12 Best TV Shows of 2017 So Far

From the Young Pope to the Black Lodge – the cream of the TV crop that's already made 2017 a banner year for the small screen

'American Gods' (Starz)

Like so many of 2017's finest TV successes, American Gods is a psychedelic spree that looks like it was designed to beat down any attempt to describe it coherently. Michael Green and Bryan Fuller (the latter with Hannibal's blood still fresh on his hands) turns Neil Gaiman's 2001 novel into an outlandish theological fantasy – this is a show where Gillian "Scully" Anderson appearing in glam drag as David Bowie in the "Life on Mars" video might be the most straight-down-the-middle moment. It has a host of deities – Jesus as a Mexican immigrant walking across the Rio Grande, Bilquis as an Iranian disco queen, Odin as Deadwood's Ian MacShane – who turn the trick of inspiring (or scamming) human beings into believing in them. They're often angry gods, but as Orlando Jones' Anansi says, "Angry gets shit done."