Completely objective and irrefutable

 

At Binge With Me, both Matty and I have come up with our own Top Shows of 2017. This year was tough with a lot of great television shows. And by a lot, I do mean a lot. This is the Golden Age of television after all. But if a returning show did more of the same, it probably didn’t make the list. My list (mostly) focuses on shows that dared to do something a little different.

 

Impressions: American Vandal

10. American Vandal made fun of true crime in the silliest of ways. But it’s approach was so earnest you couldn’t help but be taken along for the ride even while it made fun of every true crime trope under the sun. Whether it’s a computer-generated simulation of a hand job or a timeline of a party reconstructed from social media videos, Vandal had it covered.

Review: Nathan For You Season 4

9. Nathan For You is the hardest I’ve laughed all year. And as if almost to contradict that, its final episode was hauntingly moving, departing from its business prank show format to go on the hunt for a long lost love.

Review: Big Mouth

8. Big Mouth stunned me. While Rick and Morty and Bojack Horseman are both brilliant animated sitcoms and have huge fan bases, this one blew me out of the water with its gross but earnest takes on puberty.

Impressions: Atypical

7. Atypical looked to be another high school drama filled with teen angst, but our main character Sam made it something different, with his fresh outlook on life and unique needs as someone with autism. It’ll make you laugh, it’ll make you cry.

Review: One Day at a Time (2017)

6. One Day at a Time is a reboot of a 70’s show of the same name, with a Cuban-American cast. I had been turned off by multi-cam sitcoms in the past, but this managed to bring me back around. Again, as with the above shows, both tugging the heartstrings and tickling the funnybone (I think I know my fetish now). Look out for its second season, coming very soon!

Review: The Good Place

5. The Good Place is on hiatus and technically still running its second season, but it’s first actually concluded earlier this year. And what a breath of fresh air. Created by Parks and Recreation’s Michael Schur, we were transported to a Heaven where a group of un-likeminded souls have to live with each other.

Review: Twin Peaks: The Return

4. Twin Peaks: The Return was certainly a thing in 2017. How to even describe this season? It’s as if David Lynch said: “I’ll come back to follow up this cult show 25 years later, but only if we can make it NOT Twin Peaks”. While at the same time The Return has the same offbeat dark humour, but most of it is set outside the famous small town, with all sorts of bizarre happenings abound.

Review: Master of None Season 2

3. Master of None set the bar super high in 2015, and Aziz Ansari cleared it yet again in this second season. While less laser focussed it still managed to tell some compelling stories. Although the romance plotline was a little hamfisted, with episodes like “New York, I Love You”, and “The Dinner Party”, taking the focus off of Dev (Ansari), and diving into other characters, Master of None was delizioso.

Review: Top of the Lake: China Girl

2. Top of the Lake: China Girl returned after a bit of a break (four years). Celebrated Kiwi director, Jane Campion, sent her gritty drama from a small town near Queenstown to the shores of Bondi Beach. Not only is it a murder mystery, but a study on relationships and parentage and (of course) complete with a dark underbelly.

Spoiler Dive: The Leftovers S03E08 – Series Finale

1. The Leftovers is undoubtedly my top show of the year and sadly has finished its final season. But what a way to go out. Damon Lindelof and Tom Perotta’s show knew just when to call it quits and not drag it out, like a certain show we know, not naming names *cough* Lost *cough*. Again, darkly hilarious and emotional while also toying with visions and dreams. A huge time jump in the last episode made the finale absolutely heartwrenching.

 

Honourable mentions

Game of Thrones had some very good episodes, but also some not very good ones, where characters made stupid decisions in order to fast track the plot forward.

Review concluded its final season and did what it did best; made us shake our heads in disbelief at Andy Daly’s Forrest McNeil.

I enjoyed the strangeness of Santa Clarita Diet and Drew Barrymore eating people.

Legion, Runaways and Stranger Things were all decent shows about young people dealing with powers and the supernatural, despite some average episodes in amongst them.

Better Call Saul and Mr Robot both continued being really entertaining shows, but their issues became even more glaring in these later seasons.