'Shogun' is my early favorite for best show of the year — and it's already 100% on Rotten Tomatoes

Shogun poster
(Image credit: FX)

My hype for the upcoming FX show "Shogun" is no secret. The miniseries was not only one of our most anticipated shows for 2024 but it made my personal shortlist of most anticipated shows for the year as well. Based on the 1975 novel of the same name — and a spiritual successor to the wildly successful 1980 miniseries — this show has looked incredible every time we get a new trailer.

Some people though, are getting more than just trailers. While the first two episodes of the 10-part limited series event aren't airing on FX until February 27 — arriving on Hulu the following day — a select number of critics have already reviewed the entire show.

And the reviews are impressive. After 17 critical reviews, the show holds a perfect 100% "fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The critical scores are impressive as well, with the lowest score clocking in at a still impressive 3.5 out of 5 or 7 out of 10. 

In short, everyone is loving it.

So with that said, let's take a look at exactly what critics are saying and why I think "Shogun" is my early favorite for the best show of 2024. In fact, I think it could possibly be the next "Game of Thrones."

'Shogun' on FX: Critics dub it "prestige drama"

When I wrote about why I'm so excited for this show, I immediately made comparisons to HBO's hit "Game of Thrones." The trailers for this miniseries depict the same violence, political machinations and people talking in rooms that made the early seasons of "Game of Thrones" so great and it just feels like a natural comparison given the scope of "Shogun."

Based on the early reviews, that comparison might be spot on. Nick Clark of the London Evening Standard calls it a "prestige drama writ large," praise typically reserved for the best HBO shows. Mae Abdulbaki of Screen Rant calls it "a priority watch" and praises the show for its dazzling political intrigue.

And there seems to be no shortage of excellent dialogue. Meghan O'Keefe of Decider refers to the verbal battles as "poetry contests" ... though having not seen the show myself there may be literal poetry contests. Either way, she describes the show as "a lavish historic soap opera, full of depth and spectacle." Sounds like early "Game of Thrones" to me.

Outlook: 'Shogun' seems destined to be a hit

When multiple reviews refer to a TV show as a "masterpiece" it's probably going to be one of the best shows of the year. Especially when you add in the expectation that this will be appointment-viewing prestige TV based on these early reviews.

What remains to be seen is if audiences agree that this show can't wait to be watched. If they do, 'Shogun' will be a hit and likely the biggest hit of the year so far. If the audiences also find themselves universally praising the show, it's not a stretch to say this will be a favorite for the best show of 2024.

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Malcolm McMillan
Senior Streaming Writer

Malcolm McMillan is a senior writer for Tom's Guide, covering all the latest in streaming TV shows and movies. That means news, analysis, recommendations, reviews and more for just about anything you can watch, including sports! If it can be seen on a screen, he can write about it. Previously, Malcolm had been a staff writer for Tom's Guide for over a year, with a focus on artificial intelligence (AI), A/V tech and VR headsets.

Before writing for Tom's Guide, Malcolm worked as a fantasy football analyst writing for several sites and also had a brief stint working for Microsoft selling laptops, Xbox products and even the ill-fated Windows phone. He is passionate about video games and sports, though both cause him to yell at the TV frequently. He proudly sports many tattoos, including an Arsenal tattoo, in honor of the team that causes him to yell at the TV the most.