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Best TV Shows of 2017

Author: Lorenzo Lombardi
13-Feb-2018

Category: Opinion

From epic fantasies to personal character studies, KeenGamer counts down the top 5 best shows of 2017.

Best TV Shows of 2017

INTRODUCTION

2017 was a grand reminder of how we are currently living in The Golden Age of Television. There were epic high-budget productions, freshly original superhero shows, a brilliant revival and plenty of dense character studies. If television on this level is continually produced, the 2020s may have to be called the platinum age. Here are the very best 2017 had to offer.

#5: Legion

From Noah Hawley (Fargo), Legion blew everyone's expectations out of the water. It was a superhero series with an evocative premise and a healthy emphasis on character. Following Haller, a mutant having to deal with schizophrenia as well as his newfound mental powers, it delivers on most levels. Losing a grasp on the difference between reality and fantasy, the audience is forced to experience a viewpoint akin to the protagonist's. With this, Legion blends genres of psychological, horror, Sci-fi while subverting superhero tropes.

This is a show you will methodically ponder upon while genuinely gaining some well-executed thrills. Although it occasionally falters in its own ambition, most of the daring creative moves pay off in spectacular fashion. Amid the oversaturation of the recently sub-par Marvel-Netflix shows, we need something like Legion to come and save the day.

Best TV Shows of 2017. One of Legion's many mind-bending scenes

#4: Game of Thrones

Even at its weakest season, Game of Thrones consistently offers epic storytelling that culminates toward brilliant climaxes. Season 7 had those types of moments that made the show outstandingly satisfying --- reunions, big battles, truces, and betrayals (do not forget the revenge). There was the looming threat of the white walkers that gave the short season that well-needed sense of urgency and danger. Its penultimate episode was absurdly bad, but all the others were solid and had plenty of revelations. Season 7 is a worthy addition to the series' already legendary status. 

#3: Rick & Morty

In its triennial outing, Rick & Morty continues to be the greatest animated show currently running (I am not counting The Simpsons because it is zombified). With this season came a greater focus on family drama and character development. The show also realized its existential tones more strongly and focused on these incredibly in a couple of episodes.

However, what makes this season standout most for me is the 7th episode, The Ricklantis Mixup. It focuses on three interconnected stories and wraps up character arcs in stunningly hilarious and dramatic ways. Important social and political themes are also explored, all within 22 minutes. This is the power of modern cartoons --- unparalleled satire and the biggest laughs --- with Rick & Morty being the frontrunner of this belief. 

#2: Better call saul

Another third season, another all-time great show. Better Call Saul excels in almost every factor, and this year was its most thrilling and revealing yet. Primarily a character study, the show tells the backstory of Breaking Bad characters Saul Goodman and Mike Ermantraut. Jimmy Mcgill (Saul) has not transformed into the criminal lawyer yet but this season was the turning point. Like Breaking Bad, this is the story of a man's moral degradation but in a more introspective manner. Quieter and more personal moments are what Better Call Saul is comprised of. When more thrilling moments happen, it hits harder because of the well-realized slow-burn. There is a perfect balance of the focus on Mike and Jimmy's journey into their already established characters. Mike's scenes can provide a jolt of energy to what some may consider a slow narrative but I presume that some people solely liked Breaking Bad for the explosions anyway.

Better Call Saul has a devastating undercurrent of fatalism and I personally care more about these characters than most other series. And with more of Breaking Bad's greatest characters appearing, the series will only get better by building up its already rich context. Here's to one of the densest backstories ever put to screen. S'all good, man. 

Best TV Shows of 2017. Better call Saul

#1: Twin peaks the return

That gum I liked went back into style. And it was a transcendent blast. Taking place 25 years after the original masterpiece of TV...I could not really explain the plot. However, Twin Peaks: The Return is more like an experience. Words cannot really describe it. David Lynch (the creator) had undivided creative freedom over each episode and he directed each one. The amount of experimentation has never been seen on a production of this scale and it will never be seen again. Viewers were drawn to nostalgia towards the original series but The Return threw that back in their faces until the very last few episodes.

It totally stands on its own and reinvents the television medium as the original did in 1990. Before every great series, there was Twin Peaks --- the weird and wonderful Mystery-Horror. The Return takes that slogan to the next level and runs with it, barely waiting for you to keep up. Many people did not know what to make of this. In the end, the sheer visceral visuals, solid performances, and wholly original storytelling have grown on the critics and I am inclined to agree with them --- show of the year.

What is your favorite show of the year? I encourage you to make your own lists and maybe even comment below. 



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