Prepare to Binge: These Were the Best TV Shows of 2017

Ugh, so much content, so little time.

PBS/Hulu/CW

If you feel like you're perpetually behind on TV, we're right there with you: It's literally impossible to keep up with the massive amount of television being produced right now. But 2017 bequeathed us some truly amazing shows ready for consumption—and these are this year's best newcomers.

Riverdale

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Riverdale is what happens when you take the Archie archetypes (AKA redhead all-American Archie, bubbly blonde Betty, wealthy brunette Veronica, and sidekick Jughead), put them through a Hudson Instagram filter, and set them down in the Pacific Northwest. The Gossip Girl-meets-Twin Peaks vibe means typical high school tropes are immediately turned upside-down, and (controversial opinion) the second season is even better than the first.

Watch on: Netflix

Big Little Lies

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This critically acclaimed miniseries, produced by and starring Reese Witherspoon, follows the inner workings and complicated politics of a wealthy beach community after tragedy strikes their small town. The female-fronted ensemble includes Nicole Kidman, Laura Dern, Shailene Woodley, and Zoë Kravitz as friends, frenemies, and enemies whose kindergartners are in the same class. If you're a fan of the tense, exciting, secret-packed punch of Liane Moriarty's novel, then you'll want to binge it.

Watch on: HBO

Feud: Bette and Joan

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Everything about the premiere of FX's newest anthology series from Ryan Murphy is sublime. The casting, the costumes, the set design, the feminist-as-hell message: all of it. Just sublime. Feud: Bette and Joan tells the story of longtime rivals Joan Crawford and Bette Davis (played by Jessica Lange and Susan Sarandon), who—when Hollywood insisted they were past their prime—teamed up to make the thriller What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? Catching up before awards season is a must.

Watch on: FX

The Handmaid's Tale

Hulu's adaptation of Margaret Atwood's 1985 dystopian novel is about a young woman forced into sex slavery by the new ultra-religious military dictatorship that has overthrown the U.S. government and eradicated women's rights. It's brilliant, well-acted, the very definition of "prestige TV," and came at just the right time—as millions of women around the world are banding together to preserve their own futures.

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Watch on: Hulu

13 Reasons Why

Produced by none other than Selena Gomez, 13 Reasons Why went viral for a reason. The show—which works through the thirteen reasons why protagonist Hannah Baker ends her life—is a powerful-if-controversial look at teenage depression, and will keep you hooked even if you aren't a teen yourself.

Watch on: Netflix

Twin Peaks

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Depending on who you ask, Showtime's Twin Peaks revival is either a modern-day masterpiece, or the weirdest and most self-indulgent thing on television. Either way, nothing like it has *ever* been made, and it's worth watching—even if you aren't familiar with the original series. In fact, the new incarnation is so removed from its roots that you barely even need to know the plot of the 1990 show to follow along. And we use the words "follow along" loosely (let's be real, none of us had any idea what was happening).

Watch on: Showtime

Marvel's Runaways

There are so many superhero movies, and superhero TV shows, and superhero franchises—honestly the entire thing is really exhausting for anyone who isn't obsessed with the genre. But Marvel's Runaways manages to cut through the noise by offering a genuinely good and well-plotted show that's equal parts "look at our cool powers" and coming-of-age story. Like Riverdale, this isn't just a show for teens. It's a show for anyone who was a teen, and remembers the distinct feeling of being an outsider.

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Watch on: Hulu

Alias Grace

Alias Grace spent a lot of time being compared to The Handmaid's Tale thanks to the fact that they're both based off of Margaret Atwood books. But the quiet show stands completely apart from its predecessor, and is equal parts lovely to look at, well-acted, and a brilliant character study.

Watch on: Netflix

Victoria

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This winter, Masterpiece Theater brought us Victoria—the insanely romantic drama about Queen Victoria's life that we never knew we needed. The miniseries follows Victoria's blossoming romance with her husband Albert, and if the romance doesn't intrigue you, the costumes alone are worth giving it a watch.

Watch on: PBS

Dear White People

Netflix's adaptation of Dear White People is—in a nut shell—about racism on a university campus, and it does not disappoint. The show is a searing cultural commentary, as well as a touching and funny show about college life. Watch it.

Watch on: Netflix


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