When I started the Bingeworthy column a couple of years ago, there were weeks where it was a bit of a struggle to find a new streaming show or movie to write about.
Those days are over. Now, the struggle is figuring out which of the multitude of new shows, specials and movies to cover. Every time I watch something, I can’t help but think of all the other stuff I’m not watching.
Fortunately, I made some good choices for the Bingeworthy column in 2017, based on all the good new shows I saw on Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime and elsewhere. Here are 10 of my favorites. Please let me know what I missed.
1. “The Handmaid’s Tale” (Hulu) — Hulu’s adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s dystopian novel detonated like a bomb in the middle of 2017. The depiction of a chilling future America controlled by a radical religious regime, where science is repressed and women are judged by their value as childbearers, felt queasily relevant.
2. “GLOW” (Netflix) — The delightful “GLOW” came flying off of the top turnbuckle and into our living rooms, the hilarious and thrilling story of the creation of a 1980s female pro wrestling league. The camaraderie between the very different wrestlers is endearing, and the show makes the case that becoming larger-than-life characters in the ring empowers these women outside of it.
3. “Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Return” (Netflix) — As a longtime fan of the original ‘90s cult TV series, the idea of a rebooted series with a new cast was exciting but a little worrying. The result was a hoot, capturing everything fans loved about the old show while pushing it forward for a new generation.
4. “Difficult People” (Hulu) — I’m going to miss this sharp-witted comedy, starring Billy Eichner and Julie Klausner as celebrity D-listers trying to make it in New York. This year’s third season was the best, engaging with both the Trump administration with fierce glee, in a show that packed more great lines per minute than other shows had in an entire episode.
5. “Dear White People” (Netflix) — Justin Simien arguably made his Sundance hit film even better in translating it into a series, cutting the fat and sharpening the wit as he gleefully told the story of an upper-crust university that wasn’t nearly as inclusive or enlightened as it saw itself.
6. “I Love Dick” (Amazon Prime) — UW graduate Jill Soloway followed up “Transparent” with this funny and moving show about a filmmaker (the great Kathryn Hahn) who develops an uncontrollable attraction for a Marlboro Man-type artist (Kevin Bacon). Largely written and directed by women, the show’s view on female sexuality and desire was bracing and original.
7. “Bajillion Dollar Properties” (iTunes) — I’ll miss the now-defunct comedy streaming service Seeso for a bunch of its original shows, but none more so than this gonzo mockumentary series about a team of very silly high-powered realtors. The first three seasons are available to rent or buy on iTunes, and apparently there’s a fourth season that needs a home.
8. “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” (Amazon Prime) — “Gilmore Girls” creators Amy Sherman-Palladino and Daniel Palladino scored with this hilarious and zippy show about a ‘50s Jewish housewife (Rachel Brosnahan) who becomes an unlikely hit as a stand-up comic. The Palladinos' rapid-fire dialogue is perfectly suited for the world of comedy, and the show is a delightful tale of a woman finding her occasionally foul-mouthed voice.
9. “American Vandal” (Netflix) — One of the year’s biggest surprises was this show, which somehow mixed the teen comedy and true crime documentary genres together. The result is funny and surprisingly gripping viewing, and also sent a message about the dangers of pigeonholing and dismissing so-called “bad” kids.
10. “The Tick” (Amazon Prime) — Ben Edlund’s big blue superhero has been rebooted a couple of times, but the new Amazon series is notably darker and more violent than previous incarnations. But it works, mixing silly jokes with subtle meta-commentary about what we look for in superheroes.