TV Critics Top 2017 Shows Lists

It's that time of year when critics start issuing their top lists. Thought I'd kick it off with Paste Magazine's Top 25. It's a great list -- the only shows I haven't seen are One Day at a Time, The Vietnam War, and Sweet/Vicious, and there a few that I either dropped (JtV & CEG) or am still catching up on (BoJack and Halt & Catch Fire). I am disappointed that The Young Pope didn't crack the list, but otherwise, the top 5 is stellar.

Please share other critics' lists and comment as they pop up.

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Comments

  • CretanBullCretanBull Toronto
    edited November 2017
    That's a pretty good list...there are a few that I haven't seen and a few that I don't care for, but that's going to be the nature of any list.  I'm surprised that Fargo & Westworld aren't there, and really surprised that Mr. Robot didn't make the cut...Mr Robot has been on par with the Leftovers IMO (Season 3 vs Season 3, overall the Leftovers is better!).
    Reni
  • @CretanBull Westworld was 2016, but I agree, Fargo and Mr. Robot should be on there, also Stranger Things and probably a couple others I forget... and Black Mirror is still coming out this year which is almost a guaranteed top 5 for any list.
    CretanBull
  • Fuck yes Leftovers, Bojack, and Halt and Catch Fire representing! Fargo and Mr. Robot probably should have been included though, I think they’re both better than American Gods for example. 
  • Fork yeah, "The Good Place" at #2! Not sure how I feel about the list when I see an MTV show on it, though. They can't possibly be making good TV now, right? 
    pavlovsbell
  • Good list from a freelance critic I really like. This year was really strong:



    10. Billions
    9. Suburra: Blood on Rome
    8. The Americans
    7. Better Call Saul
    6. Fargo
    5. Game of Thrones
    4. The Leftovers
    3. The Young Pope
    2. Halt and Catch Fire
    1. Twin Peaks
    Elisapavlovsbell
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  • pavlovsbellpavlovsbell Brooklyn, NY
    I loved The Handmaid's Tale (it's in my top 5), but I do have a problem with them eliminating the white supremacist aspect of Gilead. I know that the reason they did it was to include POC actors, which is commendable and I 100000% support that, but then they marginalized Moira, had that cringeworthy white feminist scene of her and June, and gave Luke -- LUKE -- a full episode instead of Moira, and it was boring and virtually pointless. I hope they rectify some of those issues in S2.

    I try to watch Samantha Bee, but honestly, I love John Oliver's show more.
    ElisaPhoebes89
  • pavlovsbellpavlovsbell Brooklyn, NY
    @bizmarkiefader I don't always agree with Sean T. Collins, but I really enjoyed his reviews of The Young Pope. And his tweets about Suburra: Blood on Rome got me hooked on that show.
    bizmarkiefader
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  • pavlovsbellpavlovsbell Brooklyn, NY
    @akritenbrink  Angelica Jade Bastién wrote a great piece for Vulture, "In Its First Season, The Handmaid’s Tale’s Greatest Failing Is How It Handles Race," that might interest you, if you haven't read it already.
    ElisaPhoebes89
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  • pavlovsbellpavlovsbell Brooklyn, NY
    edited November 2017
    Dummy said:
    Fork yeah, "The Good Place" at #2! Not sure how I feel about the list when I see an MTV show on it, though. They can't possibly be making good TV now, right? 
    I've heard nothing but good things about Sweet/Vicious. It's not streaming anywhere that I'm aware of, but I might just purchase it digitally, because I am in the mood for some female-driven revenge stories right now. Thanks, 2017!

    The Good Place is super high on my list, and I've been recommending this podcast: Forkin' Bullshirt. They do a deep dive on philosophy, character, and story. It's such a good show and so... necessary right now. How to be a good person and why is it important -- plus jokes and puns and great performances. I love this show so much.
    DummyPhoebes89
  • ChinaskiChinaski Santa Cruz, CA
    edited November 2017
    no fargo is dumb. fork that shit! but some good place love is cool :)

    edit: i'd prob go to a medium place so i can say shit online.. but not in person so shhhh
    pavlovsbell
  • If we're posting lists here's mine.... I expect The Crown to sneak up into that top ten once it comes out next week. 

    1. The Young Pope
    2. The Leftovers
    3. Fargo
    4. Game of Thrones
    5. Master of None
    6. Better Call Saul
    7. American Gods
    8. Handmaid’s Tale
    9. Bojack Horseman
    10. Rick and Morty
    pavlovsbell
  • Tom_ATom_A Carcosa
    edited November 2017
    The Young Pope scratched an itch I had no idea needed scratching. The cinematography, mixed with fantastic performances and consistent surreal of the wall moments made the show for me. But the show had real heart too. The story of the alcoholic priest is such a beautifully tragic one. That specific episode, which focused on him, is probably my favorite episode of television in the past year. Cannot say enough about that one and it's turning out to be a self contained thing since season 2 will revolve around a different pope and Jude Law is no longer involved. Recommend it to anyone. 
    pavlovsbell
  • @bizmarkiefader I don't always agree with Sean T. Collins, but I really enjoyed his reviews of The Young Pope. And his tweets about Suburra: Blood on Rome got me hooked on that show.

    I definitely don't either, but he almost always has interesting takes. And he turned me on to Hannibal so I'm in debt.
    pavlovsbell
  • Where's TWD?!
    (hopefully obvious sarcasm)
    Michelle
  • It's subject to change, since there's a still episodes left to air for a few of these, but here's my top 10 and a few more, complete with micro-reviews for each show.

    14. Stranger Things - A couple of really weak points bring it down, but still a very good, fun follow-up to the first one.
    13. Fargo - Had the weakest first half of any Fargo season, but the best second half.
    12. Legion - A few rough patches here and there, but overall a really strong debut season.
    11. The Americans - A much slower season than normal, and a definite step down from last year, but still excellent.
    10. Better Things - The first season was great, and this one improved on it in every way imaginable.
    9. Crazy Ex-Girlfriend - Maybe the most underrated show on TV - most recent episodes especially have been amazing.
    8. Rick and Morty - Had a lot of expectations going in, but definitely worth the long wait. Maybe the best season yet.
    7. The Deuce - Best new show of the year, hands down - as usual, David Simon never fails to deliver.
    6. BoJack Horseman - The best (and saddest) comedy on TV, as funny, insane and devastating as ever.
    5. Better Call Saul - Strongest season yet, courtroom episode and the last two in particular were outstanding.
    4. Mr. Robot - After a somewhat disappointing second season, is having one of the best comebacks in recent memory.
    3. Halt and Catch Fire - Last and best season of a criminally under-watched show - last four episodes were perfect.
    2. The Leftovers - A near perfect ending. It physically hurts me to not put this in the number one spot. And yet...
    1. Twin Peaks - Where to start? The weirdest season of TV ever made by far, and also one of the greatest. Overall, it's probably not as consistent as a lot of stuff on this list, but I loved every ridiculous, baffling minute of it.
    Elisapavlovsbell
  • MichelleMichelle California
    Nice to see The Leftovers in the #1 spot, but Game of Thrones and The Crown should have ranked higher.  Also, agreeing with @pavlovsbell in that The Young Pope should have been somewhere on this list, preferably in the top 10.
    pavlovsbell
  • MichelleMichelle California

    Travis said:
    Where's TWD?!
    (hopefully obvious sarcasm)
    That's the way the world works now!
    Travis
  • pavlovsbellpavlovsbell Brooklyn, NY
    Matt Zoller Seitz, one of my favorite film and television writers, always has some interesting picks. I haven't seen three of these (The Carmichael Show, Samurai Jack, The Get Down), but I'm glad that The Young Pope made the cut.

    Here are lists from three NYT critics in different categories (best of 2017, international shows, and shows that ended in 2017): https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/04/arts/television/best-tv-shows.html

     
    ElisaMichelleDaveyMac
  • Tom_A said:
    Cannot say enough about that one and it's turning out to be a self contained thing since season 2 will revolve around a different pope and Jude Law is no longer involved. Recommend it to anyone. 
    Wait, what?!  Jude Law won't be The Young Pope in the second season?  I hadn't heard this!  This is terrible!  I loved the first season!
  • pavlovsbellpavlovsbell Brooklyn, NY
    MrX said:
    I'm glad he tweeted that. Someone else -- maybe Brian Grubb? -- tweeted something similar but also something like, "If your favorite show is not listed, you have terrible taste, are a terrible person, and I hate you too."

    People get so butthurt if their faves are not included or not at the "appropriate" ranking. Who cares? I love that there is so much good-to-great television that people's lists are not the objectively best shows, but are instead a glimpse of a person's taste and values. Maureen Ryan's list was female-driven/centered with a lovely editorial about female voices and the lament that there are not enough shows headed by POC and LGBTQ creators. We need more variety, more voices, and more representation. And who wants virtually identical lists anyway?
    DaveyMac
  • pavlovsbellpavlovsbell Brooklyn, NY
    Maureen Ryan's list:

    "More than a dozen programs on my Top 20 roster are about groups of women, and these programs frequently depicted how women relate to each other, to the world and to the men in their lives. For decades — with a few exceptions, of course — it often felt like nobody who had real power in TV cared all that much about female friendship (and enemy-ship, and mentorship, etc.). Again, it’s a systemic thing, because most creators and showrunners are men, who are of course capable of making good and great TV, but a sizable percentage aren’t all that interested in relationships among realistically complicated women. As much as I loved 'Mad Men,' 'Deadwood,' 'Breaking Bad' and shows like it, they rarely depicted bonds among women with any kind of sustained depth or dazzling complexity.
    ...
    A much more important gripe: Only a few shows below were created or run by people of color, and only one is run by a LGBT creator. We need more voices, more stories, more perspectives, more of the fresh and vital excitement that comes from examining points of view that are typically ignored, minimized or depicted in stereotypical ways."

    http://variety.com/2017/tv/news/best-tv-shows-of-2017-maureen-ryan-leftovers-good-place-halt-and-catch-fire-big-little-lies-1202632591/
    ElisaDummyMrXhypergenesbDaveyMac
  • Sam Esmail was on The Watch pod for their Top 10 episode. It is actually pretty funny hearing Sam give Chris and Andy shit for some of their choices.

    https://www.theringer.com/2017/12/11/16764294/best-tv-2017-sam-esmail-game-of-the-thrones-twin-peaks
    pavlovsbellElisa
  • pavlovsbellpavlovsbell Brooklyn, NY
    MrX said:
    Sam Esmail was on The Watch pod for their Top 10 episode. It is actually pretty funny hearing Sam give Chris and Andy shit for some of their choices.

    https://www.theringer.com/2017/12/11/16764294/best-tv-2017-sam-esmail-game-of-the-thrones-twin-peaks
    Thanks for the rec. I haven't listened to The Watch in a while, but I checked Chris' list, and it is heavily weighted towards bland (imo) white male shows. I've only made it halfway through this podcast, and my thoughts so far are:

    1. I would enjoy this more if they didn't interrupt each other and talk over each other so much. I like Sam Esmail, but jesus, let them finish their sentences, Sam. (Andy doesn't interrupt as much as the other two.)

    2. To my above observation about Chris' list, Sam made a salient point about Aziz Ansari's inclusivity and interest in varied voices and POVs, and Chris' rebuttal was that Billions (a rich white douchebag show) is a better New York show. Chris completely missed the point that Sam was making.

    Um, that's it for now. I was going to write something about the difference between how men and women discuss certain shows, specifically The Handmaid's Tale, The Deuce, and Big Little Lies, but maybe I'll save that for another time.
    MrXElisaDaveyMacPhoebes89
  • MrX said:
    Sam Esmail was on The Watch pod for their Top 10 episode. It is actually pretty funny hearing Sam give Chris and Andy shit for some of their choices.

    https://www.theringer.com/2017/12/11/16764294/best-tv-2017-sam-esmail-game-of-the-thrones-twin-peaks
    Thanks for the rec. I haven't listened to The Watch in a while, but I checked Chris' list, and it is heavily weighted towards bland (imo) white male shows. I've only made it halfway through this podcast, and my thoughts so far are:

    1. I would enjoy this more if they didn't interrupt each other and talk over each other so much. I like Sam Esmail, but jesus, let them finish their sentences, Sam. (Andy doesn't interrupt as much as the other two.)

    2. To my above observation about Chris' list, Sam made a salient point about Aziz Ansari's inclusivity and interest in varied voices and POVs, and Chris' rebuttal was that Billions (a rich white douchebag show) is a better New York show. Chris completely missed the point that Sam was making.

    Um, that's it for now. I was going to write something about the difference between how men and women discuss certain shows, specifically The Handmaid's Tale, The Deuce, and Big Little Lies, but maybe I'll save that for another time.
    Frankly, I was only interested in what Sam had to say - mainly because it was a fresh perspective - that of a showrunner. I loved the part about which shows the Mr. Robot crew had respect for, that made them raise their game. I could care less about Chris' Top 10, and Andy doesn't watch half the shows out there anymore because he simply doesn't have to. But more and more, Andy is starting to give off the "he's above it" vibe.

    More and more, I care less about critic Top 10s. It's now become, less of an objective assessment, and more of a "this is what mattered to me in this overwhelming sea of content" list. Or, they do what Chris did here. "I just put this on my list so I could talk about it" not because it was "on my Top 10". The mattered to me list is a fair approach, but after a while, this means less and less when everyone has a "this is what mattered to me" list. They do themselves a disservice by taking that approach. Mo Ryan had a perspective and rationale. Matt Zoller-Seitz did as well. But too many other aren't doing what they need to do to separate their voice from all of the others. 
    ElisaDaveyMacPhoebes89
  • pavlovsbellpavlovsbell Brooklyn, NY
    MrX said:
    Sam Esmail was on The Watch pod for their Top 10 episode. It is actually pretty funny hearing Sam give Chris and Andy shit for some of their choices.

    https://www.theringer.com/2017/12/11/16764294/best-tv-2017-sam-esmail-game-of-the-thrones-twin-peaks
    Thanks for the rec. I haven't listened to The Watch in a while, but I checked Chris' list, and it is heavily weighted towards bland (imo) white male shows. I've only made it halfway through this podcast, and my thoughts so far are:

    1. I would enjoy this more if they didn't interrupt each other and talk over each other so much. I like Sam Esmail, but jesus, let them finish their sentences, Sam. (Andy doesn't interrupt as much as the other two.)

    2. To my above observation about Chris' list, Sam made a salient point about Aziz Ansari's inclusivity and interest in varied voices and POVs, and Chris' rebuttal was that Billions (a rich white douchebag show) is a better New York show. Chris completely missed the point that Sam was making.

    Um, that's it for now. I was going to write something about the difference between how men and women discuss certain shows, specifically The Handmaid's Tale, The Deuce, and Big Little Lies, but maybe I'll save that for another time.
    Frankly, I was only interested in what Sam had to say - mainly because it was a fresh perspective - that of a showrunner. I loved the part about which shows the Mr. Robot crew had respect for, that made them raise their game. I could care less about Chris' Top 10, and Andy doesn't watch half the shows out there anymore because he simply doesn't have to. But more and more, Andy is starting to give off the "he's above it" vibe.

    More and more, I care less about critic Top 10s. It's now become, less of an objective assessment, and more of a "this is what mattered to me in this overwhelming sea of content" list. Or, they do what Chris did here. "I just put this on my list so I could talk about it" not because it was "on my Top 10". The mattered to me list is a fair approach, but after a while, this means less and less when everyone has a "this is what mattered to me" list. They do themselves a disservice by taking that approach. Mo Ryan had a perspective and rationale. Matt Zoller-Seitz did as well. But too many other aren't doing what they need to do to separate their voice from all of the others. 
    I agree, and you raised some excellent points. I'm always interested in hearing the perspectives of creators and writers because I want to know what inspires them. I was shocked that Sam bailed on The Young Pope, given its European surreal arthouse pedigree, but perhaps it spoke to me early on in a way that it did not to him.

    I still have to finish the podcast. I just got super annoyed when Chris said Billions is a better NY show than Master of None, which is an... unusual way to compare those shows.
    MrXhypergenesbElisaDaveyMacPhoebes89
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