American Crime Story American Gods Big Little Lies Designated Survivor Feud Santa Clarita Diet Stranger Things The Crown The Good Fight The Handmaid's Tale The Night Of The OA This Is Us Westworld Wrap-Up

Season Wrap-Ups – New Dramas 2017

This was an exceptional year for NEW series. Returning dramas were a mess, but the below ratings prove just how strong all the new debuts were. Why can’t this be the case every year?

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Who knew that Hulu’s first proper foray into drama television would be such a resounding success? As its recent Emmy wins proved, The Handmaid’s Tale is one heck of a brilliant show in every way. Its thought-provoking take on a dystopian future is truly captivating, and Elisabeth Moss’ staggering performance anchors the show with a hefty dose of emotion. I can’t recommend this one enough.
Nad Rating
A+

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American Gods took a while to get going (and yet it’s only an 8-episode season), but I was totally enthralled by its bizarre world and eccentric characters. Even when the narrative confused the heck out of me, the top-notch chemistry between Ricky Whittle and Ian McShane kept me coming back for more. Is it the successor to Game of Thrones? If it keeps improving, it might very well be.
Nad Rating
A-

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Who knew that I would deal with the loss of The Good Wife (one of my favorite shows of all time) by diving right into this clever spinoff? In fact, one could argue that The Good Fight is even better than its parent show since it focuses on a complex ensemble instead of just Alicia Florrick. This is an intelligent show that’s sharply written and always satisfying. I have a feeling it’s going to be around for a long time to come.
Nad Rating
A

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There’s a reason This Is Us was the year’s breakout network hit; it beautifully brought heartfelt storylines and lovable characters into an uplifting and hopeful combination. It was also just so refreshing as a contrast to all the cynics and antiheroes that permeate the television landscape. Happy tears never felt so good.
Nad Rating
A-

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I watched Designated Survivor out of devotion to Keifer Sutherland who rocked my world in 24, and out of my love for Maggie Q who kicked even more ass as Nikita. Sadly, this dumb thriller wasted both of their talents on a weekly basis. And yet… I kept on watching. It’s brainless fun, but nowhere near as crafty as something like Prison Break for example. I’ll give it a few episodes in season two but I might just ditch the ship for good next year.
Nad Rating
C

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Although it wasn’t nearly as high profile as the rest of the standout shows this season, Feud was an immaculately-done drama that perfectly illustrated the sexism and misogyny of old Hollywood. Susan Sarandon and Jessica Lange both turned in some spectacular performances, and the production design from the sets to the cinematography was always on point. I enjoyed every bit of the journey, and I’m certainly looking forward to seeing what Ryan Murphy cooks up in the anthology season’s sophomore year (apparently it will focus on Prince Charles and Princess Diana).
Nad Rating
A

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One of my favorite shows of the year, Santa Clarita Diet came out of nowhere and reeled me in from the start. Sure it’s gory and insane, but it’s also a hysterical show that balances comedy and drama to maximum effect. Plus Drew Barrymore and Timothy Olyphant had awesome chemistry! I can’t wait to spend another season in this crazy world.
Nad Rating
A

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Headlined by Nicole Kidman and Reese Witherspooon, the show that cleaned up at the Emmies this year produced seven absolutely perfect hours. The performances, the music, the frenzied narrative – it all came together for a truly unforgettable season. If season two does happen, I so hope the quality can be maintained because Big Little Lies is one addictive experience.
Nad Rating
A+

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Before American Gods, it was Westworld that was hailed as the next Game of Thrones,. This is a big sprawling epic with a multitude of storylines and complex themes. The show’s ten-episode first season is a very ambitious production, punctuated by an incredible pilot, shocking season finale, and engaging performances by Anthony Hopkins and Thandie Newton. Highly recommended.
Nad Rating
A-

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An underrated gem, The Crown is an immersive look inside the world of Queen Elizabeth. It’s elegantly made, beautifully realized, and strangely addictive. You’d think the subject matter would be boring, but this is a unique little show that’s bound to entertain with its absorbing stories and richly-drawn characters. Kudos!
Nad Rating
A

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The OA is a very strange little show. Its pilot episode was kind of a mess, but its second hour was a disturbing and captivating experience that hooked me right until the end of its eight-episode season. This show is not for everyone, but it’s worth a look thanks to its spiritual undertones and layered performances. If you’re looking for something different (no spoilers here), give this a shot but be sure to watch two episodes before making a decision.
Nad Rating
A-

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Across eight tension-filled episodes, The Night Of grabs hold of you and never lets go right until the very end. Most importantly, it’s a complete story that culminates with a proper conclusion, so you know the narrative won’t get dragged out for years on end.
Nad Rating
A+

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Although I didn’t love Stranger Things as much as most people, I still found the show to be an entertaining ride. It’s a nostalgia-filled family adventure with a charming tone and a touching story at its center. I’m eager to see what facets the show explores in season two. Also, Millie Bobby Brown’s turn as the enigmatic Eleven was one of my favorite things of the year.
Nad Rating
B+

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Who would have thought that the story of OJ Simpson would produce such a brilliant year of television? With superb performances by Sarah Paulson and Sterling K. Brown, and sharp writing that never spoon-feeds its audience, American Crime Story is an impressive achievement by Ryan Murphy (especially after he tarnished his legacy with the latter seasons of American Horror Story). It’s real, it’s raw, and it’s not to be missed.
Nad Rating
A-

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