Top 11 TV Series of 2017
A year is bloody darn long! With that comes tons, and tons, of content from Hollywood and beyond to keep us entertained while we try to navigate our mostly-miserable lives. Okay, may some lives aren't that miserable (probably because you're rich!), but we all need entertainment to keep us occupied and somewhat lively. To project our worries, needs and aspirations. Television series are the perfect escape. I know I feel a little better about myself after immersing myself in multiple episodes of my favourite shows. Peeking into the lives of others feels absolutely amazing.
I've made a list of the shows that have made an everlasting impact on me the most in the year 2017. Read below to learn about why I choose these out of the dozens that I've watched.
11. The Mist (Season 1)
Though I may have been sceptical in the beginning, The Mist managed to both serve the film where which it is adapted well, and surpass it too; in terms of story, character development and world-building. I was genuinely engaged all-through the season, even when the flaws were direly apparent. It's something to note when the story is able to keep you on your toes, waiting to see what happens next. And, holy shit, Mrs Raven! Sucks that the show was cancelled before it could even redeem some of its flaws, but these things happen. I just had to mention this one before people completely forget that it happened.
10. Twin Peaks: The Return (Season 1)
Muchlike the original Twin Peaks, The Return sets a new standard in terms of formatting TV. Dubbed as an 8-hour movie, unfolding within 8 episodes, the show sure does feel like a feature film. What's impressed me the most is that the narrative is non-linear and strays from coddling the audience with side-bars and nuggets to help figure the story out. It's either you get it or you don't. For me, that's brave, especially in a climate where renewing seasons is the aim for most TV executives- thus taking less risks and settling for a story that merely suffices.
9. The Gifted (Season 1)
"The Gifted starts off with a literal bang as the first episode's cold-open is clearly made to excite and heighten senses. From then on the storyline unfolds as consistently as it's able; introducing and developing characters steadily with each episode. Even when you're not familiar with these comicbook characters prior to their TV debuts, you're afforded the time and background to get to know each of them enough to know just who you're rallying behind. This show knows exactly where it stands narratively and although it's kind of shakey with dialogue at times, the subplots are written so intriguingly that you're always sure to come back for just one more episode. This can also (maybe) be warranted to the heavy cliffhangers, but they're always interesting thus welcome. The Gifted is not trying to be anything that it isn't; it is an action-drama that places heavy focus on its dramatic arcs and action. And I'm honestly here for it!" - The Gifted review, written by myself
8. Silicon Valley (Season 4)
It's very seldom that a comedy show centering around nerds is able to both be funny and compelling enough narratively, and also stray from controversial discussions on online boards- like who's brigbt enough to decipher the quips and underlying intendment. I think because because Silicon Valley is story driven, it's able to keep the audiences so engaged- which I think it's genius way to tackle such a show so to keep it relevant and engaging. I enjoy the ups and downs of Pied Piper and the characters' lives between the chaotic come-up. Brilliant writing, coupled with great execution and dedicated delivery from the cast. This show has the potential to go up to its 12th season without me wanting to gorge my eyes out.
7. Ozark (Season 1)
Ozark serves as one of those shows that creep in and usurp audiences from all spectrum without warning- it's quite clear the shows' creators have impeccable experience in creating content for impact. I too paid no mind to this Netflix drug cartel, crime syndicate family drama until I had to. And, boy, was I glad I'd given it my time. The show is dark. It is metaphorical. It doesn't shy away from violence and crudeness. The formula is a surefire. A menacing show with a dialogue that claws into your soul? Count me in! All this is supported by a scenic backdrop; a lazy river with green rising landscapes. This show is both a wonder to watch and learn from.
6. 13 Reasons Why (Season 1)
It's not very often that teen dramas, especially on TV, are taken seriously. I'm quite surprised that this particular show is getting overlooked by many even with the impact its created upon its release. 13 Reasons Why has a perfect balance of everything that makes great TV. Narrative arc, coherent dramatic arcs, pacing, dialogue and the perfect cast. Every single cast member fits their respective roles so naturally, it's breathtaking to watch. What I enjoyed most is that the show addresses depression and suicide in the way that both school-going children/teens and adults can understand or relate to. The story is raw, the emotional aspects hit hard. There's no flaw to pick on in this show, except for the suicide itself being shown on-screen- nobody needed to have a vivid picture of that planted in their mind, especiall after following the harrowing storyline to the end.
5. Dark (Season 1)
The camera work on Dark is impeccable. The location (I adore a stunning, emotive location!), the dark colours and the script! Wow, I love whoever wrote this. The show might be too sombre for some, compared to its kinsman Stranger Things, but it is quite clear from the first episode that this is show that only gets dimmer and takes bright in it. Hello! It's in the title. I caught some subtle references for other pop culture content from which the show draws, including IT and Stranger Things, and I'm quite exhilarated by the relevance of it all. I like when a creator tips their hat to a fellow creator. This is one in the few shows which we will be watching years from now with the same eagerness and reverence as we do shows like Supernatural.
4. The Handmaid's Tale (Season 1)
This type of TV shows comes once in a red moon, and packs revelation and grit. This show is a warning. A warning to humanity. It comes wailing harshly and is reddened as ever. The Handmaid's Tail is here to emphasise the true evils of the world. The shows sees women solel alive to bear children. Women are nothing but reproductive machines and the government and extremist organisations will stop at nothing to keep indignifying their existence. The freedom to be whatever they want to be outside of reproduction is outlawed, mostly being homosexual. The show's creator didn't shy away from rawness and honesty, which makes the show that much more compelling. It is pretty cool too that the visuals are overwhelmingly stunning. This show boasts one of the best cinematography you'll ever witness in a TV show.
3. The Crown (Season 2)
This well-crafted historic drama picks up from season 1 with grandiose poise. The Crown is contemporary and elegant. It is, too, vigorous and compelling. Never has a show of this sort left me this engrossed and satisfied. Any story centering around the British monarchy can get a bit dull. But this writers' room is clearly well-versed in crafting characters. The show is quietly dramatic. The characters are both sour and composed. A perfect storm! This is the type of television that takes us back to the roots to have us wishing that all shows were this articulate, rooted in story and delivery, and unrepentant. I'm all for a nuanced account of anything, and The Crown makes the royal family seem as momentus as I'd ever seen on screen.
2. Stranger Things (Season 2)
Stranger Things 2 serves 80s nostalgia with more confidence and provision. It was undoubtedly one of the most anticipated shows in 2017, and by sheer thoroughness it didn't dissapoint. Though season 1's storyline is arguably slightly more weighty and consuming than that of 2, this one is a satisfying follow-up. From visuals to dramatic arcs to plot. I was especially impressed by the colour palette, which was purposely used to enhance the breathtaking location. The cinematography, if you ain't know by now, is unmatched. Every shot was precise, arousing, and meaningfully propelling to the Stranger Things aesthetic- it's pleasing when a show knows just the brand it speaks to. This show is as impactful and influential as it gets, and it doesn't seem like it's losing steam anytime soon.
1. Taboo (Season 1)
Tom Hardy has given us a period piece of the century in 2017, and I don't think he's been given enough credit for it. He plays a witching deviant out for vengeance after coming back from the dead- sort of. Taboo is as gothic as it is historic. It is filled with rich mythos to look-up and pick at in your spare time. It is as dark as television has ever dared to be. Period dramas have never been this explicit, articulate and daringly different. It's quite obvious that Taboo is the creators', especially Hardy's, passion project- and it works. The show's creators take no precaution. They don't care about being offensive, or gaining or loosing a following over the show's cheekiness. They're here to tell this unholy, incest-filled, ancestral story. And tell it to the highest extent they will. Cinematically, this show outshines. The score is as roaringly cinematic. I hope that everyone gets on the bus for the second season, because this is a show to behold!