The Top 10 TV Shows of 2017 Featuring Black Sails, American Gods & The Punisher


Black Sails, American Gods, The Punisher, Game Of Thrones – what do they all have in common? Best damn TV shows of 2017 – and here’s why:

#10. Preacher (Season 2)

Preacher is my favourite comic series of all time. So I’ve been waiting anxiously to see more of the actual material adapted to the smallscreen and season 2 delivers that and more in spades. We get to see more of Jesse, Tulip and Cassidy on the road getting into shenanigans, being chased by the terrifying Saint of Killers, being harassed by The Grail led by the hilariously dry Herr Starr and even more absurd plot twists than one can handle. The TV show might even be more outlandish in some ways than the comic book and that’s saying a lot. (My Full Review HERE)

#9. Vikings (Season 4/5)

Alex Høgh’s vicious portrayal of Ivar The Boneless is a scene-stealing, mean as hell and compelling performance unlike anything else on the series and maybe all of television these past couple months. He came outta nowhere and just owned the damn show. There is no other series on television that dares to break the rules like Vikings. From it’s unorthodox approach dealing with time-jumps, to it’s unusual episode structure where random episodes can feel like finales, just to forever keep viewers on their toes, Vikings has truly outdone itself with a masterful fourth season that rivals all other epic war dramas.  (My Full Review of Season 4 HERE)

#8. Mr. Robot (Season 3)

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If you were worried that this season was going to be overly political in the wake of Trump’s presidency, don’t be — sure there is a little bit of that, but it absolutely does not drive the narrative of this show. Mr. Robot is about Elliot and his dad — who is also… Elliot… Sort of… The battle that these two have in season 3 is captivating as hell. Be prepared for one of the best TV fights of 2017 and yes — you will get to see Rami Malek slamming his own head into the floor. (My Full Review HERE)

#7. Mindhunter (Season 1)

Mindhunter netflix

I grew up a weird kid, fascinated with true crime and serial killers – you should see my bookshelf, because it’s kinda creepy. Mindhunter was a TV series MADE FOR ME. David Fincher’s dark drama about the creation of the FBI’s Elite Serial Crime Unit is a captivating and brilliant series that explores the darkest depths of the human mind… Then they HUNT THOSE MINDS. MINDHUNTER STYLE. This is all based on real stories too, real people, depraved and not-so depraved. Cameron Britton portrayal of imprisoned serial killer Edmund Kemper is terrifying. I’ve never binged through a Netflix TV series that fast with so much talking before… You will too once you start it.

#6. Peaky Blinders (Series 4)

peaky blinders series 4 adrien

When you only have six episodes a season (or series if you’re British), then your show better be damn good. Peaky Blinders once again proves that the gangster period series is most certainly all killer and no filler. The Italian Mafia, led by a frightening Adrien Brody, has arrived right on the Shelby family’s doorstep and all Hell has broken loose as they look to avenge the murder of one of their own. The season opener was one of — if not the strongest premieres of 2017. The music is fantastic as always, the cast is formidable (yes Tom Hardy is back and slays every second of his limited screentime) and the show continues to shock me with superb writing and leadership under creator Steven Knight.

#5. American Gods (Season 1)

If you liked Bryan Fuller’s Hannibal TV series, then you’ll probably love American Gods simply due to the fact that the gorgeous surreal dream (and non-dream) sequences will blow your freaking minds. If you aren’t high watching American Gods, you’ll feel stoned after taking that trip anyway… The visual effects are beautiful and twisted, ranging from moments of gore-soaked brutality to colourful explosions that may or may not take place when a genie is boning some dude while being transported to some orgasmic dimension of fire in the desert. (My Full Review HERE)

#4. The Punisher (Season 1)

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The Punisher TV series is a dream come true for fans of the Marvel Comics vigilante. If you liked Daredevil season 2 (the real Netflix debut of Frank Castle aka The Punisher), then you will LOVE this debut season. There’s a moment early on where we see Frank in full-blown soldier mode during a flashback sequence set to the beautiful acoustic music of The White Buffalo’s ‘Wish It Was True’ and the jarring violence set to that song might be my favourite sequence in ANY Marvel Studios product — movies included. If you were worried about Disney watering down their edgier comic adaptations – don’t fret – the Punisher shoves his fingers into a dude’s eyeballs in this show. It isn’t all carnage and mayhem either – The Punisher happens to be loaded with incredible acting performances; the chemistry between Jon Bernthal and Ebon Moss-Backrach is perfection. This could be the show that carries the torch from Sons of Anarchy…

#3. Black Sails (Season 4)

Black Sails Season 3

I know it’s damn near impossible for a badass show such as this to get any Emmy nods aside from Tech categories, but the actors and actresses poured their heart and souls into these characters and delivered one of the finest ensemble bodies of work since The Wire, Deadwood or Sopranos. I will miss this show greatly but I will look back fondly at the greatest 40-plus hour pirate movie of all time and smile knowing that it couldn’t have wrapped up any better than this. Perfect. (My Full Review HERE)

#2. Rick and Morty (Season 3)

rick and morty season 3 pickle rick

Rick and Morty might be the most re-playable TV series of the year because you really have to see everything twice to catch all the carnage you’re missing as you blink. I’m still astonished at how much work and genius creator and voice actor Justin Roiland has put in this year. This season was his masterpiece. The on-going story is extremely important and the amount of depth, in spite of the silliness, is staggering and powerful. I care about these characters and I don’t usually give a shit about cartoons. (My Full Review HERE)

#1. Game of Thrones (Season 7)

drogon and jon snow game of thrones

If you’ve been craving dragon action — season seven delivers it in spades. In fact — Drogon and his siblings dominated this penultimate season in a massive way.Game of Thrones is the best TV series of all time. Seven seasons down, one more to go containing six final episodes and we conclude the greatest fantasy epic since Lord of The Rings — and after the dust settles, maybe this will even surpass that benchmark to be named the very best.  (My Full Review HERE)

Honourable Mentions

  • Stranger Things 2
  • Ray Donovan Season 5
  • Silicon Valley Season 4
  • Happy!
  • Future Man
  • F is For Family
  • Fear The Walking Dead
  • The Walking Dead

Top 5 Performances By a Leading Actor

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#5. Cillian Murphy – Peaky Blinders

#4. Jonathan Groff – Mindhunter

#3. Alex Høgh – Vikings

#2. Toby Stephens – Black Sails

#1. Jon Bernthal – The Punisher

When they cast Jon Bernthal as Frank Castle, aka The Punisher, I was ecstatic. Bernthal’s breakout performance as Shane on The Walking Dead is to this day, one of the most memorable characters in that show’s history. He stole Daredevil Season 2 right out from under the title hero and now his own series is one of my favourite shows of 2017. In a stacked year of new programs, The Punisher is in my opinion the best of that stellar bunch. Whenever Bernthal screams to pump himself up and engage his murder mode, I get goosebumps. He doesn’t say much early in the season but he acts with his eyes, reminding me of classic tough brooding hero types from classic movies like Unforgiven. Bernthal is not only my favourite TV actor of 2017, but he’s the performer of the year, co-starring in my top TWO movies as well. Check those out HERE.

Top 5 Performances By a Leading Actress

american gods emily browning

#5. Katheryn Winnick – Vikings

#4. Hannah New – Black Sails

#3. Carly Chaikin – Mr. Robot

#2. Emilia Clarke – Game of Thrones

#1. Emily Browning  – American Gods

Emily Browning’s performance as a decaying/undead wife trying to reconnect with her fresh-out-jail husband is one of the series’ finest and American Gods is jampacked with brilliant actors. The flashback episode where we see her dealing at the casino and trying to make her marriage with Shadow Moon work is wonderfully bizarre. Spoiler alert – her character dies in the opening episode, but returns from the grave after otherwordly elements interfere with destiny. Browning plays Laura Moon to perfection, a zombie warrior hellbent on finding her husband who just happens to be accompanying an actual God on some crazy ass roadtrip across the United States. In a show loaded with mythical beings, Browning manages to steal every single scene she’s in and that’s not an easy feat considering she spends several with Pablo Schreiber and he’s incredible himself as that big ass Leprechaun.

Top 5 Performances By a Supporting Actor

luke arnold black sails

#5. Derek Wilson – Future Man

#4. Cameron Britton  – Mindhunter

#3. Ebon Moss-Backrach – The Punisher

#2. Pablo Schreiber – American Gods

#1. Luke Arnold – Black Sails

Black Sails wrapped up its fourth and final season earlier this year and if you didn’t watch it, it’s not too late to grab all the seasons on Blu-ray and explore one of television’s most entertaining and riveting period series of all time. Luke Arnold fully embraced the legend of Long John Silver and his intense performance rivalled that of series lead Toby Stephens. It’s actually not even that accurate saying Arnold’s performance was a supporting one, because the past couple seasons of Black Sails featured him in the spotlight just as much as Captain Flint. Arnold was absolutely ferocious during the epic battle sequences, emotionally captivating during the quiet moments and he always commanded the audience’s attention in every single scene he was a part of. I’m sad that the series is over, but thanks to this wonderful cast and crew for the memories and Luke Arnold for delivering one of my all-time favourite television characters in John Silver. There will never be another pirate show, or character this well played, likely ever again.

Top 5 Performances By a Supporting Actress

arya season 7

#5. Grace Gummer – Mr. Robot

#4. Gillian Anderson – American Gods

#3. Portia Doubleday – Mr. Robot

#2. Helen McCrory – Peaky Blinders

#1. Maisie Williams – Game of Thrones

Arya Stark is no longer a child. That being said, did she ever have a chance to really be a kid? She was forced to murder people before she was 10 years old I think and by now she’s a full fledged faceless assassin, able to go toe to toe with legendary warriors like Brienne. Maise Williams plays Arya in season 7 of Game of Thrones like a seasoned warrior, someone who has lived through it all and no longer fears death. She has some incredible moments this year and even though it can be tough to watch someone as young as Arya, slitting someone’s throat (she does this a few times) — Williams plays this character pitch perfect, barely a sliver of her former self, but just enough emotion to remind fans that we still like her. In a show that saw several reunions, Arya reconnects with most of these characters and every single scene she’s in – her presence feels dangerous as hell. That’s the impact of her onscreen presence – an unpredictable, damn near unstoppable killing machine – but one that we all love and hope makes it out of this show alive by the time it’s all over…

CLICK HERE for my Favourite Movies of 2017!

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Editor-In-Chief of Fox Force Five News. I had a zombie cameo on the opening page of The Walking Dead issue #91, where I was killed with a machete... It was awesome.