The Year in TV: 12 New Shows You Should Be Watching - Rolling Stone
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The Year in TV: 12 New Shows You Should Be Watching

From a brilliant sitcom from the ’30 Rock’ crew to the misadventures of a fake Diplo – these were the 2017 gems you need to catch up with

As the television landscape gets more and more cluttered every year, it becomes virtually impossible for smaller shows – the kind that don’t necessarily have dragons or zombies or zombie dragons – to cut through the noise of “Peak TV” chatter and find the audiences they deserve. Yes, we all know about Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead and Stranger Things. We’ve heard of that little show called Twin Peaks: The Return (or was that a movie?) and we’ve spent countless hours on Reddit debating Westworld timeline theories. We have a good idea about what most writers consider the best TVs series of 2017. But what about the ones that don’t necessarily throw Twitter in to a frenzy – the ones that you’d be going batshit over if you only knew how great they were, or in some cases, that they existed at all?

The abundance of quality means that some incredible programs that might have been celebrated critical darlings in the past are slipping through the cracks. These are the 12 shows that just didn’t get quite as much love as they deserved, whether we’re talking year-end best-of lists or simply a bright enough spotlight to make people take notice. (We’re listing them alphabetically and not ranked, because all of these deserve attention.) Whether we’re talking about network sitcoms, basic-cable prestige dramas, streaming service superstars that simply got lost in the shuffle or a few offbeat left-of-the-dial entries, every single one of these shows is worth your time. Some may even become your new obsession. Trust us.

Most Underrated TV Shows of 2017

‘The Sinner’

The No. 1 new cable drama this year still feels underrepresented in the conversation around TV’s new wave of  antiheroines – and next-gen female protagonists overall. Filmmaker Antonio Campos (Christine) adapts Petra Hammesfahr’s novel about a seemingly ordinary mother (a great Jessica Biel) who simply loses it one day and stabs a man on a crowded beach. There are dozens of witnesses, including her shocked husband (Girls‘ Christopher Abbott) – so this isn’t a whodunit as much as whydunit, with Bill Pullman’s world-weary detective doggedly going after the truth. It’s an engaging mystery-melodrama mixture, as well as a chronologically skewed character study involving repressed memory and sexual trauma. BT  

Most Underrated TV Shows of 2017


Taylor Dearden (daughter of Bryan Cranston!) plays a tech-savvy stoner who teams up with an angry, agile sorority girl (Eliza Bennett) to get revenge for the rapes that their university prefers to ignore. If only this energetic, witty vigilante thriller had debuted on MTV last week! Given the current increased attention to sexual assault and campus politics, Sweet/Vicious might have become a cause célèbre, instead of getting lost in 2017’s thicket of midseason newcomers. If there’s any real justice, future generations of teens and young adults will make this offbeat quasi-superhero show a Veronica Mars-level cult classic. NM

Most Underrated TV Shows of 2017

‘What Would Diplo Do?’

James Van Der Beek and Brandon Dermer must have been epically baked when they came up with the idea for the Dawson’s Creek heartthrob to play real-life superstar DJ Diplo, going about what they imagine must be his pretty wild daily business. TV comedy in 2017 didn’t get much more bizarrely inspired than the episode “Ur Game Ain’t Shit,” where the EDM hero has an existential crisis while making a guest appearance at a Dominican Republic baseball game. Whatever provoked such inspired madness, the five half-hour episodes that the duo produced for Viceland are funny and surprisingly sharp about the surreal world of entitlement, paranoia and social-media mishaps where celebrities dwell. NM

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