It’s the time of year where we all feel the need to rank things for some reason, and here is a list of TV shows I liked this year. My personal rules for this list are that I have to have seen all of the most recent season, or at least be up to date on what’s aired in Australia. I added that second part because otherwise I wouldn’t be allowed to put Jane the Virgin on there. I haven’t seen any of Halt and Catch Fire, but the final season hasn’t aired in Australia either, so the point is moot.
I have a version of a Top 10 Shows of 2017 list floating around, but it’s been very difficult to write, for one specific reason: I stopped watching shows mid-season – not because I disliked them, but through a combination of general apathy and then exhaustion depending on whether or not I was working at the time.* One of the things that got left behind was Master of None. I had screeners for the show, and I think I managed to watch the first five before its release. I watched the next two over that weekend and didn’t finish the season until December 28. It’s one of the best shows of 2017.
It’s the last streaming guide for the year, and the first for 2018! Television doesn’t take a break for Christmas, and this week’s guide focused on three new seasons of television. Season 11 of The X-Files starts next week, and reviews have been pretty good! I haven’t seen an episode of The X-Files, mainly because it’s licenced to Foxtel. We have Foxtel, but it’s also connected to the television, and I don’t think I could convince my family that we should be watching The X-Files when the cricket is on.
In other news, Netflix is dropping the fourth season of Black Mirror today, and I watched the episode “USS Callister”. I don’t do this television thing full time (although I have been on holiday), so I need to make time to watch screeners. In choosing which episode of the new season to watch (I’d like to thank Charlie Brooker for making an anthology series), I consulted Sonia Saraiya’s review over on Variety. “USS Callister” is a story inspired by Star Trek about male entitlement that lands very well based on what we’ve learned over the past few months. Jesse Plemons is perfectly cast, and I love Cristin Milioti in everything she does – yes, even A to Z. The final season of How I Met Your Mother has a lot of problems, but it brought Cristin Milioti to television, and she’s always great.
Finally, Stan is dropping its Romper Stomper miniseries on New Year’s Day. I’ve seen the first episode, and it’s not as tone-deaf as I worried it would be. At the same time, it’s a show I’m not willing to pass judgment on until I’ve seen more, or heard the opinions of people of colour. The concerns raised when Stan announced this show were warranted – the current political environment is toxic, and seeing that reflected on screen isn’t necessarily a good thing. On the other hand, I’m aware of my own privilege. My hope is that ABC’s Screen Time (one of the best additions to the Australian TV landscape in 2017) covers this in 2018, because their diverse panel will give the kind of insight I’m looking for. There is also an anti-fascist organisation called “Anti-Fash,” which is a hilariously bad name. You’re writers, you can do better than that.
Also Groundhog Day is dropping on January 1. Couldn’t Netflix wait a month (and a day) and drop it on the actual Groundhog Day?
Well, I said I’d write Riverdale recaps if I got screeners, and I got one today! I got a notification for a screener for last week’s episode, but it didn’t work (also it was only a day before the episode dropped, so it would have been close anyway). So, here we are, with our two couples broken up and the possibility of Betty and Archie happening. Which by the way isn’t allowed, because Bughead forever. Also Betty did a pole dance? I haven’t watched last week’s episode after I heard about that, I couldn’t do it. Let’s move on.
(Before anything happens, I should read the email to check what I can and can’t tell you.)