It’s been a great year for TV.
Mr. Robot season 3: This season was the “Empire Strikes Back” season of the show. I know it is cliché to overuse THAT but hey...The bad guys won, the heroes resolved to fight another day, and a villain for the first part of the next chapter came into play. Hell, there was even an “I am your father” reveal. Season 4 is already greatly anticipated.
The Good Place season 2: This show is too smart for regular broadcast TV. It's going to end up getting cancelled. A comedy structured like a thriller, packed with existential philosophy, and all squeezed into 20-odd minute episodes. Season 2 was fantastic. You need to be watching this!
Legion season 1: Legion was a show that absolutely blew away every preconceived notion I ever had about the X-men franchise and comic book shows on TV in general. Aubrey Plaza is NEXT LEVEL.
Stranger Things season 2: The sophomore season met the hype and demands of its fanbase. It left me as excited for the next season as I felt after watching the first one. “Stranger Things” is a pinnacle of television that has, and will, continue to dominate its league in pop culture.
But probably the most rewarding television I experienced this year was The Leftovers.
I experienced the fascinating, but often deeply frustrating first season. The stunning, glorious second season and finally the beautiful, surreal and often downright hilarious final season. 28 episodes of pure television brilliance.
Season 3 was remarkable because there was such a fantastic variety of episodes in such a wonderfully short space of time. We got the catch up episode, an episode heavily about Nora, a comedy episode about Scott Glenn in Australia, the Melbourne Take on me episode, the one where Matt chats to “God,” an episode about suicide, a nutty international assassin episode and then the big ending. No episode repeated ground. No time was wasted. The pacing was perfect. The tone was constantly varying to keep us hooked and all the major character and narrative beats that properly mattered across the series got wrapped up nicely.
Season 3 also fulfilled the promise that season 2 sort of punked out on when it went from an “Everyone is at the center of his/her own world” theme in the early episodes to a “Never mind, Kevin is the one big magical savior” thing by the season finale. The final season didn’t abandon the messianic stuff with Kevin, but it turned it back into a personal story that didn’t require us to believe that he was the key to everything that happened—indeed, that exposed the dangers of assuming there’s a special someone out there who can solve all your problem for you. (“You just got the wrong Kevin.”)
And…Carrie Coon. Let me rant for a moment.
Carrie Coon deserves a place in television history for this show.
It has be said, lest the critical mainstream forget about her or lose her in the flurry of "underrated performances" or do anything short of inducting her into the pantheon of all-time great TV actors. She's right up there with James Gandolfini or Bryan Cranston or Dennis Franz or anyone else you want to name. What she did across these three seasons — what she got to do — was nothing short of titanic. I can think of no American actor I'm more excited about the prospect of seeing again in things. I know for a fact I'm far from the only one who feels that way. And she got there with, what, three major credits? I don't know what else to call that but genius. Carrie Coon is a genius. I have no doubt that she'll go on to have one of the most brilliant acting careers of anyone in her generation, and, who knows, maybe even exceed her work as Nora Durst at some point.
The Leftovers is one of the greatest shows of all time. I would even argue that it is the only HBO show in this decade whose quality came the closest to the Golden Trinity of HBO (Sopranos, The Wire, and Deadwood). Thank you Lindelof, Perotta and HBO for giving us this extremely risky show which could have fell on it’s face but instead became something that was unforgettable.
The Bestest TV:
The Leftovers season 3
Mr Robot season 3
The Good Place season 2
Legion season 1
Stranger Things season 2
The Bestest 2017 Films:
The Shape Of Water
The Bestest 2017: Comic Books
Jeff Lemire's Black Hammer, Roughneck & A.D.
Dave Chisholm Instrumental
Ed Brubaker Kill Or Be Killed
The Bestest 2017: Video Games
Horizon Zero Dawn
The Bestest 2017: Music
Vince Staples Big Fish Theory
Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings Soul of A Woman
Brockhampton Saturation 1-3
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