There were just too many outstanding series to choose, let alone rank, in 2017. This year, we saw new voices emerge, plus stories and characters that explored perspectives that were refreshing, disturbing, thought provoking, and poignantly complex. Here are the Writers Guild Foundation staff’s top 3 favorite TV Shows of 2017. You can find scripts for most of these shows in the WGF Library.
Libbie Anderson, Volunteer and Programs Coordinator
#1: Halt and Catch Fire. I’m a latecomer to Halt and Catch Fire (I may or may not have binged all four seasons in less than a week). I loved watching the evolution of this show and I’m so happy that characters like Cameron Howe and Donna Clark exist in TV.
#2: The Handmaid’s Tale
#3: Better Things
Arun Baheti, Director of Operations and Finance
#1: American Crime. It never bought into the rosy, happy notion that good people can overcome bad things through hard work or doing the right thing; rather, good, striving people can end up in bad situations with bad endings, and that those fit into the larger context of societal structures. And for never hiding from the complexity inherent in big issues—no neat, tidy answers.
#2: The Good Place
#3: Ken Burns’ Vietnam
Javier Barrios, Acquisitions Manager
#1: The Good Place. I like it because it’s not afraid to ask the big questions: What’s it like when we die? Is it too late when you die to become a better person?
Lauren O’Connor, Librarian
#1: G.L.O.W. If I must pick one series, it’s G.L.O.W. because I’m a sucker for any kind of Bad News Bears/team of losers story. Beneath its snarky veneer, it just has so much heart.
#2: This is Us/Big Little Lies (tie)
#3: Game of Thrones
Enid Portuguez, Director of Communications
#1: Big Little Lies. This show appealed to so many of my senses and sensibilities—the gorgeous landscapes and interiors, the all-star cast of phenomenal women, the perfectly curated soundtrack, Alexander Skarsgard. Murder mystery aside, I could have watched these ladies plan a bake sale for an hour.
#2: Better Things
Hilary Swett, Archivist
#1: Better Things. I love watching a female in charge as the writer/director/star. Beautifully shot episodes. The reality and complications of families and all the feelings. Episodes that convey the ambiguity and space between ordinary happiness and quiet pain. Surreal, imaginative, joyful moments that sneak up on you and let you free.
#2: The Handmaid’s Tale