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Big Bad Voodoo Lou
Jan 1, 2006

10. Big Little Lies, Season 1
I only watched this show because my wife was interested in it. I realize I'm not the target audience for it, and I fully expected to hate it. In fact, I hated most of the characters throughout the first few episodes, but it grew on me along the way, and I was pretty emotionally invested by the end. So with that in mind, the show more than accomplished what it set out to. It's a soapy miniseries about wealthy, bougie Monterey families helicopter-parenting their young children, but it turned out to be much deeper than it started out as. It revealed new layers to all the characters, even the unlikable ones, while leading toward a cataclysmic finale through clever use of flash-forwards. It was structured similarly to Season 1 of True Detective, if that helps get anyone any more intrigued. Nicole Kidman did career-best work here, Shailene Woodley showed depths I didn't think she was capable of, and I empathized with Adam Scott's put-upon, underappreciated husband character the entire time. Even Reese Witherspoon, Zoe Kravitz, and Laura Dern, whose characters annoyed me throughout the season, more than redeemed themselves in the end, which was hugely cathartic. It's only seven episodes, so it won't take up too much of your life. I'm pretty sure you'll end up agreeing with me and liking it far more than you ever thought possible.

9. Big Mouth, Season 1
John Mulaney might be the funniest person alive, to the point where his presence even makes Nick Kroll tolerable for me. This Netflix cartoon was the funniest thing I saw all year. It's raunchy and certainly not for everyone, but it was a spot-on look at the mysteries and horrors of puberty, and very relatable and familiar. The animation was pretty ugly, but my wife and I laughed nonstop through the whole thing, which neither of us expected to do. And even if I'm not a big Kroll fan, he was fine here, alongside some of my favorite people in the voice cast: Mulaney, Jessi Klein, and Jenny Slate.

8. Better Call Saul, Season 3
Mike! Gus! Poor, sweet, earnest Kim! That courtroom episode with Chuck versus Jimmy! That finale! This show feels like it was on a long time ago, but the pacing seemed to pick up this season, and the acting was incredible, as always. There isn't much I can say that others won't articulate better, but I honestly believe this show is starting to get better than even Breaking Bad was.

7. Master of None, Season 2
Even better than Season 1 in some ways, it was great to spend more time with Dev, although I missed Rachel (Noel Wells) and was sad they broke up at the end of the first season. I know Aziz Ansari might rub some people the wrong way, but I've been a fan for many years, since before Parks & Recreation, and I love this brilliant, heartfelt, deeply personal show he and Alan Yang created. The trip to Italy with "Big Bud" Eric Wareheim was the funniest, but the best episodes were the "Thanksgiving" episode he and Lena Waithe won Emmys for, and the episode that followed several completely new, unfamiliar characters through a night in New York that ended up tying together for everyone and giving them all happy endings. This show also ended up being prophetic with Dev's boss and friend, beloved celebrity Chef Jeff (Bobby Cannavale) being outed as a creepy predator and bringing Dev's career down with him.

6. Riverdale, Seasons 1 and 2
I have loved comic books my entire life, but I never went through an Archie phase. I knew the characters through the cultural zeitgeist, but certainly didn't expect much from the show. I only gave it a chance after reading a profile piece about the showrunner, playwright and comic book writer Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, a lifelong Archie fan who seemed to be treating the show as a labor of love, and the culmination of everything he ever wanted to accomplish in his life to date. His enthusiasm is infectious, as I ended up loving it from the get-go and still do. It is shot beautifully, with incredible use of colors, and it probably has the most attractive cast on television. It's soapy, campy, trashy, and over-the-top ridiculous, but in this depressing and scary year, it turned out to be the comfort food (or perhaps junk food) that I never realized I needed. Watch out for Lili Reinhart, who plays tenacious good girl Betty Cooper. She is an incredible actress who is definitely going to be a breakout star. She acts circles around the rest of the younger cast, speaking volumes with her facial expressions. It's also refreshing to see the strong and true friendship between Betty and Veronica, who would definitely be rivals or frenemies on almost any other show, but here they have each other's backs at all times.

5. Stranger Things, Season 2
Another sophomore season that improved on the original in many ways. They doubled down on what worked and gave us more: more monsters, more character development, more great interplay (between Hopper and Eleven and Dustin and Steve!), and remained funny, scary, touching, and exciting the entire time. Winona Ryder had more to do, Noah Schnapp became the MVP among the excellent kid actors, I liked the ambiguity of Paul Reiser's character more than Matthew Modine's unambiguous villain in Season 1, and then there was Bob. Oh, Bob.

4. Mindhunter, Season 1
This was a SMART show. I wouldn't expect any less from David Fincher, who directed the first two and last two episodes. The whole series had Fincher's visual signature and fit in well with his style. Zodiac remains my favorite of his films, and they go together perfectly. I appreciated that the show didn't go out of its way to show you the grisly crimes as they happened. It was unpleasant enough hearing about them, but I would not have appreciated a gratuitous gore-fest. I liked protagonist Holden Ford a lot early on -- loved his enthusiasm and eagerness to learn, before the work definitely started warping and corrupting his soul. The interplay between Ford and his older partner Bill Tench was awesome, especially when you think early on that Tench is going to be a hardass who works against Holden making discoveries, but he sees Holden's ideas have potential and goes along with it, subverting our expectations. It was a pleasure to have more Anna Torv, too. She was so amazing in Fringe, and she was my choice to get cast as Captain Marvel, but I was more than happy to have her on this show, serving as the voice of reason in a world of violent and obsessive men.

3. Game of Thrones, Season 7
A lot of fans complained about the shorter season, and how events seemed rushed. I loved this season because we finally got long-simmering plots and characters who had never met, or hadn't seen each other since the first season, coming together. The whole time, we've been wondering what would happen when Jon, Daenerys, and Tyrion got together in a room, or when Sansa and Arya would reunite, and we got those huge payoffs. I don't think anyone expected we'd get the ultimate RPG party/superhero team-up with Jon Snow, Jorah Mormont, the Hound, Tormund Giantsbane, Beric Dondarrion, Thoros of Myr, Gendry, and Ser Davos Seaworth embarking on the stupidest, most unnecessarily dangerous mission ever. The final episode was a treat too, with almost every named character together in one place. Was it perfect? No. But it was the most enjoyable season in a long time for me, just due to everyone's paths and destinies converging.

2. The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Season 1
What a revelation! I came back to edit my list to include this show, now that the full season has dropped on Amazon. It's pure joy -- clever and hilarious. I love the snappy dialogue (this is my first time watching an Amy Sherman-Palladino show), the setting of New York in the '50s, all the Jewish culture and humor, the history of stand-up comedy and censorship -- all stuff I love, like it was made for me. And watching Rachel Brosnahan as the lead is like watching a star being born. She is incredible, and her career is only going to skyrocket from here. She's also exceptionally beautiful, and she carries herself with such maturity and confidence, I can't believe she's only 26. I would have guessed she was closer to 36 for sure, but I mean that only as a compliment. This show does everything right, and I suspect the mostly young, mostly male forum members would still really dig it if they give it a chance.

1. Twin Peaks, Season 3
I got into Twin Peaks long after it aired -- in the fall of 2009, right around the time I got married. I was instantly obsessed, started the previous TVIV Twin Peaks thread that we closed down right before this new season began, and was beside myself with sadness when Season 2 ended on that cliffhanger. Watching Fire Walk With Me was a harrowing experience that lacked the charm and comic relief of the show, and didn't provide much closure. I never thought we'd get any more, especially 26 years later (they were so close with "See you again in 25 years!"), so it felt like a dream come true, or a present tailor-made for me. And it turned out to be the most fascinating show of the year -- a true mystery that you could never predict from week to week what you would see. I didn't love the abstract episode 8 as much as most other people did, and all the stuff with Dougie went on too long for me, but it was such an unexpected gift to see some of the familiar and beloved characters one last time, get wrap-ups and even some happy endings for their stories, and expand the mythology of the original series and movie. Kyle McLachlan absolutely killed it playing at least three distinct characters, and the eventual return of the real Agent Cooper was my favorite moment of this entire lovely year. And then we got that ending, which I didn't see coming and I'm still not thrilled with, but I guess I should not have been surprised. Nothing is perfect, and in fact most things in life are going to be dreadful, but those fleeting moments of brilliance, happiness, humor, and heart along the way make it all worthwhile. drat fine show. Kudos to McLachlan, Mark Frost, and especially David Lynch for bestowing this gift upon us. Twin Peaks was not only my favorite show of the year, but my cultural event of the year, like discovering the Hamilton original cast recording was in 2016.

Big Bad Voodoo Lou fucked around with this message at 21:08 on Dec 30, 2017


Big Bad Voodoo Lou
Jan 1, 2006

bagrada posted:

Updated my list as Happy just jumped on at #10. Might climb higher if there are more episodes before the Poll ends.

I enjoyed reading your list on the previous page, but you need to edit it, or the organizers won't count any of it.


4) I canít believe I have to make this rule but here we are. You HAVE to have ten shows on your list. No more, no less. It HAS to be in order from 10 to 1. 10, in this case is your LEAST FAVORITE SHOW. Repeating again: 10 IS YOUR LEAST FAVORITE SHOW, ASCENDING IN FAVORITISM TO 1 BEING YOUR FAVORITE SHOW OF 2017. It HAS to be numbered. You CANNOT list two shows within the same submission and expect your submission to be counted, even if they are complimentary shows. You MUST post your submission in comprehensible English. You MUST post your submission in one post. You cannot violate any of these rules and we will not count your submission or even link it if you donít. NONE OF THESE RULES ARE NEGOTIABLE.

Big Bad Voodoo Lou
Jan 1, 2006

Rarity, thank you for going to all this trouble. I looked forward to this poll the last few years, enjoy contributing, and really appreciate everything you put into it. I hate awards shows, but this is a real kick, and I realize it's no small undertaking.

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