With the world of online streaming now more of the norm, rather than the minority, we’ve been blessed with more TV shows than ever (that don’t actually get watched on a tele, much irony.)
Not only do we have the big production studios globally creating great watches, but the Netflix’s and Stan’s of the world are commissioning and writing their own exclusive series. So we dabbled into our favourite new TV shows and seasons from 2017 that had us all bingeing like never before.
#1 The Good Place
Although technically debuting in the backend of 2016, The Good Place has firmed as one of the best new almost multi-genre sitcoms to hit our screens. With season two kicking off this year and set to wrap up next month, the series is directed by Michael Schur (the brains behind Parks & Recreations and Brooklyn Nine Nine) and stars Kristen Bell, as well as the loveable Ted Danson. If you haven’t caught a glimpse yet, essentially Eleanor (Bell) wakes up in the afterlife in “The Good Place”, a utopia of environments created by a man named Michale (Danson) a place made for people who have basically been an absolute legend during their human life (aka none of us.) However, she realises that it’s a bit of a mistake, because like us, she’s had a fair few regrettable moments – so essentially she’s trying to fit in with a bunch of others who are very much legitimate do-gooders.It’s a refreshing take on traditional comedy sitcoms, it’s sharp and witty, yet not the type of show where you need to leave some digestion time between eps.
#2 Master Of None
While you might have watched season two of Master Of None and think that it’s not necessarily a better story development on season one, it’s the pieces around it that make it one of our favourites. Season two carries a rather relaxed and cliched plot line that doesn’t involve too much development for our main man Dev (Aziz Ansari). But whether it was the episode following everyday New Yorkers, the straight up fascinating look on religion with modern context, or the award-winning episode on LBGTIQ and African American culture, MON went beyond being a romantic comedy tale.
And when it does come to the main story, Dev is caught in the should-I-shouldn’t-I type of situation that you feel almost everyone has been in with a love interest who’s already seeing someone else. Relatable and charming, allora!
#3 Stranger Things
It’s always hard to follow up a pretty stunning debut season, with an equally killer second attempt. But the Duffer Brothers, on the whirlwind of global fandom, smashed it again. Expanding the storyline with some solid new character additions, we also see Will Byers (Noah Schnapp) go from substitute to LeBron within a handful of episodes. With the wild success of season one, the Netflix folk obviously injected plenty of dollars into season two, and the production, cinematography and fkn beast soundtrack make for a damn crisp experience. Bar the train wreck of an experiment that was episode seven where Eleven goes to Chicago and goes all Green Day on us, the series is captivating and builds nicely on season one.
The cast is super loveable and the mix of timid horror with nostalgic themes and stunning visuals, Stranger Things could well be the defining show of a generation.
This is a bit of a left-field choice, but we raise our glasses to the legends at Working Dog. Season three of Utopia aired this year and it was another underrated homage to the real struggles of everyday Aussie office-workers (especially in government.) It’s possibly the most jargon filled, marketing approved, facepalm type of show that will have you grimacing with a mixed feeling of laughter and concern about how true the show actually is. If you’re a fan of Have You Been Paying Attention (as if you aren’t), Utopia is basically run by the same team and features a bunch of regular panelists.
Underrated in it’s quirkiness and sharp wit, it’s a series that jabs away at the office stuff you often want to, but know that if you do – you’d get fired.
#5 Twin Peaks: The Return
If you liked the original, well this classic continuation to one of pop culture’s all-time defining tele shows was a pleasing revival. Almost riding on the back of the small-town drama vibe that Stranger Things resurrected with aplomb, Twin Peaks is brought to life with modern vigour. Yeah look, if you’re new to the bandwagon, probs best to have a cheeky view (or read the Wiki) of the original series to catch up with the basic gist. However, it’s the quite wild and eccentric characters and storytelling that creator David Lynch is responsible for, which makes this a pulsating watch. It’s odd, it’s strange and not always a comfortable watch, but it’s also damn near impossible to look away.
Like Bob Katter’s obsession with crocodiles, it’s pretty weird but you’re so engaged and entangled that it’s hard to just stop watching. The series breaks so many modern concepts of film and television, but it’s been applauded globally. Lynch is an artist in every right, and this could probably be his best piece yet.
Honourable mentions: Rick & Morty, Narcos, The Handsmaid’s Tale, Bojack Horseman, Big Little Lies.
Image Sources: Netflix, ABC, NBC, Showtime