26 Fantastic Sci-fi, Fantasy, and Horror TV Shows from 2018 | Tell-Tale TV (2023)

Television is often an escape from reality as we dive into fictional worlds and become invested in the stories within. Sometimes those stories truly take us out of this world — genre television brings us fantastical tales filled with space travel, magic, and superheroes, while often being some of the most topical and relevant content available.

These Sci-fi, Fantasy, and Horror TV shows captivated our hearts and minds this year. They made us think, they made us dream, and they inspired us to be better in our own reality.

In no particular order, here are 26 fantastic Sci-Fi, Fantasy, and Horror TV shows from 2018.

1. Into The Badlands

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There’s a lot about Into the Badlands that’s familiar to Sci-Fi/Fantasy fans with its expansive world-building, political intrigue, morally ambiguous characters, and a post-apocalyptic world that explores what’s been rebuilt long after the society we know today has been forgotten.

But even with all that’s familiar, there’s nothing quite like Into the Badlands. Where so many Sci-Fi/Fantasy shows default to worlds reminiscent of medieval Europe or Tolkien, Into the Badlands draws inspiration from the Antebellum south and places like feudal Japan.

Bright, graceful, and cinematic, its stylistic beauty belies a society built on brutality and oppression, much like the eras it draws inspiration from.

One of the few Fantasy shows to center around people of color, the characters of Into the Badlands are refreshingly different too. The heart of Into the Badlands lies in the characters and relationships that are always more than they seem.

Nowhere is that sentiment truer than with the women of this show. Starting with The Widow and going all the way through the extensive roster of women inhabiting this world, these characters each have their own nuanced agendas, complicating flaws, and compelling relationships with each other.

This show’s beauty and style bring you in and the characters, especially the women, keep you gripped.

2. Outlander

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Outlander continues to stand the test of time thanks to gorgeous costumes, elaborate sets, admirable characters, and a helpful hand from the adaptation’s source material. This show is a beautiful blend of historical and sci-fi with its appropriate touches of time-travel and Scottish lore.

Each season continues to define the term “Outlander” by uprooting Jamie and Claire’s lives over and over again. But no season has defined the term quite like Season 4 has as the two find themselves living in North Carolina and on the brink of fighting another prominent war from the history books.

The newest season is the most outlandish yet with Brianna going through the stones to save her parents and the return of so many fan favorites along the way. The wicked introduction of villain Stephen Bonnet is another highlight to this strong season.

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Outlander may be making its biggest departure from the books yet in Season 4 but so far there is little about this show to complain about.

3. iZombie

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iZombie has always been one of those shows with a premise so absurd it couldn’t possibly work. Yet, with a phenomenal cast, witty writing, and strong execution iZombie has wielded the weird and different brilliantly for 4 seasons now.

Despite having a revolving door of brain-personas for Liv to take on and elaborate mysteries on hand to solve, in Season 4 iZombie chooses to throw everything that was working for it out the window and start over in a Seattle that knows zombies exist.

It is a bold move and one that ultimately pays off as iZombie delivers a fresh take on Liv’s situation and proves the show has just as much heart as it does brains.

Although Season 4 struggles in the compelling villain department, the show still delivers some memorable brain personas (hockey goon and hopeless romantic brain come to mind).

The puns are even sillier and the topical debates just as relevant through the eyes of the undead. However, it’s clear the chemistry and comradery between Liv and the rest of the brain gang are what continues to drive this show.

4. The Haunting of Hill House

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No other ghost/horror show has captivated us quite like The Haunting of Hill House did this year. The Netflix original took an old tried and true subject and put a twist on it to make it uniquely their own.

For The Haunting of Hill House, the ghost story goes far beyond just the ghosts, it lives in the house itself. No one who resides within its walls is safe — even after they leave.

For the Crain family, the house becomes this impenetrable force that houses the real answers to what happened the night their mom died. Its hold on the siblings never fully diminishes, especially for the youngest: Nell and Luke.

The jumps and scares are only a small part of what drew us all to the mystery of Hill House. In the end, we wanted to see these very real, and human characters face their demons and conquer them.

5. The 100

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The 100 has had its ups and downs, and while Season 5 may not have been perfect, it is the post-apocalyptic drama’s best season yet. 6 years after the world ended (again) our scattered heroes were reunited only to find themselves entangled in another war.

Season 5 stands out from its predecessors because while The 100 has always been about the last of humanity fighting for the survival of “their people,” the last installment of Book One takes that concept and redefines each character’s “people” to be their family, creating new relationships and divides amongst core sets of characters the audience loves the most.

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Clarke fights for Madi, Bellamy fights for Spacekru, Kane and Abby fight for each other, and Octavia and Diyoza wage war for what’s left of themselves and the groups of people they feel responsible for.

Bellamy: We all have things to answer for, things that shouldn’t be forgiven but are because we did them for our people. For our family.

In 2018 The 100 excelled because it kept the characters and their relationships with each other at the center of the story (even if most of our favorite characters were fighting each other) and used that conflict to drive the plot past the overarching themes of war and destruction.

Season 5 ended with a plea from Monty and Harper to the survivors in hopes they would go into the new world as the good guys. Hopefully, The 100 continues this path and follows it’s own advice, after all, life should be about more than just surviving.

6. Legends of Tomorrow

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Legends of Tomorrow has had a fantastic 2018.

Through the amazing introduction of characters like Zari, wonderfully fantastical sequences like Beebo stepping in to save the day, and that season-opening trip to Woodstock that left the team to deal with a killer virgin-heart eating unicorn, this Arrowverse series has managed to cement a place in the hearts of many — including ours.

While there’s this wonderfully absurd side of the story that makes it an utter joy to watch week after week, there’s also an endearing cast of characters that have come aboard the Waverider. They are all different but still manage to come together as a family and team.

We just really love our Legends.

7. Wynonna Earp

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In 2018, Wynonna Earp had its craziest and most badass season yet!

The show took a turn away from sending the revenants back to hell to band with them and fight off darker forces as love triangles became more than love triangles and Waverly’s father was finally revealed.

Mama Earp came back for a short stint and Doc found a whole new love interest in vampire Kate, but not without angering a few people along the way. Waverly and Nicole were as strong as ever, making a fierce team as they fought off demons and kicked ass along the way.

8. Westworld

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Season 2 of HBO’s popular robot western sci-fi drama (try saying that three times fast) had some big expectations to live up to after a splashy, twisty first season that made the series must-see TV.

In its second outing, Westworld challenged ideas of choice, consciousness, and reality as Dolores led a host rebellion against the park, Maeve struggled to find the literal promised land, and the Man in Black began a new quest for the mysterious Door.

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By the time the season ended, almost everything we thought we knew had changed. Where does Westworld go from here? Who knows — but it should be a wild ride to find out.

9. American Horror Story

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Anthology series American Horror Story had one of its best seasons in years with Apocalypse, a literal end of the world scenario that brought together fan-favorite characters from the series’ previous installments Coven and Murder House.

The return of Jessica Lange as Constance Langdon would have been enough to earn this season high marks, but Apocalypse also featured a star-making performance from Cody Fern as the actual Antichrist.

Perennial American Horror Story all-star Sarah Paulson playing not one, not two, but three different roles over the course of the season and that season finale was full of surprises.

10. Shadowhunters

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Shadowhunters has gotten a lot of attention this year since its cancellation with the #SaveShadowhunters campaign. The show wasn’t even represented in person at San Diego Comic-Con and was still the fifth-most tweeted about television show during the convention.

This season the Shadowhunters banded together to fight Lilith as Clary and Jace continued to hold dark personal secrets.

So far strong character developments, kick-ass fight scenes, quippy banter, and a perfect balance of humanity and supernatural has made this a show worth fighting for.

Going into the back half of its third and final season, fans of Shadowhunters are as fierce and loyal as ever as they await the end to a truly wonderful show.

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Samantha Coley

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Samantha (she/her) is a social media specialist by day and a sci-fi junkie by night. As a freelance writer and podcaster, she also enjoys live-tweeting, blogging, good music, and better television. Her current favorite television shows include Star Trek (yes, all of them), Riverdale, and Stranger Things and there will always be a place in her heart for Battlestar Galactica, Leverage, and The West Wing.

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