The 10 best TV shows of 2017
Christmas is over and 2018 is on the horizon. This means it’s time for our annual round-up of the best television that graced our screens in 2017.
From fantasy stalwart Game of Thrones to David Attenborough’s acclaimed return to the Blue Planet series, here our favourite television series of the year.
10. Peaky Blinders
We’re always gluttons for a new series of Peaky Blinders and the fourth outing of Thomas Shelby and his cronies totally delivered. Peaky Blinders is always a showcase slick production values, gritty story-lines and truly terrific acting, making it one of the best British series there are.
9. Game of Thrones
Yet again Game of Thrones makes this list, and really that’s because it really is one of the best shows on television ever. Season seven saw a full break away from George R. R. Martin’s novels, venturing into unchartered territory and rewarding long-suffering viewers with character development, plot progression and stunning visuals. Was the plot uneven? At times, yes. That does not take much from a series that has been a commercial and critical triumph from the start.
Unlike some other shows on this list, Broken‘s power was in its ability to quietly pause and examine the world and particularly the place of religion within it. The poignant series examined how small notions of kindness can change the world. In a fantastic performance, Sean Bean starred as a priest who grapples with his own past as religion as he strives to be the best version of himself in a difficult society.
One of the brightest British comedies for years from the writing talents of Graham Linehan and Sharon Horgan. Striking a chord with middle-class parents across the country, this brilliant sitcom depicted the battlefield that is competitive parenting – with many a laugh on the way.
6. Born to Kill
Intense psychological thriller Born to Kill aired to critical acclaim earlier this year on Channel 4. Not for the light-hearted, Born to Kill examined the psychology of a teenage psychopath as he fell in love for the first time. The series was intense, terrifying and extremely difficult to stop watching – dominating weird water cooler conversation all across the country.
This inspired drama was unexpectedly brilliant, combining the talents of Glee star Jonathan Groff with producers Charlize Theron and David Fincher. It’s about the birth of criminal profiling in America, starring Groff as an FBI Agent who realises examining the minds of those who commit atrocious crimes may actually be the key to preventing future monsters before they act. From the writing, to the acting, to the period – this drama is powerful, unconventional and masterful.
4. Big Little Lies
Hollywood superstars Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman and Shailene Woodley took the centre stage in this HBO drama which told the story of three seemingly perfect mothers whose lives begin to unravel. Based on the bestselling 2014 novel by Liane Moriarty, Big Little Lies perfectly depicted the dark, comedic and thought-provoking tale.
3. The Good Place
Although The Good Place started on American network NBC in 2016, 2017 was the year most Brits became familiar with it after it arrived on Netflix. From concept to execution to acting, this is comedy on top form. Kristin Bell stars as an immoral woman who mistakenly arrives in heaven, where she must learn to blend in lest she be discovered. There’s a twist, however. There are a lot of twists – and laughs.
2. Blue Planet II
David Attenborough’s visually stunning return to the Blue Planet series is a masterpiece deserving of anybody’s shelf space. This truly astonishing documentary series journeys once more under the deep blue sea in search of the ocean’s most fascinating sea life, using state of the art technology to capture images never before seen on television.
1. The Handmaid’s Tale
A powerful adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s powerful 1985 novel of the same name, arriving right on time to shed light and provide food-for-thought on Donald Trump’s America. The Handmaid’s Tale was both beautiful and horrible to watch, examining terrible human questions and presenting a bleak outlook at a very topical time.