The best TV shows in 2023

The best TV shows in 2023


It has been a confusing but pivotal year in the history of television. The streaming wars are heating up, “prestige TV” is cooling down.

A number of shows that were practically institutions will also have wrapped by the end of the year, such as “Ted Lasso,” “The Crown,” “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” “Barry,” “Reservation Dogs” and “Succession.” Others, including “Party Down” and “Frasier,” were resurrected, with mixed results. Experiments abounded: There were genre remixes like “Daisy Jones and the Six” and “The Curse” and ethically dicey meta-documentaries including “Paul T. Goldman,” “Telemarketers” and “Jury Duty.” We got “Bridgerton,” but sad. “The Bachelor,” but old. Hearty conventional fare included murder mysteries aplenty, such as “Poker Face,” “A Murder at the End of the World” and “Only Murders in the Building.” Thrillers fared well, too, with “The Night Agent,” “The Diplomat,” “Hijacked” and a third season of the excellent “Slow Horses.”

In a year of television structured by crisis (with two strikes!), a best-of list will be more than usually subjective. Nevertheless, here are the 10 shows I most enjoyed this year.

10. ‘Party Down’

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The cult series about downtrodden caterers in Los Angeles, which premiered in 2009, a year after the crash, and featured comedy powerhouses such as Adam Scott, Ken Marino and Jane Lynch, was so sharp about its particular moment that a revival seemed unwise. But the third season managed to achieve the impossible with impressive economy: In only six episodes, it semiplausibly reunited most of the regulars, updated the catering crew to include the TikTok generation, and even incorporated the pandemic. All without losing the sardonic tone and stochastic sentimentality of the original.


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