I don’t watch a whole of TV, but, I did see a few things in 2017 that were well worth watching—in fact I had a really hard time paring a list of my five favourite tv shows of 2017 down to just five!
Ground rules: As with my favourite comic books of 2017, these are shows that I watched in the calendar year 2017. They may actually be older, but I watched ’em in 2017.
In no particular order then, here are my five favourite TV shows that I watched in 2017:
Dark (Season 1)
My wife and I caught a sneak preview of this German Netflix show at TIFF and were quickly hooked; when it finally debuted in December we settled in to watch and were engrossed the whole way through. I have a few problems with the end—I feel like ultimately there are a few too many unanswered questions—but I’ll be back for a second season. (BTW: Definitely watch this in German, with subtitles. The dubbing is… not good.)
The Handmaid’s Tale (Season 1)
I have never read the book, and I wasn’t sure if I could watch Elizabeth Moss without just seeing Peggy from Mad Men. But I gave it a chance and the show blew me away. I thought it was fantastic, moody and atmospheric, with just enough teasing of the past through flashbacks and dialogue to bring the world to life but not make the story about how this world came to be. It deservedly won a bunch of Emmys, including Moss for her performance. I can’t wait for Season 2.
Stranger Things (Season 2)
I know there was a bit of backlash against the show this year, but I don’t think it was deserved. This show is just good fun, with great performances and a compelling story, and the nostalgia factor is the icing on the cake. Yeah, I felt the Chicago episode was pretty weak, but, I think in future seasons we’ll see it as an important one for Eleven’s growth.
The Punisher (Season 1)
I reviewed The Punisher here, and if you couldn’t tell from that review, it definitely deserves a spot on this list. Jon Bernthal is fantastic, most of the rest of the supporting cast is solid as well, and the hook they used to keep the audience engaged—that of soldiers suffering PTSD and how the world treats them as they return to civilian life—was perfect.
The Good Place (Season 1)
I know this show is into its second season now, but I just watched the first when it hit Netflix back in October. It’s fun, and clever, and unpredictable. The secondary characters steal the show—Janet and Jason just kill me. Kristen Bell’s character is loathsome, yet so well-written we still want to cheer for her. The end makes perfect sense and leaves me with no idea what’s going to happen in Season 2.
Honourable mentions: Master of None (Season 2), Star Wars: Rebels (Season 3), Brooklyn Nine-Nine (Season 4), Sherlock (finally watched this! Brilliant), Marvel’s The Defenders (Season 1), The Expanse (Season 1) (Still haven’t watched Season 2 though!)