Check out the TVPlus editor’s pick of 2017

14 December 2017

Check out the TVPlus editor’s pick of 2017

After every significant event like a holiday or a special celebration, I ask myself what the highlight and lowlight was. And with 2017 drawing to a close, it’s time to compile my TV plus and minus list. It’s a tradition that starts on 1 December along with my other annual habit: watching so many Friends episodes that Monica makes me ashamed for not having washed my curtains more than once this year…

It’s been a huge year for TV, with tremendous growth in the streaming division – hallelujah! Nearly every pay-per-view platform showed significant growth due to a flood of high-quality productions. With national and world politics in a shambles, viewers have been streaming TV and movies, where there is logic, reason and laughter. What better way to forget about corruption, electioneering, the Eskom saga and the water shortage in Cape Town than to pretend you’re wrapped up in a mystery or a comedic tryst of your own – or in a political drama where it takes charisma, intelligence and subtle manipulation rather than bare-faced lying to seize power?

TV sat with me through so many sleepless nights in 2017. The Young Pope was a true gift that resonated to my bones. Who is really good and who is evil? And aren’t we all both at the same time?

The complexity of human nature was also beautifully portrayed in what was undoubtedly one of the best shows of the year: Big Little Lies. The idyllic setting framed such chaos in all the characters’ lives, the skinner, the fakeness and the masks we all wear all brilliantly spotlighted against a great soundtrack. Doesn’t it make you feel a little bit better about your own drama?

Of course, it’s not all tears and hand wringing. One of my biggest comedy surprises this year was Younger. It made me feel less social media illiterate and I could relate to the younger and older generation. #insight #givememore!

And Jane The Virgin is such a gem! I definitely have a crush on the narrator; I don’t care who he is or how he looks (FYI though, because we know you, his name is Anthony Mendez and he looks kiiiinda like Louis Litt in Suits)!

Is it weird that I know almost every song in Crazy Ex-Girlfriend? Sometimes I even try to mimic the moves (for people watching me, that is definitely a lowlight*). And if I could wish myself into any show for a special Christmas treat, I would join the Superstore team for a day over the Christmas rush season, to get a taste of that chaotic, disjointed and fairly strange experience. But only a day, please.

*Editor’s note: Lies! This is absolutely one of our highlights of 2017. The Lucia version of Sexy Getting Ready Song will live forever on our work server. So many hidden copies.

The sci-fi/fantasy/horror genre also exceeded my expectations this year. Game Of Thrones is still buzzing, while Channel Zero enthralled me to no end. I got so lost in labyrinth of Westworld that I was ready to scalp someone myself to see if there is indeed a hidden pathway to answers. What a feat for Anthony Hopkins.

The lowlight list is considerably shorter. Don’t bite me, but Girls just annoyed me. And as much as I tried, not one episode of The Frankenstein Chronicles managed to resurrect my interest. And this actually says something fantastic about the state of TV. The great joy of watching in 2017 was seeing the expanding range of “niche” shows that were out there finding their audiences. There’s not much regret as we say goodbye to the kind of shows that have all their weird corners and quirks ironed out until they please “everybody”.

So yes, tastes differ and because some of my friends loved the shows that I hated, I could always get the potted version from them and I was able to discuss them when I needed to. Even as someone who’s supposed to watch all the shows, I have my favourites, as well as the shows that just don’t connect.

Finally, with so many new favourites and oldies like Sex and The City and The Sopranos available, my mission in 2018 will be to set up a new list with pros and cons – so I can prepare a new “traditional” Christmas binge-viewing list. Possibly one that will allow me to ignore my curtains for good.

PS: Dankie Showmax, vir die beste aanlyn Afrikaanse flieks en reekse. Van die Silwerskermfees tot Die Boekklub en Agter Elke Man. Julle Afrikaanse aanbieding is die goue ster op my 2017-Kersboom!

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