We’re just over six months into 2017, and there are only 10 new shows you need to know about. Kidding, of course: There are at least another dozen new additions to the television landscape than the chosen few below, but the IndieWire TV team has narrowed the list down as much as possible. In addition to the multitude of ongoing top-tier TV you’re already beholden to, these 10 demand to be slotted into your queue, no matter how crowded it may already seem. From disguises to dogs to divinity, the best new TV shows of 2017 cover a lot of ground. But they’re all worth your time.
10. “A Series of Unfortunate Events”
Perhaps we’re just eager to contradict, but Lemony Snicket’s stern warning to avoid his new Netflix series only made partaking it all the more exciting. Three orphaned children with a fortune to their name fall prey to a villainous mastermind, first posing as their new guardian and later donning a variety of disguises to get at their inheritance — by any means necessary. The TV version, shepherded by Snicket mega-fan Barry Sonnenfeld and the original author, Daniel Handler, infuses a lot more fun into fuller interpretations of the novel. An inventive visual landscape makes for Neil Patrick Harris’ ideal creative space, and the Emmy- and Tony-winning actor has never been better. OK, maybe as Hedwig, but he’s so good in this, you’ll forget all about that other Count Olaf. Ignore Snicket. Watch this “Series of Unfortunate Events.”
9. “The Good Fight”
This is our favorite approach to creating a spin-off: keep the best bits, and add in fun new characters and stories. “The Good Wife” was always a fun legal drama, and “The Good Fight” is very much in line with the qualities which made that show work for seven seasons, with the added bonus of a talented and diverse cast (god, why isn’t Delroy Lindo in everything?), a compelling central narrative and just enough leeway (due to its home on CBS All Access) to get a little salty with its language and content. It’s not revolutionizing the medium, but “The Good Fight” is some of the most solid, watchable television around.
Few series this year have shown as much love for their characters as “GLOW” does, giving every member of its misfit ensemble a chance to stand alone in the center of the ring. Anchored by a trio of terrific lead performances (Alison Brie, Betty Gilpin and Marc Maron), these are characters each looking for their own sense of redemption and fulfillment in this underground women’s wrestling gambit. The show lovingly captures the time period without veering into wacky ’80s clichés and the same goes for the wrestling itself. Ranging from the polished technical flair of the instructors, down to the actual “GLOW” performances, these momentary turns under the muted lights of a converted gym overflow with passion, even when they’re not as refined. There’s a careful focus on the stars, but we’re excited to see plenty more of what this whole team has to offer.
A fittingly wild start to a crazy year in TV (so far), Noah Hawley’s first foray into the superhero extended universe felt far more like a breakthrough than sharing any preexisting space. From dreamworlds to Aubrey Plaza’s dance moves, “Legion” wasn’t afraid to experiment with form, function, and good old fashioned fun. Yet amid the techno babble and visual tomfoolery, a romance blossomed and powers bloomed. Hawley effectively moved us through a challenging first season and set up more stunning shenanigans to come, staying true to his characters before all else. It’s the stuff dreams are made of, on TV and off.
6. “I Love Dick”
One of the most distinctly unique TV shows we’ve ever seen, this unconventional take on female sexuality and art is a seemingly quick binge that never really leaves you. By aiming to provoke conversation about what it means to be a woman and an artist today, creators Jill Soloway and Sarah Gubbins created something truly distinct and beautiful, completely rewriting the concept of the male gaze and drawing a career-best performance out of the sublime Kathryn Hahn. Arguably the most feminist show of the year (in a year where its competition includes the freaking “Handmaid’s Tale”), “I Love Dick” wasn’t a revelation — it was an inspiration.