Top 5 Television Shows of 2017

I was elected by the Screen Mayhem gods to put together the top 5 TV shows of 2017. I am qualified because I watched EVERY SHOW. I am a show whisperer, who connected deeply with shows. You will necessarily not agree with my picks, but if you haven’t seen one of these shows you are in BAD shape.

5. Better Call Saul

This show had no reason to be good. Before it started, when I would think back on Breaking Bad, Saul Goodman was just fucking annoying. Comedy character thrown in to have some stupid shit scenes. Playing a stereotype of the loser injury lawyer that does a little crime on the side. God was I an idiot. Better Call Saul has Bob Odenkirk playing a character with more depth, more emotional tapestries, more human corruption than Walter White at his best. Plus we got WAY more Jonathan Banks who is fucking wonderful to watch (that badass). Oh, and Lenny from Laverne and Shirley!! Go check it out.

4. Big Little Lies

I loved this book. It was a twisted tale done in a beautiful way. I thought that there was no way they could bring the story to the screen. Even after they brought in the dream cast. I was like, Nah. It IS a dream cast. I mean Laura fucking Dern!!!! Tom Cruise’s ex-wife! The pretty vampire boy from True Blood!! The girl who died in that rom-com about kids dying (or maybe she didn’t die, and he did….I don’t remember)! Damien Assante from Burning Love!! The Kravitz girl. Haha. Ok, I exaggerate. It was a beautiful cast though. Well, they figured it out, they brought the page to screen, and it was engrossing and compelling. I guess there is a season 2.

3. Legion

Legion took everyone by surprise. Could an X-Men universe TV show that isn’t about any X-man anyone has ever heard of (sorry comics guys) be a good show to watch. Are we retreading the Marvel shows and just trying to come up with something that will stick? NO!!! This was surreal, dark, and always engaging take on mental illness and badass abilities. The bad are bad, but the good are terrible. It was fucking magic to behold. Noah Hawley is a genius, having also written most of the Fargo episodes (it should be on this list too). Dan Stevens leads one of the coolest casts on TV. There’s, Rachael Keller as the gorgeous and brave Syd, the kickass Amber Midthunder as Kerry, legendary Aubrey Plaza as the psychotic Lenny,  it even had Jermaine (we missed you Bret!). Watch this show!

2. Twin Peaks: The Return

I raved about this show in my article 5 Stranger Things. It is unheard of that something like this could ever have taken place. Essentially David Lynch (and Mark Frost) was able to make a 15 hour sequel to Fire Walk With Me, and it was actually terrific! Tied into the classic series still, of course. It is like every eccentricity of every character from the original was put into a rocket and blasted into our faces. I mean that in a good way. The whole phenomenon is truly special. Some episodes are quirky, some were twisted, some were ethereal. For original fans, we got what we always dreamt of. For new watchers, we hopefully got what was needed to send you back down the line to check it all out.

1. The Leftovers

2017 marked the last season of one of the finest, most underrated, and under-watched TV shows of all time. Going into season 1 I was skeptical. How can a show about the rapture (or whatever) be awesome. I will warn you, it takes some getting into, like wearing in an awesome new pair of gold and diamond combat boots, but shit man. This show got so GOOD. So good it was THE best show of 2017. While everyone else is masturbating over zombies and dragon moms, the best show you didn’t see was playing its way off the stage. Justin Theroux = Fucking mad man – awesome; Christopher Eccleston = Dr Who fucking badass; Carrie Coon = acting fucking superhero; Liv Tyler, Ann Dowd, Amy Brenneman = HEROES! Oh and Scott Glenn! Fuuuuuuck! Great cast, terrific storytelling. It was dark, and hot, and more than a little fucked up. Good night, sweet prince.

Matthew Whitaker

Spreading the TV and Film love whenever I can, wherever I can. Host of the Cinema Bushido, and the Clones Cast podcasts; regular player on all that is Screen Mayhem.

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