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The 50 best TV shows of 2019: 41-50 | Television & radio


Line of Duty

(BBC One) 2019 was the year that Jed Mercurio’s cop corruption hit went fully mainstream, boosted by the huge success of his Whitehall thriller Bodyguard. While series five wasn’t as light on its feet as previous runs, the nation was firmly gripped by Stephen Graham’s star turn – and the possibility that H might have been right under our noses all along.

What we said: As ever, nothing is wasted; not a scene, not a line, not a beat. For every morsel of information gathered by the team and by the viewer, another turn reveals 100 hidden possibilities. Read the full review.

Star turn … Martin Compston and Stephen Graham. Photograph: World Productions Ltd/BBC


Stranger Things

(Netflix) Having thrilled viewers with its Spielbergian, Stephen King-flavoured brand of nostalgia, these days Netflix’s shockfest isn’t quite as novel as it once was. Even so, watching the gang grow into teenagers – and uncover a top-secret facility under the Hawkins shopping mall – added new intrigue to its third series.

What we said: It’s a slicker, pacier operation than the slightly sprawling previous season, and far more fun. Read the full review.


63 Up

(ITV) The latest instalment in Michael Apted’s groundbreaking series, which has followed a group of children from vastly different backgrounds throughout their lives since the age of seven. Now heading towards retirement age, the changes – from marriage breakups to reconciliations to the death of one of the cohort, Lynn – proved all the more poignant.

What we said: Up makes other

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