Top 5 New TV Shows of 2017 – At a time where it seems like the whole world is crashing down around in a complete circus of hate and uncertainty, we really need something to help escape these unfortunate realities. Luckily, the new year is also bringing a barrage of thrilling and fascinating new shows for us to lose our troubles in. That being said, here are the ones you definitely need to watch out for before your family and coworkers fill your head with spoilers:
1. A Series of Unfortunate Events – January 13, 2017 (Netflix)
For many of us this series of incredibly disheartening and endless tragedies that the Baudelaire orphans were forced to endure were the morbid, and significant, hallmark of our troubled childhoods. When Netflix decided to pick up the series, after the initial movie failed to produce a sequel, our hearts were once pounding with fear and excitement in equal measure. Yet, even for the most devoted book reader, Netflix has managed to keep the series in line with the original plot, while still changing some surprising elements to compel the mostly adult audience. However, what really ties the show together is Neil Patrick Harris’ hilarious portrayal of the wicked Count Olaf, a role he was clearly born to play and that he clearly enjoys.
2. The Young Pope – January 15, 2017 (HBO)
Most of think Pope Francis is a pretty laid back, dare we even say cool, pope. Yet, looking past that oxymoron, poor old Francis is about to be blown out of the water by the newest pope in the Vatican. Perfectly camouflaging his accent, Jude Law plays a new young American pope who is ready to go to any lengths possible to consolidate his immense power over about a fifth of the world’s Catholic population. Though Law is not the only titan of fame in the series. Diane Keaton plays his surrogate mother, and feisty nun ally, who helps to stabilize his control over the institution. As addicting as this series is, it only has ten episodes so far. Yet, it’s favourable reviews from Europe means it’s already been approved for a second season, so feel free to get attached.
3. Riverdale – January 26, 2017 (The CW)
Who among us did not indulge in the Archie comics and shook our head at the repeated food-related antics of Jughead, while across town his best friend constantly yo-yoed hs affection between two catty young women? Yeah, both Veronica and Betty could have done better. Thankfully though, when the CW chose to readapt the series from a comedy (you now if we ignore all the sexism) to a murder mystery thriller. While the series features the mostly same assemblage of wacky characters, their dark storylines promise to keep us both guessing and interested.
4. Powerless – February 2, 2017 (NBC)
Capitalizing on the whole superhero frenzy trend we cannot seem to shake, the DC world produced its first comedy. However, in a shake up of the genre, the story actually decides not to focus on the heroes this time. Instead, the series centers on the little guy who happens to work for these great costumed macho men. Set at Wayne Security, the series stars Vanessa Hudgens, Danny Pudi, Ron Funches, as the powerless top level employees who clean up the collateral damage the superhero leaves behind after he’s done fighting crime for the day. Though we will have to wait to see it’s comedic value, it is refreshing to see a show promoting the idea that you do not need to be special or particularly powerful in any way in order to be a hero.
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5. The Handmaid’s Tale – April 26, 2017 (Hulu)
As far as the literary community of Canada is concerned, Margaret Atwood is a national treasure. So when one of her most famous books was developed into a tv series it was instantly buzzworthy. Set in a dystopian world where women are viewed as mere brooding mares, are stripped of any civil rights and are held under absolute authoritarian control, a resistance of women fight to gain their own agency. At a time when women in general are feeling particularly threatened and vulnerable where their rights are concerned, this work is more relevant than ever and a profound reminder of what happens when we start sacrificing one another for the “greater good.” With a star studded cast, and a overwhelmingly praised storyline, it seems likely to be this year’s hit.