The cast of "Stranger Things 3". Picture: Netflix
The cast of "Stranger Things 3". Picture: Netflix

2019's best streaming shows

By Jamal Grootboom Time of article published Dec 14, 2019

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When it comes to streaming, Mzansi finally made the big shift this year with regards to moving away from relying on traditional satellite and terrestrial TV for their visual entertainment.

Specifically when it comes to the millennials and Generation Z, who make up the bulk of the viewers, who consume their media via internet and streaming services.

This year has been a great year from streaming for both shows that are exclusively for binge-watching and those for a week to week viewing.

Here’s our list of the 10 shows that are streaming worthy.

Stranger Things - Netflix

One of the biggest shows since it’s debut in 2016, "Stranger Things" has become a cultural phenomenon and the third season was no different. The show hit the perfect note with 1980s nostalgia and things have never been the same for the residents of Hawkins since the creators from The Upside Down made their appearance.

The Girl from St. Agnes - Showmax

Set in a girls school in modern-day South Africa, "The Girl from St. Agnes" looks at the mystery behind the death of one of the students and uncovers secrets. This show is one of the first Showmax original series and showed that Mzansi was able to produce high-quality shows while keeping it local.

The Umbrella Academy - Netflix

Based on the comic book of the same name by Gerard Way and Gabriel Bá, The Umbrella Academy takes the idea of the psyche of superheroes and flips it on its head.

This is one of the best shows to debut this year and along with The Boys, it breathed new life into the superhero genre.

Euphoria - Showmax/HBO

The Zendaya-led young adult (YA) drama proved that not all shows aimed at the Generation Z market had to be filled with unbearable teenage angst (I’m looking at you, "The Society"). We followed Rue on her road to recovery and her friends as they navigated through gender identity, sexuality and dealing with life in general.

You - Netflix

Another surprise hit for the streaming giant, "You" came out the blue and blew us away. We followed Joe Goldberg, played by Penn Badgley, in the psychological thriller as he killed anyone that stood in the way of the woman he loved. Every episode leaves you wanting more and the way Goldberg rationalises his murders makes for great TV.

The Magicians - Showmax

One of the lesser-known shows on this list, "The Magicians" gained a cult-like following both locally and internationally. Think of it as Harry Potter for adults and this last season especially left fans traumatised when one of the main protagonists met their end. This is another show that didn’t shy away from LGBTQI+ representation with two of the main characters being queer.

Sex Education - Netflix

Another YA series that achieved a balance between teenage angst and the journey of finding oneself during that horrible stage in your life. "Sex Education" is a show that gives a great insight into how teenagers engage with sex and sexual identity.

Game of Thrones - Showmax/HBO

While the last season was a heaping pile of hot garbage thanks to D&D’s truly disastrous writing - #JustiseForDaenerysTargaryen.

The show was one of the biggest TV events in the world with everyone outside of the US waking up at weird hours just to watch the show in real-time and be a part of the conversation.

It will go down as one of the biggest shows of the 21st century.

13 Reasons Why - Netflix

When the show first debuted it was a break-out phenomenon and became a global talking point for its inclusion and depiction its main character, a teenage girl, committing suicide. It encouraged parents and teens to speak openly about anxiety, suicide, and mental health issues.

While drawing heavy criticism for not handling certain aspects of teenage suicide more tactfully.

The second season of the show included warnings to prevent those who may be struggling with the issues not to watch the show in case it triggers them.

It also improved but in the third season, the show lost itself while there were some bright spots. Season three was a chaotic mess. Definitely worth watching, but with tempered expectations.

The Handmaid’s Tale - Showmax/Hulu

"The Handmaid’s Tale" has been one thrilling and scary ride especially with the current political climate in the States. However, June and her crusade to liberate the women in Gilead has been a gripping tale to watch.

This show has had so many ups and downs that we can’t even keep track anymore. And while June’s self-centred nature has been infuriating to most fans, the show was able to course correct in the final few episodes of the last season and we can’t wait to see how this ends.

Honourable Mention - Watchmen - Showmax/HBO

This is probably one of the biggest surprises of the year and is shaping up to be one of the best shows of the year. Every episode has been a home run. Specifically, episode six which has so many layers worth unpacking that the think pieces are already all over the internet. Regina King is gonna walk away with all of the awards this upcoming awards season for her portrayal of Sister Night/Angela Abar and that’s a fact Periodt!

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