Make no mistake: we are currently living in the Golden Age of television. Be it on a streaming service, broadcast network, or premium channel, there’s something for everyone and more. At the time of this article’s publication, my DVR was almost half full and that’s not even counting everything on my Netflix queue.
While some of last year’s best new shows won’t be returning until 2018 (Atlanta and Westworld), that’s okay given the amount of content this year promises to offer. Already, we have some new, standout shows like The CW’s Riverdale and FX’s Legion that are currently airing on television right now. But given how the rest of the year will play out, those two shows feel like appetizers compared to what’s coming next. From dragons, to the upside down, to the return of a warrior fulfilling his quest, 2017 offers plenty of exciting stuff that is sure to keep our eyes glued to our televisions.
6. Stranger Things – Season 2
I mean, it’s kind of a given that overnight sensation Stranger Things is on this list. With a catchy theme song (along with an excellent musical score) to go with an exciting story that’s full of 80s sci-fi nostalgia, what’s not to like about this show? While we are eight months away from the premiere of season two, the Super Bowl teaser was more than enough to whet your appetite and have us begging for more.
5. Master of None – Season 2
Aziz Ansari is back after a year’s hiatus from his Netflix original series, which garnered universal critical acclaim. Without a doubt the best Netflix original comedy on the streaming service, it will be interesting to see where the standup comedian takes us next. If Aziz can match the show’s fifth episode, which guest-starred Claire Danes (Homeland), or any of the moments when his parents popped up onscreen, then I have no doubt Season 2 will be just as hilarious as the first season.
ETA: Late 2017
4. Marvel’s The Defenders – Season 1
Daredevil. Jessica Jones. Luke Cage. Iron Fist. All together in one epic miniseries. It has been quite the ride watching these Marvel heroes in their first seasons discovering who they are. Now, they must come together in this eight-episode story to protect Hell’s Kitchen–from what exactly, we’re not sure yet. But with legendary actress Sigourney Weaver tapped to play the antagonist in this epic crossover, I have no doubt The Defenders will have their hands full and bring more of the great choreographed action sequences we’ve seen in each of the hero’s shows.
ETA: Summer 2017
3. Fargo – Season 3
Another show coming back after a year’s hiatus is FX’s fantastic anthology series, Fargo. Of all the shows we can watch on a weekly basis, Fargo has always been the show that I set aside time for every week in order to catch the latest episode. Where will the new season take us? Who knows, but the cast for Season 3 is rock solid (Ewan McGregor, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Jim Gaffigan, Michael Stulbarg).
ETA: April 19
2. Game of Thrones – Season 7
Unfortunately, the wait for the seventh season of the most popular show on television won’t end until July and then will only consist of seven episodes. But I have no doubt that showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss and HBO will build on the captivating sixth season that found us on a roller coaster ride from the season premiere to the season finale. With the stakes higher than ever (and the throne to claim) for the characters who remain alive, every episode should bring forth excitement to those like myself who adore this show.
ETA: July 16
1. Samurai Jack – Season 5
Thirteen years after its abrupt ending, Samurai Jack’s battle with the Master of Darkness, Aku, is finally getting the proper conclusion it deserves. What drew so many people to Samurai Jack was not only the distinct and beautiful animation, but also the inspiration it drew from classic movies. That combination is why many have heralded Jack’s journey as one of the greatest cartoon shows of all-time. The fifth and final season of Samurai Jack finds our warrior 50 years later, having lost hope in his fight with Aku. Originally airing on Cartoon Network, the new season of Samurai Jack will air on the channel’s Adult Swim block and will feature mature elements, a cohesive story, and more violence. Samurai Jack is one of my favorite shows of all-time and one that I always cherished while growing up. So, when I saw the first look at the return of Samurai Jack last week, I pumped my fist because, finally. Jack. Is. BACK. I’m ready to watch his quest come full circle. Are you?
ETA: March 11