NPR’s Favorite TV Shows Of 2017

Review Television Facebook Twitter Flipboard Email Enlarge this image Big Little Lies, Master of None, One Day at a Time, The Handmaid's Tale, Game of Thrones and Insecure all made NPR's top list. HBO/Hulu/Netflix hide caption toggle caption HBO/Hulu/Netflix Big Little Lies, Master of None, One Day at a Time, The Handmaid's Tale, Game of Thrones and Insecure all made NPR's top list. HBO/Hulu/Netflix Before we begin, a note: See how the adjective up there in that headline is "favorite," not "best?" That's intentional. The Week's Best Stories From NPR Books NPR's Book Concierge: Our Guide To 2017's Great Reads Monkey See NPR's Favorite Movies Of 2017 There's just too much television out there for a comprehensive ranking; the TV landscape has never been more expansive than it is today. Streaming services like Netflix, Hulu and Amazon are adding so many shows so quickly they don't so much stream as cascade. Cable gems like Game of Thrones and Insecure continue to glimmer, but don't count out basic cable and broadcast networks — NBC's The Good Place, for example, is the only show that all three of us agreed deserved an end-of-year shoutout. Our list of 2017 favorites is personal and idiosyncratic, which is as it should be. TV now boasts more voices, telling more stories, than ever before, and those stories are finding discrete audiences hungry for them. TV is starting to look less monolithic, and more like the people watching it — all of the people watching it. — Glen Enlarge this image Gillian Anderson plays Media in American Gods. Jan Thijs/Starz hide caption toggle caption Jan Thijs/Starz Gillian Anderson plays Media in American Gods. Jan Thijs/Starz American Gods, Starz (Glen) The Week's Best Stories From NPR Books In 'American Gods,' Even Deities Have The Immigrant Experience The Starz adaptation of Neil Gaiman's 2001 novel was easily the most visually Continue Reading

10 TV shows on our watch list for winter 2018

Los Angeles Times and Houston Chronicle Staff Published 4:47 pm, Friday, January 19, 2018 window._taboola = window._taboola || []; _taboola.push({ mode: 'thumbnails-c', container: 'taboola-interstitial-gallery-thumbnails-5', placement: 'Interstitial Gallery Thumbnails 5', target_type: 'mix' }); _taboola.push({flush: true}); window._taboola = window._taboola || []; _taboola.push({ mode: 'thumbnails-c', container: 'taboola-interstitial-gallery-thumbnails-10', placement: 'Interstitial Gallery Thumbnails 10', target_type: 'mix' }); _taboola.push({flush: true}); window._taboola = window._taboola || []; _taboola.push({ mode: 'thumbnails-c', container: 'taboola-interstitial-gallery-thumbnails-14', placement: 'Interstitial Gallery Thumbnails 14', target_type: 'mix' }); _taboola.push({flush: true}); Photo: Jeff Daly, HONS Image 1of/14 CaptionClose Image 1 of 14 Penélope Cruz stars as Donatella Versace in "The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story" on FX. Penélope Cruz stars as Donatella Versace in "The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story" on FX. Photo: Jeff Daly, HONS Image 2 of 14 "The Alienist" takes viewers back to 19th-century New York and stars Dakota Fanning, from left, Daniel Brühl and Luke Evans as unlikely gumshoes determined to track down a diabolical killer of young boy prostitutes. less "The Alienist" takes viewers back to 19th-century New York and stars Dakota Fanning, from left, Daniel Brühl and Luke Evans as unlikely gumshoes determined to track down a diabolical killer of young boy ... more Photo: Courtesy Of TNT Image 3 of 14 "The Alienist" on TNT stars Daniel Bruhl, Dakota Fanning and Luke Evans as a trio of unlikely gumshoes determined to track down a diabolical Continue Reading

‘Marvel’s Runaways’ TV Show vs. Comics: 9 Biggest Changes Hulu Made

“Marvel’s Runaways” Season 1 has officially wrapped up, and it’s clear that while the TV show honors the comics, it has made some big changes as well. These were the biggest differences between the Marvel comic books and Season 1 of the Hulu TV show: The Parents: They’re all more developed, with the exception of Molly’s parents. In the “Runaways” comics, the Hernandez family isn’t too memorable. With so many characters to develop, it makes sense that the Hulu show wrote them out. Some minor changes have been made to all the parents to make them more realistic, but the biggest change is Karolina’s folks. Her parents are supposed to be soap opera actors who are actually aliens rather than cult leaders. Gibborim: The Church of Gibborim doesn’t exist in the “Runaways” comics. The cult-like religion was developed specifically for the show. Instead, the Gibborim were giant “old gods” living underground in the comics. The subterranean monsters could still come into play. As fans saw in the finale, Gert’s parents believe something is alive in the hole Jonah had them drill. Jonah (Julian McMahon) did not exist in the “Runaways” comics while Leslie Dean (Annie Wersching) was far from a religious leader. Photo: Hulu Knowingly Evil: The show makes it pretty clear that the parents don’t actually realize what Jonah’s end game is, but in the comics, all the parents agreed to help end the world and start a new one where they and their kids would rule and have eternal life. While the TV show parents definitely knew they doing crimes, it seems like they have also been duped by Jonah.  Karolina’s Crush: Consider yourselves lucky, Deanoru or Nicolina shippers. Karolina took way longer to make a move in the comics, and Nico rejected her immediately. The TV version of “Runaways” makes Nico look more receptive to the idea Continue Reading

The 16 Best TV shows of 2017 to binge before 2018. That’s five days from now, people.

Comedy was a priority in 2017. No surprise there: It was that kind of year. But it was also a good time to drop into richly layered dramas—fantastical worlds steeped in danger (Game of Thrones, Stranger Things 2) or American landscapes filled with a more familiar kind of treachery (Big Little Lies, Godless). The point, in either case, was not reality but escape, often courtesy of Netflix. The streaming platform had an exceptional 2017, beating most network and cable channels for originality and quality. Herewith, the Newsweek culture team's favorite shows of the past 12 months. Some are returning soon, so use the long weekend to catch up.  Keep up with this story and more American Vandal (Netflix)The most subversive comedy of the year—a lampoon of the relatively new true-crime-mystery series—stars former Vine celebrity Jimmy Tatro as a wrongfully punished stoner hoping to prove himself innocent to the school board. The show, co-created by Dan Perrault (CollegeHumor) and Tony Yacenda (Lil Dicky’s music video “Pillowtalking”), wrings genuinely moving moments from a deceptively simple premise: two AV nerds (played by Tyler Alvarez and Griffin Gluck) try to exonerate a kid they have zero in common with. If nothing else, it proves that funny white dudes still have something to say. —Emily Gaudette Better Call Saul (AMC)Creator Vince Gilligan’s flair for casting became apparent with Breaking Bad, a drama filled top to bottom with actors who could be confused with real folk walking the streets of Albuquerque, New Mexico (where the show was set). With this prequel, the story of how one of those people became sleazy lawyer Saul Goodman, Gilligan and co-creator Peter Gould have assembled the strongest ensemble on TV, beginning with stars Bob Odenkirk, Rhea Seehorn, Jonathan Banks and Michael McKean, whose character’s slow slide into madness Continue Reading

20 best TV shows of 2017

What’s the “best?” We each have our own definition, our own lists. Your “best” may not be my “best.” There is someone reading this right now who thinks the best series of 2017 was the CW’s “Riverdale,” someone else partial to “Nathan for You.” The fact that neither series appears here is not criticism, but pragmatism. Decisions need to be made, the “best” prioritized. The following priorities are mine alone. So what are those priorities? A “best” show has to be consistent. It has to be smart. It has to have superior production values. It has to be original. It has to have a vision, an idea, and a reliable execution of that idea. Most of all, it has to go beyond holding someone’s attention, to rewarding that attention. Your time is valuable. Why waste it? These 20 meet these criteria, but what was so exciting about 2017 is that so many other series did as well. So consider the following an approximation. There was a bumper crop of “best” in 2017. Just imagine what 2018 will bring. 20. 'Star Trek: Discovery,' CBS All Access Compelling new addition to the Trek canon, with a breakout performance by star Sonequa Martin-Green. 19. 'Big Little Lies,' HBO Addictive seven-episode mystery-satire based on the 2014 bestseller by Liane Moriarty and written by David E. Kelley with possibly the best cast of any series this season (Laura Dern, Alexander Skarsgård, Nicole Kidman, Reese Witherspoon). 18. 'Time: The Kalief Browder Story,' Spike This particularly well-produced film insists that even in death, onetime Rikers inmate Kalief Browder can still change a broken system — and must. 17. 'The Deuce,' HBO Maggie Gyllenhaal as a Times Square prostitute with two lives heads up an excellent cast. 16. 'Lady Dynamite,' Netflix Maria Bamford spent two remarkable seasons explaining her life and the result was one of TV’s Continue Reading

Matthew Gilbert’s favorite TV shows of 2017

Visit The Boston Globe Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Comment on this Scroll to top of page Matthew Gilbert Globe Staff  December 14, 2017 I do obsess a bit over my Top 10 list. And every year, it gets harder to select only 10 shows out of the hundreds that come out annually on the streaming and cable outlets — oh, right, and on the networks. Here are the 10 series that gave me the most pleasure in 2017. Here, too, is a second list of 10 shows, many of which could easily have been on the Top 10 on a different day. I’ve decided not to include unscripted or nonfiction series such as “Full Frontal With Samantha Bee” and “Next Week Tonight With John Oliver” here, just as a way to stay wieldy.As always, let me know what I got right, what I got wrong, and what I missed. 1. “Better Things,” FX Advertisement Single parenthood, this is your great homage. It’s an intimate, affectionate portrait of Pamela Adlon’s Sam Fox, who presides over three daughters, plus her mother across the street. Part comedy, part drama, the series is built on tiny, mundane moments that have deep, bittersweet resonance. One scene — when Adlon tells an interested man “No” over and over again for two minutes — still makes me feel gleeful. As she also digs into the experiences of an over-40 actress in Hollywood and dating as a mother, Adlon is the force behind the show, co-writing and directing every episode of the second season. Sadly, Louis C.K. is also involved behind the scenes, a difficult irony given the show’s fierce respect for women. 2. “The Handmaid’s Tale,” Hulu Get The Weekender in your inbox: The Globe's top picks for what to see and do each weekend, in Boston and beyond. Thank you for signing up! Sign up for more newsletters here Maybe if this Emmy-winning drama hadn’t come out in 2017, it wouldn’t have been quite as haunting. Continue Reading

Our critic Kelly Lawler picks the 10 best TV shows of 2017

2017 was when television exploded.The past few years have seen an unprecedented amount of TV content, mostly from new streaming services and channels getting into the game. But this year, television just kept getting bigger, with more series debuting than you could keep track of, and many current series pushing themselves to greater (and more expensive) heights. More: USA TODAY's 10 best new TV shows of 2017 But still, some series truly stood out in a crowded field. Here are our favorites, which take viewers from the musical streets of West Covina, Calif., to the afterlife to dragon battles in Westeros. Crazy Ex-Girlfriend accomplishes, weekly, the remarkable feat of being the funniest, most empathetic and well-constructed TV series around, all while making room for original musical numbers in each episode. The CW series has always been strikingly ambitious, but the third season, which is spotlighting its protagonist's mental health, has elevated it yet again.Coming off a strong first season that ended with what could have been a show-breaking twist, the series has become sharper, funnier and smarter in its sophomore outing, at once a philosophical thought experiment and prolific purveyor of food puns. Its humor is vast, wordy and visual, and its performances, most notably from Ted Danson, are superb. It had movie stars, movie director Jean-Marc Vallée and a blockbuster novel behind it, but Big Little Lies carved itself out as one of the most visually stunning and well-acted pieces of television this year and was rightfully showered with Emmys in September.The Fox sitcom has long been willing to throw out its formula, but this year it went a step further by having two of its characters wrongfully incarcerated. That the series kept its peppy tone, sharp commentary and joke density in such a different environment is a testament to its actors and writers. The second season of Issa Rae’s sitcom managed to Continue Reading

Change of plans: TV shows that have altered or postponed episodes in light of current events

Following Friday’s terrorist attacks in Paris, CBS has swapped episodes of “Supergirl” and “NCIS: Los Angeles” meant to air Monday night “out of sensitivity and respect to the events that occurred,” according to TVLine. The “Supergirl” episode, titled “How Does She Do It?” involved Kara dealing with bombings in National City. Instead, the Thanksgiving episode “Livewire” will air instead. The “NCIS” episode, “Defectors,” dealt with ISIS recruiting young women. The Dec. 7 “The Long Goodbye” will air instead. FULL COVERAGE: LATEST NEWS ON THE PARIS TERROR ATTACKS TNT also postponed Monday's episode of "Legends" that featured a terrorist shooting into a Parisian crowd and will instead air a re-run. Monday isn’t the first time broadcast networks have changed schedules in the wake of current events. Here are a few other last-minute swaps: “Mr. Robot,” 2015 The USA Network season one finale, scheduled to air on Aug. 26, was delayed a week after reporter Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward were shot on live TV. “The previously filmed season finale of Mr. Robot contains a graphic scene similar in nature to today's tragic events in Virginia,” the network said in a statement. The finale was pushed back and aired on Sept. 2. “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” 1999 The season three episode “Earshot” of Joss Whedon’s vampire story was pulled and delayed almost five months. The episode, which involved Jonathan (Danny Strong) bringing a gun to school to kill himself and Buffy (Sarah Michelle Gellar) telepathically overhearing someone planning to kill students, was originally scheduled to air a week after the Columbine High School massacre in April 1999. “Earshot” Continue Reading

Coming to Hulu: These are the movies, TV shows that will be available in February

Hulu is going back in time this February with the premiere of J.J. Abrams' "11.22.63." The streaming service will update its online catalog with new movies and TV shows that will begin streaming on Feb. 1. Some of the new titles include the premier of Stephen King's adaption of "11.22.63," which stars James Franco and tells the story of a man who goes back in time to try and stop the JFK assassination; and FOX's musical special "Grease: Live." Other titles to be added include the first "Hannibal" movie and "Astro Boy." There will also be several movies and TV shows that will only be available through the Showtime add on subscription. These are the new titles available beginning February 1: Available February 1 Astro Boy (2004) Butterfly Effect 3: Revelations (2009) From Within (2009) Hannibal (2001) Slaughter (2009) Voices (Subtitled) (2008) Wedding Daze (2007) Braveheart (1995) Dying Breed (2009) The Madness of King George (1994) The Cutting Edge: Going For The Gold (2006) Blood Simple (1985) Eye for an Eye (1996) Living By The Gun (2011) Staying Alive (1983) Untamed Heart (1993) She-Devil (1989) The Firm (1993) The General's Daughter (1999) Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult (1994) Naked Gun From The Files Of Police Squad (1988) An Office and a Gentleman (1982) Panic (2000) School Ties (1992) She's Having a Baby (1988) Summer Rental (1985) Summer School (1987) Angela's Ashes (1999) (*Showtime) Awaken (2015) (*Showtime) Basquiat (1996) (*Showtime) Beloved (1998) (*Showtime) Bronx Obama (2014) (*Showtime) Cockneys vs. Zombies (2012) (*Showtime) D.L. Hughley: Clear (2014) (*Showtime) Dave Chappelle's Block Party (2005) (*Showtime) The Day (2011) (*Showtime) Dean Smith (2015) (*Showtime) Freedom (2014) (*Showtime) Freedom Writers (2007) (*Showtime) The Hand That Rocks The Cradle (1992) (*Showtime) Holy Man (1998) (*Showtime) Hostel: Part II (2007) (*Showtime) I Am Continue Reading

The reality is, fashion web site’s poised to get its own TV show

Reality television is about to get more Style-ish. A TV pilot is being shot at the website’s midtown offices and will revolve around the influential Condé Nast site’s staff as well as characters from New York’s party scene. On Tuesday, reported the former digital sister of Vogue is developing the reality show. And though a spokeswoman for declined to comment because "it’s still early days," she confirmed the project was going forward. Shooting has begun in editor in chief Dirk Standen?a>??s office at 750 Third Ave. An insider says that in addition to staffers, the show is to include a cast of New Yorkers who won’t necessarily work in fashion. "It could be four or five people," says the insider, who added that these participants would be introduced via the site’s party coverage, with at least one " party reporter functioning as a central character." But, the source says, whoever is depicted as a staffer on the show will be an actual employee, unlike shows such as MTV’s "The City," in which Olivia Palermo appeared as an Elle magazine editor but did not actually work at the publication. To round out the cast, another source says, is seeking to hire a "preferably female" party reporter, who would serve as a counterpart and possible romantic interest for writer Darrell Hartman. Potential applicants should note that Hartman was named one of fashion site Refinery29’s Most Eligible Bachelors in New York City on Tuesday. Meanwhile, the insider says gadabout Derek Blasberg will have "limited" involvement in the show, “if at all.” The source adds, "Look at the last time [Derek] actually wrote something for" (His last article was June 18.) Before fashion fans start salivating over their McQueen armadillo shoes, they should know that no network has picked up the project yet, though MTV Continue Reading