This decade will probably long be remembered as the golden age of television, and 2017 was no exception. With streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime heating up the scene, the quality of TV shows across all platforms has grown exponentially.
From returning shows like Game of Thrones to newly-premiering series like Mindhunter, TV stood out in terms of cinematography, character development and exciting addictive plots.
Some quality series were favourites with our team, winning deserving places on Yahoo Singapore’s Top 5 list this year. Here are our selections (spoilers ahead):
1. Game of Thrones
The seventh season of HBO’s hit TV series was almost as buzzworthy as, dare we say, the most viral world leader of our time. Fully unchained from George R.R. Martin’s novels, GoT fulfilled fans’ dreams with long-awaited dramatic battles, the trio of dragons that came to Westeros to destroy their masters’ enemies, and of course bringing together characters such as Daenerys “Dany” Targaryen and Jon Snow.
“The show does a good job of keeping audiences guessing at who really has the upper hand and the plotlines moving forward. Apart from small plot holes and leaps of logic, the series was masterfully filmed and accompanied with a top class music score. Performances from Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Lena Headey and Diana Rigg stood out.” – Kenneth Koh, Audience Development Analyst
“Season seven of Game of Thrones was full of spectacle – thrilling and delighting audiences despite the shorter-than-usual season. Sadly, the smaller number of episodes this season made the timeline of the show so condensed that the pacing and writing felt a little too different from the earlier seasons.” –Elizabeth Tong, Entertainment Reporter
Stranger Things 2
The quirky retro sci-fi show returned for its second season with all the familiar elements, from the Upside Down to everyone’s favourite character Eleven. The expanded universe also included references to classic ’80s movies like “Stand by Me”, “Aliens”, “Star Wars”, and more.
“A superb ensemble children’s cast, 1980s icons who still have it in spades and creepy-crawlies that threaten the idyll of an Indiana town: What’s not to like about Stranger Things? The nostalgia factor aside, showrunners the Duffer brothers have created something quite special in this Netflix series.” – Nicholas Yong, Senior Correspondent
“The highly anticipated second season of Stranger Things hit all the right spots – the coming of age moments of the main cast, and great backstories for many characters we’ve grown to love from season one. Save for one incongruous episode this season, the Duffer brothers put together another season about the people of Hawkins, Indiana and the Upside Down.” – Hannah Teoh, Senior Content Producer
Netflix’s new binge-worthy series is based on the nonfiction book “Mind Hunter: Inside the FBI’s Elite Serial Crime Unit” by former FBI agent John Douglas. Produced by David Fincher, the acclaimed director behind Gone Girl and Se7en, the show follows FBI agents Holden Ford and Bill Tench as they travel around the US interviewing serial killers and recording their responses.
“Mindhunter is the best thing on television this year, by far. Bringing David Finch’s cinematic genius, in the context of crime thrillers, to the small screen makes for a very rewarding viewing experience.” – Reena Devi, Lifestyle Reporter
“If you are a true crime aficionado, Mindhunter is your best bet. The scene-stealers here, however, are their subjects – the serial killers. Keep an eye out for Cameron Britton who plays Ed Kemper – the infamous Co-ed Killer – to chilling perfection. – Wong Casandra, Senior Reporter
Star Trek Discovery
This long-awaited series begins 10 years before Kirk, Spock and the Enterprise, charting the journey of the USS Discovery and its officers learning more about the new worlds and lifeforms.
“Discovery moves the Star Trek universe away from the heroics we’re used to, showing us characters who are flawed and broken and yet so relatable. From dropping Star Trek’s first F-bomb to giving more depth to the Klingons and their Game of Thrones-esque schemes, Discovery sheds new light on the franchise’s universe in a darker tone than what’s come before.” – Bryan Huang, Entertainment Lead, Editor
“Star Trek: Discovery may have a slightly darker tone than those that have boldly gone before it, but it still gives what sci-fans love: Enjoyable space adventures.” – Elena Torrijos, Editor-in-chief
Another Netflix surprise hit, this show focuses on a Chicago-based financial adviser who has secret dealings with a drug cartel. Played by Jason Bateman, the show is a ticking bomb of mishaps and oddballs as the main character secretly relocates his family to the Missouri Ozarks region when dealings with the cartel go bad.
“The injection of some black humour into Ozark – following a really grim pilot episode – actually makes the show more relatable. The characters are a bunch of down-on-their luck, bumbling fools but the threats are real and this makes for an odd mix that somehow works.” – Dhany Osman, Editor
“Reminiscent of Breaking Bad, Ozark finds the uprooted Byrde family going up against a host of deliciously sinister villains in the rural community of Missouri’s famed meandering lake. The series’ unexpected twists and superb acting all round make for TV entertainment at its finest.” –Teng Yong Ping, Content Producer
Honourable Mention: 13 Reasons Why
Based on Jay Asher’s best selling novel, Netflix’s hit series follows teenager Clay Jensen, in his quest to uncover the story behind his classmate and crush, Hannah, and her decision to end her life.
“This unassuming teenage drama ended up shocking me both emotionally and mentally. I didn’t expect a show set in squeaky-clean suburban America to have plot twists more disturbing and chilling than a horror flick.” – Nurul Azliah Aripin, Lifestyle Lead, News Reporter
“13 Reasons Why was a real surprise – in how explicit it was, how immersive it was and how unsettling it was sometimes. All the while I hated everyone in the show, but couldn’t look away.” – Amir Ali, Content Producer
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