These days there are so many scripted television shows released in a 12-month period that it’s actually impossible to find time to sit down and watch all of them. All the options from network and cable channels can be a little overwhelming, and once you throw in the near-weekly releases from the likes of Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu, the choices are seemingly endless. But among the myriad of choices are some great shows that, for one reason or another may have flown under the radar, and are just waiting to find a bigger audience. Some, meanwhile, simply weren’t covered here. So now the time has come to correct those omissions.
While we don’t really experience the same holiday lull in the TV-watching schedule as we did just a few years ago, there’s still enough of a window that, as long as you’re not filling your time re-watching It’s a Wonderful Life or Die Hard (both admirable pursuits this time of year), you can still sneak in a few shows that went unwatched in 2017.
Here are all the best shows to catch up on before 2017 ends:
American Vandal (Netflix)
Though it begins as a pitch-perfect spoof on true-crime documentaries, like Making a Murderer, The Keepers, and Serial, Netflix’s American Vandal soon becomes something much more than the question of “Who drew the dicks?” Through 8 episodes, the show becomes admirable not only for its creators and actors’ commitment to the satire, but also for the way in which the series slowly builds into a convincing portrait of teenage life, while making its high school atmosphere more than just a source of endless subtle jokes stacked on top of one another.
Moreover, American Vandal does what too few spoofs manage to do: it actually delivers a compelling example of the genre it’s satirizing. By the time you get to ‘Climax’ or even the season finale, ‘Clean Up’, the question of “who drew the dicks?” is one you’ll want answered. And in keeping with the spot-on send-up of true-crime docs and its main suspect Dylan Maxwell’s love of pranks, the result is agonizingly fitting.
Netflix’s pursuit of a global audience means US subscribers everywhere get to take part in television shows and movies that otherwise might never see the light of day in the States. Dark is a 10-part television series that has been perhaps unfairly labeled as Germany’s answer to Stranger Things. Only, it’s a whole lot stranger than the Duffer brothers’ ode to the ’80s; and with its twisty tale of time travel, murder, and an ever-escalating battle between good and evil, the series more than lives up to its title.
Released in early December, you won’t be too out of the loop if you put Dark in your Netflix queue now. Once you start watching, the only thing more difficult than halting the binge-watch is trying to explain what the series is about to someone who’s never heard of it. But that’s part of the appeal; it’s a complex latticework of intersecting timelines across three generations of a small-ish German town that has the misfortune of sitting atop a reality-defying wormhole. That’s really all that needs to be said about Dark – well, that and don’t watch the terrible English dub.
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