My Favorite Television Shows of 2017

American Gods will amaze you.

Honorable Mentions:
Preacher (Great show, but this story is supposed to be a road trip, guys. Get the characters out of Dodge.)
Berlin Station: Interesting series about CIA agents in Germany, but one pivotal character’s return, after he Assanged and Snowdened the agency six ways to Sunday, made the second season hard to swallow.
Peaky Blinders: The show that Boardwalk Empire should have been, with compelling performances by Cillian Murphy and Tom Hardy, but too much deus ex machina in Season 4.
Twin Peaks: The Return: Kudos to David Lynch for his vision and all, but after 25 years we were entitled to a helluva lot more than just one full episode (out of 18) of FBI agent Dale Cooper in his prime.
20. Vikings: Even without Ragnar Lothbrok, it’s a brilliant glimpse of pagan exploration and conquest, with kickass shieldmaidens. I want a spinoff about Floki the boat builder.
19. The Magicians: Harry Potter with adults. For adults.
18. Better Call Saul: This Breaking Bad prequel is terrific all on its own. Now with Gus Fring!
17. Colony: Three seasons in, and we’re still waiting to see what the colonizers look like. The show is so good that we don’t mind at all.
16. The Expanse: Exciting adaptation of the science fiction novels that show life, death, and humanity’s future across the solar system, without transporters or technobabble. If only the network would let UN leader Chrisjen Avasarala curse like she does in the books (her swearing could scrape the barnacles off a fleet of ships). With a female Marine from Mars who can kick your ass on any planet.
15. The Crown: A great series. The episode dealing with Edward VIII’s Nazi ties (and his real plans if they had won) was compelling. 
14. Mindhunter: True story of the FBI discovering how to hunt serial killers.
13. Legion: One of Marvel’s X-Men characters (the son of Professor X) is brought to life, with a performance by Aubrey Plaza that will blow you away.
12. Mr. Robot: Hacking, conspiracies, anarchy, and global realignment from the click of a keyboard.
11. Outlander: This is how you adapt historical romance for television. Geillis, we hardly knew ye.
10. Dark: Grim, gripping and altogether fascinating German series about childhood abductions across decades of history in a small town. Time travel uber alles.
9. Black Mirror: A Twilight Zone for the 21st century. Believe the hype.
8. Fargo: No amount of snowfall can cover up a murder with a cop like Gloria Burgle around.
7. The Americans: I never expected to root for murderous Soviet sleeper agents. You will, too.
6. The Good Place: So forking good, even after the mindforking twist that changed everything.
5. Stranger Things: Spielberg + Lovecraft = eminently bingeable television.
4. Travelers: Agents from the future, downloaded into the bodies of people who were about to die anyway: an FBI agent, a developmentally disabled woman, and a junkie. Welcome to the 21st.
3. The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel: A plucky comedienne starting out in 1958 Manhattan. Rachel Brosnahan is soooo good as the title character. Luke Kirby as Lenny Bruce, is a breakout role for him. Alex Borstein from Mad TV and Tony Shalhoub round out a cast to die for.

2. Game of Thrones: The Lannisters always pay their debts, and this show is paying off in spades after six seasons of setup. Plus, not just dragons … zombie ice dragons!

1. American Gods: Neil Gaiman’s novel is boldly adapted for television, with characters, storytelling, worldbuilding, and visuals that will amaze you. Mr. Nancy has one of the most powerful first appearances by a character in television history. Multiple versions of Jesus for every audience. And the best leprechaun, ever.

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