2017 Year in Review: TV

TV Season Regrets (what I could have done without):

  1. Sherlock season 4 (Amazon Instant)
  2. Sneaky Pete season 1 (Amazon Prime)
  3. Game of Thrones season 7 (HBO Now)
  4. Riverdale season 1 (Netflix)
  5. The Defenders season 1 (Netflix)
  6. Nathan For You season 4 (Amazon Instant)
  7. The Punisher season 1 (Netflix)

The thing here is the performances in all these are good. Those poor actors.

In The Punisher, the last episode or two doubled down on a kind of brutality that wasn’t grounded in the story they told, unnecessary and mean imo.

Like Lost, I’m curious if one day I’ll wish I had never seen Game of Thrones. It’s stale at this point and ultimately leading to a plotty conclusion when I expected it to have something more to say. Great, expensive action set pieces… but does any of it really matter?

Nathan For You revealed that it’s a show about lies and exploitation. Glad the show exists but the good nature of earlier seasons and the wackiness of certain art experiments has been drained from the show. Everyone loved the finale but I’ll be happy if I never see this show again. An instructive example about how a team of people with financial backing can shape reality in bizarre ways. Anything is possible is the horrifying moral takeaway.


Transcendent TV:

  1. American Vandal (Netflix)
  2. Mosaic season 1 (app)

Watch these two shows!

I’ve seen American Vandal three times. The humor might not be your taste but the true to life heightened characters will sneak up on you. Like Homer Simpson before him, Dylan Maxwell is so relatable it hurts. Points to the production values which are a joke in themselves because of how good they are (high school av club guys were supposed to have made the show). Stealth MVP is Dylan’s mother who makes us care for the dumb kid right off the bat.

If you finish and want a show that goes 5% more into drama, Hulu original dramedy Battleground about WI politics with a The Office style film crew tagging along should be next on your list.

Mosaic, you’ll have to watch on your phone or apple tv. It’s not even the first “Mosaic” that shows up when you search for the app. Search Mosaic Stephen Soderberg. Mosaic is a masterclass in perspective. It tells the same narrative surrounding a murder from different characters’ POV and in the meantime switches genre and tone. Grounded and naturalistic, you need to see the whole thing.

 

Hard to Categorize TV:

  1. My Brother My Brother and Me (Seeso) (an excuse for a blooper reel funnier than the show???)

This show was heavily personality driven. The McElroy brothers have so many entertainment properties, this is as good of a starting place as any if you want to get lost in their comedy world.

 

Squarely Good TV:

  1. Big Little Lies season 1 (HBO Now)
  2. Legion season 1 (Amazon Instant)

Prestige standouts from the year. The sense of place, class and humor in BLL will roll over you like those peaceful beautiful ocean waves. Once you’ve seen the whole thing you realize it never was really about the mysteries.

The willingness to get weird but stay excellent on execution in Legion is something we haven’t seen from anything with a Superhero in it on TV. The Pilot of Legion is like an indie superhero film and could have run in theaters.

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