hqdefaultHi we’re the Telebugs, unloved 80’s British cartoon characters who traded on British kids loves of robots and television and still failed to create a following across our 88 tedious episodes. Part of this disdain might be that whilst we a robots with TV’s as heads our TV’s only ever show our faces, which is even more boring than watch 1980’s schools TV. These days the three of us have hacked our firmware and take it in turn to watch prestige TV on each others heads, though since our heads are in 4:3 a lot of it doesn’t fit into our aspect ratio

Thanks B.U.G., C.H.I.P and S.A.M.A.N.T.H.A. Seriously. S.A.M.A.N.T.H.A.* I doubt you’ll be getting a Danger Mouse like remake. Still I am sure you have watched all of these shows on each other fizzogs.

24: Taboo
Yet another version of the ridiculously sexy Tom Hardy mumble, Taboo is all set about with a story that reasserts the darkest side of illicit Empire slaving at a time when most tellings get very self-congratulatory: the Napoleonic Wars. With backstory in Africa and the USA, it goes all dark and Dickens and CGI exploring quite how evil the East India Company probably was. Consciously melodramatic, sometimes very effective, sometimes grisly, sometimes silly.

23: Motherland
Written by Graham Linehan and Sharon Horgan seems like an unbeatable lineage, and whilst there are some very traditional aspects to Motherland as a sitcom, there is enough here to make it stand out. Not least a female comedy line-up which has Lucy Punch and Diane Morgan supporting Anna Maxwell-Martin. What’s more is the show is more than happy to make all of its characters dislikeable, which feels like a small triumph, we can still find these terrible people funny.

22: Rick And Morty
A long wait for the third series and its increasingly nihilistic run perhaps pushed a few people away as did the overall hideousness of much of the fandom. The problem Rick And Morty has is that the lack of hope in the multiverse that it has built up, and the lead characters near absent sense of morality was intriguing as we learnt it, but is potentially exhausting now we are in on it. Which means the show has to work extra hard to engage those of its audience who are not into a dick as a lead character (sadly it seems for much of the fanbase this is the appeal). The show worked extra hard therefore, and more or less pulled it off, but I am not sure how much further it can go on.

21: OJ: Made In America
Epic documentary acting as a cultural counterweight to the more tabloid (though still excellent) American Crime Story version of the OJ Simpson trial. What Made In America does is contextualise who OJ was, how he became a phenomenon and then how his trial almost inevitably had to play out the way it did. In an era when fake news is bandied about so much, to have an epic documentary like this compliment a dramatization in such close proximity (and both be very good) does give a small amount of hope out for nuance and the industry.

20: Love Island
Talking of nuance, Love Island (ex-Celebrity Love Island but they couldn’t afford celebs any more), became the British reality show of choice in 2017. Why, its unclear. Perhaps the sunny climes made a change from Big Brothers increased desperation, it was a summer without a major sporting event, or even it was well made and cast. No matter what, it has now built itself as ITV’s other reality brand, and will probably go strong for a few more years at least.

19: Twin Peaks
Sight And Sounds second best movie of the year… The long awaited return of Twin Peaks – when I gave up on a few episodes into season two – has pleased much of the viewership who basically wanted access to lots and lots of David Lynch. I can’t say if getting this much Lynch material via the continuation of its arcane lore, and mixture of from what I understood was fan service and fan befuddlement. But if befuddlement is your stock in trade…

18: Better Call Saul
Earnest, newbie lawyer Jimmy McGill’s slowly eroding morals create the “Criminal Lawyer” Saul Goodman of Breaking Bad – it could have been shlocky and pointless, a weak cash-in glorying in a feted series’ success. But the brilliant acting, superb script and beautiful cinematography have proven that Better Call Saul is no mere spin-off. Vince Gilligan & team have served up three seasons of slowburn disappointment, betrayal and skulduggery, building up to create an intense world where everybody is awful, but you just can’t blame them. The finale broke my heart into a million pieces – I both anticipate and dread seeing what happens next. (Bec)

17: The Expanse
Mark Sinker said the main appeal of The Expanse is how it underlines that space is boring and deadly. It certainly does the latter, the former it does by treating it as a giant slow motorway where things happen in the end and your battles will be dirty and short. The second series of the Expanse completed the first novel’s arc, and then threw itself into the second, with grubby politics alongside the mystery of the protomolecule. The crew of the Rocinante are arguing, and fighting and its often better in its political scenes, but this is good pulpy stuff.

16: Love
In many ways, your typical boy-meets-girl story, more specifically nerdy boy meets hot wild girl story. Mickey and Gus’s stop-start-stop-start relationship is ostensibly the focus of piece though the supporting cast often shine brighter than the stars – Bertie’s sunny naiveté counters Mickey’s cynicism; she toughens her up. We’ve seen Gus’s friends looking out for him from the start and in many ways this love is the real focus of the show. Having said that, Judd Apatow surely isn’t going make anything easy for anyone. (Bec)

15: Bojack Horseman
Portrayals of ill mental health in the sitcom world are not often helpful or remotely accurate and usually 100% cured within 22 minutes; this gets it pretty spot on. A show about a washed up actor who drowns his sorrows with copious amounts of booze and drugs whilst sabotaging his relationships and still living a life of luxury is fairly tired, but set in a hyper surreal animated world where hybrid animal-humans coexist, it’s both bittersweet and terribly funny, and has a lot to say about success, happiness and friendship. (Bec)

14: The Handmaid’s Tale
TV takes a stab at Margaret Atwood’s chauvinist dystopia and makes a much better fist of it than cinema. This is partially because it has a lot more time and space to breathe, and build its world and characters. Much of this can be put down to a timeliness of theme, for all the leaps and bounds of equal rights we feel like we’re in a precarious moment with Trump in the White House – so Gilead suddenly feels more likely. But more can be but on Elisabeth Moss’s central performance: emphatic yet quietly fierce.

13: Dear White People
There was a lot of faux controversy when DWP was picked up for series by Netflix, but writ large over 10 episodes it has much the same strengths (and weaknesses) as Justin Simien’s 2014 film, with its arch style serving up a student campus political satire for the ‘woke’ generation. It doesn’t always work, but at its strongest (and the show really does revolve around the mid-season episode directed by Barry Jenkins), it dramatises situations that few other mainstream shows are doing. It also highlights a great depth of acting talent, not least stand-out star Marque Richardson’s Reggie, though my heart is with social climber Coco, who in all her contradictions is like a microcosm of the show itself and beacon for the distinctive world it creates. (Ewan)

There you go – the top twelve will almost certainly arrive before the end of February…

*Solar Activated Micro Automated Non-inTerference Hearing Apparatus. This is how bad the show was.