We're only halfway through 2017 – and in so many ways, these past six months that have felt like years. But what a strange and wondrous time for TV it's been, with so many different kinds of shows breaking new ground, inventing new genres, spinning new stories. Week after week, the sheer abundance of crucial TV can be dizzying. But these 12 shows are the best of the best – a lean, mean and dirty dozen. From the Young Pope to the Black Lodge, from surreal science-fiction theology to foulmouthed comedy, these are the year's most rewarding TV creations so far.