Welcome to the bumper holiday edition of Side View, in which my Crikey colleagues have joined me to curate their favourite pieces of writing, talking, reporting or filmmaking of 2018 (or, for some of us who cheated, other years). Whether you've got your feet up enjoying a break, or are back at it already, we hope you'll find plenty of entertainment in our recommendations, and we'll see you all in a couple of weeks.
Lawrence Leung's Unbelievable sees the Australian comedian and self-admitted sceptic investigate the impossible. It will challenge your misconceptions and beliefs, says Matt Smith. And it's bloody funny.
Another HBO hit emerges in Boardwalk Empire, a show the premium cable channel no doubt prayed would be the second coming of The Sopranos. It comes pretty close, says Dan Steiner.
Don't get angry at Betty Draper's weak housewife character: Mad Men is the most feminist show on television because it accurately portrays how women were treated without a rose-tinted history, writes Stephanie Coontz.
Today comes news that Channel 10 are remaking the Australian ladies-in-prison series Prisoner. It's a well known classic, so why is Ten choosing to call it Inside Out? asks Dan Barrett.
There are many TV shows that simply need to be ripped from the airwaves, says Dan Barrett, as he offers up the five he'd send to the executioners, including cult hit Weeds and Aussie music show Spicks and Specks.
Since Hill Street Blues in the '80s, commercial TV drama series have evolved from popular entertainment to popular art, argues Richard Beck. Shows like The Sopranos, The Wire and Lost have made TV acceptable intellectual fodder.
A fascinating look at Michael Goto, who worked on ER and reveals how he creates realistic looking medical procedures. The monitors are real, the actors lie on sunken beds and the blood comes from the scalpel.