How much you like Taboo will come down to how much you like Tom Hardy. This is his show. When the camera is not following him it suffers, but when it is, it can be engrossing. With the amount of material that they had, part of me wonders if Taboo would have worked better as a movie instead of a prestige TV show for FX, since it can be a little slow at times.
Hardy plays James Delaney who was once thought dead after his boat sank off the coast of Africa, but he has returned to 1814 London to take out his vengeance on the East India Company. He will enlist all sorts of colorful characters in his quest. The show is named Taboo after all.
The problem with Taboo is that no one really has an arc. They are all the same people at the end that they were at the beginning, and besides Delaney none of them are really that interesting. The only real fun part was trying to figure out what Delaney had planned. With the small exception of his stepmother played by Jessie Buckley. I was always wondering what her deal was, but then Taboo never really got around to telling/showing us. None the less, at least they made her character worth wondering about. Though much like Hardy, maybe the credit should go to Buckley and not to the writers.
Looking back at season one it is just impressive how watchable Tom Hardy can be. He is just wandering around grunting and mumbling and spitting out orders, but somehow that is good TV. Once it kicks over to someone else you realize how threadbare the script is, and how none of this may make any real sense. If anything Taboo shows why TV and movie studios are bending over backwards to get Hardy to work on their projects, if he can get people to watch and enjoy Taboo, he can probably elevate just about anything.