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A definitive list of the best new TV shows of 2019 you really should have watched by now.

We are only halfway through the year and already we have been blessed with seven brilliant new TV shows.

From dramatisations of real-life disasters to wickedly funny new teen offerings and shows that examine friendship, life, and death, here is a round-up of the unmissable new TV shows you need to devour immediately.

The Act: Dee and Gypsy Rose

Watch the official trailer for The Act below. Post continues after video.

The Act: Dee Dee and Gypsy Rose is based on real-life events that are almost stranger than fiction. This prestige series tells the story of Gypsy Blanchard (Joey King), a young girl who is attempting to escape the toxic relationship she has with her very overprotective mother, Dee Dee (Patricia Arquette). It’s a chilling and well-crafted tale of Gypsy’s quest for independence from her mother. A story that ultimately leads to both a prison sentence and a murder.

Watch it on Foxtel. 

Russian Doll

Russian Doll, a series created by Natasha Lyonne, Amy Poehler, and Leslye Headland, has been compared to the hit movie Groundhog Day. Even though it takes the idea of having to live the same day over and over again to a much more grotesque level.

Natasha Lyonne stars as Nadia, a game coder who is killed on her 36th birthday. Through a strange twist of circumstances, she is forced to live the night of her ill-fated birthday party over and over again, dying in a new and wonderful way each time before she is once again resurrected.

It’s a visceral and darkly funny TV viewing experience.

Watch it on Netflix. 

Russian Doll is a darkly funny TV viewing experience. Source: Netflix.
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Catch 22

Based on the best-selling novel of the same name and marking George Clooney's return to the small screen after decades, the satirical dark comedy Catch 22 is a must-watch. The six-part series tells the compelling story of World War II US Air Force bombardier John Yossarian (Christopher Abbott) who finds increasingly more inventive ways to keep himself alive during the war.

Watch it on Stan.  

Catch 22 is one of the best new TV shows of 2019. Source: Stan.

When They See Us

This is a relatively new entry to the 2019 TV landscape but is already one of the most popular offerings of the year.

When They See Us is based on the true events of the 1989 Central Park jogger case and deep dives into the lives of the five suspects who were prosecuted on charges related to the sexual assault of a female victim, and their families. The story is brilliantly and sensitively brought to life by acclaimed director Ava DuVernay. When They See Us can at times be a difficult TV watch, but it's also an important one.

Watch it on Netflix. 

PEN15

One of the more lighter offerings to cut through the TV noise in 2019, PEN15 is a school-based comedy brimming with wit and heart.

The series was created by Maya Erskine, Anna Konkle and Sam Zvibleman and has been described by its creative team as "middle school as it really happened". Erskine and Konkle star in the series as versions of themselves, they play 13-year-old outcasts in the year 2000, and along the way face a myriad of teenage problems in a way that is so cuttingly honest you'll feel like you've gone back in time. While also choking with laughter.

Watch it on Stan. 

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Dead to Me

One of the very best TV surprises for 2019, Dead to Me brings together the combined star power of Christina Applegate and Linda Cardellini for a truly juicy ride. Applegate stars as Jen Harding, a real estate agent whose husband was killed by a hit-and-run driver. Cardellini stars as Judy Hale, a woman Jen meets at a grief support group who is hiding a pretty dark secret. The series is a truly engrossing look at both friendship and grief.

Watch it on Netflix. 

Dead to Me is one of the must-watch new shows for 2019. Source: Netflix.

After Life

This tearjerker of a TV comedy was written, directed by, and stars Ricky Gervais. In the critically acclaimed series, Gervais’ Tony is a widow mourning the death of his wife Lisa from breast cancer.

He is so broken and alone in the world that he contemplates suicide, but instead decides to live long enough to punish the world for his wife's death and begins to push people away from him. It's a TV series you'll need to watch with a box of tissues nearby, yet it still features a glimmer of humour.

Watch it on Netflix. 

Chernobyl

Finally, if there was ever an addictive and utterly chilling TV watch it's Chernobyl. The series adeptly dramatises the true story of the fateful 1986 nuclear plant disaster which took place in the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic (Soviet Union).

The TV show tells the story of both the people who were responsible for causing the disaster and the heroic and ultimately doomed tales of those who responded to it. One of the highlights of the series is that it successfully deep dives into some of the lesser-known stories from the disaster as told by locals.

Watch it on Foxtel.

For more stories like this, you can follow Mamamia Entertainment Editor Laura Brodnik on Facebook.  You can also visit our newsletter page and sign up to “TV and Movies”  for a backstage pass to the best movies, TV shows and celebrity interviews (see one of her newsletters here). 

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