New TV keeps getting better!
I watch a lot of television. To compile my list for this year I wanted to share new shows I’d recommend to others. Whether you have heard of these or not, all left me revisiting them long after watching. I have also provided some semblance of genre variety here as well.
To be in consideration, the show must have launched its first season in 2017. And if that’s not enough television for my fellow fanatics, I have also named 5 of my favorite returning shows. Enjoy and let me know what you loved in 2017 too!
SMILF (Showtime) BEST SHOW OF THE YEAR
Written, directed, starring, and based off of Frankie Shaw’s short film, this comedic show consistently sets the bar high. While other series shy away from taboo topics such as poverty, addiction, and abuse, SMILF addresses them on top of somehow managing to keep me laughing. The show is most enjoyable watching Bridgette (Frankie Shaw) interact with the other women on the show, including her self-obsessed but loving mother Tutu, played by Rose O’Donnell. SMILF was recently renewed for a season 2.
Netflix first German-language original series has lots of twists and turns, making it all the more thrilling to put the pieces together with characters in their respected times (’53, ’86, ’19). In the midst of a fantastical world, much like Stranger Things or Harry Potter, give this a watch if you want a thought-provoking mystery series. Dark was recently renewed for a season 2.
In this X-MEN thriller, David Heller (Dan Stevens) and friends unite against evil to tackle demons (quite literally) that have plagued his past. I advise you watch this in the daylight otherwise you may have nightmares like I did.. whoops! Legion is a spectacularly satisfying watch as it is also, no surprise, produced by Fargo creator Noah Hawley. Season 2 launches spring of 2018.
Big Little Lies (HBO)
Originally a miniseries and based on Liane Moriarity’s best selling novel, Big Little Lies centers around motherhood in a small, classy Californian town. Led by an all-star class including Nicole Kidman, Reese Witherspoon, Shailene Woodley, Zoe Kravitz, and Laura Dern, watch for a escalating mystery series as character’s secrets start to unravel. Upon this series success, the show is now producing a season 2.
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Amazon Prime)
From Amy Sherman-Palladino (Gilmore Girls) comes the story of Midge Maisel as she tackles a career of uncharted territory; one woman’s journey into becoming a raunchy female comedian in the 1950’s. I enjoy this show especially for the Palladino’s quick witted scripts, the beautiful New York scenery, as well as its bubbly soundtrack. I keep coming back to watch the stellar performances particularly from Rachel Brosnahan as the lead Miriam “Midge” Maisel, Tony Shalhoub as her father Abe Weissman, and Alex Borstein as comedy-club-manager-turned-agent Susie Myerson. Amazon had already signed Maisel for at least two seasons.
The Sinner (USA)
The Sinner is an eight-part miniseries based on the novel by Petra Hammesfahr that follows Cora Tannetti (Jessica Biel) incarceration after she kills a man on a crowded, sunny beach one random afternoon. Sound weird? It did for detective Harry Ambrose (Bill Pullman) who won’t stop investigating the case after he suspects Tannetti knew the victim. This is a well-paced, unconventional suspense story that begs the question of why someone kills rather than how.
The Handmaids Tale (Hulu)
Hulu was smart to acquire this mesmerizing and well-acted, yet distressing show. Based on the book by Margaret Atwood, the US has fallen after a civil war. Territory now named “Gilead” holds women called Handmaids as temporary property to high-society families, and are made to bear their children. I don’t find The Handmaid’s Tale to be the most enjoyable show of the year but it may just be the most important. Season 2 launches in April.
When old-timer television producer Sam Sylvia (Marc Maron) wants to film a live wrestling show with women at the forefront called the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling (GLOW), he casts a misfit of unknowns. While this might sound like a disaster, and some of it is, the show is a joy to watch. From creator Jenji Leslie Kohan (Orange is the New Black, Weeds) check this out for a good laugh and strong women! The show has been renewed for a season 2.
How do you stop a serial killer from becoming one in the first place? From the mind of David Fincher (Zodiac) comes a series that explores this spike in the late 1970s. Based on the book by John E. Douglas and Mark Olshaker, this is an insightful and suspenseful watch but it is also a nontraditional crime drama, as FBI agents Holden Ford (Jonathon Groff) and Bill Tench (Holt McCallany) team up with psychologist Wendy Carr (Anna Torv) to determine the pattern of killers. Mindhunter has been renewed for a season 2.
The Keepers (Netflix Documentary)
I just HAD to include a documentary in my best list. The Keepers explores the investigation into young nun Sister Cathy Cesnik murder and disappearance in 1969, Baltimore. While the case has been cold for years, previous students of Cesnik’s, Gemma Hoskins and Abbie Schaub, open their own investigation, seeking justice for their beloved teacher.
Favorite Returning Television Series
The Good Place (NBC)
Catastrophe (Amazon Prime)
Master of None (Netflix)
This is Us (NBC)
The Leftovers (HBO)
*Series finale aired 2017