Another year has passed in the ‘golden age of television’ and our online-streaming overlords have only become more powerful. Have a look at some of our writers’ favourite shows from this year:
Netflix parodies its own with American Vandal, a mockumentary in the style of Making a Murderer. The series follows high school student Peter Maldonado as he investigates the mystery of “who did the dicks” – which of his peers was behind the prank of spray-painting male genitalia on every single car in the faculty parking lot. The show explores the true crime genre’s rise to fame in a thought-provoking way, whilst not compromising on humour and manages to provide an engrossing narrative from start to finish.
By Serena Bhandari
Many great sitcoms, such as Yes Minister and Veep, owe their success to satirising those in positions of power. However, exponential technological advances have resulted in a shift of power from politicians to “geeks”. The masterfulness of Silicon Valley comes from being the first sitcom to satirise their actions, instead of simply their “geekiness”. Larger-than-life tech giants; ridiculous legal disputes; break-ups over preferred text editors; a food-identification machine-learning algorithm than can only differentiate between hotdogs and “not-hotdogs”; these characters, hiding behind screens of Linux terminals, are beginning to control our lives. Therefore, inevitably, Silicon Valley will see itself as a genre-defining, progressive piece of comedic genius.
By Dan Jacobson
It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia
The twelfth season of FXX’s cult comedy reaffirms It’s Always Sunny’s status as the show our era deserves. From the opening episode’s critique of race relations and their representation, through to a garbled view of Rickety Cricket’s PCP-induced hallucinations, this season continues its look at current issues, while doing more character development than most sitcoms would dare attempt. The standout episode has to be ‘The Gang Goes to a Water Park’, ranking as an instant classic, and the whole season’s experiment with form is incredibly bold. IASIP fully deserves the title of best television show of the year.
By Rafy Hay
We Bare Bears
2017 has been an unfortunate year; but solace is found in Daniel Chong’s animation We Bare Bears – a show about three bear siblings, Grizzly, Panda and Ice Bear who live in a cave in the San Francisco Bay Area. The series is insightful and unafraid to broach politically charged topics, like when the bears save a small business from rising rent or when Ice Bear is faced with the culture of toxic masculinity in the tech industry. Profound contemporary issues are portrayed in a palpable, wholesome way, which is not only refreshing but needed in the political climate we live in.
By Mathilde Xiao
Yes, this show is a cartoon about the celebrity and depression of an anthropomorphic horse. It is also the absolute epitome of prestige television. Bojack Horseman’s fourth season failed to stir up as much excitement as previous instalments, most likely a result of its formalistic experimentation, bolder than ever before. The show maintains a sharp political focus that has previously skewered abortion and presaged the Weinstein scandal, while also maintaining the tragic drama of its protagonist. How funny it is that a show almost entirely focused on animals ends up being amongst the most human on television.
By Jenna Mahale
Featured image credit: Bustle