Cheers & Jeers: The Best and Worst of Television in 2017 (PHOTOS)

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Game of Thrones - Emilia Clarke

Cheers to Game of Thrones for not playing around. Winter finally came and brought with it a risky, frisky seventh season that nixed snoozy plots (goodbye, Dorne!) and needless secondary characters (see ya, Dickon Tarly) to make room for more action of the battle, bedroom and fire-breathing variety (Emilia Clarke).

Seal Team - David Boreanaz
Erik Voake/CBS

Cheers to two decades of David Boreanaz. From Buffy and Angel to Bones and SEAL Team, the actor’s unique mix of matinee-idol looks and roguish charm has been a steady, welcome presence on our TV sets for 20 years. For that, we salute him.

ABC/Eike Schroter

Cheers to The Good Doctor for giving the medical-mystery genre a refreshing shot in the arm. ABC’s crafty hit about a surgical resident with autism—starring a winning Freddie Highmore—is the perfect treatment for TV fans trying to cure their post-House blues.

Andreas Rentz/Getty Images

Jeers to rampant sexual harassment within the entertainment industry. Weinstein. Lauer. O’Reilly. Rose. Spacey. This year saw an endless parade of famous names accused of abusing their power, and we are sick of it. Hopefully 2018 will bring serious changes so everyone can feel safe in their workplace.

69th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards - Press Room
Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

Cheers to Margaret Atwood for inspiring us to stop pretending and actually read the books at book club. The stellar small-screen adaptations of the author’s novels Alias Grace (on Netflix) and The Handmaid’s Tale (on Hulu) are a testament to the original works.

Megyn Kelly TODAY - Season 1
Nathan Congleton/NBC

Jeers to Megyn Kelly Today for starting off with so many missteps. You’d think $23 million would be worth more than a launch loaded with myriad technical flubs, awkward interviews about Jane Fonda’s plastic surgery and whatever that dance party with Hoda was supposed to be. Or does Kelly charge by the cringe?

Chicago Med - Season 3
Elizabeth Sisson/NBC

Cheers to the Chicago shows. Dick Wolf’s NBC Windy City triptych has been firing on all cylinders this year, with Chicago Med establishing itself as ER 2.0, and both Fire and P.D. continuing to serve as solid tributes to the real-life heroics of our first responders.

The Deuce

Cheers to The Deuce for getting New York in the 1970s so right. You could almost feel the filth of Times Square’s horny heyday as HBO’s tale of sex workers and the hustlers who exploited them swelled into an addictive character study anchored by the outstanding Maggie Gyllenhaal.

Outlander - Sam Heughan, Caitriona Balfe

Cheers to Outlander for always getting our kilts into a twist. We can’t even deal with how hot Jamie and Claire (Sam Heughan and Caitriona Balfe) have been throughout Season 3, despite all the kidnappings, killings, torture, typhoid and tragedies thrown at them this year. We’d jump through time for these two on the regular!

24: LEGACY - Corey Hawkins
Guy D'Alema/FOX

Jeers to a Jack Bauer–less 24: Legacy. Despite a solid lead in Corey Hawkins, Fox’s attempt to reboot its former hit sans star Kiefer Sutherland was ultimately a waste of ticking time.

Iron Fist

Jeers to Iron Fist and The Inhumans for lacking the Marvel-ous magic. Even on paper, racially tone-deaf casting (like Fist’s Finn Jones, above) and a mute, time-hopping royal protected by his giant CGI dog couldn’t have looked good. They certainly didn’t onscreen.


Jeers to Disjointed for harshing our buzz. We had high hopes for Netflix’s comedy starring Kathy Bates as the hippie owner of a weed dispensary. But it turned out to be a strained batch of potty-mouthed comedy that squandered the usually dope Bates.

Freeform/Eric McCandless

Cheers to series finales that stuck the landing. Saying goodbye is never easy, but The Leftovers, Halt and Catch Fire, The Mindy Project, The Vampire Diaries, Pretty Little Liars and Teen Wolf all made the loss less sad with endings that were ambitious and emotional. But seriously, can we get some spinoffs up in here?

The Voice - Season 13

Cheers to Idol-izing The Voice. In Season 13, the monster NBC hit added original American Idol champ Kelly Clarkson as a mentor and shoulda-won-Season-3 (but-got-her-Oscar-instead) Jennifer Hudson as a coach. We can’t sing the praises of that move enough—the duo’s refreshing reality-competition savvy was music to our ears.

American Vandal

Cheers to American Vandal for drawing us in. The ballsy mockumentary will probably get the shaft come Emmy time, so we’d just like to tip our hat to the hilarious Netflix series about a dim-witted, mouth-breathing bro (Jimmy Tatro) accused of being the Banksy of genitalia.

Big Little Lies

Cheers to Big Little Lies and Feud for bringing Oscar-caliber talent to television. With Nicole Kidman, Reese Witherspoon, Jessica Lange, Susan Sarandon and Catherine Zeta-Jones, these two shows contained more award-worthy performances in one episode than half the films on the big screen right now.

Stranger Things

Cheers to Stranger Things 2 for exceeding expectations. On a scale of 1 to 10, we give the sequel to last year’s Netflix binge breakout an Eleven for finding the sweet spot where scares, sci-fi and coming-of-age ’80s nostalgia collide strongly enough to send a Shadow Monster running back to the Upside Down.

Carrie Coon - The Leftovers

Cheers to Carrie Coon for being a multitalented multitasker. Coon simultaneously broke our souls as The Leftovers’ grieving Nora and brought realism to the quirky world of Fargo with her tech-challenged police chief Gloria Burgle. These indelible performances were textured, honest and truly distinctive.

69th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards - Donald Glover
Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Cheers to the Emmy Awards for diversifying their portfolio. Big wins by Master of None’s Aziz Ansari and Lena Waithe, Atlanta’s Donald Glover, This Is Us’s Sterling K. Brown and The Night Of’s Riz Ahmed made this year’s ceremony one for the history books. Nice to see the voters finally got color TVs.

Imaginary Mary

Jeers to Imaginary Mary for even happening. We’d trade every second we spent on this mess of an ABC comedy starring Jenna Elfman as a grown woman bickering with a cartoon critter (above) that she concocted as a kid for just one more episode of Allison Tolman talking to her pooch in Downward Dog.

Paul Sarkis/Hulu

Cheers to Marvel’s Runaways for inventing a cool new mutant. Take a dash of DNA from Gossip Girl, splice it into the gene code of a comic about teens with special powers, inject that into a charismatic cast and—boom!—you have the superhero show we need and deserve.


Jeers to all the bizarre deaths on CBS. Maybe one of the network crime shows can crack the mystery of how Erinn Hayes’s character actually died on Kevin Can Wait or why Blue Bloods even bothered to have Amy Carlson’s Linda survive a season-finale fire, only to perish in a helicopter crash—offscreen—by the time the season premiere rolled around.

Will & Grace - Season 1

Cheers to NBC’s Thursday comedy block. We couldn’t have picked better neighbors to help welcome back the beloved Will & Grace than the superbly smart lineup of Superstore, The Good Place and Great News. Make America Must-See Again!

Twin Peaks - Laura Dern
Suzanne Tenner/SHOWTIME

Cheers to the Laura Dern–aissance. Not only can the actress do it all—the wacky comedy of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, the confounding insanity of Twin Peaks and the austere soapiness of Big Little Lies—but she did it all in just one year. We can’t wait to see what 2018 brings! How about an Enlightened revival, HBO?

69th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards - Show
Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Jeers to whoever told the orchestra to play off Sterling K. Brown at the Emmys. The first black actor in 19 years to win Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama had his speech cut short, yet film star Nicole Kidman was permitted to go on and on after nabbing Lead Actress in a Limited Series. That ain’t cool.

The Blacklist - Season 4
Will Hart/NBC

Jeers to The Blacklist for offing one of our favorites. Ryan Eggold’s Tom Keen was a scruffy-sexy enigma we loved to distrust, so it killed us to see the spy meet his untimely end in the midseason finale. You would think a character who was good enough for his own show (remember last season’s The Blacklist: Redemption, anyone?) would be good enough to keep around for the long haul.

2017 U.S. Open Tennis Tournament - Sloane Stephens
Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images

Cheers to Sloane Stephens for serving up a spectacular U.S. Open run. Coming back from injury and ranked 957th in the world just a month prior to the tournament, the athlete was a thrill to watch as she beat four Top 20 players en route to her first Grand Slam title. Her victory capped off a fantastic event that featured four American semifinalists: Stephens, Madison Keys, CoCo Vandeweghe and Venus Williams, still showing ’em how it’s done at 37. Even with Queen Serena on maternity leave, women’s tennis is alive.

Ray Mickshaw/FOX

Cheers to Lucifer and Gotham for soaring without capes. Though The CW’s Arrowverse gets all the glory, Fox’s DC Comics properties are just as geek-heavenly thanks to devilish crime fighter Luci (Tom Ellis) on Lucifer and the bats–t crazy tale of a Dark Knight (David Mazouz) in training on Gotham. (Don’t worry, we’ll get to the Arrowverse in a flash…)

Twin Peaks - Kyle MacLachlan

Jeers to Twin Peaks for being a bust. After 26 years, Agent Cooper and Co. came back in Showtime’s stylish, mega-hyped reboot only to leave us baffled and then bored by a case involving doppelgängers, ultra-random guest stars and an electric tree with a brain. We think.

The New York Comedy Festival And The Bob Woodruff Foundation Present The 8th Annual Stand Up For Heroes Event
Monica Schipper/Getty Images for New York Comedy Festival

Cheers to news crews for weathering out the storms. Since it takes a special brand of bravery (OK, and maybe a splash of stupidity) to stand outside in the middle of a catastrophe, let’s give some love to CNN’s Chris Cuomo, ABC’s Matt Gutman and The Weather Channel’s Mike Bettes for wading out into peril to keep viewers in the loop during Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria.

World Series - Houston Astros, Los Angeles Dodgers
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Cheers to a winning world series. Houston, we have no problem with the Astros beating the Dodgers, especially since your first-ever championship sealed a suspenseful seven-game thrill ride of extra innings and neck-and-neck battles that felt like something right out of a TV show that Fox would eventually cancel (RIP, Pitch).

DC's Legends of Tomorrow, Supergirl, The Flash, Arrow
Bettina Strauss/The CW

Cheers to “Crisis on Earth-X” for doing justice to the superhero mashup. Packed with action and all sorts of awesome team-ups, The CW’s monumental two-night crossover event featuring Arrow, Supergirl, The Flash and DC’s Legends of Tomorrow was truly in a league of its own.

89th Annual Academy Awards - Faye Dunaway, Warren Beatty
Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Jeers to that Oscar mishap for blowing Moonlight’s big moment. Our jaws have been on the floor ever since Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty were handed the wrong envelope and incorrectly named La La Land Best Picture.

NCIS - Mark Harmon
Michael Yarish/CBS

Cheers to NCIS for giving viewers the escape they need. So what if it’s not edgy or artsy? Sometimes all we need is Mark Harmon and the cast to distract us from the crazy real world with some entertaining chemistry and clever cases. And given that it’s still TV’s top-rated drama, it seems a lot of folks would agree.

Heidi Gutman/ABC

Jeers to The Bachelorette for a wilted final rose. The stylish and oh-so-smart Rachel Lindsay was the perfect pick to lead the ABC summer guilty pleasure. (And finally, a black Bachelorette!) Too bad the same can’t be said for her pick: the blandly sweet Bryan Abasolo over Peter Kraus, the clearly smitten dynamo who just wasn’t ready to propose on TV. We were all rooting for you, Rachel!

This Is Us - Sterling K Brown , Chrissy Metz, Justin Hartley
Maarten de Boer/NBC

Cheers to This Is Us for the ugly cries. First there was Randall (Sterling K. Brown) and Beth’s (Susan Kelechi Watson) decision to foster an older kid and then Jack’s (Milo Ventimiglia) Vietnam memories (sniff) and (sniff, sniff) Kevin’s (Justin Hartley) downward spiral and then Kate (Chrissy Metz), lost the baby (sniff) and then…and then…and…wahhhhh!

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