Coming into 2019, it felt like pop culture only had two things on its mind: the final season of Game of Thrones and the final chapter in Marvel’s Avengers saga. Looking back from the half-way point in the year, hey, at least one of those delivered.

Of course, pop culture is never that straightforward or simple, and 2019 so far has brought plenty of delightful surprises. Netflix finally hit on another series with the loop-y Russian DollJordan Peele followed up perhaps the most beloved horror movie in years with another winner called UsAnd maybe HBO didn’t please everyone with the last chapter in Westeros, but seemingly everyone has adored the company’s surprise historical hit, Chernobyl, to say nothing of the (currently airing) delightfully weird supernatural comedy, Los Espookys

But we’re getting ahead of ourselves. Around Ars, we don’t really indulge in Best Of list-making until December rolls around, and there’s a simple reason for that: six more months of highly anticipated stuff and out-of-nowhere surprises await all of us. So as folks work their way through a certain hyped Hawkins, Indiana, show this weekend, don’t worry about binging too fast and being without something new and exciting on the horizon. Here’s the pop culture from the rest of 2019 that already has us counting down the days.

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