It’s been a vintage year for TV, and with the end of June marking the half-way point, FANDOM editors and fan contributors have picked their favourites. So the following are the best TV shows of 2017, so far…
Legion – Lawrence Yee (Editor-in-Chief)
Haller is a tertiary character from Marvel’s X-Men Universe and therefore isn’t tied to — or down by — the increasingly bloated film franchise. Instead, Legion stands apart in story and style. Special effects are employed, but instead of optic blasts or lightning bolts, they depict the warped reality that is Haller’s fractured mind.
Showrunner Noah Hawley and visual effects supervisor John Ross both come from the network’s Fargo, giving Legion a retro-modern style similar to the one seen in X-Men: Days of Future Past but without being stuck in the 1970s.
Twin Peaks – Drew Deitsch (Entertainment Editor)
2017 has had an amazing run when it comes to television. This could have gone to Legion, Better Call Saul, Fargo, American Gods, The Handmaid’s Tale, Planet Earth II, and even more entries that would eat up my allotted word count. But it’s no real contest: 2017 brought Twin Peaks back in all its sublime and spellbinding glory.
This is 18 hours of new David Lynch. There’s no way it doesn’t win. This is auteur storytelling at its peak as well as a beautiful refutation of modern television conventions and mood. It’s not for everyone but it’s certainly for me.
Arrow – Mike Delaney (Community Development Associate)
I’ve loved Arrow from the beginning, but even I admit that it began to stagnate a little in previous seasons. Saying that, I always felt that even at its worst, Arrow was still better than a lot of shows. Season 5 only reinforces my belief.
The season-long Prometheus arc was well constructed, successfully pulling in elements from the show’s history but also managing to be extremely personal in focus. The flashbacks were once more a relevant part of the show, and my favourite supporting character, Anatoly Knyazev, returned. Arrow’s real strength this season is the ensemble cast. Arrow has always been at its best when the show uses supporting characters as effectively as they use Oliver Queen.
Season 5 proved to be a blistering return to form, and reminded me why Arrow redefined superhero television shows.
The Good Fight – Zuleika B (FANDOM Contributor)
After the infamous slap that Diane delivered to Alicia, The Good Wife bid farewell to its loyal viewers. It wasn’t long before the show would return, but this time as a spin-off series. And while the last few seasons of The Good Wife were a bit lackluster, The Good Fight deviates from the romantic and gives viewers a realistic political-legal drama series.
Unlike The Good Wife, The Good Fight and its characters concentrate on real-world events, such as the presidential election, police brutality, and racism. But most interesting of all is that the show’s focus is on more than just one character and their storyline. As a result, viewers have several other strong individuals to watch and invest their time in.
Line of Duty – Chris Tilly (Managing Editor)
It’s something of a golden age for British cop dramas at the moment, with the likes of Broadchurch, Happy Valley and No Offence wowing critics and audiences alike, and achieving huge ratings in the process. But for me, the best show in this current crop – and maybe the best British cop show of all-time – is Line of Duty.
A police procedural that follows the efforts of an anti-corruption unit to bring down bent cops, the show launched in 2012, and has thus far run for four seasons, every one of which has been tense, gripping, and full of jaw-dropping twists and turns thanks to the brilliant writing, producing and directing of showrunner Jed Mercurio.
And the most recent run was no different. Martin Compston, Vicky McClure and the imperious Adrian Dunbar were good as ever as the officers endeavouring to bring down other officers. But it was Thandie Newton who stole the show as DCI Roz Huntley, a character that had the audience questioning her intentions early in proceedings, then shouting at the TV as the finale approached. It was sublime stuff, and Season 5 can’t come quick enough.
Fortitude – Kim Taylor-Foster (Entertainment Editor)
If you thought the first Season of Fortitude went to some crazy places, strap yourself in for Season 2. A blend of The Thing and Twin Peaks with a dash of Scandi drama, Fortitude has a dark, dark sense of humour and some absolutely tremendous scenes of gory horror.
In Season 2, everything stepped up a gear, with Richard Dormer’s Police Chief Dan Anderssen taking centre stage in a story that offers up a weird and wonderful progression from the plot of Season 1. And sees a man, in graphic detail, CUTTING OFF OWN PENIS. Eeps. Shocking and gruesome but oh so bloody good.
The Keepers – Samantha Loveridge (Gaming Editor)
If you like true crime, including podcasts like My Favourite Murder and Last Podcast on the Left or TV shows like Making a Murderer, then The Keepers is a must-watch. It tackles the unsolved murder of Sister Cathy Cesnik, a nun and Catholic high school teacher in Baltimore, and tells the story of those still looking for answers.
But this brilliantly put together documentary isn’t just about Sister Cathy; it also unearths a deeply saddening spate of sexual abuse in the school Sister Cathy taught at.
It’s a horrific set of stories told expertly well and deserves your attention.
The Expanse – R.W.V. Mitchell (FANDOM Contributor)
Based on the novels by James S.A. Corey, The Expanse is a space opera that will make you want to grab your Viking-horned space helmet and sing along with abandon. Set in our near future, the show imagines the humble, gritty beginnings of humanity’s colonization of our star system. The humans of The Expanse brought all of their petty squabbles to the stars, with the loosely-affiliated settlements of the asteroid belt caught in the crossfire of a thermonuclear power struggle between Earth and Mars.
In the sophomore season, Shoreh Aghdashloo continues to dominate the screen with her delicious voice as Chrisjen Avasarala, and Frankie Adams is captivating as a no-nonsense Martian marine. Thomas Jane, too, absolutely inhabits the role of neo-noir space cop Josephus Miller. His quixotic quest to save a missing heiress irreversibly catapults Earth, Mars, and the Belt into a new era. Now is the perfect time to jump in: you can watch the first season on Netflix, and catch up with the second on Syfy Now in the states. Help a beratna out and tune in, kopeng.