My Top 20 TV Shows of 2017 (That I’ve Seen)

I haven’t come up with any good “top 10” type lists lately. Probably because as a parent, I am not really in much of a position to absorb all the fun pop culture related things that typically form these lists. We have seen exactly one new movie in the theater this year (La La Land) and really that was a 2016 movie. I don’t really listen to current music either. My XM radio is tuned to either CNN, the 80s or 90s stations, or holiday music.

The one thing I can chime in on is TV. Granted, I have not seen everything. I have heard of—but am not familiar with—the big names up for Golden Globes, like “Big Little Lies” or “The Handmaid’s Tale” or “This Is Us.”

So, here are my top 20 shows of 2017 based on what I’ve seen, which again is like the very tip of the iceberg of what’s out there.

  1. Nathan For You (Comedy Central)
  2. Better Call Saul (AMC)
  3. Game of Thrones (HBO)
  4. Stranger Things (Netflix)
  5. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (Netflix)
  6. Review (Comedy Central)
  7. Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO)
  8. Curb Your Enthusiasm (HBO)
  9. Friends From College (Netflix)
  10. Wet Hot American Summer: Ten Years Later (Netflix)
  11. The Late Show with Stephen Colbert (CBS)
  12. Silicon Valley (HBO)
  13. Dateline NBC (NBC)
  14. Saturday Night Live (NBC)
  15. Always Sunny (FX)
  16. Fargo (FX)
  17. Bloodline (Netflix)
  18. The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon (NBC)
  19. Ozark (Netflix)
  20. Shameless (Showtime)

So, Nathan For You wins easily. The season (series?) finale was my favorite episode of a TV show this year as well. I think you can stream the episodes online, so I’d head over to Comedy Central and do just that if you’re unfamiliar with the series. It’s a reality show but in a mocking sort of way, where host Nathan “helps” small businesses with asinine ideas. Sometimes the show goes with a different format, like in the finale, where Nathan goes on a road trip with a professional Bill Gates impersonator to find his long-lost love. Brilliant! When I reached out to Thrillist author John Sellers regarding his top 50 shows of 2017, he told me he omitted Nathan For You because it wasn’t scripted, but he agreed with me that the finale was “next level.”

Better Call Saul is almost every bit as good as Breaking Bad, and had us on the edge of our seats each week wondering what would happen to Jimmy, Kim Wexler, and crazy brother Chuck. Game of Thrones, of course, was great, once we fully caught up on the previous seasons that we hadn’t seen until now.

I had to throw a few wild cards into the mix to get to 20, like the late-night talk shows and even Dateline NBC, which I swear I get sucked into every time I land on NBC for one reason or another.

Of course, the vast majority of the time I spent staring at a TV in 2017 was watching Dick Bremer call Minnesota Twins games on Fox Sports North.

Agree? Disagree? Have any favorites I should add to my queue for 2018? Let me know in the comments!

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