Best of Television 2017

10. White Famous (Showcase)- This is one of the funniest new shows around. Having the ability to use secondary characters from Californication has both helped and hurt the show. It is a fun throwback to a show many people adore while it simaltaneously reminds us that there is only one Hank Moody. It is a good thing Tom Kapinos makes Floyd a character with his own path to take and one that we can definitely care about. The show certainly reels in the immaturity and shows the effects of a Hollywood lifestyle in a more serious tone as the series progresses.

9. A Series of Unfortunate Events (Netflix) Neil Patrick Harris is delightful as the sinister Count Olaf and these books have all the juicy drama that is made for Television. Plus Patrick Warburton helps make the narrative that much more sarcastic and effective. One of the oddest shows on Netflix but most definitely one of the most fun and engaging.

8. Gotham (Fox)- Gotham is a show that you just can’t hate. It has some very cheesy momemts but ultimately it is a refreshing take on the most iconic of Batman characters. Again lead by Robin Lord Taylor as Oswald Cobblepot and Donal Logue as Harvey Bullock Gotham is a darker show that is venturing into some new territory now that Bruce is a teenager. The addition of Crystal Reed as Sofia Falcone has also rejuvenated the show adding a stronger more engaging female presence as the show has previously done a bad job of handling female characters apart from Selina. Gotham has previously been hit or miss with certain storylines over the course of its run but the narrative has been tigther and more methodical in the approach to story telling. 

7. Empire (Fox)- The biggest drop on this list belongs to Empire. After the end of Season three it should have been a much better season 4 but it has just felt slow and not progressive. Empire has felt the shift in other ways as well with ratings continuing to fall. Mostly thanks in large part to the musical talent of the cast Empire still has a spot on this list. This is most likely just a bump in the creative flow of television writing but I really want to see Empire jump back into the top 5 in 2018. It was once a show you could not turn away from and now it is a solid show but is lacking something in the drama department this season.

6. Dear White People ( Netflix)- Based on the 2014 film of the same name Dear White People is also a story that is much better suited for television than film. Netflix allows the show to push boundries and continue to make relevant social commentary. As soon as this show was announced it was expected to generate buzz and people even called for boycotts of the show because of the same. Kudos to Netflix for allowing them to push back and for renewing the show for a second season. Strong acting and writing. Cannot wait to see more.

5. The Flash (CW)- The fifth spot on the list is not a punishment for the Flash. The story has been lighter and the Thinker has been a very refreshing change of pace compared to all the Speedster villains. The Flash is still one of the coolest shows on television with a well rounded cast who week in and week out continue to shine. Cisco continues to be the comedic relief and the dynamic between Barry and the rest of the team continues to be the shows driving force. Keep running Barry, the show is as good as it has ever been. Crisis on Earth X was a highlight for all four Arrowverse shows which definitely showcased the amazing women on all four shows.

4. Longmire (Netflix)- The sixth and final season of Longmire was bittersweet in so many regards. Arguably it was the strongest from a narrative standpoint the show has ever been. It was taking us one final ride with our favorite old school sheriff Walter Longmire that earned it a spot on the list. It brought resolution to each one of the key players through the first five seasons and absolutely left the door open for more down the road. For now this was one hell of a swan song for a show that has always been fun, smart and easy to follow. Thanks for the ride Sheriff Longmire and the Absaroka County Sherrifs department.

3. This is Us (NBC)- Last years first place finisher is back near the top again thanks to more emotion and more tears. This is Us continues to be one of the very best in terms of story telling, dramatics and tear jerking moments. NBC most certainly has a true drama on its hands, one thats extraordinary cast cannot be praised enough for the fine performances they turn in each and every week. Thank you Pearson family for allowing us to share moments with you, express our emotions to the situations in our own lives that need handling and for allowing us to grow with these incredible characters every week.

2.13 Reasons Why (Netflix)- This show broke me. It left me sobbing in my living room at 2:30 am when I finished the season. I was mad at Clay for not talking to Hannah about what had happened. I was shocked by the events that lead to Hannah Bakers suicide and I was ultimately broken by watching helplessly as she took her own life on the screen (a scene that is haunting and tragic and acted with too much realism by Katherine Langford). Thirteen Reasons Why left so much up in the air as the season concluded but the emotion and sheer force of the actors raw display of talent earns Thirteen Reasons Why a spot on the list.

1. The Punisher (Netflix)- Jon Bernthal is a beast of an actor and all his talent is on display here. The first few episodes allow us to reconnect with Castle in his new life while introducing properly all the new players in what will become the season long story. Frank is a man destroyed by the things he has done in the past and broken by what he has lost but also hell bent on making sure those who hurt him feel the same pain he did. Bernthal shifts between the two effortlessly and creates a Frank Castle with layers which is something we have not seen before. His cast mates elevate their game mostly when sharing screen time with him but the story was well crafted and picked up exactly when it needed to. The moment when all the key players motives were established and the story could ramp up the action to the finale was when the show really excelled. Top notch entertainment that dealt with some heavy themes such as betrayal, brotherhood, murder and PTSD. Marvel and Netflix this is your best show to date. I cannot wait to see more of this great series. 

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