In this era of peak TV, it’s difficult to find the best shows. But fear not! Hypable is here to tune you in to the best new shows of 2017. Time to get binging!
This article is part of Hypable’s 12 Days of Fandom, a celebration of 2017 and a preview of 2018. See new content every day from December 14 through Christmas!
From Netflix to Amazon, ABC to Fox, there were several amazing new television shows that premiered all over the TV landscape. Here are the ones that we believe were the best. Here’s to another exciting year of TV in 2018!
The Best New TV Shows of 2017
‘Mindhunter’ on Netflix
To be honest, when I first finished Mindhunter, I didn’t think it was one of my favorite shows of the year. It was fantastic, don’t get me wrong, but there has been so much quality content lately that I was surprised I finally landed on this one. What solidified it was the fact that after the show was over, I kept thinking about it. Not just about what would come next, but about what had already happened. Mindhunter explores the birth of serial killer classifications. Holden Ford (Jonathan Groff) and Bill Tench (Holt McCallany) interview serial killers for the FBI in order to build a database of characteristics. Not only does Holden find this fascinating on its own, but he comes to realize they can use what they’ve already discovered to help profile and eventually catch serial killers who are running rampant in the United States. If you like psychological media, Mindhunter will be perfect for you, and it should come as no surprise that Netflix has once again knocked it out of the park. – Karen
‘Big Little Lies’ on HBO
For me, in terms of just pop culture impact, this is the show of the year. Adapted from a breezy beach read, it didn’t seem anyone was anticipating the juggernaut this would become, garnering a whopping eight Emmy awards and landing six Golden Globe nominations.
It’s really no wonder, though, considering the miracle of a cast this show assembled. Nicole Kidman, Reese Witherspoon, Laura Dern and the rest just absolutely chew up the scenery and transform a soap opera into something much deeper and meaningful. The way creator David E. Kelly and director Jean-Marc Vallee (Dallas Buyers Club, Wild) weave a tapestry of intrigue into one of the most talked-about finales of the year, a stunning crescendo of emotion and craft, is awe-inspiring.
And it’s also the show of this cultural moment we’re going through. In a year of women telling their stories, this is a show that rallies behind a group of women who, even when they’re at each other’s throats, have each other’s backs in a moment of crisis. The killer of an ending speaks larger volumes, as if the patriarchy itself was shoved down a flight of stairs and not just Alexander Skarsgard. – Brandon
‘The Marvelous Ms. Maisel’ on Amazon
From Amy Sherman-Palladino, the creator of Gilmore Girls and Bunheads, comes The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel – the story of Midge Maisel, a 1950s housewife who pursues a career as a stand-up comedian after her husband leaves her.
Those familiar with Sherman-Palladino’s other work will feel right at home in Mrs. Maisel’s world – one full of quirky characters, complicated family dynamics, and fast-paced dialogue. Led by a remarkable Rachel Brosnahan (House of Cards), the show captures a certain undeniable and irresistible charm, one that will remind you of how good it feels to laugh.
With a first season of only eight episodes streaming on Amazon Prime, once you start The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, you won’t want to stop until you finish. It’s a bright spot to will help you to finish out the year on good terms, a nice reminder that 2017 wasn’t all bad. – Aaron
‘American Gods’ on Starz
How much can I write about the beauty and captivating television spectacle that was American Gods? It shook me to the core with its ability to lift the words from Neil Gaiman’s acclaimed novel and put them on screen. If you see one episode of this show, make it “Head Full of Snow.” It breathes new life into two of the most beautiful interactions of the first third of the novel — Shadow and Mr. Wednesday robbing a bank, and Salim and the Jinn finding one another.
All of this is due in large part to the creative team behind the camera — Bryan Fuller, Michael Green, the writing staff, the music supervisors, and the costume department. The episodes are full course meals that deserve to be given time and one’s full attention. And although Tech Boy would prefer that you live tweet every minute of the show, there is too much unfolding on screen that demands your attention. Watch it, worship it. – Brittany
‘Ozark’ on Netflix
When described as Breaking Bad but with Jason Bateman, naturally you’ll have your doubts. But Ozark stands on its own two feet with simmering tension that repeatedly boils over and keeps you coming back for more.
Nothing is easy in Ozark, not even your ability to form an opinion on a character. Just when you think you know what’s going on, what will happen, and what you think of a particular character, revelations swiftly turn the tables to make you rethink what you thought you knew.
Though Ozark is melancholic and bleak, it’s not without dark humor, frequently delivered in Bateman’s familiar sarcastic, flat manner. Alongside Bateman is Laura Linney, unsurprisingly an equal match and perfect opposite in her often frenzied state to Bateman’s cool composure. But the real treat is Julia Garner’s Ruth, and her character’s development throughout the season. – Katie
‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ on Hulu
I’ve gone on about the miraculous accomplishments of The Handmaid’s Tale before, but this show is so good, it bears repeating. Forget all of the forces beyond the show’s control — the 2016 election, the rise of defiant women in popular culture, the movement against harassment and violence. These things enhance the final product, but they do not define it.
Much like the women whose stories it tells, The Handmaid’s Tale is ultimately self-defining. It is an immersive and at times horrific storytelling experience, messaging as much through familiar imagery of resistance as it does through the language of blinks and tightening lips, of unfocused gazes and the twitch of a finger. The series is political, yes. Yes, it conveys valuable messages of feminism and defiance.
But most importantly, The Handmaid’s Tale is about where power comes from, and not what is done with it. Brute, bigoted strength has built Gilead, but it is the power generated by the force against its victims that germinates its own end. Rape, bodily violence, and death are ultimately exterior harms; true power comes from within the oppressed, and that is where The Handmaid’s Tale ultimately lives.
Make no mistake — I never want to watch a single episode of season 1 again! But that singular, devastating experience was the most powerful and instructive television experience I felt all year, and I still feel its power resonating with me today. – Michal
‘Runaways’ on Hulu
The superhero landscape is as saturated on the small screen as it is in theaters. Not a day goes by before we hear of another adaptation in development and, while your mileage may vary on how successful these shows are, Runaways appeared to just be another in a very, very long line.
But the idea of a Runaways adaptation had been around since before Iron Man changed the recent superhero landscape, and the possibility continued to linger. As a fan of the comics, I held onto hope that one day, one day, I’d finally get to see them come to life. And, thanks to Hulu, that long-held hope became a reality this year.
I’ll admit that I had high expectations for Runaways, especially after the cast was announced, and it was with some nervousness that I watched the first few episodes. I needn’t have worried, however. Despite some deviations from the source material, Runaways has by far been my favorite Marvel TV adaptation to date. The pace is a little more sedate than the comic, but that works entirely in its favour, expanding on aspects from the original and providing a richer story.
Plus, what’s not to love about a diverse teen drama, mixed with the supernatural, aliens, technology, and pet dinosaurs? – Donya
‘Riverdale’ on The CW
Riverdale is my favorite new TV show of 2017 for so many reasons. First of all, I’ve always loved the world and characters of the Archie comics. They’re absolutely iconic and have definitely stood the test of time. Even though I knew the TV show would take licenses with the characters, I was very excited to get to see them in a high school drama series.
Also, I’ve basically been begging for a Gossip Girl replacement since the show ended, and Riverdale has certainly come close to achieving that status. The wonderful melodrama, romance, and friendship is so delicious and it’s only enhanced by the small-town mystery theme of Riverdale. – Kendra
‘Big Mouth’ on Netflix
Big Mouth is not a normal cartoon. In fact, it is probably one of the most accurate depictions of puberty that has ever appeared on screen, and one of the top shows to never watch alone with your parents. It’s unabashedly crude, awkward, weirdly random (I mean the kids are given terrible advice from the ghost of Duke Ellington, of all people) but somehow through it all, the realism rings through.
The show probably dives deeper into the explicitly of puberty than one thought they’d ever wanted, but it also begs the question of why it isn’t shown in middle school sex-ed classes. Although the show is likely too mature for most 12-year-olds to ever be shown in school, the topics are handled with care. Instead of going for the gross-out humor, Big Mouth tries to normalize the experience. The characters aren’t sex obsessed but rather simply yearn for understanding, empathy, acceptance, and intimacy.
Big Mouth is one of the best new shows of 2017 because it doesn’t shy away from the one thing every person goes through, yet is never properly talked about. Just when you think you know all you can about your confusing adolescence years, Big Mouth reminds us you can never be too old learn a thing or two about the birds and the bees! – Emily
‘The Mayor’ on ABC
ABC’s newest comedy is a glimmer of hope in our current dour political climate paired with a disappointing line-up of new fall shows. The series stars Brandon Michael Hall as an up-and-coming rap artist who ran in the mayoral election exclusively to gain popularity for his career. Little did he know, the love he has for his hometown of Fort Grey, California and its citizens built him into the exceptional leader we see each week.
What really, really got me about this series is the way it twisted the results of the horrid 2016 election – where an entertainer who seemed a laughable candidate actually won – into a force of joyous hope for change and inspiration in knowing that we, the people, actually can make a difference when we come together. With fan-favorites Yvette Nicole Brown (Community, Drake & Josh) and Lea Michele (Glee, Scream Queens), and the hilarious Bernard David Jones and Marcel Spears, The Mayor succeeds as an uplifting comedy that inspires its viewers to engage and create change no matter how big or small both political and not.
After spending the majority of 2017 waking up to insane and distressing new stories, The Mayor (like our most recent elections) reminds us that there are still good people in office fighting for us and that we also must participate ourselves.
The Mayor just aired an excellent Christmas special and you can catch up now exclusively on Hulu! – Nate
‘The Mick’ on Fox
There were a lot of incredible shows this year from streaming sites and cable networks. Network television had a less stellar performance. But Fox delivered a little comedy gem early this year that has wormed its way into my heart. The Mick was one of my favorite shows this year. It seems like a lifetime ago that The Mick premiered, but its first episode debuted on January 1, 2017.
Throughout this whole year, The Mick has made me laugh. It has characters that are funny and relatable. I watch a lot of TV with a critical eye. I want to engage in a dialogue with my media, to learn from new perspectives and criticize what doesn’t hold up. That’s not a bad way to consume media. But with The Mick, I feel like I can relax.
None of the characters on the show — especially not the adults — have their lives together, which makes me feel okay that my life is a bit of a mess sometimes, too. The show is a safe place I can go to get a good laugh after a long day of school, work, and general adulting. – Erica