Vulture’s fourth annual TV Awards honor the best in television from the past year in three major categories: Actor, Actress, and Show. The shows that were considered had to be ongoing, which disqualifies limited series and series that ended their runs in the past year. They also must have premiered before June 25, 2017.
Twenty-seven years ago, the meteor of Twin Peaks hit television. It didn’t wipe out all the dinosaurs, but it did make them aware that they were dinosaurs, and that itself was remarkable. Conventionally conceived and executed dramas would continue to be made after David Lynch and Mark Frost unveiled their series about the eccentric denizens of a logging town, but with awareness that there were fewer rules than anyone thought.
Warning: Spoilers for Twin Peaks: The Return below.
The eighth episode of Twin Peaks: The Return is one of the greatest hours of television I’ve ever seen: horrifying, horrifyingly beautiful, thought-provoking and thought-annihilating; a work that owes as much to expressionistic and surreal painting, musical performance, and installation art as it does to narrative and experimental cinema.
Though it initially appears to be uncoupled from the show’s main story line, on second viewing, it plays more like an extended parenthetical or interlude, almost like a live storyteller’s fourth-wall-breaking aside to the audience. Among other things, “Part 8” allows the series to present an elaborate, visually and sonically dazzling origin story, not so much for the demon BOB (represented by stylized images of the face of Frank Silva, the late actor who played him in the original series) but for the postwar United States of America. That’s not all it’s doing — I would not be surprised if entire books were written about this one hour — but it’s what I’m going to touch on here, as a prelude to revisiting the episode again later this week.
This week, Vulture is looking back at the best releases so far in 2017.
In the Peak TV era, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the sheer amount of television available. Even when you winnow the options down to the best of the best, as we did below, the shows don’t fit into any one category. They span genre, tone, and style in remarkable ways, from the romantic ennui of Master of Noneto the family comforts of One Day at a Time to the bizarre horror of Twin Peaks: The Return. With that in mind, here are the ten best shows of 2017 so far, as chosen by Jen Chaney and Matt Zoller Seitz.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.