Once again, I watched a bustle full of new TV shows. New shows to me, not that they all were new in 2017.
The problem you see, is Netflix. Seven of these are original Netflix TV shows. Cannot. Resist. Temptation.
Let’s break it down.
1) The Good Place (Season 1: 13 episodes) – Ted Danson and Kristen Bell! In the afterlife! Kristen’s character goes to Heaven, but she’s not supposed to be there. Absurdity and hilarity reigns. And it’s great.
2) Luther (Series 1-4: 16 episodes) – This has been on my list of shows to check out for some time, and I”m glad I finally caught up. Idris Elba is a conflicted detective (law-breaker?) that will stop at nothing to catch the bad guys, including befriending one. They ended the run after four series (as per UK’s taxonomy), but have recently announced a Series 5!
3) iZombie (Seasons 1-2: 32 episodes) – Oh wow, if you’re looking for a Veronica Mars meets Buffy the Vampire Slayer fix, this is as far as you need to go! Rob Thomas (one of the developers of Veronica Mars) has brought back the same attitude with this ‘turn into a zombie and live among us in Seattle’ premise. It doesn’t hurt that many of the principle characters also went to the University of Washington.
4) Ozark (Season 1: 10 episodes) – Maybe Breaking Bad light, but still a fascinating look at desperation and trying to protect your family. Jason Bateman is pretty good as a shady, disaffected man suddenly seeking redemption.
5) Mystery Science Theater 3000 The Return (Season 1: 14 episodes) – I’ve always been a fan of the first version with Joel Hodgson, and the zany antics and witty banter over terrible movies is still funny to this day. The new cast does a good job, and some of the not-to-be-missed episodes include: Cry Wilderness (Sasquatch!) and Starcrash (epic Star Wars rip off!). Also, now Tom Servo can fly. High jinks ensue.
6) The OA (Season 1: 8 episodes) – I’m torn with this show. I really, really enjoyed the slow burn mystery and the characters and everything really, until the end, which I still don’t quite understand. I want to say it was brilliant, but in hindsight I don’t know if that ending payed off. Yet. Either way, it was worth the binge. There will be a second season.
7) Mindhunter (Season 1: 10 episodes) – I liked it, but didn’t love it. It’s interesting to see an inspiration for the Hannibal Lecter character in Silence of the Lambs play out in real life.
8) The Defenders (Season 1: 8 episodes) – For all the build up to this, it was merely decent not great. And way too much Iron Fist stuff (one Netflix-Marvel show I haven’t watched). The best part is a snarky Jessica Jones.
9) Dark Matter (Seasons 1-2: 26 episodes) – I like science fiction and this is a solid entry. This list is a ranking compared to other shows, so it doesn’t mean I didn’t like it. If you’re missing your Battlestar Galactica or Firefly types, this won’t reach that level, but it will entertain you.
10) Luke Cage (Season 1: 13 episodes) – This is not half bad, but it could have easily been 10 episodes instead of 13 and been better for it. The villain arc in the first half of the run was great (Mahershala Ali as Cottonmouth is brilliant), but the second half arc with Diamondback was not good at all.
11) Bill Nye Saves the World (Season 1: 13 episodes) – Meh. I like the concept. I like what he’s trying to do, but the guest panels were way too short to be effective and there were often awkward silences or too much of a ‘Ra Ra Can Do’ attitude. Check it out, it may get better. And you still learn stuff.