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

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'I Love Dick' (Amazon)

A cheap holiday in other people's misery. Jill Soloway follows up Transparent with a totally different kind of love story, one that isn't about family ties at all – it's set in the Lone Star state's fictional Marfa Institute, a small-town Texas artists' retreat full of sex and gossip. Kathryn Hahn is the indie filmmaker who was just passing through town, until she finds herself falling madly in lust with Kevin Bacon, the cowboy/sculptor who's the Colonel Kurtz of this place. The actor struts around saying ludicrously pompous things like "I haven't read a book in 10 years – I'm post-idea," making all the lovesick ladies wonder if he's deep and mysterious or just a bit thick. (Jordan Catalano Syndrome takes so many forms.) If you've ever lived in one of these towns, it's a kick to see I Love Dick get the details so painfully right, especially in its landmark fifth episode "A Short History of Weird Girls," where a host of female characters reveal their sexual histories. Based on Chris Krauss's cherished 1997 novel, it's an acerbic satire of brilliant people with dumb hearts.

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