Year Wrap-Up: Our Favorite Television Shows of 2017
TV has been our window to the chaos over the course of this year, but it's also been peppered with some of the best shows we've seen in a long time. From comedies to fantasy epics, some of our favorite shows had their crowning moments in 2017. Here's a few of them.
Matt's Top Five:
Let’s be real, the television sitcom is not in great shape in 2017. There are only a handful of shows left on the networks that earn the kind of praise given to their cable rivals. This is partially due to the freedom cable and streaming offer, but against all odds TV’s most imaginative show is on NBC. The Good Place is not only hilarious, but it’s also incredibly high concept. Shockingly, this works to its benefit, feeling like a show from some alternate timeline where network comedy kept evolving. If it’s still not on your radar, correct that.
Season 4 of BoJack Horseman is further proof that the show is destined to become a classic. It combines a barrage of pop-culture callouts with dark, tear-jerking emotion like nothing else on television. This season in particular portrays the long-lasting effects of family trauma with surprising tenderness, while also delivering a consistent joke-per-minute ratio.
It’s always fun to watch a show evolve as it runs, and I’ve seen few animated shows age as gracefully as Star vs. the Forces of Evil. It’s clear that creator Daron Nefcy and her team have a vision for the world of Star that goes far beyond the first season’s gag episodes. Now the show is rife with lore and characters, and this season in particular is taking its themes in directions that are daring for a show on a Disney network.
2017 was a year of surprises for me, and OK KO may have been my favorite discovery. The show is clever and fast-paced in a way that its Cartoon Network contemporaries couldn’t dream of, all while maintaining its heart. This is a show that aired an entire 52 episode run in months and still managed to include one homage to Captain Planet and one villain who quotes 2000’s nu-metal lyrics. If that doesn’t sell you, I don’t know what would.
Last year I said Steven Universe was the best show on TV, but this year it had some stiff competition. It certainly hasn’t faltered; 2017 featured some of the shows most stirring moments. The events of these episodes delved deep into the gem Homeworld and left a certain character forever changed. Even the so-called “filler” episodes involving the townspeople mattered in a way that they hadn’t before, creating an atmosphere in the show that anything could happen to anyone.
Mike's Top Five:
From the first episode to the last, this series has done little to sway my opinion that Master of None is the best thing on TV. I love every aspect of this show as it not only portrays early cinema in a modern light, but also how real it all feels. Aziz Ansari is at his best yet again as the lovable Dev as he tries to find love, happiness, and a career in New York City. It’s quite easily the best thing to revisit over and over again.
While this show probably won’t show up on any other list this year, I still find it as one of the most enjoyable shows this year. Sadly, this was its last season, but what we got was a breath of fresh air into the series that made it feel new again. With the introduction of a female perspective on a relationship, this show left us with the potential to keep going into parenthood. Although we only have 3 seasons of the show, it ended on a great finale.
When I first turned this on, I was expecting it to be terrible and something that I could laugh at. It didn’t take long into the first episode that I was laughing with the show as it explored puberty in a very adult manner through the eyes of a kid. From the over imaginative to the great musical numbers, Big Mouth was the surprise hit for me this year. From the mind of Nick Kroll, everyone should watch this show.
This new comer has taken everything into consideration about what a medical drama could be and instead given us one that defied expectations. Based on a Korean drama of the same name, this Americanized version has brought Freddie Highmore back into the spotlight as the doctor with autism. There are amazing visuals with unexpected results, this show keeps it all very real and never lets the fantastical get in the way of a good character interactions.
This new show makes the cut because other shows I would have put here fell short compared to previous seasons. Now, despite the first episode being so incredibly predictable and just overall bad writing, every episode since has been fantastic and delivers on what feels like the comedic Star Trek the show promises. In other ways, the comedic relief is the background and really this is a space exploration story the likes of which Gene Roddenberry would have been proud to watch.