Yup, it’s that time of the year when entertainment sites share their “best of” or “worst of” lists. Instead of going the traditional route, MustGeekTV is simply recommending a few shows you should catch up on before they return in 2017. Well except for Westworld, which sadly won’t be back until 2018.
Let me know in the comments below whether or not your favorite show is listed and what you plan to binge-watch before the new year…
10) The Shannara Chronicles
MTV’s Teenwolf kick-started the network’s genre programming, but that series lost its way around the second season. Surprisingly enough, The Shannara Chronicles based on Terry Brooks best-selling fantasy book series was an entertaining romp through a Tolkienesque fictional “Four Lands.” There were pretty people to spare, thrilling visuals and twists no one saw coming. Was the first season a tad difficult to follow at times? Sure! However, the series created by Alfred Gough & Miles Millar (Smallville) did a wonderful job of weaving together its storylines in a teen-friendly Game of Thrones kind of way. Seriously, the show is much better than many fantasy fans imagined it would be and was renewed for a second season earlier this year.
9) Wynonna Earp
Quite a few Syfy fans refused to give this series a shot, blaming it for Dominion’s demise. I still very much miss Dominion as much as you die-hard fans do. That said, what showrunner Emily Andras and her team accomplished with Wynonna Earp was just pure entertainment. Not only is every actor perfectly cast, but Melanie Scrofano has amazing chemistry with every single one of her co-stars. Whether she is doing some sisterly bonding with Dominique Provost-Chalkley (Waverly Earp) or bonding of a different kind with Tim Rozon, who is absolutely brilliant as Doc Holliday, Melanie owns her role. When a brand new series hooks you with its pilot, you know you’re watching something special. Though Syfy trimmed season two by an episode, bringing Wynonna’s next adventure to a total of twelve hours, there’s nothing quite like this supernatural Western horror series on TV right now. Season 2 is currently shooting and will be here soon.
8) The Magicians
Things went from bad to worse for our 20-something Magicians throughout the show’s first season. The themes touched upon made it pretty clear that Brakebills was no Hogwarts. It was easy to think of Syfy’s The Magicians as an edgier Harry Potter with a little sex, booze, and rock ‘n roll thrown in. However, it really was so much more than that. It’s a modern fantasy tale about millennials struggling to find their place in the world. Imagine longing for a fantasy land like Fillory, only to learn it’s real and you’re one of a handful of people that can save it. Once again, Syfy struck gold with its casting. Jason Ralph is terrific as Quentin Coldwater, but it’s Hale Appleman’s Eliot that steals every scene he’s in. The special effects are stunning and we’re going to spend much more time in Fillory next season. Though critics called the show’s premise “derivative,” it’s storytelling is actually quite creative. Isn’t it funny that medical or law dramas are seldom called derivative? The Magicians is another winner for Syfy and a show I recommend you binge-watch ASAP.
7) Marvel on Netflix
Listen, DC’s shared TV universe is kickin’ all kinds of ass and this year’s four-way crossover was absolutely epic. That said, Arrow’s popularity has waned over the years, while The Flash struggles with its villains and time travel. Speaking of which, Legends of Tomorrow is definitely no 12 Monkeys. Supergirl’s move to The CW proved to be the way to go, as it’s the one DC show that has improved by leaps and bounds in its second season. Still, going all the way back to 2008’s Iron Man, Marvel has proven itself the king of the superhero shared universes. The studio’s Netflix shows are adult, graphic and ridiculously well written and acted. Daredevil set the stage and was a huge success, then Jessica Jones upped the ante while simultaneously introducing the very impressive Mike Colter as Luke Cage. That series had a tone and feel to it like nothing Marvel’s done before. Is there any doubt that 2017’s Iron Fist and The Punisher are going to blow our minds? Not to mention the all-star team up of The Defenders. Anyone else have a nerd boner right now?
6) Stranger Things
This series is probably the most surprising success story of the year. It’s a pop-culture phenomenon, really. The Duffer brothers managed to tap into those extraordinary 80s influences zipping Generation-Xers back to their childhoods. Not since Drew Barrymore in ET or the cast of the Goonies, has a group of young actors resonated so well with audiences. Naturally, it helped that the familiar faces of Winona Ryder and Matthew Modine were there to guide us through the crazy world of Stranger Things. Speaking of Goonies, did you know Sean Astin will be appearing in Season 2 as Bob Newby who runs the local Radio Shack? According to the Duffers, the next season will take place a year after the events we witnessed in Season 1 and will explore the “bigger mythology” of Will’s disappearance. Aren’t you dying to find out what happened to Eleven? I can’t return to the Upside Down fast enough.
5) The Expanse
Geeks everywhere had been anxiously awaiting the next Battlestar Galactica -type space opera and damn Syfy delivered the goods with The Expanse. The visual effects on this show rival anything we’re seeing in the theaters lately and you can tell they don’t come cheap. Bringing the novels by James S. A. Corey to the small screen was no small feat, but Alcon Television and The Sean Daniel Co. made me believe mankind had colonized the Solar System. The world just felt so lived in and real, that you can easily picture what life on Mars might be like in a few short years. Also, though humanity is now living among the stars we’ve taken our nastiest traits and baggage along with us. In an age where someone as unqualified as Trump is our President-Elect, it’s not hard to believe in corruption and conspiracy at the highest levels of government. The Expanse is sci-fi, but it cuts very close to home thanks to its genius writers. The Expanse Season 2 Premieres on February 1, 2017.
If you’ve followed my writing at other websites, you know it’s no secret Killjoys is easily one of my favorite shows of all time. Michelle Lovretta and her team never fail to impress with their worldbuilding, colorful characters and thrilling twists and turns. The show’s trio could not be more perfectly cast and it’s clear they enjoy each other’s company because it comes across on screen. It’s doubtful there is a platonic relationship on TV quite like Dutch and Johnny’s. Hannah John-Kamen and Aaron Ashmore consistently tug at our heartstrings, making us fall more in love with their characters each season. In Season 2, Luke Macfarlane’s D’avin discovered what made him special and the character began to click much more with the others. I’ve said this many times, when I first heard about Killjoys they had me at “space bounty hunters,” but the larger threat grows more interesting every season. Quick shout-out to the shows supporting cast, which is also one of the most delightful on television. Shooting for Season 3 begins soon and it won’t be long before we find out what’s in store for our favorite RAC Agents.
3) Game of Thrones
With all the coverage The Walking Dead received this season, you probably find it curious that series is not on this list. There’s just got to be more to tuning in weekly to see who dies next, no? Game of Thrones sets the bar perfectly. There’s an honest to goodness intricate storyline that has played out over several seasons. Have we lost beloved characters along the way? Absolutely. However unlike on Dead, Thrones’ dearly departed have a profound impact and meaning. The loss of someone like Ned Stark continues to be felt throughout the series. He wasn’t beheaded for shock value or ratings. Luckily for us, HBO has spared no expense bringing George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire novels to life. Dinklage, Harington, Clarke, van Houten, Headey… have there ever been so many talented actors starring on the same show? It’s mind-boggling to be honest with you. With the series quickly approaching its end, thank goodness HBO’s Westworld lived up to the hype. More on that in a bit.
2) 12 Monkeys
Though this show is a critical darling and constantly appears on “shows you should be watching” lists, its ratings plummeted last season. Why that happened is up for debate, but 12 Monkeys is without a doubt the best frakkin’ show genre fans are not watching. What is wrong with you people? Season 2 was as unpredictable as the first, and gave us a massive WTF?!? cliffhanger. With Doc Brown himself, Christopher Lloyd, joining the fun in Season 3 a wild ride is certainly guaranteed. Yes, this series is the perfect example of a TV show that’s better than the movie. Don’t even try to compare the two, because 12 Monkeys the TV series is very much its own thing. I may be biased, but Emily Hampshire (Jennifer Goines) deserves all the awards. Brad Pitt, who? If I had to pick just one show to recommend to a MustGeekTV reader, it would be 12 Monkeys. The show’s got it all and the writing is simply at another level. Binge-watch the first two seasons, you’ll thank me.
I’ll be honest after hearing about the production shut down early in the shoot, I worried Westworld was all hype and would be a disappointment. Well, I could not have been more wrong. The show proved to be one of the most fascinating character studies of any TV series in recent years. I mentioned Game of Thrones’ outstanding cast, but Westworld’s is not too shabby either. Tell me you were not mesmerized watching Evan Rachel Wood slip into diagnostic mode. How about Thandie Newton’s fearless portrayal of Westworld’s madam Maeve? Jeffrey Wright’s Bernard had some of the juiciest twists. But is was Anthony Hopkins as Westworld founder Robert Ford, that was in a league all his own on this series. The man is pure genius and I could watch him read the phonebook. It goes without saying that Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy’s writing allowed the actors to shine the way they did. The finale delivered one of the best hours of television this year. As I mentioned at the very top, Westworld will not return until 2018, but it’s safe to say the series is worth the wait.