's Cloak & Dagger

Marvel’s Cloak & Dagger

“The option to enter minds and see different takes on events that can’t be witnessed by the two leads or easily told becomes a fascinating narrative device the further the season progresses.”

Mike Colter in Luke Cage: Season 2

Luke Cage: Season 2

“Being a local celebrity vigilante is a double-edged sword: people worship you, but they also hold you to a higher standard. The latter plays into the series’ exploration of the black experience in the US, and having a bulletproof hero as your lead magnifies the issues. That’s a close metaphor for season 2, in that a prominent adaptation of a beloved comic property invites more scrutiny, and it’s a shame it doesn’t deliver.”

Elisabeth Moss in The Handmaid's Tale: Season 2

The Handmaid’s Tale: Season 2

“[In season 2,] the show further pushes on the new world order’s tenet that women are mere tools who are to be silenced, threatened, or harassed into following orders in any way possible, and as often as required.”

Evan Rachel Wood Dolores Abernathy Westworld Season 2

Westworld: Season 2

“[Season 2] brings up the question of what the newly-conscious androids will do with their freedom, and though one hopes the new world Dolores speaks of will be a better one, the answer, for now, involves a lot of bloodbath. Violent delights, violent ends.”

Lost in Space (2018)

Lost in Space

“The bigger worry is how blind [Lost in Space] is to issues of class and privilege. […] Ultimately, the show wastes a good premise by being lazy with its storylines and character work.”

Malina Weissman as Violet, Presley Smith as Sunny, and Louis Hynes as Klaus Baudelaire in A Series of Unfortunate Events: Season 2

A Series of Unfortunate Events: Season 2

“Because [everything] changes every two episodes, A Series of Unfortunate Events lives and dies by what those settings bring, how much fun it’s able to have with the new guardians, and whether it allows for the kids’ talents to be showcased.”

Krypton Cameron Cuffe Seg-El


“An origin story for the origin story—you’re already looking at a narrow, dedicated Superman audience. Unfortunately, even those fans will have a hard time finding something that piques their interest: poorly-sketched characters suffocated by a boring story that assumes importance by attaching a bombastic score is a recipe for disaster.”

Krysten Ritter in Jessica Jones: Season 2

Jessica Jones: Season 2

“The themes it presents and the lessons it imparts are still important, but the road it takes is full of potholes that it can’t avoid, and the scenery around it isn’t remotely as interesting as the one we’ve been witness to in the first season.”

Joel Kinnaman in Altered Carbon

Altered Carbon

“Though [Laeta] Kalogridis does well to introduce us to the new concepts and ideas in early episodes, the show loses its grip on matters midway through the 10-episode season. […] Altered Carbon has an expensive sleeve—Netflix reportedly spent $6-7 million per episode—but the stack is missing.”

Bryan Cranston in Electric Dreams "Human Is"

Philip K. Dick’s Electric Dreams

“The works of science fiction author Philip K. Dick have been a near-constant source of inspiration for Hollywood. […] And for the first time, his name itself has become part of the title.”