My Top TV of 2017
First, before I get to the shows that I really rate from 2017, a couple of secondary categories
HAST THOU GOT CROPS IN, JETHRO?
Winners of the Hast Thou Got Crops In Jethro? Prize (for shows that shoehorn life lessons in in place of drama)
3 - The A Word (aka The Bumhole Word, a family in-joke, take no notice) - Last year's winner of the Psychiatry Disguised As Entertainment Award
2 - Love Lies and Records - The soundtrack to this show could be the sound of boxes being ticked. Every gender and ethnicity gets a suck of the sauce stick, and a spelling-out of how they should be treated fairly in a just and modern society gets covered. Actually jolly good fun, and I should imagine it's wound up The Daily Mail no end, but sadly the message rather consumes the medium.
1 - The Good Place - A fun comedy, with a great cast and big budget, but the most "lesson learned" show I've seen since The Wonder Years used to end every week with "And that's when I realised...". Every time.
The Top 5 Shows That Lost It in 2017
5 - Top Of The Lake - The first series was quite a while ago and it wasn't so good that it made it into my Top Ten of whatever year it was. But by god it wasn't as shark-jumpingly silly as this. The setting fire to the curtains episode? Exactly. Also full marks for the least convincing green-screen car travel scenes. (If they turn out to have been filmed in actual cars on actual roads, then even fuller marks for making it look so much like bad CGI).
4 - Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt - After 1 amazing series (No 4 in my 2015 chart) and a poorer 2nd (No 23 in 2016), this third series was so abysmal we gave up 3 episodes in
3 - The Get Down - Series 1 so good it was No 3 in my 2016 chart. This series had lost our interest by 2 lacklustre episodes and was given up on, not only by us, but by Baz Luhrmann too
2 - Fargo - I've had people telling me it was their favourite series, and parts of it were ground-breakingly excellent. But in comparison to its predecessors (No 3 in 2014 and No 6 in 2015 respectively) it was such a mess I felt it was best to give it pride of place in this list rather than lurk ignominiously in the Bubbling Under section
1 - The Walking Dead - What a bloody awful season of Walking Dead this Autumn's farrago has been. I mean, obviously, we keep watching it cos it's now much more of a soap opera than a miniseries, and we've seen it come back from the brink of oblivion before now like some kind of... some kind of dead creature that comes back to life there's probably a word for it.
Things we watched & would love to have liked more (or, in some cases, even remember, though I made a note of them at the time, so they can't have been atrocious)
Babs, Kat & Alfie Redwater, Count Arthur Strong 2, Sherlock, Victoria 2, Line Of Duty 4, Apple Tree Yard, Triptank, The Loch, The Moorside, Hospital People (least said soonest mended), Witness for the Prosecution, Trust Me, Liar, The Durrells, Howard's End, Taboo (lasted one episode, silly voice), Back (lasted one episode, bored). There were more. (This list has been amended since I first posted it, having remembered some things I'd forgotten forgetting).
We watch them without fail, and they've not lost it yet. But they'd have to be brand new to qualify.
Only Connect, University Challenge, Pointless Celebrities, Strictly Come Dancing, HIGNFY, The Daily Show, Dick Van Dyke Show (we're onto the second season, where Dick may or may not trip up over a stool in the title sequence. Check it out on Netflix)
Line Of Duty 4, The Replacement, No Offence, Car Share 2, Dr Foster 2, Alias Grace, Porridge
So what have I ranked as my Top 25 TV Shows of 2017? Stay tuned...
Kev F Sutherland, as well as writing and drawing for The Beano, Marvel, Doctor Who et al, runs Comic Art Masterclasses in schools, libraries and art centres - email for details, and follow him on Facebook and Twitter. View the promo video here.
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