The Best TV Shows of 2017: Your Definitive Guide to Every Must-See Series

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The Best TV Shows of 2017: Your Definitive Guide to Every Must-See Series
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Photo: E! Entertainment Television

It’s an exciting time of year for personal development (not to mention small-screen entertainment), yet we know all too well the highs and lows a fresh start can bring. While resolutions are great, we’re breaking tradition and compiling a more useful list: which shows to get shamelessly addicted to when the promise of a new year wears off.

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We’ve even scouted out series to carry you through all the emotional stages of resolution remorse: for instance, Netflix’s new Santa Clarita Diet for when you’re feeling super-ambitious; HBO’s star-studded Big Little Lies for when you’re in denial about realistic goals; Jude Law’s controversial role on The Young Pope when you’re judging yourself too harshly; Judd Apatow’s latest project Crashing when you’re slumping into a depression; A Series of Unfortunate Events when you’re angry about outcomes; and even ABC’s The Bachelor made the list—for when you’re ready to accept your TV-obsessed fate.

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Read on for your definitive guide to the 20 new and returning premieres we’re most excited to bundle up and binge-watch this season.

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The OA
The OA

Things are getting even stranger on Netflix: Fill the Stranger Things–sized void in your queue with The OA, a thriller centered around the disappearance of a young blind girl who returns seven years later with her vision in tact. Brit Marling co-wrote and stars in the show, while Brangelina’s Plan B Entertainment helped produce the mystery series. You might also spot The Office graduate (and voice of sadness in Inside Out!) Phyllis Smith in episodes to come.

The OA is available to stream on Netflix.

Photo: Netflix
Star
Star

Empire fans, there’s a new musical drama on the scene. Fortunately, the series is produced and directed by the same primetime genius (and aires on the same night and network), so you’ll be able to enjoy back-to-back hits. Follow Star (played by Jude Demorest) on the road from poverty in Pittsburgh to *star*dom in Atlanta, where she is taken under the wing of her hairdresser-godmother—none other than Queen Latifah. Law & Order’s Benjamin Bratt signs on to help manage her aspiring trio that conjures major Destiny’s Child vibes.

Star premieres Wednesday, January 4th on FOX.

Photo: FOX
One Day at a Time
One Day at a Time

Add a little Latin flare to the classic ‘70s (and ‘80s) sitcom, and you’ve got a Cuban-American single mom (played by Justina Machado) raising two tween-to-teen aged children in Miami. Rita Moreno co-stars as her sometimes-overbearing mother, while writers from How I Met Your Mother and Everybody Loves Raymond lend their comedic chops to the reimagined script.

One Day at a Time is available to stream Friday, January 6th on Netflix.

Photo: Netflix
A Series of Unfortunate Events
A Series of Unfortunate Events

While the thought of orphaned children on the run from a greedy, evil relative is heavy, Neil Patrick Harris’ portrayal of said villain, along with Lemony Snicket’s imaginative backdrop, lightens the subject matter. Meanwhile, Patrick Warburton (aka Seinfeld’s “Puddy”) narrates the dark TV adaptation and, true to the absurdist children’s books, constantly urges viewers to stop watching. So, naturally, we can’t stop.

A Series of Unfortunate Events is available to stream January 13th on Netflix.

Photo: Netflix
Victoria
Victoria

Come for the Downton Abbey-esque fix. Stay for the history lesson in women’s empowerment. Based in Britain during the 19th century, the eight-part miniseries chronicles Queen Victoria (played by former Doctor Who star Jenna Coleman) falling in love, navigating the public eye, and inheriting a country—all by the time she was 18. The romantic period drama has even been bequeathed DA’s coveted Sunday timeslot.

Victoria premieres Sunday, January 15th on PBS.

Photo: PBS
The Young Pope
The Young Pope

Let’s talk about Jude Law in a miter and papal insignia. We’re not judging, though we can’t say the same for his recently-inaugurated, fictional character: the first American (and youngest) pope. We’re equally intrigued by Diane Keaton’s complex character Sister Mary, who appears to be Pope Pius XIII’s frenemy.

The Young Pope premieres Sunday, January 15th on HBO.

Photo: HBO
Santa Clarita Diet
Santa Clarita Diet

Drew Barrymore and Timothy Olyphant portray suburban realtors, married with a teenage daughter (played by Liv Hewson) in this brand-new comedy. But before you dread complacency, the streaming network promises that there will be dramatic events, including “death and destruction,” shaking up their predictable life “in a good way.” Whatever that means, we’re excited to welcome the beauty and wine maven to the small screen.

Santa Clarita Diet is available to stream Friday, February 3rd on Netflix.

Photo: Netflix
So Cosmo
So Cosmo

The glamorous editorial industry is the latest in the reality TV spotlight. Feel major envy, as you watch Cosmopolitan editors get paid to gallivant around New York City. Former editor-in-chief Joanna Coles (now Chief Content Officer of Hearst) is the Kardashian equivalent of Kris Jenner, narrating the office politics and, obviously, drama. And speaking of Kardashians, the famous family makes a cameo, along with a slew of other celebs that grace the pages of the provocative magazine. Much like the titulary monthly publication, the new E! series offers a little bit of everything: fashion, beauty, sex, and entertainment.

So Cosmo premieres Wednesday, February 8th on E!

Photo: E! Entertainment Television
Big Little Lies
Big Little Lies

Following the trend in movie stars heading to the small screen, this new HBO dram-edy stars A-list actresses Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, and Shailene Woodley. The leading ladies portray young moms entangled in a murderous plot twist and whose picture-perfect lives start to unravel. Based on Liane Moriarty’s bestselling book, the adaptation also stars Adam Scott, Alexander Skarsgård, Laura Dern, and Zoë Kravitz.

Big Little Lies premieres Sunday, February 19th on HBO.

Photo: HBO
Crashing
Crashing

We fell in Love with Judd Apatow’s small-screen comedy last year, and the Love and Girls director is back behind the camera for a new HBO project. After his wife leaves him for a boxer, aspiring comedian Pete Holmes (the creator and star of the show) crashes on the couches of his comedian friends in New York City.

Crashing premieres Sunday, February 19th on HBO.

Photo: HBO
Sherlock (season four)
Sherlock (season four)

Let’s get back to (detective) work with the famous sleuth (played by Benedict Cumberbatch). Expect there to be friction between him and BFF Watson (Martin Freeman) this season on the action-packed BBC thriller. Hopefully it’s only elementary.

Sherlock (season four) premieres on Sunday, January 1st on PBS.

Photo: PBS
The Bachelor (season 21)
The Bachelor (season 21)

Could the fourth time be a charm for franchise veteran Nick Viall? The two-time The Bachelorette frontrunner has earned his leading man status, thanks to requisite controversial plot twists of seasons past. First, he played the villain role during Andi Dorfman’s reign, after revealing fantasy suite details post-rejection. Then, he stirred up suspicion and jealousy when he stole Kaitlyn Bristowe’s attention—and the slot of one of her male suitors late in the game—only to have his heart broken again. He also endured a stint on Bachelor in Paradise, on which he ultimately redeemed himself by walking away from love interest Jen Saviano. He even has Jennifer Aniston rooting for him.

The Bachelor (season 21) premieres Monday, January 2nd on ABC.

Photo: ABC
Nashville (season five)
Nashville (season five)

Down-home girls and boys can breathe easy: The ABC drama has been saved by CMT, thanks to die-hard country fans that fought to keep the show on air. The fate of Juliette Barnes (played by Hayden Panettiere) and her entourage was up in the air at the end of season four. While season four was feared to be the last, the Southern starlet also endured a major plane crash but is set to recover—and undoubtedly claw her way back to the top of the country music scene.

Nashville (season five) premieres Thursday, January 5th on CMT.

Photo: CMT
Homeland (season six)
Homeland (season six)

Claire Danes is back in Homeland action—both on and off screen. Not only does the Showtime series return in January, her character Carrie is also back on U.S. soil: living in Brooklyn with her daughter and opting to work for a foundation that provides aid to Muslims in America over her government gig.

Homeland (season six) premieres Sunday, January 15th on Showtime.

Photo: Showtime
Scandal (season six)
Scandal (season six)

Gladiators, the wait for Olivia Pope is over and #TGIT can return to its regularly-scheduled programming (now that leading lady Kerry Washington is back from maternity leave). When we last left the political circuit, the presidential candidates were getting ready to announce their running mates. In addition to Shonda Rhimes’s signature shake-ups, this season will also welcome a new face (Zoe Perry), though the Grey’s Anatomy alum is no stranger to the #Shondaland family.

Scandal (season six) premieres Thursday, January 19th on ABC.

Photo: ABC
The Path (season two)
The Path (season two)

Fear and doubt among cult members sounds like a recipe for disaster. This season, Michelle Monaghan’s character Sarah Lane is questioning her converted husband Eddie’s (played by Aaron Paul) loyalty to Meyerism, the controversial (and fictional) religious community she has belonged to since birth.

The Path (season two) premieres January 25th on Hulu.

Photo: Hulu
Reign (season four)
Reign (season four)

The Reign of this fantasy is coming to an end, so be sure to enjoy every last minute of Mary Queen of Scots (played by Adelaide Kane), her French court and dreamy garb. The final season of the 16th century period drama teases a rivalry between Mary and Queen Elizabeth of England (Rachel Skarsten).

Reign (season four) premieres Friday, February 10th on The CW.

Photo: The CW
Girls (season six)
Girls (season six)

It’s the end of an era: The Girls we’ve grown up with are all grown up—well, the jury’s still out. What is certain, however, is this will be the final season and therefore chapter of their lives to soak up. Between Jessa and Adam’s forbidden romance, Marni’s divorce, Shoshanna’s job loss, and Hannah declaring she hasn’t yet left her mark on New York City in the teaser video, it’s a safe assumption not much has really changed.

Girls (season six) premieres Sunday, February 12th on HBO.

Photo: HBO
Billions (season two)
Billions (season two)

We’re still hooked on the finance drama, starring Paul Giamatti, Homeland alum Damian Lewis, Sons of Anarchy sweetheart Maggie Siff—plus Malin Akerman, who portrays the billionaire’s wife. This season, the men go head-to-head as Giamatti’s character tries to take down the hedge fund hottie.

Billions (season two) premieres Sunday, February 19th on Showtime.

Photo: Showtime
The Voice (season 12)
The Voice (season 12)

Move over Miley: Gwen Stefani is reclaiming her seat in the judge’s chair—but only as an understudy this season. In addition to the new crop of fresh talent, we’re can’t deny our excitement to also observe the on-screen chemistry between Stefani and fellow judge-turned-beau Blake Shelton.

The Voice (season 12) premieres Monday, February 27th on NBC.

Photo: NBC

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  • The OA
  • Star
  • One Day at a Time
  • A Series of Unfortunate Events
  • Victoria
  • The Young Pope
  • Santa Clarita Diet
  • So Cosmo
  • Big Little Lies
  • Crashing
  • Sherlock (season four)
  • The Bachelor (season 21)
  • Nashville (season five)
  • Homeland (season six)
  • Scandal (season six)
  • The Path (season two)
  • Reign (season four)
  • Girls (season six)
  • Billions (season two)
  • The Voice (season 12)
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