• Are these the best TV shows of 2017?

    2017 boasted even more brilliant TV moments as the golden age of television continues. Netflix and Amazon really upped their game, giving us some of the most consistently good storytelling in their short history making original shows. But what were the best year?

    31st Dec 2017By Matthew Whitehouse

    Here's our list of favourites – let us know yours in the comments below.

    Big Little Lies
    This tale of deceit, murder and abuse takes place along the lush coastline of Monterey, California. The star-studded cast features Reece Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman and Shailene Woodley as yummy mummies with too much money and cracks start to appear in their friendship as we learn all is not well.

    Stranger Things 2
    From sleeper sensation to worldwide hit, Stranger Things is the show that gets everybody talking and the second series didn't disappoint one bit. We joined the gang back in Hawkins around Halloween and, wouldn't you know, there's something afoot! It's relatively predictable fare, but the characters are so well drawn and the action so excellently paced that one can forgive them for retreading old ground. That said, experimentation gave us the rather ill-judged seventh episode and the less said about that the better.

    The Handmaid's Tale
    While not the happiest or most light-hearted of shows, this adaptation of the Margaret Atwood book is spectacular television. It's a nasty, mean-spirited and oppressive view of a future world where women are second class citizens who exist simply to serve the rich and provide them with children – and it's about as horrible as it sounds. But a wonderfully witty script and astounding cinematography save it from being too bleak to handle.

    Rick and Morty
    We can't list the best TV of 2017 without talking about Rick and Morty. The third season was so over-hyped that it could only disappoint, not quite matching the highs of seasons one or two. But even a below par episode of Rick and Morty is better than most good episodes of any other show. Season three launched a million memes with Pickle Rick and featured plenty of episodes that went toe-to-toe with the season before.

    David Fincher's brooding Netflix series is part police procedural and part historical biopic. Chronicling the rise of alternative profiling techniques to track serial killers, Mindhunter focuses on two FBI agents as they interview convicted killers and gain knowledge to solve new cases. Sort of like Silence of the Lambs with the aesthetic of Zodiac.

    American Gods
    A twisting, bizarre, cinematic and completely mental show that on the surface is quite simple, but lurking beneath is subtext and visual metaphors galore. It's one of the most visually striking television programme to have come to the small screen in recent memory. With fantastic performances across the board and a rich story that will play out over many more episodes after this first season, American Gods was one of the surprise highlights of 2017.

    Blue Planet II
    Building on the foundations of what came before with Planet Earth and Blue Planet I – and building on it with technology and new perspectives we haven't seen before – Blue Planet II is staggering to look at. The camera weaves in and out of coral and follows whales into the deep, blue, eternal space of the ocean. It really is a beautiful experience that is currently unmatched by any other nature show and will leave your jaw firmly fastened to the floor.

    The fictionalised true story of the 80s flash-in-the-pan Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling arrived on Netflix half way through 2017 and gave us a wickedly funny look into the world of all-female wrestling. The ensemble cast, including Alison Brie, Marc Maron and Kate Nash, threw themselves into their roles as well as each other around a ring!

    Marvel tackles mental illness in this searing, visually-explosive show which took familiar conceits and put enough of a new spin on them to make things fresh. David has been suffering with schizophrenia his whole life and finds himself institutionalised once again, but after being rescued from the facility he is introduced to his powers by a group of mutants. Legion features some of the most visually arresting moments of 2017 and is a genuinely interesting take on a well-trodden concept.

    The Marvellous Mrs Maisel
    This Amazon exclusive is a comedy drama about a Jewish woman who, when abandoned by her husband, falls into the world of stand up comedy. Rachel Brosnahan is sharp, witty and hilarious as Midge Maisel. The stand up scenes are genuinely funny, biting and and wonderfully sardonic and the whole thing looks like a painting.

    What are your favourite TV shows of 2017?

    Read our list of the best movies of 2017 here.


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